Friday, December 19, 2014

How Angels Have Touched My Life

I have a firm testimony of the reality of angels.  I know that they have lifted me while I've struggled through life, both in regards to my same-sex attraction and to daily trials.

We have been taught that "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they teach the words of Christ.  Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3).

Many people, when reading this scripture, latch onto the idea that Christ's teachings will show us the way in which we should conduct ourselves (which it of course does!).  However, in relation to angels, this scripture has a special meaning to me.

I have wondered how angels communicate with us mortals.  In the scriptures they described as messengers who majestically appear and speak with fiery tongues.  I haven't met anyone who has recounted a personal experience with such a heavenly being.  However, Nephi gives us an insight into how angels speak to us individually: "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost." I could be wrong (but I don't feel that I am), but it seems to me that the Holy Ghost in this case is a vehicle through which these heavenly messengers reach out to us, like a bridge between two dimensions.  Because they speak the words of Christ, angels speak pure truth, therefore qualifying their use of the Spirit.

In addition to my musings as to how angels communicate with us, I have also often considered why angels would speak to me and how to invite them to do so.  In regards to this idea, I am reminded of multiple conference talks which teach that our ancestors plead on our behalf while others prompt us to do their family history work.  While I don't comprehend the entire sum of capabilities which these beings possess, I doubt that their ability to pray has been inhibited by their mortal deaths or lack of earthly experience.  I believe that their prayers are considered by our Heavenly Father just as ours are.

My testimony of this idea has grown as I have invested in family history work.  Shortly after I returned from my mission, I felt plunged into a dark and confusing time.  I was not as close to the Spirit as I had been on my mission and made subsequent mistakes.  However, I felt prompted to begin working on our family history as we had been promised blessings for helping our deceased ancestors through vicarious ordinances.

It was very slow at first and can still be frustrating to this day, but I felt assisted in my efforts.  Within a year of my being home, I had indexed over 3,000 names and prepared over 700 of my own relatives for work in the temple.  Because the massive amount of names that I now feel responsible for receiving ordinances for, I have gone to the temple once a week (sometimes more, sometimes less) since I've been home.

As I have made the temple a consistent part of my schedule, it seems that the Lord has penciled me into His schedule as well!  I hear the voices of these ancestors reminding me to do their work, occasionally even prompting me as to where to look for crucial information in regards to their families.

By doing family history and temple work, I can seriously feel the love of hundreds of beings on the other side of the veil.  I feel their prayers.  I feel their gaze as they watch over me.

I believe that there are other ways to invite angels into our lives, but I know that this is a certain method.  While my same-sex attraction often saps my spiritual and emotional strength, I now with surety that there are forces beyond my sight that are sharing the weight of my cross.

I invite you to do what you can (be patient with yourself) to open yourself up to the voices of these angels.  Even if you at this time are unable to enter the temple, prepare yourself and make necessary changes in your life to allow yourself that opportunity.  Without a temple recommend, you can still do the necessary research to enable your ancestors to enter the celestial kingdom, for which they will be eternally grateful and will pray for your prosperity.

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