Cherubim in the Book of Mormon are portrayed as heavenly guardians stationed at the pivotal intersections between the divine and the mortal realms. Their most prominent role as described in the text is their stewardship at the Garden of Eden's entrance after the fall of Adam and Eve. They, alongside a flaming sword, formed a barrier to the Tree of Life, ensuring that the first humans did not partake of its fruit and live forever in their sinful state, a narrative threaded through the sermons of Alma the Younger (Alma 12:21; 42:2-3).
While the Book of Mormon does not delve into the full iconographic detail often associated with Cherubim—such as their multiple faces and wings, as outlined in the visions of Ezekiel—their presence is infused with divine purpose and symbolic weight. They embody the protective measure taken by God to facilitate the mortal experience, which is essential for the growth and ultimate redemption of His children.
Cherubim are thus understood within Latter-day Saint theology as sacred and powerful beings, perhaps once mortals or destined for mortality, committed to the implementation of God's will. In essence, they are the celestial sentinels placed at the gates where eternity and the temporal realms converge, carrying out the divine mandate to both preserve and occlude sacred knowledge until the proper time.
Their depiction as faithful executors stationed at the threshold of the sacred and the profane reflects their broader role across various religious traditions as both fearsome and revered entities. While contemporary imagery often depicts them as cherubic infants, far removed from their original formidable representations, their significance in the Book of Mormon and throughout Judeo-Christian contexts remains undiminished. As celestial watchmen, Cherubim illustrate the profound sense of reverence for God's commandments and the sanctity of His strategic directives for the salvation of His children. Their service underscores the vital balance between divine justice and grace within the framework of the Plan of Salvation, marking the boundaries beyond which the sacred transitions into the profane, forever standing as emblems of divine sovereignty and the careful governance of access to eternal truths.