Friday, November 30, 2012

Alphabet Advent – A is for…


ngelic emissaries

I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

Brian Kershisnik

Christmas is filled with thoughts of presents, decorations, and traditions. We sing the praises of our Savior Jesus Christ and moments later tell stories of red-nosed reindeer that fly. Fantasy and miracles become blended, and we may dismiss the divine as an entertaining myth.

For the record, reindeer do not fly, and angels don’t have wings. However, angels are real and bring comfort in times of need. I have felt the love of ministering angels as my burdens felt oppressive.

During October General Conference in 2008, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught about the Lord’s use of angels. He explained that since the days of Adam and Eve, the Lord has sent angels in special times of need to his children to teach, to prepare, and to comfort. The first Christmas was one of those special times:
When the time for this Savior’s advent was at hand, an angel was sent to announce to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. Then a host of angels was commissioned to sing on the night the baby Jesus was born. Shortly thereafter an angel would announce to Joseph that the newborn baby was in danger and that this little family must flee to Egypt for safety. When it was safe to return, an angel conveyed that information to the family and the three returned to the land of their heritage.

From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children.
Jeffrey R. Holland
The Ministry of Angels

Please note that the angels bringing good tidings of great joy to the shepherds were real and did not have wings:

She Will Find What is Lost
Painting by Brian Kershisnik
Fortunately, God is constant and unchanging. The angelic messengers of the past are still a tool that the Lord uses now to communicate love, hope, and good tidings of great joy.
I’d like to echo Elder Holland’s concluding words:
On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.
May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).
In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted,” (Doctrine and Covenants 90:24). Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God when someone, perhaps a Primary child, is crying.
I really just wanted to cut and paste his entire talk into this post, so here’s the link again: Jeffrey R. Holland The Ministry of Angels. Go read, watch or listen to it.

How does defining angels as emissaries sent from God impact your thought process regarding becoming more angelic?


Michael said...

I am grateful when I realize that I have been a tool in the Lord's hands, helped to lift another's burden, given comfort, or been of service. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne said...

I loved this talk. I remember listening to Elder Holland as he gave this powerful message and know it to be true. Such a good thing to be reminded of as we start off the Christmas season. Thanks, Jocelyn.