I came across an article in the Church News detailing the history on the Moroni statue. The print edition and web edition have some interesting pictures of the various incarnations of the statue, and the photos have some different captions.
In the print edition, the Nauvoo Temple has a flying angel. The angel is part of a weather vane, which was typical of New England architecture. The current Nauvoo temple has a standing Moroni. I remember President Hinckley said he wanted to restore the original look of the Nauvoo Temple, but he changed the Moroni statue, because he thought it looked better. I wish he had kept with the historical weather vane, because if its’ uniqueness in mormon history.
The Salt Lake Temple was originally designed with a flying angel, but was constructed with a standing Moroni. The LA Temple was the second to have one, and the DC Temple was the third. Extrapolating, that means that Manti, St George, Mesa, Ogden, Provo, and quite a few other early temples never had an angel statue that mormons are so accustomed to.
i was intrigued to learn that a ward meetinghouse in the DC area had a Moroni statue. There was a time when ward buildings had stained glass, and other features than our more spartan ward buildings have now. The sculptor of the DC Moroni, Torlief Knaphus was later commissioned to fashion a Moroni statue for the Hill Cumorah in 1934. It is interesting to view the different incarnations of Moroni–some with golden plates, some with a horn, some childlike, some mature.
So do you agree with Pres Hinckley? Would you prefer the standing Moroni, or a flying Moroni on the Nauvoo Temple? Should Ogden/Provo/London temples have a Moroni statue to put them more in line with other temples?