“Not all angels are dispatched from the other side of the veil,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught.  When he spoke, at October 2008 General Conference, about the dispatching of angels to help us on our way, I was mesmerized by his words. And the spirit with which he spoke them. I understood what he was saying.

I know of angels. Some I have seen. Some have come unseen from the other side of the veil, but I’ve known there were there. And others are the sweet faces of kind and caring friends and neighbors. Some are near-strangers who may send a note at just the right time, or reach out in some seemingly simple way. It is not simple to me, though, when it occurs. It reaffirms my faith in humanity, and offers me the blessing of a heavenly reminder that my Lord is aware of me and my daily journey.

Over the years, it has been made apparent to me that most often, I will get- indeed- what I “need.” Perhaps not a drop more. And so I’ve learned to listen more intently – to watch more carefully – and to gain my needed strength in some beautifully minute way that, unless I’m paying attention, I might miss. It could be a song I hear, a specific image that is impressed upon my mind, or any number of seemingly random things. But they are specific to me. And it matters.  Often, it is the caring note or word that comes my way to keep my spirits up, or re-enforce the importance of my ongoing efforts to do my little work in the kingdom.

Over the years these tiny little “Hi, I know you’re there and I love you” moments from my Heavenly Father have become my treasures. Sometimes we have heavenly interaction in huge ways. I have had a few of those. But it’s the little blessings that seem to tenderize my spirit as I go. Most of those little treasures are guarded ones that I keep to myself. Others I need to celebrate more often.

So I’m celebrating the angels in my life today:

  • The ones who know me close up or from afar, and provide little sweet drops of heavenly oil in my lamp.  I’ve come to appreciate, as you have, the good folks who help us along our way.
  • As a new mother and dealing with ugly illness, my visiting teacher taught me what Relief Society was all about. I will never forget this sweet woman who literally helped me in and out of the bathtub, who tended me and my daughter, when I was too ill to do it myself. She is long gone from this mortal sphere, but her memory is always fresh in my heart. She was my angel when she lived only a few streets over.
  • My current visiting teacher is an angel. She is uncommon in her extreme kindness. Her visits are always like a little drop of heaven, because I feel as though she really wants to visit and spend time. She is the smiliest (is that a word?) woman! I love her cheery manner and her true concern. We can chit chat about any and everything. And I know she’ll come help out at the drop of a hat. She’s an angel.
  • I’ve seen angels step in and create a Christmas where there would otherwise not be one for some of my relatives. I’ve watched angels just “happen” to come by, or to give a call, when I really needed someone to care. It happens for my loved ones. It happens for my friends, and for those who share wonderful stories with me.
  • On occasion I’ve received a “thank you” note from a person who felt impressed to share a story, or to explain how a little something I wrote or taught may have helped them. They’ve not known that their kindness was as water to my parched soul, and their sweet words have given me strength to write the next column, or the next hymn, or accept the next speaking engagement when the physical body doesn’t want to cooperate.

There is a lot of Angel-ing going on in this world! We see it and hear about it every day. It doesn’t make the headlines, usually, and the media don’t pay much attention. But the angels on the other side of the veil make note! And our Father in Heaven surely smiles.

I wonder if these kind souls realize their errand of mercy makes such a difference in our lives? Whether or not they recognize their part in assisting their friends, they are precious providers of spiritual fresh air. They remind us that the Lord will fight our battles with us.

Because our prayers are always answered. Sometimes as we would like them to be, and other times as we need them to be, but don’t yet realize it. Often, our prayers are answered by other folks we see or hear from every day. We call them friends. But their actions seem to make them angels. Oh, how grateful I am for them!

I enjoy this little poem. I can’t find the author, so I don’t know who to thank.

          I Asked God For A Flower, He Gave Me A Garden.

          I Asked God For A Tree, He Gave Me A Forest.

          I Asked God For A Raindrop, He Gave Me An Ocean.

          I Asked God For An Angel, He Gave Me You.

It is a delightful (and humbling) activity to sit and ponder over the many angels that have been sent my way. I am in awe of the numerous times I’ve been blessed because someone took the time to follow through on their good thought, or made time to let me know they were thinking of me. They are friends. Some live right in my neighborhood and some live across the world, and we’ve connected through the Internet. In so many ways, I’ve had an army of angels to help me along the way. Thank you to each of you who have blessed my life with your goodness. You are a precious reminder that not all angels are from the other side of the veil.

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, and grandmother who  joined the LDS Church as a teenager.  She has worked for many years  to share her testimony of Jesus Christ with other folks. Her propensity for being the queen of embarrassing moments & her tougher learning curves notwithstanding, she sums up her journey thus far like this: “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  She has taught Church youth & family programs for 25 years, has written books, hundreds of columns, & created hundreds of songs all with the intent of growing goodness and pointing people to Christ. Her latest venture is to create a website to focus on & grow the goodness in this world. Please visit her site at www.goodnessmatters.com