Have Angels Ceased to Minister?



One of the “Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Family Home Evening” in the December 7-13, 2020 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families lesson suggests that “family members could talk about miracles they have witnessed or other ways they have seen God’s hand in their lives.” To start such a discussion, we are encouraged to read, “Have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men” (Moroni 7:29).

The ministering of angels is an important doctrine because it has the potential to unlock the spiritual power from Christ in our lives. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated: “I believe we need to speak of and believe in and bear testimony of the ministry of angels more than we sometimes do” (“For a Wise Purpose,” Ensign, Jan. 1996).

Angels Speak by the Power of the Holy Ghost and Our Faith

I believe angelic ministering is already happening in our lives much more than we might realize. As Nephi testified, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3). How do we really play a part in opening greater angelic ministry in our lives so that we can “lay hold upon every good thing, and … be a child of Christ”? (Moroni 7:19).

Jesus and child

In his inspired sermon, Mormon explains that the blessing of the ministering of angels cannot be received unless there is faith: “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 wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.”(Moroni 7:37; italics added).

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared: “If you live up to your privilege, the angels will not be able to be restrained from being your associates” (Daughters in My Kingdom, p. 169). This suggests our faithful actions can influence angelic involvement, just as our agency influences other blessings of the Spirit.

Praying and Keeping Covenants Bring Spiritual Power

One simple but sometimes overlooked way to act on our faith is to pray for angels to assist us. When Sister Wendy Watson Nelson learned this principle, after listening to Elder Holland’s general conference talk “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul” (Ensign, May 2010), she wrote “I wanted to call out, ‘Wait! Wait! What? You mean I could have been asking for angels to help me all this time?’ Without intending to sound too dramatic, I can say with all candor that Elder Holland’s six words changed my life: Ask for angels to help you’” (Covenant Keepers: Unlocking the Miracles God Wants for You [2016], p.28).

Missionaries praying

As well as praying for angelic help, keeping our covenants will unlock the power of ministering angels in our lives. When we keep our covenants—and continually repent when we don’t—angels can more fully bless us. Mormon taught that angels minister according to this principle: “the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance … after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men” (Moroni 7:31-32). Angels can help us to repent, keep covenants, and bring us increased spiritual power.

Blessing Sacrament

This ongoing process is assisted by worthily partaking of the sacrament. The sacrament is usually administered to us through holders of the Aaronic priesthood “which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance” (Doctrine and Covenants 13:1; italics added). Keeping our sacramental covenants brings us increased spiritual power.

Family History, Temple Work, and Angelic Ancestors

Another way we can more fully invite ministering angels into our life is through family history and temple work. President Joseph F. Smith taught, “When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow servants” (Gospel Doctrine: Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, [1986], 435).

The Lord declared that the prophet Elijah “shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (3 Nephi 25:6; Malachi 4:6). The hearts of the children turning to the fathers/parents is demonstrated through family history research and temple work on this side of the veil.


But what of the parents’/ancestors’ hearts turning to their children? Joseph F. Smith testified regarding angelic messengers that “their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves” (Conference Report, Apr. 1916, 3). Our angelic ancestors are turning their hearts to us.

How vital is this ministering of our angel ancestors? “They without us cannot be made perfect, and we without them cannot be made perfect” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:15). Joseph Smith explained: “How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah … [who] shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, [2007], 313).

Elder Holland taught, “I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself” (“The Ministry of Angels”). It is no wonder that we have been promised spiritual blessings when we participate in family history and temple work.

Applying These Principles to Everyday Life

As I have become more aware of and exercised faith in this principle of ministering angels, I have discovered emotional and physical strength beyond my own ability to summon. I especially needed this strength while I was isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic with my four young sons. My husband had been tasked to develop and implement a medical plan for symptomatic homeless individuals in our city who had no way to self-isolate. At the same time, he was navigating the rapidly changing health situation as a local church leader.

Mosaico Family

When I pondered our life challenges, my mind was turned to my angel ancestors. I was reminded that they also encountered trials of all kinds. I felt that they were close to me and understood me and my problems intimately. They know me and care for me. When I remember and act on these principles taught by Mormon and Moroni, I have greater capacity than ever before to be who I want to be and to do what I am called to do.

Jesus Christ

Do we believe in ministering angels? Let us act on this belief by seeking personal revelation. The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ restores man’s ability to access God’s power. It was meant to “Open wide the fount of Zion, [and] let her richest blessings flow” (“On This Day of Joy and Gladness,” Hymns, no. 64). 

As we more fully access the power of angels in our daily lives, President Russell M. Nelson states, “And then you will understand the deep meaning of words we sing in the hymn ‘The Spirit of God’ (Hymns, no. 2) … ‘The veil o’er the earth is beginning to burst’” (“Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2017).