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Stories are told around the world of persons who have received help or comfort from someone they couldn't see—an angel or spirit who guided them or in some other way gave them assistance from beyond the veil.
But just who are these angels? Are they even real?
Although angels are a vital part of Latter-day Saint history and doctrine, their roles and purposes are often misunderstood. In this inspiring volume, author Donald W. Parry discusses in a clear and understandable way what we can learn from the scriptures and from modern prophets and apostles about angels and their missions.
Here you will find answers to such questions as the following:
- What are angels?
- What powers and abilities are angels given?
- How do angels communicate with mortals?
- What are the assigned missions and roles of angels?
- How do angels reveal truth and teach the doctrines of the gospel?
- How do angels minister to and comfort mortals?
- What is the role of guardian angels in the modern world?
When just the thought of someone watching out for us can give us hope in challenging times, to realize that angels minister light, love, and power to us, whether we are aware of them or not, gives us unparalleled understanding, comfort, and peace.
WHAT OTHER AUTHORS ARE SAYING
"Fascinating! The most comprehensive treatment of angels I've ever seen—carefully researched and beautifully written."
"Faith-promoting ... a veritable treasure trove. This is a book that I will refer to often not only in my teaching but also personally when I need comfort and inspiration."
—Brent L. Top
"Never before has anyone produced such a complete and well-documented volume on the ministering of angels."
- Size: 6" x 9"
- Pages: 272
- Year Published: 2013
About the Author
Donald W. Parry, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brigham Young University holds the Abraham O. Smoot Professorship. For nearly twenty years he has served as a member of the prestigious international team of translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books and numerous articles on the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has coauthored with his brother, Jay A. Parry, several books for Latter-day Saints, including Understanding Isaiah, Understanding the Signs of the Times, and most recently, Symbols and Shadows: Unlocking a Deeper Understanding of the Atonement. Brother Parry, who has served in the Church as a bishop, a temple worker, and high councilor, is a popular speaker at BYU Education Week. He and his wife, Camille Parry, are the parents of six children.
I believe we need to speak of and believe in and bear testimony of the ministry of angels more than we sometimes do. —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
An angel from another sphere came to planet Earth, our modest little planet in a vast assembly of galaxies and constellations; he came to a young prophet who lived in a humble home near an inconspicuous village. This angel knew where Joseph Smith lived, he spoke English, and he knew Joseph’s name. Moreover, this angel apparently did not enter through a door or window; he stood “in the air,” wore a robe of “most exquisite whiteness,” and filled the room with light until it was “lighter than at noonday.” This angel’s “whole person was glorious beyond description.” Furthermore, he cited scriptures from ancient prophets from our very own planet Earth. This angel’s name was Moroni (an unusual name to a frontier boy). Moroni’s exit from the Prophet’s home was as dramatic as his entry. After delivering his message, he ascended in “a conduit open right up into heaven” (Joseph Smith–History 1:30–33, 36–41, 43).
Who was this angel? He was God’s messenger, sent from God’s presence. When did he make his appearance? On a September 21, 1823.
How remarkable and how wonderful is this account, which is not only captivating but also sacred. It makes me joyful and draws me closer to my Heavenly Father. Who is not spiritually affected when reading this account with an open heart?
On account of his visits to Joseph Smith, this angel is well-known to Latter-day Saints and others. A statue representing Moroni stands prominently on top of scores of LDS temples throughout the world. Book of Mormon introductory pages feature the account of Moroni’s visits to Joseph Smith—and millions of copies of the Book of Mormon have been distributed among many peoples and nations. Tens of thousands of full-time missionaries have testified to investigators regarding Moroni’s visits to Joseph Smith. I, too, have testified, again and again, to many individuals, families, and groups of the truth of Moroni’s visit to Joseph.
Another scriptural passage about an angel affected me so greatly that I memorized it when I was a teenager: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven” (Revelation 14:6). Many Church leaders have associated this passage with Moroni. President Gordon B. Hinckley, for example, said plainly: “John the Revelator ‘saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people’ (Revelation 14:6). That angel has come. His name is Moroni.”
Revelation 14:6Revelation 14:6
Other scriptural passages about angels have also influenced me—the angel who saved Daniel from peril when he was cast to the lions; the angel who appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus; and the angel John the Baptist, who restored the Aaronic Priesthood.
Angels play a prominent part in the Lord’s plan of salvation in all dispensations, and our own dispensation is no exception. In fact, our dispensation has been a period of extraordinary angelic activity. Joseph Smith received dozens of communications from angels. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored, in part, through angels’ imparting revelations and truths to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
In our own dispensation, prophets and apostles have testified of the eminence and considerable standing of angels. Church authorities in all the years since Joseph Smith have taught a great deal about angels. During the decades since 1971, general conference speakers have referred to angels or cited scriptures about angels more than fourteen hundred times. Church leaders have also referred to angels in other settings; those teachings are published in the Ensign magazine, Conference Reports, and other official Church publications. These teachings have blessed me in numerous ways, because they instruct me regarding the momentous activities of angels among mortals.Ensign
When we talk about such angels as Moroni or John the Baptist, we often think of the early days of the . . . Restoration and of . . . individuals such as Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. In other words, we may consider that we who live in the twenty-first century are far removed from such angelic activities. But let’s put the matter on a personal level. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote these significant words: “One of the things that will become more important in our lives the longer we live is the reality of angels, their work and their ministry. I refer here not alone to the angel Moroni but also to those more personal ministering angels who are with us and around us, empowered to help us and who do exactly that.”
I love those words, uttered by one of the Lord’s special witnesses. They speak directly to me. Without a doubt there are “personal ministering angels,” as Elder Holland testifies. They are “with us and around us.” And they are “empowered to help us.”
Now, in the present day, during our mortal probation, angels personally affect each one of us who partakes of the blessings of the gospel because they restored priesthood keys and rights that enable us to receive various ordinances, including the blessings of baptism, the sacrament, temple marriage, and the sealing of families. Also, because of these priesthood keys, which were restored by angels, we derive untold spiritual benefits from receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, because of the divine work of angels in this dispensation—
- We are privileged to have the Book of Mormon.
- Our little children sometimes enjoy unique spiritual privileges.
- Angels may administer love, comfort, or peace to us.
- Angels may communicate with us through a visitation, a voice, by thoughts, by feelings, or in other ways.
- Angels are coworkers with us in missionary service.
- Angels assist us as we conduct work for the dead.
- Angels conduct divine work among the nations in our day, in preparation for the Second Coming.
- Angels will accompany Jesus Christ at his second coming.
- And there is much more.
In sum, angelic activities in this dispensation have personal application to each one of us who is sincerely seeking to live the gospel.
It is my testimony that angels do exist, that they appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and that they were sent by the Lord to restore keys, rights, and authority to him. I testify also that the sacred work of angels continues in our own time. I am convinced that angels are at work among us now.
In depth very well documented!
by Customer - reviewed on July 12, 2013
Everything you wanted to know about angels. Well reference to latter-day scripture. Answers questions I never knew I had! This a remarkable work that will be a treasured volume in my spiritual library.
I believe in Angels.
by Stephanie - reviewed on July 12, 2013
Angels may be seen or unseen, but angels are there. They may manifest in many different ways and while we often we feel like we are walking alone, they are there. Drawing on testimony of the prophets and apostles this book is filled with quotes from Latter-day leaders discussing the ministry of angels. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said, "In times of special need, He sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that Heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near." That is a comforting thought and one that Donald W. Parry focuses on throughout the book. We learn that some of the angels we read about or hear about are unique (angels with trumpets, or angels swords, etc) and hopefully none of us will ever need to be protected by angels in a lions den or fiery furnace, but angels are here. They are here right now! Visits from angels are not only instances that happened long ago and they are not unique to Biblical times. They are for today. You can have a better idea of what the ministering of angels looks like as you read through this book! Anyone can receive angelic communication, if it is Heavenly Fathers will, and maybe you already have and didn't recognize it for what it was. It has left me wondering if I have, I'll admit!
by Patrice - reviewed on August 15, 2013
Angles, is an enjoyable book to read. It is factual, spiritual, and an easy read. You know that it is truthful as you read it. It is well documented and foot noted.
by Marla - reviewed on June 29, 2013
As I read this book and understood better the role that angels play in my life, I felt inspired to live closer to the Spirit and recognize God's hand more fully in my life. Marla
You've got to read this one!
by Coralie - reviewed on June 16, 2013
Have you ever wondered if all the stories you hear about angels are real? This book gives wonderful insight to just how real angels are and what a huge part they play in our everyday lives. I have read the scriptures that talk about angels but never got the whole impression till this book put it all together for me. Great READ!
Angels are real!
by Customer - reviewed on July 13, 2013
We've long been intrigued with the existence angels. There have been accounts all throughout history, but not until now the has the subject matter been tackled so thoroughly. I jumped at the chance to read this book since I took Br. Parry's class on this subject last summer. I was not disappointed! The book expanded upon the class with scripture and other factual accounts of angel interactions. The chapters are divided into an easy study manner and explain so much that I didn't know. How blessed we are to have these messengers always around to help and instruct us. It struck me that they want us to succeed as much as God does. I feel that everyone will enjoy the read and benefit greatly from this book. Now I can hardly wait to add the hard bound book to my shelves. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review!
Wonderful account of angels their existence and mission.
by Heidi - reviewed on July 05, 2013
This book provides a wonderful look at angels, what they are, what they do, and their essential characteristics according to what we know from scriptural accounts and LDS general authorities. While much of the information covered I have read in other places it was great to find so many references and quotes and stories all in one place. I found the topic of angels a fascinating one and Parry addresses it in a clear, concise, and easy to understand way. If you find yourself interested in angels and their place in God's kingdom and work, I can heartily recommend this book.
Fact vs. Fiction
by Lisa - reviewed on July 10, 2013
Angels have long been a source of interest to mortals. Their images have been depicted in art for thousands of years. They have been included in songs and other writings for just as long. This book takes the chance to separate the myths from the facts by using scripture and other accounts of interactions with angels to teach some very interesting truths. It's an interesting chance to learn what you do and do not know about something we have all heard so much about. I loved the approach this book took. Each chapter was a fact about angels, and then the evidence was laid out in very clear fashion. A lot of the evidence is based on scripture with some more recent statements from LDS leaders added in. There are also other accounts, usually from early church leaders, to help give a fuller picture. Because everything is sourced so well, it's easy to figure out exactly where everything is coming from. This helps to give the reader a chance to search and ponder the things in the book. There were a lot of things to learn from this book, and I found it to be very entertaining while still being informative. Two things really stuck out with me while reading this. The first was it seems like many of us may have had interactions with angels unawares. How cool is that thought? It made me want to be nicer to everyone I meet as you just never know who you are talking to. The other thought was how loved we are. We are never left alone on the Earth. There are always so many people trying to help us get through this life, and this book offered some concrete proof of that. This is a book that I think many people will enjoy and feel lighter for having read it. Book provided for review.
by Justin - reviewed on July 12, 2013
I thought this book would be a nice refresher on angels - I figured I knew most of the stories in the scriptures and Church history. The first few pages were feeling like a Wikipedia article, but then came fascinating story after fascinating story of documented angelic visitations. Did you know that Orson Hyde taught there was a particular angel in charge of American history, including guiding Christopher Columbus? He "presides over the destinies of America". Highly recommended.
by Carrie - reviewed on August 04, 2013
Bro. Parry has done a thorough job researching angels throughout LDS scripture and history. Though I have always believed in angels, it was inspiring to be reminded of the specific stories in the scriptures and then to hear stories of the early saints, who clearly were blessed and protected by angels. My favorite part, though, was to read about the promises of help from angels that is available to us today, especially as we march forward to the time of the Second Coming. Certainly, angels are ready and waiting to assist in that great day and I was comforted to find that includes protecting and helping us as the world grows less safe. I appreciate Bro. Parry taking the time to write this book. It has strengthened my desire to live worthy of those blessings.
We are so not alone!
by Viola - reviewed on July 01, 2013
This was an excellent read. While originally expecting something quite different, the further I read, the more I appreciated how comprehensive the material was, while sticking to scriptural and mainstream LDS historical sources, so I could trust what I was learning. The repeatedly overwhelming impression I had was that we are so loved and cared for by so many on the other side of the veil whose influence we either do not notice or take for granted. I came to appreciate more deeply the role of angels in very personal ways (inspiring me to be a better person and a better visiting teacher - in my opinion the earthly reflection of the heavenly program, although that's not from the book) that brought emotion and confirmation, as well as the role of angels in providing the blessings of the gospel I so enjoy. This book has given me courage to go forward in my life's missions knowing the support around me is vast.
by Shauna - reviewed on July 10, 2013
Have you ever thought about angels? More specifically what powers do they have and how do they help us? Find answers to these and many other questions about angels in the marvelous book! Read stories and scriptures of people who have seen and been helped by angels. Learn what prophets and apostles have to say on the subject of angels. My favorite chapter was the one that tells how angels can help us overcome addictions, help us gain confidence, and help us during trials and severe hardships. They are there to help bear us up! I loved this quote: "Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make sure that includes your own home or apartment, dictating the kind of art, music, and literature you keep there. If you are endowed, go to the temple as often as your circumstances allow. Remember that the temple arms you with God's power...puts His glory round about you, and gives His angels...charge over you." We are told that angels are continually surrounding us... If we are in tune we will feel their light, love and power!
A thorough exposition an a topic often misunderstood
by Zach - reviewed on August 12, 2013
In ecclesiastical settings, angels are often referenced but seldom explained. It seems as though with angels, there are always more questions than answers. Who are angels? Do they have bodies? Wings? What do they wear? Are all angels men? What is their purpose? Where do they come from? What does "ministering of angels" mean? Dr. Parry answers these questions and many, many more in his well-researched, easy-to-understand work. As the topic of angels is often shrouded in mystery and supposition, in a book that purports to explain them, it would be easy to get drawn into speculation and conjecture. Dr. Parry avoids areas of uncertainty and keeps his conclusions well grounded in scripture, sermons, and scholarship. And because the entire work is well documented, additional personal research is facilitated by frequent footnotes. Although aimed at LDS readers and based in LDS theology, Angels includes enough biblical source material (and Dr. Parry's conclusions are not inconsistent with biblical passages) to also be of worth to the broader Christian world.
by David - reviewed on August 27, 2013
Very thorough treatment of the topic as sourced from the scriptures and General Authority talks primarily. Tended to be repetitive as the same stories could and were presented under different chapter headings. Disappointed there weren't more stories of angels involved in the lives of average folks instead of just prophets and apostles (although some explanations are offered).
by Heather - reviewed on July 25, 2013
" I started reading Angels on the way home from a long road trip and was so enthralled I began to read it aloud to my husband. Never before have I been enlightened by such a collection of brand new truths. Angels is by far the most interesting non-fiction book I've picked up in a very long time. I've always believed in angels and have felt the presence of those I love who have gone before and others whom I've never met close by during important times of my life. I have felt sustained, lifted, loved mourned with, comforted and encircled. To know more about who these angels are, from whence they come and what powers they possess is incredible. Brother Parry has well researched and cited many stories from the scriptures and apostles lives that illustrate how angels are working miracles in our day and time. He teaches the types, ranks, and superhuman traits of angels. He shows us how living divine like mortals can be angels in our every day lives. Parry's writing is clear, deep and touching. I would buy Angels for myself and as a gift for all I know. And, I really hope an audio version is released soon so I can listen to it again and again to drink in all I learned. It is just absolutely packed with new doctrine.