“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Conversing With Angels

Helaman 5: 38-52

Conversing with Angels

If I had the opportunity to converse with an angel what would I talk about? What would I ask? What would I say? It appears that Nephi and Lehi had the opportunity. They looked upward into heaven and listened with all of their attention as the angels taught them.
When I think of angels, I am still reminded of beings of white that travel where they will with wings. This is the popular iconic version of angels that helps us understand they can fly (or move about lightly) and we cannot.

It makes me wonder how else we are different from angels?

Angel: a spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe.

Notice that the definition says an angel "acts as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God". Therefore when someone does something that is as "a gift from God", we might be prone to call them an angel. Or if they (like Amanda's and Lehi's angels) remove the clouds that blind us we might call someone our angel.

I was impressed with how those who saw Nephi and Lehi conversing with the angels felt the desire to do so also. They asked, "What shall we do that this cloud of darkness might be removed from overshadowing us?" In my opinion, they saw the prophets speaking with the angels, saw the contrast of difference between their situation and that of Nephi and Lehi and wanted to change.
I liked Aminadab's response. He told them that they
1. First needed to repent
2. Cry unto the voice that spoke to them through the cloud of darkness
3. Have Faith in Christ
4. Remember the faith that was taught you by Alma, Amulek, and Zeezrom.

When they were finished doing as they were instructed (they did not vary from their obedience to repentance) they found that they too were encircled by a ring of fire! How amazing it is to go through something that is difficult and discover that we were in fact protected by God's power.

Soon.. after a few events they are going to have what they desired. God does answer prayers. They will soon find that they are going to have angels come down and administer and speak with them!

I am reminded of several personal experiences in my life where angels came down and administered to me. I could not see them, but I knew they were there. I felt their presence, I heard their whispers of comfort and their instruction. I knew what I needed to do or not to do.
For me angels are real. They are in deed spiritual beings. This means that we must have a spiritual mind to understand their presence, to follow their missions, and to understand their purpose. But sometimes, like the 300 who heard the voice, saw the prophets speaking to the angels, and then after their own repentance experienced the administration of angels in their own lives, we don't always know that an angel was in our life, in our day, or in our presence until after they have completed their work.

The real angel in this story was Lehi and Nephi. They were willing to submit to God's mission and serve these people (even if they through them in jail with the intent of killing them). They were willing to submit to the harsh treatment, the cruel words, and the darkness of a cloud, so that they might teach those who would "be convinced". They were willing to go the extra mile so that others could find their way back. It would be wonderful to know what the angels told them as they conversed. It would be wonderful to know what the angels did when they administered to those who repented and became convinced of Jesus Christ.

I will take time to say that the one place you are sure to find angels is in the work of Family History. Every time I begin my Family History Work, I feel the presence of angels in my home. Every time I begin to pray about a name, pray about a family, I feel I am helping angels do their work. I am convinced that my personal angels are indeed my own family members(passed one)who have a vested interest in keeping me safe, leading my way, and helping me help our family line.

One time when I worked on the Heath Family Line, I wanted very much to discover Thomas Heath's wife's maiden name. Hannah Heath? I had done all of the research I could on the family line (he had ten children). I had found everything I could find out about each of the ten children, their children and so forth. I had discovered several family distant cousins who helped me fill in several missing pieces, but I could not find out Hannah's maiden name. So I prayed. I fasted. I researched and then hit "repeat". Finally I received an answer. "Wait". Not now. Wait".

Okay. I had a baby due. I would wait. Then one night out of the blue as I was kneeling in evening prayer came my answer. "Now. Check the Internet, now for Thomas Heath!". I could not believe my luck. I arose directly from my knees and typed in Thomas Heath. Bingo. A distant family in California had posted their family line on line. Within their family history contained a detailed description of where the family had migrated from. I had one more piece of information that would make my job easier. With a few more research trips I was able to find her family in the land records of Pennsylvania. She was a German-Dutch family by the name of Yarnell. Who told me that this family was on line? Who helped prompt my CA cousin to put this information on line? Who do you think? God's angels. They are real. They are spiritual. They do his work. And when I do his work, I can be an angel to those relatives of mine who want to understand the gospel from across the veil.

I think we can all converse with angels. I think we all must do as Abinadab counseled and repent, cry to God, have faith, and then believe. I have many more stories in my life where angels have carried me, they have loved me, they have counseled me, they have taught me, inspired me, warned me and protected me. There is a pure "joy which is unspeakable" that comes to those who converse with angels.

Words and Phrases

vs 38 with whom do these men converse? Who do the prophets speak? Who do we speak when we are in dire circumstances? Whom do we speak when we ask God? Sometimes the Holy Ghost, sometimes angels?

vs 40. what shall we do? Sometimes when life is dark, when we are overwhelmed, tired, angry, confused, we don't know what to do. It is appropriate to ask? What shall we do? Help me to find my way out of the darkness.

vs 41 the cloud of darkness shall be removed - How? by following the instructions. Remember there are times of darkness in our lives when we want the clouds removed.

vs 44 a flaming fire
- it did not harm them.. it did not consume the walls, filled with joy. This reminds me of a few Old Testament stories. I.E. Moses. Elijah, etc. they dealt with the fire of the Holy Ghost that protects, and does not consume. It is a fire like none found upon the earth. It is a fire of eternal element not known to the earth? It is the Holy Ghost's fire of the spirit.

vs 45 they could speak forth marvelous words- The power of the Holy Ghost gives us a passageway into wisdom, into eternal truths, into heaven. When it is in our hearts we find ourselves changed with its power.

vs 46 a pleasant voice. When God speaks, he speaks in a whisper, pleasantly, with love, with conviction, with the power of goodness. His voice brings peace because of our faith. There is no peace in fear.

vs 48 they cast their eyes up- When we want to converse with angels, we must look to where they are. We will not find them amongst our terrain, or below us. They will be in heaven. We must look upwards.

vs 49 marvel not, neither should they doubt - God's words bring us peace, power, and convince us of a world above our own. When we have the privilege to experience a life above our earthly existence (because of our faith), it is not our place to doubt it. Time cannot fade the feelings that come from these experiences. Time cannot change the spiritual truths that are planted deep within our souls. We must not marvel at something so great. When we understand God's great love for us, it is to understand that it is part of the plan.
vs 50 greatness of the evidences - God gives us evidence daily. He helps us by giving us witness to our faith. Our faith cannot be without testing, nor can it be without evidence. A peach pit grows into a peach tree, but will only produce fruit if it has the right amount of cold, water, fertilizer and sunshine. When we plant our seed of faith, we too must learn to cultivate the correct amount of faith, experience, and belief so that we can bear fruit. If we just have sunshine and no water... if we just have water, sun and no cold, .. the evidence comes when we cultivate our faith through our belief.

vs 51 did lay down their weapons, hatred, traditions of their fathers.
What does it mean to have a real faith? What will become of us when we choose to believe in Jesus Christ. These people (like the people of Ammon) were convinced to the point of change that 1. quit war 2. quit hate 3. quit their father's traditions and 4 give back what they had taken.

I wonder if I could do the same? I wonder if I could believe with the same conviction. I wonder if angels came down (remember they spoke with Laman and Lemuel with no effect) and conversed with me, administered to me, and filled me with the power of the Holy Ghost would it change me forever? Yes.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story - For your information your brother Donald Samuel has been my Guardian Angel ever since his death in 1968. As I read your blog today I think perhaps he is your Angel too. He has a work to do. And me, like you, have felt the presence of those Angels, also when I am doing their Family History. They have spoken with me loud enough for me to hear them.
    Love Dad


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