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Moroni Statue Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2020 9:20 pm

Moroni Statue Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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.1 Mormonism program. It examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism 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. So glad you agree with us for 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 yesterday. We began looking at an article that was in the LDS church news and article written by Valerie Walton came out on July 30, 2020. Why do temples have the angel Moron I on top and we are looking at some of the history behind this, as it says this iconic figure that you find on top of many, not all but many LDS temples and yesterday show we are talking about the Nauvoo Temple.

Be original Abu Temple. It said in this article that the Nauvoo Temple had a weathervane angel and that's true, it had an angel that was kind of sideways, I guess you could say Eric with the trumpet but it wasn't at all like you would imagine on a Mormon Temple today. I did not know this but the article brought out that weathervane angels were extremely popular in the United States and the way it's worded in this article, I guess we can be left to assume that that's why you found one on the original Nauvoo Temple. Not that it had any significance to the angel Moron I like angels on top of temples have today, but certainly this idea of weathervane angels being very popular, almost happened on the Salt Lake Temple and this is what this article brings out when the Latter Day Saints arrived in Utah, began work on the Salt Lake Temple early sketches of the temple also showed weathervane angels as we are prepping for this. I remember a picture photograph that I had taken while visiting the beehive house downtown. If you go into the beehive house as we know the beehive house. Part of that building was Brigham Young's office when he was the territorial governor, but if you going to one of the rooms.

I remember seeing a picture of the Salt Lake Temple and I was looking at it very closely and I noticed it did not have the angel on top of the spire that it certainly has now it had a weathervane angel and I took a photograph of it. I have a picture of this and if you want to see it. All you have to do is go downtown to visit the beehive house and look for a picture of the temple.

I'm sure that's the one I saw as well when it says as you read Eric when the Latter Day Saints arrived in Utah begin work on the Salt Lake Temple early sketches of the temple also showed weathervane angels will there's one right in Brigham Young's office downtown in the beehive house. So this article is absolutely correct and you can see that picture for yourself. The article goes on and says, however, by the 1890s architectural trends had shifted and it became commonplace for grand public buildings to feature statues quote so the church is wanting to keep this angelic figure, but they'd decided to switch to a standing figure because that is what the architecture of the time was doing." At said that we should mention that, but you TT is Emily.as we mentioned yesterday. She's a curator for the church history department and Valerie Walton, the author of this article is citing her in this piece but the I found very fascinating when it talks about Cyrus Galland. He was the one who was commissioned to come up with the statue for the Salt Lake Temple. What is that paragraph say Cyrus talent whose ancestors had joined the church, but left it soon after they arrived in Utah was not a member of the church but was commissioned to sculpt an angel statue for the Salt Lake Temple. He turned down Pres. Wilford Woodruff's request. At first, stating that he didn't believe in angels, but Dallen's mother soon persuaded him to accept the commission.

I wish the article went into a little bit more detail to tell us why did Cyrus Dallen's ancestors leave the church after they arrived in Salt Lake City. I bet you that's a story in and of itself because as I understand it, a lot of immigrants coming to Utah were not really enamored with what they saw when they arrived, because many of them had been told for instance in those rumors about polygamy were just that they were rumors will if you arrived after 1852 when polygamy was announced publicly you found out very quickly that they were just evil rumors that that was a fact of life in the Salt Lake Valley that is quoted to say some of those earliest sketches don't give him a name and some of those earlier sketches called him Gabriel, it's likely that Dallen statue was originally Gabriel, which was very common at the time for churches and I found that to be quite fascinating as well because you would naturally assume that you put the statue of an angel such as the one they have on the Salt Lake Temple that it was already understood that this was the angel proclaiming the restoration of the gospel but yet that doesn't seem to be the case that even after this angel was designed it was still thought that it could possibly be referred to as the angel Gabriel.

Which of course was popular also, the article continues before the statue went on the Salt Lake Temple church leaders went to view it in Dallen studio according to quote one of the apostle said we should call him around nine and within about a week. It was no longer being called Gabriel it was being called Moron I" they don't mention who this apostle was I would find that interesting. Who it was that offered that suggestion, but it seems clear from that paragraph alone. That Moron I was not the intended name for that statute some particular apostle. We don't know who it was offered the suggestion that the statue that was designed by Cyrus Dallen, who didn't even believe in angels but his statue would then be the angel Moron I and as soon as you have a leader say. All of a sudden it catches on its kinda like the story about Brigham Young saying this is the place drive on again. Nobody knew that the first several years after the Mormons had moved to the Salt Lake Valley that was never understood to be the history when Brigham Young came into the valley till years later and we still don't even know what Brigham Young really said that it's again another part of what we assume to be Mormon folklore. One thing that a lot of people may not know is there are different types of Moron I statues on various Mormon temples. They don't all look the same. A lot of them are pretty standard, but there are some differences in how they appear and you wouldn't really even know that unless you saw very close up picture of the statue because standing from the ground looking up there. There up there pretty high so a lot of the details are probably lost on somebody just looking at it without binoculars or a zoom lens, but it talks about the statue on the Los Angeles California Temple that was dedicated in 1956. No that was created as this article says by a local artist by the name of Millard F. Mallon what did Emily have to say about that one described it as looking like quote and Arnold Friberg painting." This Moron I has Native American features of Mayan robe sandaled feet, a muscular build a trumpet held by an upturned right hand and gold plates held in his left arm and you know I never thought about that as many times as I looked at pictures of the Los Angeles Temple and haven't been there and seen it myself. I never thought about that but I called up some pictures on the Internet.

Some close up pictures and sure enough that angel is dressed in what they would call a Mayan robe. In other words, he's dressed kinda like pictures in some editions of the book of Mormon that have pictures from Arnold Friberg.

By the way, it's true in this.

I knew he is holding the gold plates which of course you know me of the gold plates.

I'm wondering boy and he must really be a buff farmboy to be able to hold those goal plates with one arm because there's just no way. If those plates were gold. It even Moron I would be able to do that, especially with the fact that yes as an angel I guess he could lift whatever he wants but he was lifting this Moron I was when he was a human being in the fifth century A.D. talks about the Washington DC Temple that was dedicated in 1974. Know that one also has a statue of the angel Moron I but I think what we need to talk about. Eric is the fact that there are quite a few Mormon temples that do not have the angel Moron I as an icon on top of those buildings. I remember seeing the temple in Hawaii.

It doesn't have a statue of the angel Moron I the one in Mesa Arizona does not have a statue of the angel Moron I St. George doesn't have a statue of the angel Moron I nor does the Logan Temple up in Logan Utah. It does not have a statue of the angel Moron I there are quite a few of them that don't. But there is another article that was written by Peggy Fletcher stack. She raises this question in the title statue of limitations under Russell Nelson. Fewer and fewer temples have an angel Moron I and she brings out the fact that there are a number of renderings or drawings of temples that are going to be built, and several of them see notes do not have angels on top of them and of course it raises the question is this done purposely and is Russell M. Nelson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, purposely reducing the number of temples that have an angel Moron I and if so why I don't really have an answer for that. You would think that if he's wanting to get rid of this icon as it's known to be for so many years. What would be the reason is the trying to make it appear that they're not really putting a lot of emphasis on Moron I any longer. I don't know if that can be the answer because we know that in the number of these renderings of temples that are going to be built. Some of them will have at least according to the renderings the drawings they will have an angel on top of them. Maybe somebody would think that this is an experiment to see how the Latter Day Saints are going to accept not having Moron eyes on top of the Temple and and I'm I'm going to suggest are going to be listening very carefully because if that perhaps makes it look like more of a Christian church.

Perhaps we will see fewer Moron eyes being built on new temples, wouldn't you think though that was really the reason they should probably just get rid of all the other ones just do it in one final sweep you but there is so much prestige and having that angel up there.

In fact, the person who gets to use the crane to be able to lift that up is especially picked and people come from all over the day, usually a Saturday where they will lift that up on top of the spire, so it's a big deal for latter Latter Day Saints. I meant to suggest perhaps there would be a number of Latter Day Saints who would be offended if they got rid of all of them in future temples will there's an interesting quote in the article by Peggy Fletcher stack. This was in the Salt Lake Tribune. This is the one statue of limitations that the quotation from Ellen Roberts who is a Salt Lake City architect who according to the piece has worked on many Temple exterior designs. This is what he said. Organizations are always looking at rebranding if they think the current brand is antiquated if it no longer is valid or in favor because I want to quote him as saying I suppose they are trying to Christianize a church that claims to be Christ centered, they would want to gradually pull away from images that don't seem to reinforce that such message Jean. He says gives the church a wider appeal of this of course could lend some credence to the theory you think down the road that the Mormon church will start putting crosses on top of their temples.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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So take a look at sharing the good news with Mormons a new book produced by harvest House publishers and edited by Mormonism research ministries Eric Johnson and Shawn McDowell sharing the good news with Mormons includes 24 helpful essays from two dozen Christian apologist scholars and pastors pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore for order directly from MRM.org

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