Cover image: “Heralding Angels” by Annie Henrie Nader, Courtesy of altusfineart.com@2022. Used with permission.
One of the things angels do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people of the world and point them to ordinances they need to live again with God. Angels may come in different forms or circumstances to achieve their objectives, but as the veil continues to thin, they become a crucial part of the gathering…
Departed Child Reveals Himself to Elder
Elder Manfre from the Brasilia mission was aware that he had angelic help as he led a discussion with a family one evening. The parents of this family had a young son who had recently died from a terrible accident. He writes:
“We began to teach them and the Spirit with us was very strong. At times I was incredulous at the words that were coming from our mouths as we spoke by the Spirit. Then my companion began to speak about eternal families. The intensity of the Spirit became stronger and stronger, and I began to feel something different—a feeling of great peace. Next, I saw and felt the presence of a small child. In that room I perceived a very strong light and I could discern the appearance of this small child. My words became stronger with respect to how this man could reunite with his child after this life. With tears in his eyes, this man told us that the hope that one day he could see his child again gave him the desire and strength of will to cope with the death of that child.
“I don’t know how to describe with words the feelings that I had but I know that for a moment, the veil was opened, and I saw and felt that child that was not with us in physical matter but in spirit. Shortly thereafter the father of this child handed to me an album with some photos of his child. I almost cried, because… it was the same child that I had just finished seeing and feeling.
“Experiences like these motivate me and strengthen my testimony that the world of spirits is often not far from us.” [i]
This child was allowed to manifest himself to Elder Manfre in a special way as a witness to his family of his desire that they become a forever family. The child was his family’s “missionary angel,” helping earthly missionaries in bringing his family to the gospel.
Alma understood this phenomenon of missionary angels helping to further the work.
“And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus, they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness. And…many did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people…”[ii]
Astonishing Display of Angelic Support
Eric Lee told me of an extraordinary experience he had in 1990 of seeing many “missionary” angels. He wrote,
“Some friends and I attended a fireside at the Logan Tabernacle. I don’t remember a lot of the details of the speakers but remember that the final speaker was a beautiful non-member woman. In her talk she shared how she had made a deal with God, as she was in a national beauty pageant, that if He would help her do her best, she would dedicate her life to finding Him.
“While she was speaking, I had an intense impression to share my testimony with her. Now, I was only 18 at the time, and my testimony was fledgling at best. I kind of dismissed the notion, but it wouldn’t leave me alone. I looked in my scripture bag that I’d brought with me to see if I even had anything I could write it on. All I found was a quarter of a page of paper that had been handed out in seminary, and a red scripture marking pencil to write with. I thought again that this was ridiculous and tried to push the impression aside. It did not leave me and continued to increase. So, I caved in and wrote my simple testimony on the paper scrap with my red pencil. It was almost embarrassing…no, it was totally embarrassing how simple it was.
“Anyhow, it was done, and the real challenge was still ahead of me. I had to hand it to her. I remember there was a line of people that wanted to speak with her after the meeting ended, many of them getting autographs. I kind of just hung back and waited for the crowd to diminish. I certainly didn’t want to give this embarrassing piece of myself to her with an audience!
“Eventually, her driver came and said it was time to go. Most of the crowd was gone at this point, and I was sitting near the entrance trying to see if I would actually have the courage to step forward. As she approached, I jumped up and handed her the paper. She went to write an autograph on it, and I clumsily said that it was for her. She looked at me oddly and left the building. That was the last I saw of her.
“When I turned back to look in the tabernacle, I suddenly saw the entire top level (the Logan tabernacle has a second level balcony for seating) was filled with angels. They were all dressed in white (no wings), and the feeling of peace and love was overwhelming!
“I instinctively knew two things at that moment (this knowledge came immediately with the vision):
1) The angels were all her family, and they were there to support her in her quest to find God, and
2) I was being blessed with this experience because of my simple courage to share my little testimony with her.”
“This was SO powerful! I had to leave the building and walk around the grounds for nearly 10-15 minutes to get my tears under control before I could go back to look for my friends.”
“For years, I treasured this experience and rarely shared it with anybody. I felt like it was one of those “pearls before swine” things. However, as I’ve gotten older, I feel strongly that these experiences should be shared more. I know that if I were her, I would so love to know how my family on the other side of the veil had shown up en masse to support me in finding God.
(“As a follow up, some months later I was in the MTC. We’d been stuck there for over 3 months on visa delay, and they’d run out of stuff to teach us, so when new Elders arrived, we were cleared to go out and see them. I recognized a parent dropping off a son. I realized that he was one of the other speakers that had spoken that day. I asked him if he remembered the lady, and he said he did. He said that she had since gotten baptized and was planning on getting sealed in the temple with her husband).”[iii]
What a validation for Eric… So many “missionary angels” who were supporting a single woman…
Moroni declared, “Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.[iv]
“Do My Work A.S.A.P!”
Arlene Butler wrote,
“When we lived in Southern California we were close friends for many years with a wonderful family who was not LDS. They told us plainly they were not interested in the church, and we respected that. Although we moved over 25 years ago, we are still good friends. A little over a year ago the husband Bill died. My son Jared recently went on a business trip to California and decided to do a session in the L.A. temple while there. During the session Bill came and told Jared that he wanted his temple work done – that he had a lot of family members he wanted to start working with.
“We called Bill’s wife with some trepidation to get her permission for his work to be done. We were pleasantly surprised that she happily gave it! She also told us of a cousin who had “gotten into” doing genealogy and we discovered the cousin had loaded their names into family Search, so everything was ready to go.
“We believe this family on the other side was ready and waiting for their work to be done. We are the only LDS people they know so that is why Bill asked Jared to do the work.”
After receiving permission, a few weeks went by, and the work just wasn’t getting done because of the busy lives of her sons. Arlene continues,
“When I woke up last week, I realized that Bill was in the room – he told me he needed his work done A.S.A.P. I texted Bill’s urgent message to my two sons and the next day my younger son, Aaron went to do the baptism & confirmation. While at the temple he thought – ‘I’ll let a teen do the baptism and I’ll witness’ . . . but Bill let him know HE was to get in the water!
“After the baptism & confirmation when Aaron left the temple, he felt Bill was upset because he wasn’t finishing all the work right then. He had some errands to do but went right back because of urgency he was feeling from Bill, and completed his work that day.
“We all felt Bill’s happiness several times throughout the day. We teased that we’re glad the work was done so we would not be “haunted” further. We don’t know why it was so urgent except what Bill had originally told my older son –‘that he had family members to work with.’ It must be hard for the dead who want to progress to wait for us to do their work on this side of the veil.” [v]
Bill was a “missionary angel.” He had definite preferences about who he wanted to do his work, but knew that once it was done, he would be free to help others “gather” Israel from that side of the veil.
We’re Not Alone
Isn’t it marvelous that we’re not alone in our quest to gather Israel? The world of spirits is not far from us, and Angels are coming to visit the earth in ever-greater numbers to work in tandem with us to do this amazing eternal work!
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[i] David Frederick Babbel, Mine Angels Round About You, p. 122.
[ii] Alma 19:34-35
[iii] Eric Lee, personal correspondence. Used with permission.
[iv] Moroni 7:25
[v] Arlene Butler, personal correspondence. Used with permission.