Moroni was a general, historian, prophet and Angel. As a general he led his people, an ancient civilization on the American Continent, in a losing battle for survival against overwhelming odds. He chronicled the fall of his people and the reasons for it as a historian. The record he kept and abridged was record on plates of gold. Before his death he hid the record in a small vault in a hill.
Many years after his death he appeared as an Angel to Joseph Smith. The message he brought was the news of the ancient record he had buried centuries before, containing the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Members of the LDS church believe this is the event that John the Revelator foretold in Revelation 14:6-7:
“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.”
Cyrus Dallin chose Moroni as an appropriate symbol of the restoration when the prophet Wilford Woodruff commissioned him to design an angel statue for the Salt Lake Temple. Dallin gave his angel a trumpet and placed the statue to face east to symbolize the future coming of the Savior as described in Mathew 24:30-31:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The Angel Moroni Statue now has multiple symbolic meanings. As Moroni, he is one of the primary agents of the restoration. With the trumpet, he proclaims the restoration of the Gospel to all the world. His announcement of the return of the Savior to the Earth is signified by his frequent eastward orientation. Some have suggested that his gilding is a reminder of the Gold Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:27-54
Encyclopedia of Mormonism: Moroni 1
Encyclopedia of Mormonism: Moroni, Angel
Encyclopedia of Mormonism: Moroni, Visitations Of
Rudd, Glen L. “The Angel Moroni” Brigham Young University–Idaho Devotional, March 11, 2003
Mormon Bids Farewell to a Once Great Nation, by Arnold Friberg
Moroni Hides the Plates in the Hill Cumorah (Moroni Burying the Plates), by Tom Lovell
Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith in His Room (The Angel Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith)
Joseph Smith Receives the Gold Plates
Disambiguation: Captain Moroni
“In memory of our God,our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” – Captain Moroni
The book of Mormon speaks of 2 great individuals named Moroni. The first is Captain Moroni, who lived in the first century BC. During his time his people, the Nephites, were attacked both by another nation from without and by political dissent from within. His rallying standard, known as the Title of Liberty, is still an inspiration to millions today and a remembrance of things worth fighting for.
He was a master at strategy and tactics, but was never mentioned as being a Prophet.
This is not the Moroni that as an Angel visited Joseph Smith and was the inspiration for the Statue.
Captain Moroni Raises the Title of Liberty (Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty)