In the Book of Mormon, Seraphim emerge from the prophetic vision recorded by Nephi, drawn from the teachings of the prophet Isaiah. They are depicted as divine beings with six wings: two covering their faces, two covering their feet, and two with which they fly. (2 Nephi 16:2) Above all, they symbolize the sanctity and purity necessary to be in the presence of God, as is evident from their role in Isaiah’s vision where they attend to the throne of God, proclaiming His holiness.
The term ‘seraphim,’ rooted in Hebrew, conveys notions of fiery and bright creatures, which resonate with their representation in religious texts as luminous and exalted beings. During Isaiah's vision, they perform a purifying ritual, reflecting their role in ushering humans into a state worthy of divine encounter. This cleansing is central to Isaiah’s commissioning as a prophet, revealing that the seraphim are deeply connected to transformation and divine communication.
The portrayal of Seraphim in scripture blurs the line between celestial worship and enforcers of divine mandate. While they resonate with symbols of divine regality and holiness, there’s also an undercurrent of severity in their interactions with humanity. This duality emphasizes the complex nature of the divine as perceived in Isaiah’s time—a god of both mercy and judgment, seeking to purify His people even as He commands reverence and awe. Such imagery challenges the conception of Seraphim as solely benign, highlighting their multifaceted role as both heralds and instruments of the divine will.