From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Romney, Joseph B.
The angel Moroni is the heavenly messenger who first visited the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1823. As a mortal named Moroni 2, he had completed the compilation and writing of the Book of Mormon. He ministered to Joseph Smith as a resurrected being, in keeping with his responsibility for the Book of Mormon, inasmuch as "the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim" had been committed to him by the Lord (D&C 27:5). Pursuant to this responsibility he first appeared to Joseph Smith on the night of September 21-22, 1823 (JS-H 1:29-49; D&C 128:20), and thereafter counseled with him in several reappearances until the book was published in 1830. During that time, he instructed Joseph Smith, testified to the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and otherwise assisted in the work of restoring the gospel.
Because of the angel Moroni's role in restoring the everlasting gospel to be preached to all the world (cf. Rev. 14:6-7; D&C 133:31-39), the Church placed a statue depicting him as a herald of the Restoration atop the Salt Lake Temple, and later on the hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York, where anciently he had buried the Book of Mormon plates. Copies of the statue have also been placed atop several other LDS temples. [See also Angel Moroni Statue; Moroni, Visitations of.]