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Questions and Answers - The Angel Who Restored the Gospel

TitleQuestions and Answers - The Angel Who Restored the Gospel
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1903
AuthorsSmith, Joseph F.
MagazineImprovement Era
Issue Number5
Date PublishedMarch 1903
Type of ArticleQuestions and Answers
KeywordsAngel; Angel Moroni; John the Baptist; Latter-day Saint History (1820-1846); Moroni (Son of Mormon); Prophecy; Restoration

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The Angel Who Restored the Gospel.

Explain Rev. 14:6, 7. Who was this angel who should restore the gospel? Was it John or Moroni? If the latter, how did he restore it?

It appears that the inquirer is of the opinion that this angel who was to "fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth," was John the Baptist; his reason, as he gives it, being that John restored the Aaronic priesthood by ordaining Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and conferring upon them the keys of that authority. Also, that as he was the forerunner of Christ, so he was the restorer of the gospel in the Fulness of Times. But this view is not held by the Church, it being generally understood that the angel Moroni fulfilled the mission of the Revelator when he came from heaven to earth to reveal the truths of the Book of Mormon. He visited the prophet three times in one night (September 21, 1823), showed him where the plates were hidden, and instructed him in the prophecies relating to the latter-days. He finally delivered the plates to the prophet, and guided him in their translation, at last receiving the treasure to himself, to be kept until it shall please God to bring forth the sealed and yet untranslated portions for the benefit of mankind.

The revelations bear out the idea that it was Moroni and not John who restored the gospel, and that it was restored through the Book of Mormon which Moroni revealed:

For the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fullness of my everlasting gospel.-Doc. & Cov., sec. 27:5.

And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets-the book to be revealed.-Sec. 128:20.

That the authorities understand this angel to be the one referred to, is evidenced by their having permitted the placing of the figure of Moroni on the highest tower of the Salt Lake temple, with a golden trumpet, in the attitude of proclaiming the gospel to all nations. John the baptist held the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood which he conferred upon the prophet, but Moroni declared the gospel to him, and was the angel referred to by John the Revelator. For a further discussion of this subject, the questioner is referred to Manual, Number 3, 1899-1900, lesson 2, notes 2-5.


Scripture Reference

Revelation 14:6-7
Doctrine and Covenants 27:5
Doctrine and Covenants 128:20