President Gordon B. Hinckley
From my window I frequently look at the figure of
Moroni on the tallest tower of the Salt Lake Temple.
He has been there since 6 April 1892, the date on
which the capstone was laid before the largest
crowd ever assembled in Salt Lake City up to that
time. When the capstone was placed, thousands of
voices joined in shouting, "Hosanna to God and the
Lamb." Later that day the statue was placed on top
of the capstone.
Today, strangers who see him wonder who he is.
Some think the gleaming figure represents Gabriel,
the biblical angel sent to Daniel, to Zacharias, and to
Mary. Others are simply puzzled.
But he is no puzzle to us. He is a symbol of the
restoration of the gospel in this the dispensation of
the fulness of times. He was guardian and deliverer
of the golden plates, the translation of which
became the Book of Mormon, another witness of the
Lord Jesus Christ. We regard his coming as
fulfillment of the vision of John the Revelator: "And
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them
that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and
kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud
voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour
of his judgment is come: and worship him that
made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the
fountains of waters" (Rev. 14:6-7
Of all the characters who walk the pages of the Book
of Mormon, none stands a greater hero, save Jesus
only, than does Moroni, son of Mormon.
He was skilled as the commander of an army of ten
thousand warriors. He was concise as an editor and
historian. He was prophetic in speaking of his own
and future generations. He was a man who walked
alone for years, a fugitive from his enemies who
were unrelenting in their pursuit. Moroni was
military commander, prophet-historian, the last of
the Nephite survivors.
He was a direct descendant of Nephi. He grew up in
the household of his remarkable father, Mormon.
His father had witnessed the glorious flowering of
the Nephite nation when "the whole face of the land
had become covered with buildings, and the people
were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the
sea" (Morm. 1:7
). Mormon had also witnessed the
abject decay of that civilization. It became a season
when wickedness prevailed throughout the entire
land "and the work of miracles and of healing did
cease because of the iniquity of the people. And
there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy
Ghost did not come upon any, because of their
wickedness and unbelief." (Morm. 1:13-14
Moroni was a witness of this decay. The Nephites
became embroiled in wars with the Lamanites, wars
that were to result in their annihilation.
He cried out to his people: "Who can stand against