My father and brother, Nephi J. Hansen, arranged to buy all my earthly possessions, consisting of a good team of horses, harness and wagon and a new red two-wheel driving cart.
Friday, September 21, 2018
The following experience of William L. Hansen comes from the Book “Spirit World Manifestations: Accounts of Divine Aid in Genealogical and Temple Work” by Joseph Heinerman. It was first published in the Deseret News Church Section, May 27, 1933.)
“I had only passed my twentieth birthday a few months when I received a letter from “Box B,” signed by President John Taylor, asking me to report as soon as possible for a mission in Europe.
My father and brother, Nephi J. Hansen, arranged to buy all my earthly possessions, consisting of a good team of horses, harness and wagon and a new red two-wheel driving cart.
My father and brother, Nephi J. Hansen, arranged to buy all my earthly possessions, consisting of a good team of horses, harness and wagon and a new red two-wheel driving cart.
A few weeks after receiving this call, I was set apart by Apostle Abraham H. Cannon for the Swiss and German mission. In company with my cousin, Angus J. Cannon and others, we were soon on our way to far-away Europe.
I think I shall never forget that parting at the railroad station of “Bahnoff” in Bern, when Lewis M. Cannon put my cousin and bosom companion, Angus J., on a train and sent him off to Germany and a short time after, putting me on another train going in the opposite direction to Geneva, on the Swiss border of France. ….
Elder Hansen stayed with a Brother Ripplinger, a young, unmarried Swiss convert.
I was fed and cared for as well as poor Brother Ripplinger could do under the circumstances. My room was very small and close with no outside window. My meals were also so different than I had ever been used to, and as we had been asked to leave what allowance money we did have at the mission office (as the missionaries were then traveling without purse or scrip) there was not much opportunity to make any further selections.
And so the days and weeks passed. Not being able to have an English conversation with anyone and this being my first experience away from home and loved ones, I began to be very, very homesick indeed.
Again and again I felt an irresistible feeling or longing to run away from it all and return home. I could not sleep nor eat and poor Ripplinger began to be very much concerned about me.
One morning I felt an irresistible desire to take a long walk out in the country for the day. While I was walking down a long lane in a very quiet farming district, I saw a beautiful grove of trees on a gentle slope away off to my left. An irresistible feeling prompted me to go there, and upon reaching the grove, I began to feel very happy. I took off my hat and upon my bended knees began to pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father in most fervent prayer. Realizing that no one could hear me, I wept aloud again and again with a really contrite heart and my whole soul was filled.
I arose to my feet, and as I did so, looking a little to my right, I saw my angel mother standing beside me. An indescribable joy came over me and I cried aloud, “My mother!” She answered in unmistakable tones, “My dear son, Willie.” As I was only 6 years old when my mother died, I could not remember her features very well, but as I looked upon that heavenly personage, I knew it was my own dear mother.
She was clothed in a long white robe, her dark wavy hair hung over her shoulders, her dark blue eyes were clear and expressive. Her face was well rounded without the sign of a wrinkle and her whole countenance radiated a divine something that I shall never be able to describe. My mother expressed also her joy at being permitted to visit me upon this occasion, that my true condition was known in heaven and she had been chosen to answer my prayers.
She then said, “The evil one has tried very hard to overpower you and to discourage you in honorably fulfilling your great mission, but he has been thwarted in his evil designs.” Further, that I had been freed from this snare and was to be preserved to fulfill an honorable and successful mission.
My mother’s poise was so natural and so divinely graceful, her conversation so complete and consoling for this occasion, that it really seemed perfect and complete in every sense. No mother could ever have understood her son better and no mother was ever able to administer more completely that joy and something so essential in my time of need as did my mother to me on this sacred meeting.
Thus, two or more hours were spent together, by far the most memorable of my whole life. Mother also said she knew I was having a hard time with the German language and asked me to meet her at the grove again the next day at the same hour as she also wanted to be helpful to me in this. She explained that I would not see her again just as I saw her that day, as this personal appearance and visitation was by a special and divine appointment. Then my mother disappeared exactly as she had come – almost unperceived.
The next appointment was sacredly kept, and after my humble prayer of gratitude, my mother began to communicate with me again. This time I could not behold her person nor hear her voice just as I had done on the preceding day, but there seemed to be just as divine a presence and an unquestionably clear conversation under a much higher law than we could possibly enjoy in our communications with each other here.
We understood and exchanged thoughts more rapidly, clearly and satisfactorily than Is possible with human voices, for there was no worry about what to say and just how to say it to be properly and clearly understood.
Exactly all that took place on this occasion, I do not remember. But I do know that something did transpire whereby I was able from that time to easily understand, to read and even write this new language (German) and in a most surprising manner to myself and those with whom I came in contact. This afternoon was almost as wonderful as the former visitation and I was again requested to come once more on the morrow for further instructions and divine assistance.
The following day was the same in every way as the second day. This time it was spent in recalling teachings I had received at home, in Sunday School, Primary and other places, pertaining to the principles, beauties and divinity of the Gospel I had come out to preach.
This was to be my last visit with my mother at this place. After many more loving things had been said to me, again renewing the exhortations and blessings I had received, she again expressed her tender motherly love for me and my welfare. Then she left me alone to rejoice, to reflect and profit by the divine and wonderful experience.
I visited often this sacred place and always felt very happy in prayer and reading aloud the German books I had purchased, principally the Book of Mormon, which seemed to be as clear to me now in German, as it had in my own language.
I had suddenly become a new man with renewed ambitions and ability to speak, read, write and understand the German language, even to the amazement of Brother Ripplinger and almost everyone with whom I came in contact. I began to read the evening newspaper aloud to Brother Ripplinger and his fifteen tailors, much to their amusement and surprise for they told me I was reading it almost perfectly, although there was much I could not yet understand.
That Christmas, I was called to the mission office at Bern, Switzerland for the holidays. They all seemed surprised and delighted at the unusual success I had had in acquiring the language. I remember after speaking at one of the conference sessions which was held at this time, how the brethren bore testimony of the wonderful power of the Lord in helping his servants acquire a knowledge of the language, using me as new evidence.”
(“Spirit World Manifestations: Accounts of Divine Aid in Genealogical and Temple Work” by Joseph Heinerman, pages. 185-189.)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
When Elder Holland Spoke of Angels Among Us and the "Angel" Who Rescued a Lost Boy
byLDS.org | Sep. 07, 2018
As we begin gearing up for general conference, we will be highlighting past conference talks to help us review, remember, and grow closer to the Spirit so that we can better recognize the Lord's voice and direction this coming October. This talk was given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in October 2008. (Read the full talk here.) After discussing the myriad ways heavenly angels minister to us in mortality, Elder Holland shared this touching story:
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. . . . May I share with you an account by my friend and BYU colleague, the late Clyn D. Barrus. I do so with the permission of his wife, Marilyn, and their family.
Referring to his childhood on a large Idaho farm, Brother Barrus spoke of his nightly assignment to round up the cows at milking time. Because the cows pastured in a field bordered by the occasionally treacherous Teton River, the strict rule in the Barrus household was that during the spring flood season the children were never to go after any cows who ventured across the river. They were always to return home and seek mature help.
One Saturday just after his seventh birthday, Brother Barrus’s parents promised the family a night at the movies if the chores were done on time. But when young Clyn arrived at the pasture, the cows he sought had crossed the river, even though it was running at high flood stage. Knowing his rare night at the movies was in jeopardy, he decided to go after the cows himself, even though he had been warned many times never to do so.
As the seven-year-old urged his old horse, Banner, down into the cold, swift stream, the horse’s head barely cleared the water. An adult sitting on the horse would have been safe, but at Brother Barrus’s tender age, the current completely covered him except when the horse lunged forward several times, bringing Clyn’s head above water just enough to gasp for air.
Here I turn to Brother Barrus’s own words:
“When Banner finally climbed the other bank, I realized that my life had been in grave danger and that I had done a terrible thing—I had knowingly disobeyed my father. I felt that I could redeem myself only by bringing the cows home safely. Maybe then my father would forgive me. But it was already dusk, and I didn’t know for sure where I was. Despair overwhelmed me. I was wet and cold, lost and afraid.
“I climbed down from old Banner, fell to the ground by his feet, and began to cry. Between thick sobs, I tried to offer a prayer, repeating over and over to my Father in Heaven, ‘I’m sorry. Forgive me! I’m sorry. Forgive me!’
“I prayed for a long time. When I finally looked up, I saw through my tears a figure dressed in white walking toward me. In the dark, I felt certain it must be an angel sent in answer to my prayers. I did not move or make a sound as the figure approached, so overwhelmed was I by what I saw. Would the Lord really send an angel to me, who had been so disobedient?
“Then a familiar voice said, ‘Son, I’ve been looking for you.’ In the darkness I recognized the voice of my father and ran to his outstretched arms. He held me tightly, then said gently, ‘I was worried. I’m glad I found you.’
“I tried to tell him how sorry I was, but only disjointed words came out of my trembling lips—‘Thank you … darkness … afraid … river … alone.’ Later that night I learned that when I had not returned from the pasture, my father had come looking for me. When neither I nor the cows were to be found, he knew I had crossed the river and was in danger. Because it was dark and time was of the essence, he removed his clothes down to his long white thermal underwear, tied his shoes around his neck, and swam a treacherous river to rescue a wayward son.”
Sunday, September 2, 2018
As we work to reclaim our wayward children, we are not alone. Often angels are dispatched to help us. These angels include our ancestors, whose love and concern for the child equals ours.
Redemption is the work of celestial people; thus it is the work of angels, as Heavenly Father employs them. We receive continual support in our quest to rescue our wayward children. As both Hezekiah and Elisha testified, there are many more who stand to help us than the powers that oppose our children and us.[i]
Joseph Smith taught, “The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith.”[ii]
Angels are agents of the Holy Ghost and speak and act by his power.[iii] That the keys of the ministering of angels[iv] have been restored should fill us with hope and faith. By virtue of the powers attendant to the Aaronic Priesthood, parents have the right to ask for angelic help in behalf of their children.
We all know that sometimes angels are those who now live on this earth, but often, angelic help comes in the form of our ancestors, they who perhaps understand better than we the power of the “welding link”[v] that binds us together through temple ordinances. They enjoy a clearer view of the importance of the children’s and their fathers’ hearts being turned to each other, and the sealing that must be set in place and not allowed to be broken lest “the earth will be smitten with a curse.”[vi] The Prophet Joseph revealed,
And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul said concerning the fathers — that they without us cannot be made perfect — neither can we without our dead be made perfect.[vii]
Heaven and earth are partners in the cosmic work of salvation. Neither can we be made perfect without our fathers (we need their help) nor can they be made perfect without us (we provide them the saving ordinances). When we bless them with saving ordinances, they are suddenly endowed with power to help save our/their children. Elder Boyd K. Packer wrote, “Brother Widtsoe reaffirmed that ‘those who give themselves with all their might and main to this work [genealogical and temple work] receive help from the other side. Whoever seeks to help those on the other side receives help in return in all the affairs of life.’”[viii]
In this mutual redemptive effort, the hearts of the children and their fathers are turned to each other, or welded together, and the “promises made to the fathers” are planted “in the hearts of the children.”[ix] What promises? The promises of the Abrahamic covenant, which include the promise of salvation and eventual godhood. That is, as the fathers have covenanted to save us, their children, so we have covenanted to save them.
Angels are not Strangers
Our deceased ancestors, therefore, become ministering servants — angels of God — and their redemptive work continues. President Joseph F. Smith said, “When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants.”[x] Additionally, in his vision of the spirit world, he declared, “I beheld that the faithful elders [including sisters] of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.”[xi]
Of the reality of ministering ancestral angels, a mother from Utah wrote,
One of my most precious experiences occurred when my wayward son had visited me and left me in tears once again. This child is like trying to hug a porcupine! He believes he is doing himself and everyone else a favor when he tells things “the way they are.”
That evening, I had been alone at home. Everyone in my support system was unavailable: my husband was away serving in a Church calling, my youngest son was at work, and my parents were out of town. I was completely defenseless when my son began to hurl unkind accusations and angry words.
I remember the searing pain and agony I felt in the wake of his tirade. When he stomped out the door, I sank to the floor and sobbed. I felt myself spiraling into despair and loneliness. I thought that I had nowhere to run and nobody to turn to. As I wept uncontrollably, I realized that I wasn’t alone; all I needed to do was talk to my Heavenly Father and ask for comfort.
What occurred then was unexpectedly beautiful and priceless. As I poured out my agony and begged not to be alone, I asked for someone to come be with me and help me through this horrible time. Soon, I began to feel a warmth creep across my body. Immediately to my right, I sensed the presence of a grandfather to whom I had been particularly close in my youth. Then, to my left, I sensed the presence of my husband’s grandmother, whom I had met only twice in our early marriage. She was sympathetic to my plight; she had lived her life without seeing any of her sons active in the Church. As these two family members stayed with me, I felt surrounded by love, peace, and the knowledge that families are connected in this life and the next.
My husband and I have had many experiences with ancestors helping us, but this experience was especially sweet because it came to me in such a difficult moment. It was a vivid reminder that we are never alone. When we need help we will be ministered to by spirits who love us, know us, and want to help us succeed.
Angelic Ministration is Central to the Restored Gospel
To discount the reality of the ministering of angels is to deny one of the supernal blessings of the restored gospel. As Moroni was closing the Book of Mormon, he exhorted us to believe in miracles and in the ministering of angels: “Wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.”[xii]
At the April 2006 General Conference, President James E. Faust, quoting Joseph F. Smith, confirmed,
In ancient and modern times angels have appeared and given instruction, warnings, and direction, which benefited the people they visited. We do not consciously realize the extent to which ministering angels affect our lives. President Joseph F. Smith said, “In like manner 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.
“Many of us feel that we have had this experience. Their ministry has been and is an important part of the gospel.[xiii]
Assembling the Powers of Earth and Heaven
We must not despair. In working with our wayward children, God will assemble all the powers of heaven and earth to achieve His glorious work. Whether our children have strayed from the path of truth, become lost by following a forbidden path, or consciously rebelled and run away to a far county, their Heavenly Father can find and rescue them. Even when they are so broken that they are no longer recognizable, He will patiently put them back together until they can bring forth good fruit.
No matter their choices and situations, God loves them and is constantly working to save and redeem them. And so are their family and friends that have gone before. We are never alone in the work of redemption.
[i] See 2 Chronicles 32:7–8.
[ii] Alma P. Burton, ed., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 128.
[iii] See 2 Nephi 32:3.
[iv] See D&C 13:1.
[v] D&C 128:18.
[vi] D&C 128:18.
[vii] D&C 128:15.
[viii] John A. Widstoe, quoted in Boyd K. Packer’s The Holy Temple, 252.
[ix] D&C 2:2.
[x] Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, 435.
[xi] D&C 138:57.
[xii] Moroni 7:37.
[xiii] James E. Faust, “A Royal Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2006, 50, emphasis added.
Monday, August 20, 2018
A Two-Way Street: How “Temple Angels” Can Help Us
By Anne Hinton Pratt · February 18, 2018
Temples are associated with angels. It’s one of their defining characteristics. Those who attend the temple often feel angels and some even see them. They are allowed to help us in many ways. Are we aware of the privileges that can be ours as we do this great work?
Angels Can Have Charge Over Us
In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord has described some of the blessings that come to those who attend the temple and live worthy of the covenants made there. In the Kirtland temple dedicatory prayer, it says: “And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;” (D&C 109:22).
One way to be armed with power and glory is to have angels help us in our lives.
In this article, when I say, “Temple Angels,” I’m referring to those departed individuals, whose work we are doing in the Temple. There are several ways these angels may be permitted to have “charge” over us. I want to share five wonderful accounts which illustrate this principle.
“Temple Angels” Can Nurture us, and Let Their Will Be Known
Kirsten Arroyo shared this story with me:
“On October 4, 1972 in Ogden, Utah I had a wonderful experience with my Aunt Sigrid Hanson. When I was growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, Aunt Sigrid and Uncle Volmer were very dear to me. Since they had not been able to have children of their own, I filled that void and they included me in their lives as if I was their daughter. When I was 11, my mother and I joined the Church and afterwards emigrated to America.”
“In March of 1970 my Aunt died, and I proceeded to get her name ready for Temple ordinances. For some reason, I bi-passed her baptism and confirmation but intended to do the rest of the work for her. I had no clue to which temple her name would show up for Baptism or when it would be done.”
“As I was doing the dishes on October 4, 1972, I had a feeling come over me and I knew my Aunt was near. I kept looking over my shoulders to see if I could see her. I thought, ‘This is strange! What is she trying to tell me?’ The feeling would not leave.”
“That same day, my husband, David was assigned to do Baptisms at the Ogden Temple. After performing two family names for a woman in the room, the next name on the Screen was my Auntie Sigrid. David stopped and said: ‘I know her! She is my wife’s aunt! We’re going to do this one a little slower.’ He was so excited to come home and tell me. As he entered the door of our home I said: ‘Guess what happened to me today?’ and he said, “Guess what happened to ME today?”
As we compared our experiences from the day, we were in awe at how close departed spirits are to us, and how aware they are of our doing, and in this case, did not want anyone else to do their baptism but a Family member!”
“Temple Angels” Can Help With Personal Issues
Solutions to our most pressing problems often are found in the temple, and angels can help us implement those solutions.
John A. Widtsoe wrote:
“I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will … [do] the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and … a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly.” (“Temple Worship,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Apr. 1921, pp. 63-64)
For over a year Brandon Kappner and his family were living without steady income. He tried every angle he could think of to provide for his family, but they were sliding deep into debt to keep their home and had just enough for the bare necessities of life. They even used up all their food storage.
Here are some excerpts from Brandon’s journal, January 2015:
“Throughout the time we have had this last financial struggle, Shalice and I have been attending the Temple every week. One day as I was doing Initiatory names, I had one name that struck me as I listened to the blessings, and received a feeling of joy, acceptance, and excitement in having these blessings and ordinances completed for this particular individual. His name was Samuel Veasse.”
“As I thought about Samuel, I suddenly had the thought about what I needed. I asked him to help me. I asked him to minister to me about where to turn and how to find a way to provide for my family.”
“Once I realized that I was turning this situation into my own selfish needs, I felt ashamed. But, to my surprise I received another impression. This one was one that lifted me up. There weren’t words or any clear communication, I simply understood immediately by thought. The thought was, ‘Thank you. You have helped me deeply and I am grateful. Now let me help you. Let me prepare a way to help you through your time of need. I am honored to administer to your spirit and will do all I can to assist you through this.’ It was deeply moving and strong.”
Not long after, Brandon was given a great employment opportunity in January of 2016. “That job grew and was successful for me and led to another step. After all of this, we are now doing well and have almost paid off all of the debt we built up during that time.” Samuel, his “temple angel” was true to his word, and Brandon knew it.
He was Literally Given MEANS
Bill Boushka, a Radiologist from El Paso relates a difficult time recently where he had a major challenge in his life and fervently prayed for help as he went to the temple.
“I had come to the Temple with a problem. My Radiology company was spending large amounts of my life’s savings because the new Eastside location was not very busy. The amount of money I was losing was pretty astounding! I was nearly worried sick! I was anxious that I did not have enough means to keep the DOI running until it was turning a profit.”
“At the Temple, when I saw the name of the person for whom I would be proxy, I almost laughed. The name was John Clifton MEANS. I said to myself, “Well that didn’t take long to get an answer!” As I walked towards the endowment room, a phrase from a scripture came into my mind, ‘provide means for us’. Here is the full quote: ‘And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.’” (1 Nephi 17:3)
“Four days later I discovered, after meeting with my stockbroker, that I have a lot more money than I knew. I was again reassured”
He knew angels had taken “charge” of his problem and rendered aid.
“Temple Angels” Can Give Us Specific Knowledge
A few years ago, Timmi Lynn Webster had a marvelous experience. Her daughter Kylie was attending college, but learning had always been difficult for her because she was handicapped and had special needs. Timmi Lynn recounts:
“That morning Kylie called and asked that I pray for her (because she was going to have a very difficult math mid-term exam). I told her I was going to the temple right then and would do so.
As I was getting out of the car, I remember looking at the temple card. The name of the person I was doing was Matilda. I literally talked aloud and said, ‘Matilda, I am going to do your work. I need a favor too. Can you help my daughter on her math test? If you aren’t good at math, could you find someone who is?”
“I have never had such a sacred experience in the temple or ever felt so close to the person I was doing work for.”
“When I got home, I got a call from Kylie. I was surprised because she was finished so quickly. She told me she couldn’t believe how easily the answers came to her and that she felt like she had done very well (which she did) She told me she felt as though someone was sitting next to her and helping her. I told her it was Matilda, and that one day I would tell her about it.”
“This was a turning point for me. It was the first time I believed that Kylie really could succeed in college because I literally understood then that she could access not only the quickening power of the Holy Ghost, but that she had angels beyond the veil who would aid her in ways I never imagined. I also learned that when we go to the temple it can be a two-way street. As we help those beyond the veil through temple work, there are those who can help us as well. I look so forward to one day meeting Matilda. I feel as though it will be like meeting an old friend.”
Blessings When We Return Often
Ezra Taft Benson stated: “Do we return to the temple often to receive the personal blessings that come from regular temple worship? Prayers are answered, revelation occurs, and instruction by the Spirit takes place in the holy temples of the Lord.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, p. 85)
“Temple Angels” Can Dispatch Healing
A dear friend (who I won’t name), shared a miraculous story of healing from the temple. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She was a woman of great faith and had resolved since her diagnosis to attend the temple every day she possibly could. She lived close to a temple and for several weeks she faithfully attended 4-5 times each week, always with healing on her mind.
One day as she was sitting in the initiatory room she had an extraordinary experience. She suddenly became aware that her spirit was transported outside her body and she witnessed what she was told were cancer cells that one by one were encircled with light, and then “zapped.” She was absolutely mesmerized by this amazing display, however her “out of body” point of view only lasted a few moments to inform her of what was happening in her body.
A few days later when she went to her doctor, she was told that the cancer was retreating at a rapid rate. Shortly thereafter she went into remission.
She felt strongly that this healing came from attending the temple so often.
She knew that she had received angelic aid.
Elder Jeffery Holland profoundly stated, “In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike—and they will—you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.” (BYU Devotional, 18 March 1980).
Inside temples we can tap into this unseen power more than anywhere else.
Temples are associated with angels. As the scriptures say, angels are “armed with the power of God,” and often are given “charge” over us. Those who attend the temple often feel this power from the angelic realm. Serving in the temple can be a two-way street. We help them, and often they will help us. Are we aware of the privileges that can be ours as we do this great work?
Temple Angels: You Helped Me, I’ll Help You
By Anne Hinton Pratt · March 1, 2018
From the beginning of time, man has had dealings with angels. They “got the ball rolling” on this planet, and they continue to keep it rolling in our day as well. Because of the holy nature of temple work, many people experience angelic communion in conjunction with temple service. For valiant men and women of faith, angels are a sacred reality.
Angels can be allowed to help us solve a problem, furnish us with additional knowledge, or they may simply be allowed to give us comfort. Last week I wrote an article called “A Two-way Street: How “Temple Angels” Can Help Us” . I would like to enlarge upon and add to that article.
Elder Jeffrey Holland declared: “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.” (Jeffry R. Holland, The Ministry of Angels” Oct. Conference 2008).
Angels are here to help the work of both the Father and the Son. As we help them with this work in Holy temples, God often allows them to help us. (We may or may not be aware of this blessing).
You Helped Me and I’ll Help You
Shirley Ricks had a sweet experience in the Monticello Temple in 2015 where she felt communication from a “temple angel”:
“We arrived a bit early, so I had several minutes in the ordinance room to contemplate and pray. I prayed particularly for my sweet daughter and her family. During the session, I had the thought come to me, “Since you are doing something for me that I can’t do for myself, I will be happy to do something for you.”
Shirley asked if Ethel, (whose work she was doing), could help bring peace to her wonderful daughter. At that moment, she felt inspired to look at the name on the card and realized that this women’s middle name was Irene (which means peace). She was assured that her daughter would be blessed!
Shirley continues: “The tears of joy and gratitude began to flow. Thank you, Ethel Irene Michael, for the privilege of going to the temple for you today!”
Angels Are Powered By the Godhead
There is an illuminating scripture that states: “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.” (2 Ne. 32:3) According to this scripture, angels assist Christ and the Holy Ghost by harnessing their power to speak. Angels are powered by the Godhead in their speaking and their doing, and are an additional privilege and blessing to be received by the faithful in this Telestial sphere.
It’s important to realize that we don’t “pray” to angels, but when we try to communicate with them, we must also be in an attitude of prayer to the Father.
If a prayer is answered- who answers it? The Father? Christ? The Holy Ghost? Often the nitty-gritty job of answering prayers falls to angels? But whoever does it, it comes from the SAME GODLY SOURCE.
Angels are not independent from God, they are a part of His network.
Moroni speaks about angels saying, “For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.” (Moroni 7:30)
Finding Lost Papers
People who attend the temple are blessed in a variety of ways, and often become keenly aware that “temple angels” are helping them.
Shellie Payne of El Paso, Texas was getting ready to leave for the temple when her teenage son could not find his math assignment. “He and I searched frantically over and over the same pile of papers and could not find it. I asked Brandon if I should stay home and look for it. His comment was, ‘No mom, don’t worry about it. When you get home it will be here.’”
“I arranged where I would meet Brandon to give him the lost math assignment and I left for the temple and he left for school. When I arrived home about noon I went straight to that exact stack of papers. Just as Brandon had predicted, the math assignment was there, – where it wasn’t before!”
On the Church website it states: “The Lord blesses those who attend to the sacred ordinance work in the temple. And the blessings He gives will not be limited to the time spent in the temple. Those who do temple work will be blessed in all aspects of their lives.” (Lds.org/topics/temples)
Angels Can Show Us What We Don’t Know
When Ed and Lesley Jordan were President and Matron of the Billings Montana Temple, they received an account from their daughter Emilee who had a dream concerning her Grandfather:
“Saturday night I had a dream. In my dream I walked into my house and smelled cigarette smoke. I asked what the smell was and just then Grandpa Thaxton came walking up the stairs with a cigarette in his hand. I asked him to not smoke in the house and he immediately threw the cigarette outside. The rest of the dream he followed me around the house and it occurred to me that he did not want to be left alone. I really felt that he was lonely and wanted to be with me. As soon as I realized this he gave me a hug. I could actually feel his whiskers on my face and woke up still feeling his whiskers. I laid there amazed because I have never had a dream feel so real to me. Immediately I wondered if Mom and Dad had done his temple work, specifically sealing him to Grandma. I checked on family search and it said that all of his work was done but that his sealing was reserved, but not done.”
“I called Mom and Dad that afternoon and asked if they had sealed him to Grandma. Mom said that they had. I told her about my dream and how I thought it meant that the work wasn’t done. I also told her that it wasn’t recorded on Family Search. She looked it up and it hadn’t been done. She thought they had done it! I know that they would have eventually found that it wasn’t done but my impression was that Grandpa was lonely and he didn’t want to have to wait any longer.”
“Mom was a little disturbed about the fact that he was smoking in my dream. I have come to the conclusion that in my dream he threw the cigarette outside, he didn’t go outside to smoke. He threw it out so that he could be with me. In other words, he’s given up his sins and weaknesses and accepted the gospel so that he can have an eternal family.”
“Maybe this sounds like I am stretching for something impossible here but I cannot deny how real all of this has felt and how the Holy Ghost has confirmed every feeling I had to be true. It is comforting and amazing to know that our Grandpa has accepted the gospel and we WILL see him again and live as an eternal family. I have never felt such a powerful confirmation in my life. Isn’t it wonderful? My testimony has grown so much stronger because of this experience!”
Because of Emilee’s powerful dream, where her Grandfather revealed what was not known, and a great reason to rejoice that this “temple angel” was allowed to inform them of what they needed to do to help them expand their eternal family.
They are Solicitous for our Welfare
“President Joseph F. Smith: “I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors… who have preceded us into the spirit world. We cannot forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we cannot break… If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses… how much more certain it is to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond… can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them… We live in their presence, they see us; they are solicitous for our welfare, and they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us. Their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Apr. 1916, 2–3;)
Many who attend the temple find that they have an increase in spiritual experience and can feel the help and influence of angels. These beautiful beings can be allowed to help us solve a problem, furnish us with additional knowledge, or they may simply be allowed to give us comfort. Angels are an important part of this crucial time in the earth’s history, and we’re the one’s who are lucky enough to be the recipients. Are we taking advantage of this privilege?