Sunday, August 2, 2015

Angels to Watch Over You

One winter a few years ago my wife and I had to drive to Salt Lake City. It was a snowy day and we waited until the snow stopped to go. Finally, we left and as we traveled the snow packed roads there were many cars that slid off the road and were stranded. We finally made it to Salt Lake City and thought we were safe. As I was changing lanes I hit the slush that was between the lanes and we started spinning. There were cars on both sides of us and we could see the looks of terror as we started spinning in circles. I am not sure why things seem to be in slow motion at times like this but it was. We spun around several time crossing three lanes of traffic and just before hitting the guard rail in the middle, we started spinning back across the lanes in the other direction and finally came to rest just off the outside lane. We did not hit anyone or anything. The only thing wrong with the car was one of the hub caps broke off. We sat there a few minutes thinking of what we just went through. I turned to my wife and said, I think we ran over a lot of angels just now. I could imagine them pushing the other cars out of the way and keeping us as well as the others out of harm. We really felt blessed.

Have you ever felt the presence of guardian angels? I would be interested in your experiences. You can share them in the comment section below. The Lord has promised us:

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)

There have been other times that I have felt the presence of someone unseen with me. One time while I lay in a hospital bed with my family not knowing whether I would live or die, I woke up to the sound of someone calling my name, but no one was there. I felt the assurance that Heavenly Father was aware of me and that all would be well. Jeffrey R. Holland bore this witness of angels that watch over us:

“My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.”  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.” (“The Ministry of Angels”, Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, October 2008)

This past April Conference Elder Holland shared another example of someone that reached down and helped someone from death. He spoke of two brothers that were rock climbing and came to a ledge that they were not able to get around. The older brother was able to boost the younger one over the ledge to the top but he was not able to get over it. Exhausted he knew he had to try to jump to the top. If he was successful, he would live if not he would certainly fall to his death. He jumped with all the energy he had and grabbed for something to hold onto, but there was nothing. He knew he would not be able to hold on and death was coming. Suddenly two hands grabbed his, it was his little brother and he helped him to safety. Elder Holland said:

“My beloved brothers and sisters, today is Easter Sunday. Although we should always remember (we promise in our weekly sacramental prayers that we will), nevertheless this is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins. Against the background of this story reported by John and Jimmy’s family, I express my gratitude for the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledge events in the divine plan of God that led up to and give meaning to “the love Jesus offers [us].” (“Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet”, Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, April 2015).

What a blessing it is to know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be saved from certain death. Our older brother reaches down through time to grasp us and lift us to everlasting life. The gift is not free, just as John had to use all his energy and attempt to jump to safety, so we must with all our might, mind and strength love the Lord and our Heavenly Father by keeping their commandments. Only then can the Savior’s loving grasp raise us up from our sins and pull us to safety.

Once we have been rescued we must also reach down and pull others up and out of sin and lives of selfishness. We become the Lord’s angels who reach out and protect others who are struggling and need our help. The Lord has asked us to leave the ninety and nine and go out and find the lost sheep and once we find them we must feed them and nourish them until they too are strong enough to reach out as guardian angels to rescue others.

Your questions and comments are welcome.

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