Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Ministry of Angels

This morning I was reading about how the ministry of Angels is one of the signs of legitimate faith (Moroni 7:37).  I see it in the temple ceremony as a crucial part of the path walked by Adam and Eve.  I see it in the lives of the prophets in scriptures.  I also was remembering how the Aaronic priesthood holds the keys to the ministering of angels.

D&C 130:5 says .."But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it."   It includes Spirits of Just men made perfect, Translated beings, Resurrected beings.  And even "Holy Men that ye know not of" D&C 49:8.  All of those and others are worth thinking about.

So the question arises have you ever been ministered to by an Angel?

I can attest to the truth of Angel's ministry.  I got to thinking about where God has invited people to start or continue to receive the ministry of Angels.  The answer I came up with was by receiving what has already been given.  This lead me to the Book of Mormon.  It's the work of an Angel.  A resurrected being, Angel Moroni, delivered the plates to Joseph Smith who translated them.  The book is the work and ministry of Moroni who is as we know an angel, and the message is from God. (Or so it claims to be, and I find the claims true)  So if I read the book, and grasp the actual message and meaning God (and of course Moroni) wanted me to get from it.  If I truly receive it, and act on it, and experience the intended outcome, then Moroni's ministry has taken effect on me personally.  I would have been a recipient of his ministry.   

I find this a wonderful place to start our mind and heart to receive more of the ministry of Angels.  Not so much mythical figures, but the ministry of heavenly messengers sent from God, carrying authentic messages which prepare you to receive further light and knowledge and eventually return to God's presence.  As depicted by the conclusion of the temple ceremony.

So if you've never been ministered to by an angel, there is something anyone can do about that right now.  Angels have a ministry, and if we want to progress further, and receive more, perhaps we should receive the ministry of those angels who have already ministered and are waiting for us to receive what has been offered.  Then it would make sense God would provide something further.  If we can't see the book of Mormon as the ministry of an angel then what better place to start?  That's what it is isn't it?  We can start seeing angels with the eye of faith and receive authentic messages from God that will redeem our souls.  It may end with grand and glorious things, but we can start with something each of us already has or can get free of charge from any missionary.  Preparation almost always eases fear.     

Charles Nibley was a member of the First Presidency under President Heber J Grant.  The last conversation Hugh Nibley had with his dying grandfather included this from Charles: "he reflected on his life and on the compromises he had to make in his business dealings, he looked at Hugh from his bed and said, "You see that window? If an angel were to come through that door, I would jump right out that window."  (Quoted by Boyd Peterson of FAIR)

Business dealings don't tend to prepare us for Angels.  However prayer and fasting does, as I see evidenced by Joseph and many authors of scripture.  I would imagine an angel would be somewhat deterred from visiting a person who was going to jump out of the window upon their arrival.  But who knows.... 

So with all this....I'm going to ask God if I'm getting what he intended me to get from the Book of Mormon.  Maybe it's good timing that a coworker wanted to take a book of Mormon class at the institute and asked me if I'd go with him as he's not a member and doesn't want to attend alone.

4 comments:

  1. My impression is that we don't want angels to attend us and don't think we're worthy: That's only for general authorities.

    I think you're right that angels will come when we pay attention to what the Lord has already given us and what we need next has not already been given.

    Thanks, Steve

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    1. Steve I agree with your impression. As a people we are too distracted by too much else, and have largely lost the desire (or practical teachings) about how to receive the Ministry of Angels. Our "unbelief" of "it's only for the leaders" keeps our minds dark.

      I find a comforting feeling whenever I make an effort to remember and fully utilize what the Lord has already condescended to give me.

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  2. Hi Taylor,

    I've been away from the blogging world for a while and I'm doing some catch-up reading here on yours.

    I found a good quote regarding this topic by Elder Oaks in the Nov.1998 Ensign pg 37:

    “The word ‘angel’ is used in the scriptures for any heavenly being bearing God’s message” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, sel. Jerreld L. Newquist [1987], 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 grandson 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 holder 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, sel. G. Homer Durham [1987], 31).

    Nephi described three manifestations of the ministering of angels when he reminded his rebellious brothers that (1) they had “seen an angel,” (2) they had “heard his voice from time to time,” and (3) also that an angel had “spoken unto [them] in a still small voice” though they were “past feeling” and “could not feel his words” (1 Ne. 17:45). The scriptures contain many other statements that angels are sent to teach the gospel and bring men to Christ (see Heb. 1:14; Alma 39:19; Moro. 7:25, 29, 31–32; D&C 20:35). Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen."


    I believe that Nephi was trying to teach us more about this in 2 Nephi 32 when he spoke about the tongue of angels. I am firmly convinced that each of us has at least one assigned angel who warns and leads us when we are striving to follow Christ's example..

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    1. Good quotes. Thanks for sharing.

      How much does a narrow and limited mindset cause us to miss all the great things happening to us and around us?

      My guess is that Charles Nibley had seen an angel, likely just hadn't recognized it.

      It seems to me that Angels are big part of our lives. It's us that either can't "see" or "hear", or don't want to, or are simply misinformed.

      There is a weird sort of veil or hesitancy around the topic. I wish I heard more quotes like those more often. And people testifying that they are real and happen to common everyday members. I think there are some that believe Angles are not seen except by an elite group.

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