What is the Statue on the Temple?
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A notable feature of the Rome Temple is the large statue of an angel that stands on a spire of the building. The character depicted is named Moroni, who is known for his many visits to the young prophet Joseph Smith, such as when he revealed the location of the ancient record known as The Book of Mormon to the young Joseph. Moroni was a prophet from the ancient Americas whose words are recorded in part of the Book of Mormon. Moroni buried the historical and genealogical records of his ancestors and the words of the prophets and gave them to the young Joseph Smith to be known to all nations, races, languages, and peoples. Today, the statue of the angel Moroni has been added to many temples because it symbolizes the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This classic “tradition” began when Wilford Woodruff, then the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commissioned Cyrus E. Dallin, an accomplished local artist from Springville, Utah, to design and sculpt something to serve as a banner for the Salt Lake Temple, which was dedicated in 1893. Since angels were common decorations for places of worship, Dallin thought the Moroni angel would be perfect. Since then, the angel Moroni has been considered a customary part of the temple’s design. As of the end of October 2021, 265 temples have been announced, are under construction, or are in operation. Of those 265, 62 temples do not include the statue in the design. And while the Moroni Angel statue is featured on top of many temples globally, it is not an essential requirement of the temple design. Many temples include the figure, but others may not.
The angel Moroni characterizes the Rome Temple, the first in Italy and meticulously constructed. I am incredibly grateful for the privilege to freely worship God in the temple and receive the blessings that come with it.
From us here at the Rome Italy Temple Visitors’ Center, we encourage you and your families to visit the temple site closest to your home and ask any questions you may have to the missionaries in your area. Knowledge is power, and understanding the temple’s role in helping to feel the peace that comes from following the Savior is life-changing.