Was Moroni a resurrected being when he came to Joseph Smith?
Thank you for your question. The answer is a clear – yes! On the Church’s website it states the following:
In 1823 Moroni was sent as a resurrected being to reveal the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith
The resurrected Moroni met with Joseph Smith during more than 20 documented occasions between 1823 – 1829. For a chart outlining said visits, click here.
In addition, Elder Mark E. Petersen in an Ensign article entitled, The Angel Moroni Came!, states:
As we remember it today, we declare our solemn testimony to all mankind that, indeed, Moroni did come! It is a fact, a firm and unshakable truth. Moroni came!
As an angel of God, a messenger from heaven, this glorious personage visited Joseph Smith in physical reality. It was no dream, nor any kind of mystic occurrence.
It was a visitation. Two physical beings communed together—with Moroni, a resurrected person of flesh and bones, emerging from the eternal veil and paying repeated and never-to-be-forgotten visits to this mortal farm boy, Joseph Smith. (See JS—H 1:30–54.)
Similar to Moroni, other resurrected messengers would also later visit Joseph Smith, one of which was John the Baptist. One such occasion is shared in Restoration of the Priesthood:
May 15, 1829. Having read about baptism for the remission of sins as they worked on the translation of the gold plates, Joseph Smith and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went to a secluded area to inquire of the Lord concerning the matter. There, on the banks of the Susquehanna River near Harmony, Pennsylvania, they received the answer to their prayer. John the Baptist, a resurrected being, came to them as “a messenger from heaven … in a cloud of light.” He conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood.
As members, we were recently encouraged by President Nelson to reread the account of the First Vision as found in Joseph Smith – History. Personally, I really enjoy Joseph Smith’s description of Moroni during their first interaction:
30 While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
31 He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom.
32 Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.
33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
I too would encourage you to read the events found in Joseph Smith’s – History, and be reminded of what glorious and pivotal moments those were in the history of mankind. The heavens were open once more and as part of that, resurrected beings, like Moroni, John and others began fulfilling specific assignments critical to the restoration of the Church.
Once again, thank you for your question Robin.