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October 28, 2020 9:18 pm
.1 Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.
And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism who is that angel you see on top of many LDS temples welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM.
Not sure Eric if there any latter-day Saints listening to that opening there probably rolling their eyes thinking. Good grief bill. You don't really know who that angel is on top of Mormon temples, of course, it has to be the angel Moron I and I would agree that that is probably the common understanding that this is the angel that supposedly came and visited Joseph Smith in 1823 and told him about these gold plates that contained what later came to be known as the book of Mormon, but there is an interesting story in the church news. It's dated July 30, 2020. An article written by Valerie Walton and the title of this article is why do temples have the angel Moron I on top. Here's a look at the history of the iconic statues and in reading this article, I have to admit there were some things I really learned from this article that I was not even aware of and I thought it would be fun to go through this article and talk about this because most people just naturally assume it was always to be understood that it was the angel Moron I on top of the temple. Now we know that the Salt Lake Temple and the statue of Moron I got a lot of attention. Not too terribly long ago when we had an earthquake here and Moron I is understood to be dropped is tropic that was news that was news all over Salt Lake City. That was a big deal but there is another side to this story and the fact is, it was not always understood even by Latter Day Saints that that was to be the angel Moron I in this article brings out what I think are some very interesting bits of history, but let's look at this article. What does Valerie Walton say in this article. Why do temples have the angel Moron I on top angel Moron I standing atop the spire of the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints heralding in the restoration seems like a natural and required finishing touch to each house of the Lord. But Moron eyes presence on temples dotting the globe is a relatively recent addition to the sacred buildings only becoming mostly standard in the last few decades.
Quote we think of angel Moron I statues as standard for temples today, but that's because they been put on temples since the 1980s when the vast majority of temples have been built," said Emily at historic sites curator for the church history department and I think she's absolutely correct there that you just naturally assume this because I think for much of Mormonism's history at least since they moved out west to the Salt Lake Valley that has been a basic understanding that the statue on top of the Salt Lake Temple was in fact the angel Moron I now when Emily says that they been put on temples since the 1980s when the vast majority of temples have been built. Of course that would go back to the time of Gordon B. Hinckley, Gordon B. Hinckley I think was really before Russell M. Nelson came along was the one responsible for building quite a few of these buildings throughout the world. Many of them were the much smaller versions of temples that were built in areas that did not have quite as high LDS population as you would probably find in Utah for instance, but at least it gave the opportunity for members of the church to visit a temple in somewhat of a close proximity and not making them having to travel hundreds, perhaps even thousands of miles to go to the temple. Now when Hinckley started doing this. I remember commenting to you Eric that I thought this was ingenious because if a latter-day St. did not feel compelled to go to the temple because it was too far away. It may also compel them not to pay their tides and of course in order to get into a Mormon Temple to receive a temple recommend, or the little card that gives you permission to enter Mormon Temple. You must be a full tithe payer. So even though these buildings do cost the church millions of dollars for the building itself and plus the property in which they are built.
I think they are making up that revenue by encouraging people to go to the temple which they're supposed to. If they are Latter Day Saints and in order to do so. They are going to be full tithe payer so the revenue is going to come in to eventually pay for that building.
Anyway, the article continues at spoke with the church news about the origins of the angel Moron I statues and why they are featured on temples of the Church of Jesus Christ. The first temple to feature any sort of angel was the Nauvoo Illinois Temple which had a weathervane angel explained that in the 1840s weathervane angels were extremely popular in the United States that let me stop you there because in talking with Latter Day Saints even about the Nauvoo Temple again. They assume that that's the angel Moron. I know this is what's interesting, I did not notice I did not know that weathervane angels were extremely popular in the United States, not knowing that in seen photographs of the Nauvoo Temple. It's natural to assume oh that must also be Moron I because he is an icon in Mormon history. But yet this article says no, not necessarily. This was not uncommon at all to assume that the weathervane angel on top of the Nauvoo Temple and I should say the original Nauvoo Temple because that temple eventually burned down. It was destroyed, but it was rebuilt and dedicated in 2002. Today the Nauvoo Temple. The newly rebuilt temple does have a statue of Moron I very similar to all the other statues of Moron I on several other temples around the United States and around the world that I did not know that that was pretty popular and so we can't assume that's how it was understood in the early years of Mormonism.
That said, quote. So when Joseph Smith is building another temple. They put a weathervane on that temple innocent angel because that's just what you did.
That was a very common theme" this unnamed angel hold the trumpet to its lips and a book in its hands, it references the angel in the book of Revelation heralding in the second coming and in parentheses.
Revelation 14, six, and that also intrigues me because here we have a person who works as a curator for the church history department admitting that the angel mentioned in Revelation 14 six is not the angel Moron I and why is that that if nothing else, what we find in this article is that there one admitting that the angel that was on the Nauvoo Temple was on named it did not have the name around. I and it also references the angel in the book of Revelation, but not heralding the coming forth of the restored gospel as many Latter Day Saints understand it today, but heralding instead. The second coming. That's what we learned in Revelation 14 six.
I've always said that it's hard to say. The angel mentioned in Revelation 14 six can be the angel Moron I because that is an event that has yet to happen that angel to put it quite bluntly hasn't flown okay.
That angel is not flying yet because this is something that happens later on and as this article points out, the angel in the book of Revelation and 14 six is heralding the second coming.
Not the coming forth of the restoration as the Mormons understand it yet because Bill we've talked to a lot of Latter Day Saints and how many times that we had Revelation 14, six brought up to us and they would say this is a reference obviously to Moron I isn't that wonderful how we have the restored church with an angel that is heralding in the book of Mormon, and it's mentioned in the Bible, so it must show that Joseph Smith story has to be accurate. If this article is correct and I believe it is that the angel mentioned in Revelation 14, six is really heralding in the second coming, then he can't be heralding the coming forth of the restoration which means quite a few Mormon leaders got it wrong, and there are leaders who have said that this is not really an angel heralding the second coming, but rather the angel Moron I listens to give three of the leaders, Harold B.
Lee the 11th president said that Moron I announced to the prophet that the time was at hand for the gospel and all its fullness to be preached in power on to all the nations. This was in fulfillment of that which had been promised to John when the angel would fly in the midst of heaven." Having the fullness of the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth." Getting that from Revelation 14 six. The restoration of that fullness of the gospel was accomplished when the book of Mormon which was declared to be a record in which the fullness of the gospel was contained was restored to the world through the prophet Joseph Smith and that's from teaching is a presence of the church, Harold B. Lee which was a church manual, pages 75 and 76. So what we have with this being in a church manual vetted allegedly by the first presidency. You have a Mormon president. Taking a verse out of context and his badly executed passage is being vindicated by the first presidency by the very fact that that quotation is in a church manual. Now if they can get it wrong on this. Whether things can they get wrong because certainly there will be Lee was not accurate in the way he was. Understanding Revelation 14 six. Let me give you George F Richards and apostle speaking at a general conference in April 1927 and he said the testimony of all these witnesses is a direct testimony of the truth of the book of Mormon. We declare that it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel as restored through an angel as the place from which his plate was translated were given to Joseph by an angel and thus the vision of John the rebel later on Patmos was was fulfilled when he saw that an angel should fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth. So here we have another leader in the LDS church getting it wrong there looking at a passage in the Bible.
They're not looking at the proper context. There just merely inserting their own presupposition, and telling their people hate this angel Revelation 14 six. It's got to be the angel Moron I when there's really no biblical reference to that whatsoever. Let me give you one more. This is 70 Milton R. Hunter, speaking at Gen. conference in April 1946. He says John the rebel later, however, had looked down through the stream of time and had be held that a divine restoration from the heavens would take place.
He declared what he saw envisioned as follows.
And then he quotes Revelation 14, six or seven, and then he says this prediction was fulfilled on September 21 and 22nd 1823 in the angel Moron I appeared of the prophet Joseph Smith and told him of a sacred record buried in a hill not far from the boys home this record.
The angel said contained the everlasting gospel is understood and practiced by the ancient inhabitants of America. The neophytes so even Milton R. Hunter, who was a 70 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints goes on record in giving a wrong identity to the angel mentioned in Revelation 14 six tomorrow were going to continue looking at what I personally think is a fascinating part of Mormon history and that is the statue of the angel Moron I on top of many Mormon temples, thank you for listening.
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