Key to the Ministery of Angels


You will recall that in these next few Un-Blogs we are defining a journey into righteousness. The first few steps we have covered over and over, which is that we become obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit, which is the voice of Christ in our souls.

Any person, no matter where they are in their journey, who hearkens to the voice of the Holy Spirit will develop faith in Christ, and will repent and be baptized. Almost all of what we have spoken through these last few months has been to define these initial steps. It does not matter if these steps are being taken by an investigator, or by a life-long member. The point is that they always bring us here. Even when a person is baptized at eight years old, eventually they must come unto Christ through the discipleship of obedience, repent and claim the promised cleansing of baptism.

The Aaronic priesthood administers the initiatory ordinance of baptism. Once within the gospel embrace, we grow until we have powerful faith and an inspired understanding of the gospel. Since Angels are now waiting until we have strong faith and firm mind to begin to appear to us in order to complete the covenants of the Father (Moroni 7), one must become a member of the restored gospel to qualify for the ministering of angels. Thus, in the right to perform baptisms, the Aaronic priesthood holds the key to their ministry. Or, stated in familiar language, the Aaronic priesthood holds the key to the ministering of angels. (JS History 1:69)

When we, by obedience to principles of the gospel, gain a strong faith in Christ, and a “firm mind in every form of godliness,” (Moroni 7:30) then the angels begin to “fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father” (Moroni 7:31) even showing themselves unto us if necessary.

The angels wait for us to acquire “a firm mind in every form of godliness,” so we can begin to understand and claim the greater blessings which flow from the “covenants of the Father” which they are working to accomplish in our lives.

Elder McConkie gave us a wonderful description of this same process.

“After the true saints receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost; after they know how to attune themselves to the voice of the Spirit; after they mature spiritually so that they see visions, work miracles, and entertain angels; after they make their calling and election sure and prove themselves worthy of every trust—after all this and more—it becomes their right and privilege to see the Lord and commune with him face to face.” (The Promised Messiah, pp.575)

What may remain to be said is that angels actually do minister today, and we are those to whom they minister.

In the case of Enoch and his people, their present ministry is to be angels to those who are heirs of the Terrestrial order, which order is their present state.

Joseph Smith noted of Enoch and his people:

“Their place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 170-71)

Thus, they are ministering to people who are heirs of the same terrestrial order they now enjoy. Or in other words, they are laboring to bring people to the same state of translated life and labor they presently enjoy.

Elder Orson Pratt noted:

“they have been ministering angels during all that time. To whom? To those of the terrestrial order, if you can understand that expression. . . . he granted to the people of Enoch their desire to become ministering spirits unto those of the terrestrial order until the earth should rest and they should again return to it.” (Journal of Discouses, 17: 148 – 149)

In other words, they are laboring among, and with, those who will become citizens of the latter-day Zion. According to Moroni 7:29-30 quoted above, those to whom the angels from Enoch’s Zion minister are those among us who are of a “strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness”. These are the future inhabitants of Zion.

We learn in the temple that angels perform a vital function in the relationship of God and man. We may ascertain that, among many other things, they carry out assignments, deliver messages, report on their labors, check to ensure covenants are being kept, and deliver greater light and knowledge when we qualify for it. The also appear when the situation warrants it, either in or outside of their true identity.

So, we look around and think, I don’t recall seeing any angels. Where are they? Why haven’t I seen them?

First of all, we understand that most angelic labors are not performed visibly. Elisha had to pray to the Lord so that his servant could see the angels protecting Elisha. When his eyes were opened, he saw that “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17)

We also observe in the temple that angels are often sent with instructions to conceal their true identity. These are the “holy men” working among us that we “know not of.” (D&C 49:8) The scriptures are full of angels doing marvelous works occasionally in plain view, but largely invisible to mortals.

29 And because he [Christ] hath done this, [ascended into heaven] my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. (Moroni 7:29-30, comments added)

These examples are sufficient to suggest that most angelic works are performed behind the scenes, away from seeing mortals. The scriptures also plainly tell us that we can and will see them when our faith is strong, and our mind (suggesting our doctrinal understanding) is firm in every form of godliness.

Could it also be that belief plays a powerful role in whether or not we see heavenly visitors and visions also? Consider this account of Joseph inviting two brethren to join him in a vision.

Brother Joseph then said, “Now brethren, we will see some visions.” Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened . . . (Zebedee Coltrin, Remarks, Salt Lake City School of Prophets, 11 October 1883, Writings of Early Latter-day Saints 66.)

The astonishing element of this account is that Joseph was so proactive about it. He didn’t just wait for angels to appear, he just went and did it, and he invited two other brethren to join him in the vision. He had seen many angels, and it was well within his belief structure that he could do it again. The brethren had confidence in Brother Joseph, and they surely approached the experience with excitement and expectation, which is a manifestation of true belief.

It also has to be true that the Holy Spirit had planted the appropriateness of this action into Joseph’s heart, or he could not have approached it with sufficient faith to rend the veil. The unshakeable belief this event exhibits is astonishing.

The principle here is that it has to be true that most of having a “firm mind” on this subject of seeing angels is to believe that angels can, do, and will minister to us individually.  Without this underlying belief, it is unlikely we will have much cognizant interaction with angels.

We already have faith that angels have, do and will continue to work among mankind, and that they will appear from time to time. This we do believe. All that we lack is the belief that they will appear to us individually. The promises are given and we have sufficient faith – let us then rend the veil of unbelief and behold.

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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10 Responses to Key to the Ministery of Angels

  1. Dee says:

    I heard today of Johns passing and my heart swelled with joy for him. He now is freed from so many limitations he had here on this earth. His work in these times is now able to move forward on angels wings. I am glad for him! My Love goes to Terri his eternal companion for she is truly a Godly elect woman and her companionship with John is going to be even more powerful with his transitioning. There will be new things to learn working with him but she is a quick study I have learned that about her. She is so trusted by Father and I feel Gods confidence in her. Johns perfect match is Terri. When I was visiting her and John in there home in October I told her that the spirit shared with my heart that I was coming to visit her as much as John for they were both moving forward together in his transition through the veil. I don’t know what that all means but I could feel ministering angles with her strengthening her and teaching her new insights that will guide her through this next chapter. To Terri and her family I testify that you are in good hands and hearts. This time of sadness will turn into Joyful renewing of mission and vision. I have experienced much death in my life and it always has brought me closer to my heavenly parents, loved ones and to my mission. I leave this week to go to my Grandfather funeral who was a great example to me of enduring well. The last time we were together I read to him out of Johns last book and talked about all the work that was needed to be done on the other side of the veil to prepare for Christ return. He was excited to begin this work. He shared with me how my great grandfather came to him right after he died and was dressing in his Sunday best and said that he was very busy but just wanted him to know that all was well and he is about Fathers business there. Then about a month later her came to my grandfather dressing in his Temple whites and said that there was so much temple work to do before Christ coming that he is constantly about that work. He also shared that the earthly temples veils and heavenly veils and connected and that is where he worked. I read the part in Spencers experience that spoke to that and we cried together. I thank God for the gospel and the peace it brings. Love you John, Love you Terri and blessing to your family.

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  2. AdamB says:

    Anon-
    I recognize this reply is about 9 months too late. Nevertheless, I wanted to quickly respond to your beautiful experience (s). You are certainly blessed with an ability to see things of the spirit world more clearly than most. About the man you saw in church–this man DOES NOT have to be one of the three Nephites to be an angel. In fact, if you read the words of Joseph Smith by Ehat (found on ldsgospellink) you will see that Joseph Smith spent a considerable amount of time during the Nauvoo period learning about, then teaching, the difference between angels of light, angels of darkness, and just men made perfect. An angel of light can come to you in glory, or CAN COME TO YOU JUST LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. Believe me, I am looking for them most weeks in church and ALWAYS at the temple. I know of someone who sees them often. The difference between ANGELS and JUST MEN MADE PERFECT is that the former have the KNOWLEDGE to come to earth with a material body and the latter do not.
    Thank you for sharing your wondrous and sacred experiences.

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  3. Kim says:

    Dear Brother John, Thank you so very much for your words and your light. I cry through most of your blogs as the spirit testifies of truths spoken. I too have a firm testimony of the ministering of angels. I have had sacred experiences from a kind and loving Father. Your shared experiences have greatly blessed me, I thank you and would like to share one of mine with you.

    I have experienced much death and loss in my life. From this I have learned to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things. This experience happened during a time when I felt very alone and isolated. I was in need of a Priesthood blessing and did not have anyone to give me one. As I pondered this desire in my heart, I walked into my kitchen. It was morning, my children had just left for school, so I was alone in my home. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shinning in through the window onto my kitchen table. I felt the desire to go sit in the warmth of the sun. As I sat down a sacred and reverent feeling overcame me. I folded my arms and bowed my head, as I did so, I felt hands placed upon my head. I knew that I was receiving a blessing. My mind could not hear the words spoken, but my spirit felt the words and my heart rejoiced. It brought me great comfort and peace.

    We are never alone, we have a loving and merciful Father. Angels do administer to us today, through faith we will receive.

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  4. ananymous says:

    Brother John, I would like to tell you some of my own experiences concerning the ministering of angels. I wouldn’t be offended at all if you don’t post this on your blog. In fact I might be more comfortable if you didn’t, but it’s your call.

    When I was a young man, in my mid-twenties, I had an angel appear to me. The angel was a young woman (I now think that it could have been the second of my three daughters). The angel was beautiful with blond hair and wore a white dress. She appeared in a ball of light, or the light surrounded her but didn’t cast light on the surrounding area, but was gathered around her. I know that at that time of my life I wasn’t worthy, in the way that you describe, to receive such a visit. Later I changed my life and married in the temple and have maintained a temple recommend since. A few years ago I became a temple worker. On a couple of occasions I have been privileged to hear the audible voice of the person whose work was being done. On other occasions in the temple I have heard a voice clearly and unmistakably speak to my mind warning me of problems that I needed to be aware of in my family. Once I have felt the touch of an unseen hand on my chest that stopped me in mid stride and prevented something awful from happening to me. I don’t want to go into very much detail because these are very personal to me. I’m not relating these experiences to boast about having them but to let you know something about what my experience with the ministering of angels before relating the reason for my post. I don’t think that I am any more righteous than the average member of my ward. I haven’t held any conspicuous positions or accomplished any notable works.

    What follows is one of the most interesting things that I’ve experienced. About three to four months ago I noticed a man who attended our Sunday school class. It was his first time in our ward as far as I know. He was alone and apparently wasn’t visiting relatives or friends in the ward. He seemed to be about sixty with black but slightly thinning hair. He didn’t seem to be distinguished in dress, appearance or manner in a way that would attract attention. He sat just in front of me and one seat to the left. It seemed odd that the teacher didn’t ask him to introduce himself. Our Sunday school class never lets a visitor get by without an introduction. He came the next two weeks and sat in about the same spot each Sunday and each time without an invitation from the class to introduce himself. I decided to talk to him on the third week. My mind was full of questions. Why are you here alone? (most visitors come with relatives or friends). Where are you from? Where do you stay when you are here? Why did you pick our ward to visit? I said hello and then all of the questions I had in mind seemed to be too intrusive to ask. We talked a little but I can’t remember what I said or what he said. He didn’t come the next Sunday or the Sunday after that. I didn’t think that I would see him again. About two months had passed when I started thinking about this man again for no apparent reason. All kinds of questions started filling my mind about him. Why would he be in a ward in the middle of suburbia with no one to visit? If he were a business man wouldn’t he attend a ward somewhere near a hotel? Why didn’t people seem to notice him? As far as I can remember aren’t I the only one in the ward he ever talked to? Why can’t I remember our conversation? Is he just a lonely traveler or someone far more mysterious. Could this be one of the three…? No,no I’m letting my imagination run wild because I’ve been reading John’s experiences. I took the question to the Lord in prayer and didn’t feel a response. So I asked the Lord, “if this man is one of the translated angels that John talks about and if I should know about it then can you have him come back to our ward again?” I didn’t really mean the very next Sunday – just sometime in the near future, whatever would be convenient for him… But the next Sunday I sat in my usual seat just as the class was starting. When I looked to the front of the class there he was, setting across the isle and one row in front of me. He was too far away for a conversation. The instructor asked if there were any visitors and looked around the class room. When the instructor glanced my way I stared right at our visitor but I didn’t dare say, “ask him, ask him who he is”. The instructor didn’t notice him. I had a thought. I would follow him out after class and try to talk to him alone just to make sure that I wasn’t mistaking some lonely stranger for a translated being. During the class, in following along with the lesson, I was looking down at the hand-out when I heard a movement from across the isle like someone moving in a chair. when I looked up – no more than a second or two later – the visitor was gone. I didn’t hear the classroom door open. I looked back to see if it was in the process of closing but it was completely closed. It should have been still closing if some one had just gone out. The awful thing is that I was still not positive about his identity – mortal?, translated? Was my mind playing tricks on me? But then why would a regular visitor come to a Sunday school class if he had something else so pressing that he would be obliged to leave ten or fifteen minutes into the lesson? I immediately got up and went out. I checked the halls and looked outside to see if he might be using a cell phone just outside the door but couldn’t find him anywhere. For me, I’m satisfied about the answer concerning his mortality or immortality, but I guess I’m not positive enough to swear to what that to my conclusion to someone else. Maybe I’ll see him again and it will all be resolved.

    I’m not really sure about the purpose of it all but I think that if the Lord were to permit me a visit from a translated being that it has to do mostly with my reading your books. Last summer I found your book “Following the Light of Christ Into His Presence” at Amazon.com. I read it twice. I then googled “John Pontius” and found your website. There I found your new book “The Triumph of Zion”. I read it twice. My bosom burned within the entire time that I was reading your books and I felt the truth of the things that you taught. I felt that my feet had been set on a path that my heart had longed for and I thought that the power of this experience would never leave me. However as time passed I begin to have doubts. I would try to pray about these doubts but my prayers didn’t seem to reach heaven. No matter how much I prayed and fasted I didn’t seem to feel the burning that I had experienced. When I would try to read the books again I couldn’t focus and I didn’t feel the same inspiration that I felt before. I disparately prayed that I could know what it was that I was doing wrong but didn’t seem to get an answer. It was during this experience that I first saw the stranger in Sunday school class. I believe this was Heavenly Father’s way of showing his tender mercy during a difficult trial. Just writing this letter fills me with gratitude for all of the tender mercies of our Father in Heaven shown me throughout my life.

    Thanks John for your valiant testimony and your great and important work in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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  5. O Kay says:

    Today’s blog on the ministry of angels is very helpful and enlightening. My question is: Why would an angel appear to me? I’m not important.

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    • unblogmysoul says:

      You were important enough be reserved for the greatest dispensation of all time. You are important enough to be temple worthy, and to be a beacon of light in this world. And, you are important enough that the Holy Spirit is walking you down this path of light. I’d say you are very important. My question is, why wouldn’t an angel appear when it is time. The Temple teaches us that they are very involved in preparing us for the blessings we seek.

      Brother John

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  6. K-Jo says:

    This is one of the most clear descriptions of the ministering of angels that I have heard. Thank you. Hope you are feeling well, Brother John.

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  7. Christie says:

    I look forward to your blog every day Brother John. Today you made what I’ve wanted to be true so clear and logical, but I still have a few questions. You said, “one must become a member of the restored gospel to qualify for the ministering of angels.” Are you referring to the covenant work the angels do for the father? Because I thought everyone has guardian angels.
    Does the phrase, “a firm mind in every form of godliness” mean firm in the belief that angels will minister to me?
    Thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re feeling well enough to write again.

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    • unblogmysoul says:

      Christie,

      Yes, I am referring to having angels sent to you to do the covenant work of the Father. I am sure there are other angels doing other things. “A firm mind in every form of godliness” includes belief in angels, but is broader than that. It is that we understand, the full Gospel by the gift of revelation, and that we are firm, we don’t need to be propped up and encouraged. We have become Captain Moroni’s in our own world.

      Brother John

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