May I suggest to you that one of the things we need to teach our students and one of the things which will become more important in their lives the longer they live is the reality of angels, their work and their ministry. Obviously I speak here not alone of the angel Moroni but also of those more personal ministering angels who are with us and around us, empowered to help us and who do exactly that. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Book of Mormon Symposium, Church News, August 20, 1994, p. 4
I saw Elder Brigham Young standing in a strange land, in the far south and west, in a desert place, upon a rock in the midst of about a dozen men of color, who appeared hostile. He was preaching to them in their own tongue, and the angel of God standing above his head, with a drawn sword in his hand, protecting him, but he did not see it. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 108
These men are in heaven, but their children are on the earth. Their bowels yearn over us. . . . Thus angels come down, combine together to gather their children. . . . We cannot be made perfect without them, nor they without us. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 159
The spirits of the just . . . are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and are often pained therewith. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 326
If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 226
“The word ‘angel’ is used in the scriptures for any heavenly being bearing God’s message” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, p. 54). The scriptures recite numerous instances where an angel appeared personally. Angelic appearances to Zacharias and Mary (see Luke 1) and to King Benjamin and Nephi, the son of Helaman (see Mosiah 3:2; 3 Ne. 7:17-18) are only a few examples. When I was young, I thought such personal appearances were the only meaning of the ministering of angels. As a young hold of the Aaronic Priesthood, I did not think I would see an angel, and I wondered what such appearances had to do with the Aaronic Priesthood.
But the ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. President John Taylor described “the action of the angels, or messengers of God, upon our minds, so that the heart can conceive . . . revelations from the eternal world” (Gospel Kingdom, p. 31).
. . . In general, the blessings of spiritual companionship and communication are only available to those who are clean. . . . Through . . . baptism and the sacrament, we are cleansed of our sins and promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I believe that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also to the ministering of angels, for “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 32:3). . . . All Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament can enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament,” Ensign, November 1998, pp. 38-39
What is the lesson for us today as we enter a new Christmas season? Who will minister to those in need? Who are the angels that will prepare the way for His return? I have noticed that during the early stags of a dispensation, angelic ministers come from the other side of the veil, but as time elapses and the number of faithful members increases, more is expected of those in mortality. For example, when a new country is opened to the gospel, missionaries learn that many have been prepared in miraculous ways to receive the gospel, and miracles occur with some frequency to advance the work. Once a core of members is established, however, the Lord’s assistance changes as He provides opportunities for the members to become the miracle workers.
Consequently, miracles during this Christmas season require our faith and works. As we sing the hymns of Christmas and speak of angels sent to earth to witness the Savior’s birth in the meridian of time, may we rise to the occasions and minister to those in need in our day. May we be reminded of our promises to “bear one another’s burdens, . . . to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places . . . and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [we] may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:8-9).
I bear witness that Christmas is a season for angels. As they ministered to the Savior and others in the “meridian of time,” may we, as angels of mercy, minister to other families and to those in need in the “fulness of times” so that the Lord’s work may move forward. — Elder Merrill J. Bateman, “A Season for Angels,” Ensign, December 2007, p. 15
My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.”
On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 30
I know that the promise of angels to bear us up is real. You might want to bring to memory the assurance of Elisha to his frightened servant. That assurance is ours when we feel close to being overwhelmed in our service. Elisha faced real and terrible opposition:
“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
Like that servant of Elisha, there are more with you than those you can see opposed to you. Some who are with you will be invisible to your mortal eyes. The Lord will bear you up and will at times do it by calling others to stand with you. — President Henry B. Eyring, “O Ye That Embark,” Ensign, November 2008, p. 58
Angels are resurrected or translated beings. There are many references to angels in the scriptures.
Old Testament 117
New Testament 178
Book of Mormon 145
Doctrine & Covenants 81
Pearl of Great Price 19
The following story was shared by Elder Kent F. Richards in the April 2011 General Conference:
Thirteen-year-old Sherrie underwent a 14-hour operation for a tumor on her spinal cord. As she regained consciousness in the intensive care unit, she said: “Daddy, Aunt Cheryl is here, . . . and . . . Grandpa Norman . . . and Grandma Brown . . . are here. And Daddy, who is that standing beside you? . . . He looks like you, only taller. . . . He says he’s your brother, Jimmy.” Her uncle Jimmy had died at age 13 of cystic fibrosis.
“For nearly an hour, Sherrie . . . described her visitors, all deceased family members. Exhausted, she then fell asleep.”
Later she told her father, “Daddy, all of the children here in the intensive care unit have angels helping them.” (See Michael R. Morris, “Sherrie’s Shield of Faith,” Ensign, June 1995, p. 46.)
To all of us the Savior said:
“Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
“Fear not, little children, for you are mine. . . .
“Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd.” (D&C 50:40–41, 44)
— Rand Packer, BYU Education Week, August 2011
All over the world, faithful Latter-day Saints are protected from the powers of the evil one and his servants until they have finished their missions in mortality. For some the mortal mission is brief as with some valiant young men who have lost their lives in missionary service. But for most of us the mortal journey is long, and we continue our course with the protection of guardian angels. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, October 1992
. . . in a little while you will find another prophecy will be fulfilled, and that is the prophecy that Jesus made to the three Nephites who, having power over death, are still living upon this continent. He spoke to them of a time when they would perform a great and mighty work among the Gentiles; and that has not yet been fulfilled, but it will be. You will find that many districts where the Elders of Israel cannot reach will be penetrated by these men who have power over death . . . . My testimony is that these men are going abroad in the nations of the earth before the face of your sons, and they are preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive the Gospel. They are administering to those who are heirs of salvation, and preparing their hearts to receive the truth, just as the farmer prepares the soil to receive the seed. The Lord has promised that He would send his angels before the face of His servants, and He does so. — President John W. Taylor: Conference Report, October 1902, p. 75
The dedication of the Kirtland Temple in March of 1836 represented the greatest spiritual outpouring in modern Church history. Joseph wrote that, shortly after the dedicatory prayer was offered, “Frederick G. Williams arose and testified that [during the prayer] an angel entered the window and took his seat between Father Smith and himself. David Whitmer also saw angels in the house.”
Later, “Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; . . . and I beheld that the Temple was filled with angels. . . . The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple,) and were astonished at what was taking place.”
Of one of the concluding meetings, Joseph wrote, “The Savior made his appearance to some, while angels ministered to others, and it was a Pentecost and an endowment indeed, long to be remembered, for the sound shall go forth from this place into all the world, and occurrences of this day shall be handed down upon the pages of sacred history, to all generations.” (History of the Church, 2:427-3) — Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “When Do the Angels Come?” Ensign, April 1992, p. 12
No true angel from God will ever come to ordain any man, because they have once been sent to establish the priesthood by ordaining me thereunto; . . . the priesthood being once established on earth, with power to ordain others, no heavenly messenger will ever come to interfere with that power by ordaining any more. . . . You may therefore know, from this time forward, that if any man comes to you professing to be ordained by an angel, he is either a liar or has been imposed upon in consequence of transgression by an angel of the devil, for this priesthood shall never be taken away from this church.” — Joseph Smith, Jr., Millennial Star, 20 Nov. 1846, p. 139; Quoted by David B. Haight, Conference Report, October 1994
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. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign, November 2008
I am now in my fifty-fourth year; I am a Latter-day Saint, full in the, faith, and not only in the faith, but I have a knowledge of the truth of this work. I know that God lives and dwells in the heavens; for I have asked Him scores of times, and hundreds of times, for things, and have received them. Is not that a pretty good proof that He hears me, when I ask Him for things and get them; and is not that a proof that He lives, and dwells in the heavens? I think it is. I suppose He dwells there, He could not dwell anywhere else, but in what particular portion He dwells, I do not precisely know, though He is not so far off as many imagine. He is nearby, His angels are our associates, they are with us and round about us, and watch over us, and take care of us, and lead us, and guide us, and administer to our wants in their ministry and in their holy calling unto which they are appointed. We are told in the Bible that angels are ministering spirits to minister to those who shall become heirs of salvation. — President Heber C. Kimball, September 1852
On a few occasions, I told the Lord that I had surely learned the lessons to be taught and that it wouldn’t be necessary for me to endure any more suffering. Such entreaties seemed to be of no avail, for it was made clear to me that this purifying process of testing was to be endured in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s own way. It is one thing to teach, “Thy will be done” (Matt. 26:42). It is another to live it. I also learned that I would not be left alone to meet these trials and tribulations but that guardian angels would attend me. There were some that were near angels in the form of doctors, nurses, and most of all my sweet companion, Mary. And on occasion, when the Lord so desired, I was to be comforted with visitations of heavenly hosts that brought comfort and eternal reassurances in my time of need. — Elder Robert D. Hales, “The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Ensign, November 2000, p. 6
“Thus it was made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of the spirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;” — D&C 138:36
All people have their guardian angels. Whether our departed dead guard us is not for me to say. I can say we have our guardian angels. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:17
All the difference between men and angels is, men are passing through the day of trial that angels have already passed through. They belong to the same family that we do; but they have proven themselves worthy only of an exaltation to the state of angels, whereas we have the privilege of obtaining not only the same exaltation they enjoy, but of going further until we become Gods, even the sons of God. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:102-03
When an angel is appointed to perform a duty, to go to the earth to preach the gospel, or to do anything for the advancement of his Father’s kingdom in any part of the great domain of heaven, the vision of that angel is opened to see and understand the magnitude of the work that is expected of him to perform, and the grand results which will grow out of it. That is the reason why the angels are of one heart and of one mind, in their faithfulness and obedience to the requirements of their Father and God. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:15