• Anna Brooksby

BLOG: (April 25 - May 1) Exodus 24, 31-34, "Mine Angel Shall Go Before Thee"

I went to the temple to receive my endowments when I was 21 years old. I was not getting married or going on a mission, I just wanted to go, and I had been preparing for a long time, and the bishop and stake president who presided over my BYU ward and stake supported me in that decision. But there was still so much I didn’t know, and the night before I was to go through the temple, I was nervous. In my fear, I’m sure I prayed for help and comfort, and that night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was entering a room in the temple, and as I walked toward the front of the room, a woman sitting in the front row on the left side of the room turned back and smiled at me. It was my grandmother, whom I loved dearly and who had passed away a year and a half earlier. I remembered, in that moment, how much my grandmother had loved the temple, and I was comforted - I knew it could only be good, if a woman as pure and wonderful as she loved it so much. I went forward without fear, and the next day walked into the room I had seen in my dream, and sat next to an empty seat, the same seat I had seen my grandmother sitting in the night before. It was a testimony to me that God was with me, and that my grandmother was with me, and that I didn’t need to be afraid.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, in his talk The Ministry of Angels, said this:

From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children.

Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near.

Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times.

In the course of life all of us spend time in “dark and dreary” places, wildernesses, circumstances of sorrow or fear or discouragement.

But 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.

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 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.” (Moroni 7:36)

I never thought about that tender visit from my grandmother as something angelic. But looking back, I can see that it was one of those moments where I was ministered to in a way that “convey[ed] love and concern” for me and brought me comfort, and I believe she was my angel that night.

After the Israelites had met and covenanted with God at Mount Sinai, it was time for them to move forward into the Promised Land. They had already been through much that was wondrous and overwhelming, and I am sure that this movement forward into the unknown was just as overwhelming as those other experiences had been. But they didn’t have to do it alone. The Lord told Moses that He would prepare the way for them, and they would have angelic help.

Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee

And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

And I will send an angel before thee

(Exodus 32:34 & 33:1-2, emphasis added)

Have you ever been in a place like this, ready to embark into the unknown, knowing it was right, but still a little bit (or a lot) afraid? Just as the Lord promised the angel to go before the Israelites, we can ask for angels to accompany us on our individual journeys. As a wise woman I know recently posted to her Instagram account, “Ask for angels. Ask for them by name. You have loved ones on the other side who want to help strengthen you.” (Source) I believe this.

Elder Holland encouraged us to “believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: ‘I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.’”

I believe, as the familiar song goes, there are “angels among us.” Sometimes we will see them, and sometimes we won’t, but we can always know that God sees us, He knows our hopes and our fears, and He will always send heavenly help - from one side of the veil or the other - when we call upon Him in faith.

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