The First (Not a Moroni) Angel

Nauvoo Tinner’s Association
Material Tin covered in fold leaf
Length 5′ (1.5 Meters)
Placed 30 January 1846
Currently On
0 temples

The First Angel, placed on the Original Nauvoo Temple was, actually a weather vane. It was sculpted in tin and formed as a 3 dimensional figure covered in gold. It was fashioned in the likeness of a man. The figure wore a cap and a robe and was laying horizontal, as if flying.

NAuvoo Temple Weathervane

Rather than being explicitly named as Moroni, it was a representation of the angel described in the verse in Revelation 14:6:

“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.”

The angel held a book (believed to represent the Book of Mormon) with one hand, and held a horn to its mouth with the other.

The temple was destroyed in 1848. It is not known for certain what happened to the angel. While there have been stories and rumors as to the fate of this angel, none of them have been proven to this date.

One particularly prevalent rumor still circulates concerning the Nauvoo Angel. The story is that it had been purchased by and installed on the Salem Evangelical Reformed Church at Sycamore and Orchard Streets in Cincinnati Ohio in 1867. This congregation, also believing they had purchased the Nauvoo Angel, turned it over to Nauvoo Restoration Inc. in 1968 after it was blown off and damaged by a storm. A thorough investigation concluded it was not the Nauvoo Angel Weather Vane. Clues to this include it having been more cherubic in it’s features, having wings, and not holding a book.

The most likely fate that is now supported by historians is that while the angel had initially been removed from the temple after the Saints were driven from Nauvoo, it was soon after returned. Eyewitness accounts place it on the temple shortly before it burned. It is believed it was destroyed by the same fire that destroyed the temple.


“The Mystery of the Nauvoo Angel!”, 29 May 2013.
Don F. Colvin, “Nauvoo Temple: A Story of Faith > 11. The Fate of the Temple”, 2002.
Lisle Brown, “Nauvoo Temple Exterior Symbolism”, March 1999.
Lisle Brown, “Exterior Description of the Nauvoo Temple”, March 1999.
Benjamin Blankenbehler, “Architecture of the Nauvoo Temple”, 5 March 2013.
Glen Leonard, “Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, a People of Promise” p254, Deseret Book Co, June 2002.
“Moroni Statue Placed Atop Trio of Temples”, 29 September 2001.
Scott Lloyd “‘Another Angel’” 20 September 2008.
Wendy Kenney “Looking Up to Moroni” New Era, November 2009.