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Pastor’s Desk: Angels among us

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 11:47 am

From the very beginning Heavenly Father has sent angels to help His children. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in an Article titled “The Ministry of Angels” said: “When Adam and Eve willingly stepped into mortality, they knew this telestial world(where we now live) would contain thorns and thistles and troubles of every kind. Perhaps their most challenging realization, however, was not the hardship and danger they would endure but the fact that they would now be distanced from God, separated from Him with whom they had walked and talked, who had given them face-to-face counsel. After this conscious choice, as the record of creation says, “they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.” Amidst all else that must have troubled them, surely this must have troubled them the most.

Chris Herring, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mexico ward.

Chris Herring, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mexico ward.

But God knew the challenges they would face, and He certainly knew how lonely and troubled they would sometimes feel. So He watched over His mortal family constantly, heard their prayers always, and sent prophets (and later apostles) to teach, counsel, and guide them. But in times of special need, He sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near.”

Who and what are angels from God? The Bible Dictionary says:

Angels “…are messengers of the Lord and are spoken of in the epistle to the Hebrews as ministering spirits (Heb. 1:14). We learn from latter-day revelation that there are two classes of heavenly beings who minister for the Lord: those who are spirits and those who have bodies of flesh and bone. Spirits are those beings who either have not yet obtained a body of flesh and bone (unembodied) or who have once had a mortal body and have died and are awaiting the Resurrection (disembodied).”

Angels are mentioned many times in scriptures. (Gen. 28:12; 32:1; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Kgs. 19:5–7; 2 Kgs. 1:15; 19:35; Ps. 91:11).  Angels are also mentioned by their names (Gabriel and Michael ) in Dan. 8:16; 9:21; 10:13, 21; 12:1; Luke 1:19, 26. The most important example of ministering of angels is found during the life of Jesus. Angels attended on our Lord throughout His life on earth (Matt. 1:20; 2:13, 19; 4:11; 28:2–8; Luke 1:11–20, 26–30; 2:9–15; 22:43).   Elder Holland said: “When the time for this Savior’s advent was at hand, an angel was sent to announce to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. Then a host of angels was commissioned to sing on the night the baby Jesus was born. Shortly thereafter an angel would announce to Joseph that the newborn baby was in danger and that this little family must flee to Egypt for safety. When it was safe to return, an angel conveyed that information to the family and the three returned to the land of their heritage.”   Jesus also often spoke of angels (Matt. 13:14–30, 37–41; 16:27; 18:10; 22:30; 24:36; Luke 15:10, etc.).

“From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times.”

Could angelic visitors be departed loved ones? President Joseph F. Smith said:

“Our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.”

How or why is someone blessed by an angelic visit? First of all it must be the will our Heavenly Father; Second there must be a message of hope, love, warning or reproof to be given. Lastly the recipient faith must be sufficient to accept and obey.

In Moroni 7:35-37: “And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

As a word of warning and caution. There are references to fallen angels in: 2 Pet. 2:4 and Jude 1:6.The scriptures speak of the devil’s angels. These are those spirits who followed Lucifer and were thrust out in the war in heaven and cast down to the earth. See Rev. 12:1–9; Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–38; Moses 4:1–4; Abraham. These are they who encourage and enstigate  evil acts of anger, resentment and sin. I implore you to cast such evil thoughts and ideas out of your heart and mind. They are from the devil and his only desire is to inflict misery and suffering upon the children of men.

How do true angels from heaven communicate with us?

Donald W.Parry author of “Angels: Agents of Light, Love and Power.” Gave 5 ways angels communicate with us:

1. Angels can communicate through dreams and visions.(Genesis 31:11, Matthew 1:20; 2:13, 19).

2. Angels communicate with mortals by speaking to them.(Genesis 22:11, 15;Alma 12:29)

3. Angels communicate with thoughts or feelings. (1 Nephi 17:45)

4. Angels can give impressions. These come through hints or thoughts that come into your mind, often from a prayer when you ask God to help with a particular problem or issue. These may also come out of the middle of nowhere when God is warning you of an unexpected or unforseen danger. Impressions often come in quiet moments of prayer, pondering and awakening from sleep before our minds get cluttered and bombarded with the busyness and stress of the day.

5. Angels can communicate through pure intelligence. (James 1:5-6).

Elder Holland said:  “I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.”

Have you ever had an idea or thought to help someone, even though you may not have fully understood why? If yes, then you are an “angel in the flesh”.

God uses and sends angels, even departed loved ones, to guide, protect and help us. He does this because He loves us.

It is my hope and prayer that we make quiet time available to communicate with heaven and by doing so you, your family and even a friend will be blessed as you do what God asks.

I testify that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are real and the Church is true. May we all be blessed and protected now and always.