Ministering angels are an indispensable part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why those keys were restored so early on in this Dispensation and are so widely disseminated into the [LDS] church membership (See JSH 14:1). There is a system by which men learn the mysteries of Heaven and are saved. That system is set out in Alma 9:7: First, angels are sent to prepare men/women. Second, they are allowed to behold the Lord’s glory. Then they converse with the Lord, at which point they are taught the things that have been prepared from the foundation of the earth for their salvation. All of this is driven by the man/woman’s faith, repentance and holy works. This is in keeping with Joseph Smith’s revelation about those chosen to become a member of the Church of the Firstborn. They are chosen by the holy angels to whom the keys of this power belong (T&C 74:8). If this isn’t happening, then faith does not exist on the earth any longer (Moroni 7:7).1 Angels minister to “chosen vessels” or mortal messengers, as the Three Nephites did with Mormon and Moroni. (Mormon 4:2). Then these vessels testify and bear testimony so that the way is prepared “that the residue of men may have faith in Christ.” These three visited with Mormon, but the people to whom Mormon ministered didn’t see them. They ministered to Moroni, and those to whom Moroni ministered didn’t see them. The chosen vessels also become as ministering angels.2 Heaven’s “chosen vessels” may seem most unlikely. In the cases of Alma the Younger and Saul of Tarsus, they were wicked when they were chosen. Yet both would later become ministering servants who preached righteousness to the residue of men.3 Many people have received ministering angels. Men, women and children have, can and do receive angelic ministers (Alma 16:26). When they minister to you it is to enable you to testify and help others to likewise have faith in Christ.4 Angels minister to those with faith, who are supposed to then preach salvation to others.5 See ANGELS.
3 “The Holy Order,” Oct. 29, 2017, 16, 16n62.
4 “The Holy Order,” Oct. 29, 2017, 16, 16n63.
5 “The Holy Order,” Oct. 29, 2017, 16, 16.
…The word faith is used when an angel has ministered to someone.3 See Moroni 7:7: Behold I say unto you … it is by faith that the angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased woe be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is in vain.4 Belief does not become faith in the Book of Mormon until an angel has ministered to you.
3 Passing the Heavenly Gift, 52.
4 Passing the Heavenly Gift, 52n50.
This applies to anyone and everyone to whom Christ ministers as the Second Comforter, as well as to anyone who has received a visit from an angelic messenger.1 Angels minister to “chosen vessels” or mortal messengers, as the Three Nephites did with Mormon and Moroni. Then these vessels testify and bear testimony so that the way is prepared “that the residue of men may have faith in Christ.”2
1 The Second Comforter, 155 – 156; 360 – 361.
…The Holy Ghost, which is the “mind of the Father and the Son,” can be communicated by: pure intelligence, light poured into the mind of a man, a ministering angel sent with a message, a ministering spirit sent with a message, an open vision, a voice from Heaven, or any other means designed to convey into the mind of the man receiving it the truth of things from God.
I participated in a fellowship discussion with a group of people a few weeks ago about the ministry of angels. I have been reflecting on that conversation since then. I think the ministry of angels is an indispensible part of the gospel, but angels are subject to God, who commands their ministry. (NC Moroni 7:6; LE Moroni 7:30.) The angels have a specific ministry. They call men to repentance and fulfill and do the work of God’s covenants. (NC Moroni 7:6; LE Moroni 7:31.) We approach God (not angels) and then God sends angels as His ministers.
Egypt’s religion erred by turning true angels into gods, to whom they prayed and whom they worshipped. Angels are sent by God and minister the truth to man, but are forbidden to become the objects of worship. Egypt turned mere angelic servants of God into deity and worshipped them.
Throughout the Bible record, the angels clarify their limited role. In the temple, the angel Gabriel clarified his limited role as a messenger. (NC Luke 1:4; LE Luke 1:19.) When the apostle John beheld the angel sent to him, he fell to worship him. (NC Revelation of John 9:1; LE Rev. 22:8.) The angel forbid it, declaring “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: Worship God.” (NC Revelation of John 9:1; LE Rev. 22:9.) John has now become a ministering angel. (T&C 1 JSH 13:21; LE D&C 7:6.) When John the Baptist appeared to Joseph and Oliver he declared himself only a “fellow servant.” (T&C 1 JSH 14:1; LE JS-H 1:69.)
Angels may occupy positions of authority before God, and may have ministries entrusted to them (D&C 130:5), but only God is to be worshipped.
17 …If there were children of promise, they were the effects of faith, not even the Savior of the world excepted: Blessed is she that believed, said Elizabeth to Mary when she went to visit her, for there shall be a performance of the things which were told her of the Lord; Luke 1:45 [Luke 1:7]. Nor was the birth of John the Baptist the less a matter of faith, for in order that his father Zacharias might believe he was struck dumb. And through the whole history of the scheme of life and salvation, it is a matter of faith: every man received according to his faith: according as his faith was, so were his blessings and privileges, and nothing was withheld from him when his faith was sufficient to receive it. He could stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, wax valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens; women could, by their faith, receive the dead children to life again: in a word, there was nothing impossible with them who had faith. All things were in subjection to the Former Day Saints according as their faith was — by their faith they could obtain Heavenly visions, the ministering of angels, have knowledge of the spirits of just men made perfect, of the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven, of God, the judge of all, of Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and become familiar with the third Heavens, see and hear things which were not only unutterable, but were unlawful to utter.
3 After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world. But after repenting and humbling himself sincerely through faith, God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness, and gave unto him commandments which inspired him, and gave him power from on high by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon, which contains a record of a fallen people and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also, which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them, proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work, in this age and generation as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and for ever. Amen.
3 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto the ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for you are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I Am, not with the carnal, neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God, neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind. You are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels. Wherefore, continue in patience until you are perfected. Let not your minds turn back, and when you are worthy, in my own due time, you shall see and know that which was confirmed upon you by the hands of my servant Joseph Smith Jr., Amen.
4 And now, verily says the Lord, That these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who has appeared unto some and has committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth.
11 Q: What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel, twelve thousand out of every tribe?
A: We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel. For they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given Power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.
A sample of pure language, received between about 4 and about 20 March 1832, given by Joseph the Seer.
5 Q: What are angels called in pure language?
A: Ahman Anglsmen.
6 Q: What are the meaning of these words?
A: Ahman’s ministering servants, sanctified, who are sent forth from Heaven to minister for, or to, Sons Ahman, the greatest part of Ahman Son.
(An editorial by Joseph Smith Jr. published in the TIMES AND SEASONS, 1 April 1842, entitled TRY THE SPIRITS)
13 And again my brethren, I would call your attention, for I have somewhat more to speak unto you. For behold, I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come.And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me, Awake. And I awoke. And behold, he stood before me. And he said unto me, Awake and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto thee glad tidings of great joy. For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice, and that thou mayest declare unto thy people that they may also be filled with joy.
26 And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God — for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church and to lead astray the people of the Lord contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king — and as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them, and he descended as it were in a cloud. And he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood. And so great was their astonishment that they fell to the earth and understood not the words which he spake unto them. Nevertheless, he cried again, saying, Alma, arise and stand forth! For why persecuteth thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said, This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people. And again the angel said, Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant Alma, who is thy father. For he has prayed with much faith concerning thee, that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth. Therefore, for this purpose have I come, to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God.
5 And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass that while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying, Blessed art thou, Alma. Therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou received thy first message from him.Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you. And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah and preach again unto the people of the city, yea, preach unto them, yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them. For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people — for thus saith the Lord — which is contrary to the statutes and judgments and commandments which he has given unto his people.
6 And now for this cause — that ye may not be destroyed — the Lord has sent his angel to visit many of his people, declaring unto them that they must go forth and cry mightily unto this people, saying, Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of Heaven is nigh at hand. And not many days hence, the Son of God shall come in his glory, and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth; full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers. And behold, he cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance through faith on his name. Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been: if they have been righteous, they shall reap the salvation of their souls according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil, they shall reap the damnation of their souls according to the power and captivation of the Devil; now behold, this is the voice of the angel crying unto the people. And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren and ye had ought to be beloved, and ye had ought to bring forth works which are meet for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people.
7 …And after God had appointed that these things should come unto man, behold, then he saw that it was expedient that man should know concerning the things whereof he had appointed unto them. Therefore, he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory. And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore, God conversed with men and made known unto them the plan of redemption which had been prepared from the foundation of the world. And this he made known unto them according to their faith, and repentance, and their holy works.
3 And now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words unto them, he stretched forth his hand unto them and cried with a mighty voice, saying, Now is the time to repent, for the day of salvation draweth nigh! Yea, and the voice of the Lord by the mouth of angels doth declare it unto all nations, yea, doth declare it that they may have glad tidings of great joy. Yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore, they have come unto us. And they are made known unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err, and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land. Therefore, we are thus highly favored, for we have these glad tidings declared unto us in all parts of our vineyard. For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory. And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels of his coming, for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day, but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice. And it shall be made known unto just and holy men by the mouth of angels at the time of his coming, that the words of our fathers may be fulfilled according to that which they have spoken concerning him, which was according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them.
26 And it came to pass that when Ammon arose, he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni. And they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing: that their hearts had been changed, that they had no more desire to do evil. 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 it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized, and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them. And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus, the Lord did begin to pour out his spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.
26 And now, as I said concerning faith, faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen which are true. And now behold, I say unto you — and I would that ye should remember — that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore, he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men, but women also. Now this is not all. Little children do have words given unto them many times which do confound the wise and the learned.
9 And it came to pass that Nephi, having been visited by angels, and also by the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eyewitness, and having had power given unto him, that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eyewitness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations, therefore being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds, went forth among them in that same year and began to testify boldly repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. And he did minister many things unto them, and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice; therefore, they are not written in this book. And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
10 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words. For so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily, and in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people. And the people saw it and did witness of it and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles in the sight of the people in the name of Jesus.
2 …And when they had ministered them same words which Jesus had spoken, nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken, behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus; and they did pray for that which they most desired. And they desired that the holy ghost should be given unto them. And when they had thus prayed, they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them. And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized. And he came up out of the water and began to baptize, and he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen. And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the holy ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the holy ghost and with fire. And behold, they were encircled about as if it were fire, and it came down from Heaven, and the multitude did witness it and do bear record. And angels did come down out of Heaven and did minister unto them. And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and ministered unto them. And it came to pass that he spake unto the multitude and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that his disciples should kneel down upon the earth. And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray. And behold, they began to pray, and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.
5 And now I, Mormon, make an end of speaking concerning these things for a time. Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade. Therefore, I write them not, for they are hid from the world. But behold, I have seen them and they have ministered unto me, and behold, they will be among the gentiles and the gentiles knoweth them not. They will also be among the Jews and the Jews shall know them not. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom, that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them. And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they can shew themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.
4 And now my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith of which I said I would speak, and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ, and in Christ there should come every good thing. And God also declared unto prophets by his own mouth that Christ should come. And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men which were good, and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise, men were fallen and there could no good thing come unto them. 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 by faith they did lay hold upon every good thing, and thus it was until the coming of Christ; and after that he came, men also were saved by faith in his name. And by faith they become the sons of God.
5 And as sure as Christ liveth, he spake these words unto our fathers, saying, Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into Heaven? And hath sat down on the right hand of God to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing. Wherefore, he advocateth the cause of the children of men. And he dwelleth eternally in the Heavens.
6 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased? Behold, I say unto you, nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, shewing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him; and by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the holy ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. And Christ hath said, If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said, Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
7 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case, that these things are true which I have spoken unto you — and God will shew unto you with power and great glory at the last day that they are true — and if they are true, have the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the holy ghost from them? Or will he so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold, I say unto you, nay. For it is by faith that miracles are wrought, and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, woe be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also, and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.
NC Moroni 10:3
3 And again I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many, and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered, but it is the same God who worketh all in all. And they are given by the manifestations of the spirit of God unto men to profit them. For behold, to one is given by the spirit of God that he may teach the word of wisdom, and to another that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same spirit, and to another exceeding great faith, and to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit; and again, to another that he may work mighty miracles; and again, to another that he may prophesy concerning all things; and again, to another the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; and again, to another all kinds of tongues; and again, to another the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the spirit of Christ, and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
NC Luke 10:3-5
3 …And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
4 In that day the disciple who shall be on the housetop and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away; and he who is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed, the one shall be taken and the other shall be left. Two shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken and the other left; two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left.
5 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord, shall they be taken? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is gathered, or in other words, wherever the saints are gathered, there will the eagles be gathered together, or there will the remainder be gathered together. This he spoke signifying the gathering of his saints and of angels descending and gathering the remainder unto them, the one from the bed, the other from the grinding, and the other from the field, wherever he wills.
NC Hebrews 1:2
2 … And of the angels he says, Angels are ministering spirits…Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
OC Genesis 3:13
13 And God cursed the earth with a severe curse and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made. For they would not listen unto His voice nor believe on His Only Begotten Son, even Him who He declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world. And thus the gospel began to be preached from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by His own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost. And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam by a holy ordinance, and the gospel preached, and a decree sent forth that it should be in the world until the end thereof. And thus it was, Amen.
OC Genesis 4:15
15 … And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven bearing testimony of the Father and of the Son. And the Holy Ghost fell on many and they were caught up by the Powers of Heaven into Zion.