Moroni, Who was he?

29 March


My prayer for the ministry of Life After has been that we would be in God’s will at all times for all things.  Whenever I think about the doctrines of Mormonism in light of what God has given and shown to me, my heart is sickened.  Therefore our purpose at Life After Ministries is to always tell the truth while informing the public and offering the ultimate solution; that being the way to the real Heavenly Father.  I will be asking a series of questions throughout this investigation and they will be listed at the end for quick reference as well. 

     This is what the LDS Church said in the Doctrines of Salvation 1:188; “Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.”     

     With this in mind here is the undiluted truth about Moroni, an angel of light, who visited Smith one night while he was trying to sleep.  You can find this story listed in History of the Church, beginning in volume 1:9 and Joseph Smith’s testimony 2:29-47.  Moroni told Smith that both “good and evil would be spoken” of him as he endeavored in his new work “for the Lord”.  He also told Smith where he could find the gold plates buried and hidden in the hill Cumorah which is in Ontario County, New York.  The plates contained stories of a tribe of Jewish people that lived in the Americas some 1,400 years before Smith.  It was their story of leaving Jerusalem, sailing to the New World and their experiences of wars, famines and the visitation of Jesus to this continent.

     The importance of this story is significant for a few reasons and the only way we can determine if it is truth; we must look and investigate first.  Who is Moroni, where did he come from and what message does he have for us today?

     As stated, Smith said that Moroni visited him a number of times in one evening.  Moroni actually visited Smith four times within the space of half a day, but I am looking at the first three visits because of the impact of what was said by Smith.  He related that he had asked God for forgiveness for his “follies”, (History of the Church, pgs. 10-11).  While calling upon God he fully expected to receive a manifestation of his inquiries to the Lord when a bright light appeared in his room; so bright was this light that it looked as if it were noon time.  In his description of Moroni he tells the readers of the beautiful robe Moroni was wearing which was “exceedingly white” and how this personage had light emanating from him.

In this first visit Moroni told him the location of the plates, quoted some scripture from Isaiah, Acts, and Joel in addition to giving the explanation of other scriptures that Smith wasn’t allowed to speak about.  Moroni told him the fullness of the Gentiles was about to “be fulfilled” and told him about the Urim and Thummim which Smith would use for interpreting the gold plates.  The catch to this first visit that night was that Smith couldn’t tell anyone.  Thus, the first of many secrets would begin.

     The second visit of Moroni came as Smith “lay musing” about the events of his experience and was to remind Smith he shouldn’t tell anyone about the plates or Urim and Thummim except those who Smith was commanded to tell; the punishment for this grievous act would be destruction of Smith himself.  He said Moroni told him about the great famines, pestilence and grievous judgments which would come upon the earth “in this generation”.  After saying these things, Moroni left the room for the second time.

     Smith tells the readers that he wasn’t tired any longer and lay in amazement at the experience he just had when Moroni appeared to him yet again.  The “heavenly messenger” repeated what he had said before, but this time he added a caution as well.  He warned Smith that Satan would try to tempt him with the gold plates to get rich.  Smith’s family was apparently quite poor at this time and Moroni “forbade” him, saying the purpose of the plates was for the glory of God and the furtherance of his kingdom.  “Otherwise I could not get them” is Joseph’s explanation that his motives were pure.

     Smith says after his third visit, “he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced; when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.”   (Emphasis mine) 

     So we see from this account that Smith was visited by Moroni, an angel of light.  But where did Moroni come from?  Smith says he was from heaven, but is this truth?  What message did Moroni bring with him to deliver to Smith?  Was it for good?  Did it back what the Lord had already proclaimed in scripture, or was it laden with “another gospel”?  Why is the account of Moroni’s visit to Smith eerily similar to the time when Peter denied Jesus as we read in Luke 22:31-34?  This passage is about Jesus telling Peter that he would deny Christ three times before the cock crowed and indeed that did happen.  So if Smith had been studious in the scripture as he claimed while growing up, why didn’t he notice the similarities between Peter and Moroni? 

      Galatians 1:6-9 says; “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

     There is ample evidence of who the LDS Church believes Moroni was when he appeared to Smith.  They claim Moroni was a captain in the army at the time of the Nephites who had been resurrected into an angel of light that appeared to Smith in 1823.  Moroni supposedly lived around from the late fourth to early fifth century; he was the last prophet who led troops of his people (the Nephites) into the last battle of their time.  He authored the last book written in the Book of Mormon and incidentally was the son of the prophet Mormon.  He claims that he spoke with Jesus face to face – Ether 12:39; wrote the abridgment to his father’s book, Mormon; he wrote the abridgment to the ancient Jaredite engravings as well as the book of Ether.

     The Encyclopedia of Mormonism (pg. 953, 956) describes how Moroni visited Smith more than twenty times in a seven year period and during this time he tutored Smith in the “acquisition, translation and guardianship of the Book of Mormon plates”.   Bruce McConkie said in Mormon Doctrine, pg. 514 that Moroni was the “partial fulfillment of John’s vision of another angel flying in the midst of heaven to commit the everlasting gospel to man. (Rev. 14: 6-7; D. & C. 133:36-40.)

     In the Bible we can answer the questions we have about resurrected beings and angels of light.  Since we’ve already addressed the issue of angels delivering gospels in the book of Galatians, let’s look at some other examples God has given to us for clarification.

     1 Samuel 28:8-14 is the account of a meeting that took place between the witch Endor and King Saul.  It says; “And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.  And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?  And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.  Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

  We see here the spirit that was brought up was not Samuel, a resurrected being, but it was a familiar spirit, or as scripture says, “gods”.  In the Hebrew this word is elohim and it refers to pagan gods.  It is #430 in Strong’s Concordance.  In no way was this Samuel as King Saul had hoped it would be.

     In Luke 16:19-31 we find the story of Jesus explaining to the Pharisees that once you’re dead it’s too late to send messengers to your loved ones about doing the right thing to be saved.  This satisfactorily confirms who came up out of the fires of the witch Endor.

     In the New Testament we read of Paul’s warning to the Corinthian church to beware of apostles transforming themselves into ministers of Christ and proclaiming they have a different Jesus and gospel, 2 Cor. 11:4.  Ten verses later he said in 2 Cor. 11:14; “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

     In the Book of Mormon the LDS Church warns their people of impending doom with the same message from 2 Nephi 9:8-9; “… if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.  And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light….

     In the introductory page of my D&C, (published in 1976), it says in the third paragraph that Moroni is an angel of light.  Paul warned us in 2nd Corinthians about an angel of light being Satan; remember the LDS Church even said that he is transformed into an angel of light.  Joseph said that a cock crowed after Moroni, an angel of light, delivered the news about a different gospel which was hidden in the hills.

     So the question(s) becomes this; we have several warnings from the Bible not to trust the messenger who does any of the following or claims to be any of the following:

-Brings another gospel

-Is an angel of light

-Talks to dead people

     Yet we see how the Church has positioned this angel of light into a glorified position by setting him atop of their temples; writing in great detail the accounts of his visits to Joseph Smith; and giving him the type of attention he doesn’t deserve.  The next question begs to be asked: 

Who delivered the false gospel of a “restoration” to Joseph Smith? 

Was it really an angel of God with the truth or was it something more sinister?

Who is Moroni?

Where did he come from?

What message did he bring?

Why would Smith’s name be known for both good and evil? 

Why was the present generation facing a curse that would witness great desolation and did it take place?

What purpose does it serve for God to have Joseph’s name be known as evil?

Did Moroni’s message validate God’s word which is eternal?  (Isaiah 40:8).

Why did Moroni give Joseph a new gospel hidden in the hills?  Compare this with what Paul says in 2 Cor. 4:3; “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”

     We pray the Mormon people can see the message of Moroni for what it is – a lie.  If you would like to know how to accept the real Jesus of the Bible it’s very simple.  Sit down in a quiet place with just you and God.  Admit you’re a sinner in need of His help and invite Him into your heart.  Tell Him you’re sorry for believing the lies that Joseph Smith taught and ask Him for His forgiveness.  We guarantee He will forgive you and then give you eternal life for following Him!  Tell someone of your decision so they can rejoice with you and help you find a new church where the truth is proclaimed!  For further information on this or other related topics, contact us at Life After Ministries through our website or ministry phone.  We would love to hear of how you came to know the real Jesus so drop us a line when you can!

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