Are There Angels Anymore?

By: Bonnie
June 3, 2012

“Well, you look about the kind of angel I’d get. Sort of a fallen angel, aren’t you? What happened to your wings?” George Bailey snidely remarks to the affable stranger Clarence.

“I haven’t won my wings, yet. That’s why I’m called an Angel Second Class. I have to earn them. And you’ll help me will you?” Clarence intently pleads.

George looks at him in exhaustion and says sarcastically, “Sure, sure. How?”

“By letting me help you.”

“I know one way you can help me. You don’t happen to have 8,000 bucks on you?”

“No, we don’t use money in Heaven.”

“Well, it comes in real handy down here, bud!”

I’ve always loved It’s a Wonderful Life, perhaps for the feel of a bygone day, perhaps because we can unapologetically assert that every life does have meaning. After several discussions lately, however, I wonder how we feel about Clarence, this unrefined angel-in-training.

Our faith is founded upon a series of visits by various angels, or beings who have lived on this earth and completed their mortal experience. First Jehovah, then Moroni (several times), John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, Elias, Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, Enoch, possibly more. It stretches the imagination of many moderns to consider such a permeable veil around the earth. Indeed, as one commenter noted, at times the claim of visitation of supernatural beings was sufficient to get one committed. We could spend a great deal of time on why it is less believable now than a couple of centuries ago, but today I’m wondering if it is believable at all.

Our record of previous eras, the scriptural record at least, is rife with examples of angelic visitation. Abraham was visited by three angels, which may or may not have included Jehovah, but he seems to have visited the Father of the Faithful at other times. Mary was surprised by Gabriel.

Zacharias saw an angel in the temple and several women saw angels at Jesus’ tomb. In the Book of Mormon, both the wicked and the righteous saw angels: Laman and Lemuel were only temporarily affected by their experience, but Nephi, Lehi, and the brother of Jared were enobled and taught through theirs.

Alma and his friends, like Paul, were rescued from lives of persecution to become advocates for the cause. Peter, James, and John were empowered while in the cause by visits from several beings, as were Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris – for the former it was a permanent transition, and for the latter it lacked staying power. Mary Whitmer was shown the gold plates by an angel, apparently merely as a reward for her persevering faith.

In the decades following his passing, several prophets spoke of visits from Joseph Smith, in visions as well as dreams. He had various messages to bring, from clarifying church procedure on sealing blessings to imparting comfort and counsel to leaders filling his shoes. A few selected prophets have discussed visions or appearances of the Savior, but nothing very specific for nearly a century. While discussions of revelation and the need for it have continued with increased regularity, few people discuss supernatural experiences publicly.

Within western culture, almost whimsically, the idea of post-mortals visiting for our welfare is restricted to science fiction, with their completely acceptable appearance nested in a tale of otherworldliness that has already anesthetized the reader’s or viewer’s skepticism. Like the popular comic created in the latter part of the twentieth century by Bill Keane in which his family circus was often kept intact by the exhaustive efforts of a grandfather guardian angel, the public attitude about post-mortal guardians is charmed, if dismissive. One writer has hypothesized that women tend to have more visionary spiritual experiences because they are more intuitive and more likely to expect and believe in the supernatural, while hinting that a tendency to flights of fancy increases their prevalence as well.

I am inclined (tongue firmly out of my cheek) to agree. Our early experience – the soup we’re cooked in – has a lasting effect on our outlook and expectations. Because of the commonality of stories of spiritual experience in my growing years, I found the supernatural acceptable as long as it was instructive, protective, and supportive. Very like the soup Joseph was cooked in, the flavor of post-mortal contact permeated the texture of my expectations.

My mother was mesmerized by the story of Paul when she was a young teen and though her family was not religious, she prayed fervently that God would show himself to her. While walking by their barn, she saw a man from the chest up, rather like a sculpted bust of an angel. It was there only a moment, and she later felt that it was a prophet like John the Baptist rather than Jesus himself, but the experience prepared her to fully embrace a gospel restored by angels when she heard it in her twenties, and no further education nor maturity could strip from her the assurance that she had seen it.

She had many experiences through the years that she shared freely, including pigs wandering across a hillside that aligned perfectly when she asked in desperation for God’s help and feelings of distinct individuals to protect her during times of great fear. I grew up expecting that the veil was only as thick as it needed to be and that God sent seasoned saints to assist us when we needed, which likely made possible my own encounters. These experiences, unfolding in the life of someone young and foolish (albeit intent), also left me undisturbed by the historical facts of the restoration that are more troublesome to others.

The words of Alma to the poor Zoramites resonate with me regarding faith. In our own day we would likely scientifically parse the development of perfect faith as the stages of psychosis. “Profound desire shapes our interpretation of experience, expectation builds upon these false premises, and increasingly psychotic episodes create an alternate reality completely divorced from the real world.” So say skeptics. It’s entirely unprovable, which is the point from the outset. The spirit of peace and power that permeates the experience must be interpreted by the one experiencing it, and is the most profound proof.

This alone – this mandate to experience – is why I’m personally a fan of keeping it private except in intimate settings where the spirit can be more fully explored. Stripped of these compelling structures, acquaintance with post-mortals as experienced by unremarkable people is laughable, and few of us have the internal resolve or prophetic endowment to withstand skepticism that often borders on the destructive. Like Mary, I’m inclined to encourage to “keep these things and ponder them” in one’s heart.

I’ve stripped this post of the multitudinous source links that I initially felt compelled to place here. In making this more about personal perspective, I can now ask yours – not your thoughts about what we should think, or what we can find source support for, but what you feel in your gut. I’m interested in an anecdotal discussion evaluating the soup you were cooked in.

  • Do you believe that angels visit the earth in our day?
  • Do you believe unremarkable people are worth post-mortal attention?
  • If you do, would you call them guardian angels or do you think of them as infrequent messengers to the outstanding?
  • Would you characterize them as more Clarence, Grandpa, Obi-wan, or Moroni?

I have very structured thoughts on the subject, but I’ll defer them for now to watch the discussion.

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25 Responses to Are There Angels Anymore?

  1. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 3, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    I would add another thought. When we lived in Newfoundland, we had Spencer W. Kimball come through (he was able to lay over on his way from Europe back to the states or the other way around).

    He met with the adults and they had a very deep miraculous experience. Later when I dad caught up with people (he was in the USAF so we were in a constan stream of moving away and reconnecing with others we had met in the USAF), those who had treasured up the experience had remained active, those who had not had both forgotten the experience and were inactive.

    If we do not hold on to such experiences and treasure them, we seem to lose them and become unaware that they are a part of our history and our lives.

    The scriptures talk of entertaining angles unawares. Sometimes we are only unaware because we have forgotten and allowed our minds to become dark.

    And sometimes we go too long between visits.

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  2. mh on June 3, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Yes I do think ordinary people receive visits from Angels. I read a few book about a near death experiences, and they have shaped my views. Lance Richardson a Mormon wrote a book called”the message”in which he learned that many of our spiritual promptings come from deceased family m members. It makes a lot of sense to me. I have also read books by non LDS”return from tomorrow” and”90 minutes inn heaven”in which both men claim visits with Jesus, and I feel these have merit too. I don’t think you have to be Mormon or near death to have these experiences, but can happen to all.

    Having said that I don’t know what to make of Virgin Mary sightings, or Warren Jeffs, or the people mentioned in my non ~ biblical angels post last year. Did John the baptist visit Otto Getting formerly

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  3. mh on June 3, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Ugh, too hard to type on phone.

    Did an angel visit Otto Fetting, formerly of RLDS church in 1930 and tell him to build the independence temple and start a new church of Jesus Christ of the Elijah Message? That’s tougher for me to believe. But I can accept that everyday people can receive visits from deceased loved ones with personal messages, and I hope to receive this you’re of visit some day.

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  4. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I would note that when my first child was in the hospital, all angelic visits did was confirm that she was going to die and not live. Not the comfort I was looking for. Not the comfort I was looking for.

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  5. Bonnie on June 3, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I’m sorry Stephen. That must have been harder than any of us could understand.

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  6. Mike S on June 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Are There Angels Anymore?

    I don’t know. I’ve never seen one. We don’t hear anyone talk about them in the LDS Church anymore, and haven’t for decades. So, I don’t know.

    Ironically, you generally have to turn to other “non-LDS” religions to find people willing to talk about their experiences with angels anymore. Does that say something about us?

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  7. Bob on June 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    #6: Mike S,
    Also funny__the angel, Moroni on the Temple__is our main icon.

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  8. Douglas on June 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    As long as the “Angel” doesn’t give counsel “from a certain point of view” as did Obi-Wan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSOBeD1GC_Y

    If I were visited by an Angel, I probably be too tongue-tied (‘a-dub-a-dub-a-dub’) to discuss it.

    I’m reminded of the story about the single mother of four kids, abandoned by their father, struggling to support her brood slinging hash at a roadside diner. Among her regulars were the owner of a local trucking firm, a fireman, a policeman, and a tire shop proprietor. It was Christmas, and it was all she could do to go into the forest with her kids and cut down a tree and bring it home, decorating it with popcorn on a string and construction-paper ornaments. But there simply was no money for presents, or a turkey with the fixings, let alone clothes which her growing kids had worn out and outgrown, and she didn’t even have money to replace the four balding tires on her old car. The poor woman waited on the foursome as they ate at the diner late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. She waved goodbye to them and proceeded to close the diner. It was dark and snowing by the time she locked the place up and went to her car. There she noticed that there was something in the backseat. Fearing that some bum had crawled into the backseat, she was apprehensive. Then she noticed that what she thought was a denim jacket of a man was in fact…a pair of children’s sized jeans. Opening the back door, the woman saw that there were eleven more pairs of jeans, making three in the sizes for each of the kids. She also noticed that there were both flannel and dress shirts, several dresses for her daughter, and a nice dress for herself. There was a box with several dolls, a stuffed animal, a train set, an erector set, some art materials, and a juvenile chemistry set. In another box was a large turkey, a large bag of flour, another of sugar, a can of shortening, and other baking goods. There was a box of chocolates and a bag of oranges. And lastly, there was an LP record of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”. The woman drove home with tears of joy…SHE knew there were angels, and where they dined.

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  9. FireTag on June 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    OK. I can’t resist one technical observation about angels before going to anecdotes. WESTERN cultures don’t claim to see angels much in modern times, but other cultures DO frequently assert the manifestation of “spirits” more comfortably than we do. I know what culture I was baked in, so I tend to analyze more than visualize.

    So, one anecdote. When I was in college as a physics major, I attended a week-long church family camp in Michigan, and shared the responsibility of walking nighttime security around the camp perimeter after “lights out”. The camp generally had problems at that hour with only teenagers who’d gotten a little too “hot” at campfire and needed to be sent back to their tents or trailers before their hormones got them into trouble.

    One evening, a future seventy and I stopped a pair running back toward the trailers, only to be told that they had been praying in one of the groves set aside on the grounds for that purpose. A light had shown down upon them from above and they had seen a manifestation.

    Great excuse, right? I didn’t even pay attention to the details of their story — except for the disturbing fact that the two kids were still glowing so much I wanted to get a light meter from our college lab and measure their output.

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  10. Mike S on June 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Another question I often have regarding angels: Do we accept ALL angels, or only ones that support what we believe?

    As in the post, we accept that various angels visited Joseph Smith. He started a church because of these visitations. He brought forward new scripture because of these visitations. We accept these visitations as being from God and, in a way, to support the validity of our faith.

    Yet how about other similar visitations? Otto Fetting was visited numerous times by John the Baptist as mentioned above. Do we accept that?

    Muhammed was also visited on multiple occasions by an angel and brought forward new scripture, also establishing a new religion. Do we accept his account?

    Prior to his enlightenment, Buddha had a story similar to Joseph Smith. He was dissatisfied with the religions around him. Just prior to touching the divine, he struggled with an unseen force of evil (evil “angel” if you will – Satan in the case of Joseph Smith, Mara in the case of Buddha), then finally had release and touched the Divine. Do we accept Buddha’s struggle as literally as Joseph Smith’s?

    There are dozens and hundreds and more of other similar accounts, the majority of which are from non-LDS sources. Are we to discount them? Were they deceived and Joseph Smith was not deceived? Or perhaps God sees fit to confirm multiple paths back to him through heavenly visitations? Perhaps Joseph Smith truly wasn’t to join any other church, but perhaps that was for him in particular and not necessarily for everyone on the earth? Perhaps the multiple visitations to multiple people from multiple faiths confirms MANY truths?

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  11. Mike S on June 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    And Stephen – I don’t really know what to say. My heart goes out to you.

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  12. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Mike and Bonnie, sorry to sidetrack the discussion. Just one of those weeks.

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  13. Bonnie on June 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    No sidetrack, Stephen – completely understandable.

    I appreciated the responses regarding positive and negative experiences people have had with others’ experiences. In another forum one person mentioned a roommate who suffered from bipolar and schizophrenia who constantly had visions and saw angels, and the experience was disturbing and destructive. Certainly in a culture that finds paranormal activity borderline evil, that’s a first consideration for many listeners who are confronted with someone else’s experience.

    I agree with Mike S – how do we determine which angels we support? Certainly Joseph was very concerned with only supporting experiences that parallel with what we believe, to the degree that he laid out “tests” to “try spirits.” That seems a bit formulaic to me, even as a formula thinker, until I realize that I “test” things that I feel and experience all the time. My litmus test is whether what is happening brings me peace, and even hard things have brought peace if I can calm myself down and ask simple questions in my heart. I suppose it would be just as easy for me to ask someone to shake my hand, if I were prone to that kind of visitation. I suppose in the hearing of others’ visitations, I’m prone to ask myself how much they questioned it, merely because that’s my MO.

    FT – I’m having a hard time not responding with some tongue-in-cheek comments to your discussion of hormone-enthused youths having spiritual experiences (see, I couldn’t even resist while I was resisting.)

    Douglas – I find that the discussion of “angels among us” is often deflected to earthly folk who behave in angelic ways, and although I’m fond of stories like that because I think they’re the real essence of a life fully lived, I wonder if it’s our way of remaining skeptical of post-mortals also so serving.

    Bob – I wonder sometimes how exactly people interpret the angel flying in the midst of heaven from the Book of Revelation. “Far … away from us” seems the standard view.

    Mike – I’m trying to figure out what exactly it says about us that we don’t talk about it. On the one hand, I almost feel a sense of loss for the independent, spiritualistic energy of the second great awakening, even while I appreciate the good done by the modern corporate church. Probably a manifestation of the bipolar disorder I’ve been accused in other venues of displaying. ;)

    MH – I think a lot about the visions people not of our faith experience. I don’t think LDS folk have any corner on an interest from the divine and I think we’re going to interpret what we experience based on the flavor of our personality and background and culture. That high tolerance for ambiguity works for me and makes me shrug off my not knowingness as “meh, it will all work out eventually.” A lot of those experiences have created a lot of good for people, communities, and sometimes whole cultures. Who am I to analyze authenticity? (Here’s where my “we’ll get them in the hereafter where armies of missionaries are poised to reinterpret the experiences for them” kicks in.) Those are certainly the larger culturally affected visions, but I agree that the more personal, family-oriented visits are quite compelling.

    Stephen, I’d love to hear more about that experience that you refer to with Pres. Kimball. I agree wholeheartedly that we may lose what we refuse to treasure. In my own life, profound spiritual experiences mark pins tied to the rock and are simply impossible for me to refute, no matter how much time has passed for them.

    My own anecdotes are too lengthy for a comment, so I’ll write a follow-up post and place it on my blog so as not to distract discussion as it moves naturally to other subjects in the succeeding days. To put it mildly, this promise of angelic visitation is a bedrock to my testimony of the faith.

    Thanks everyone for participating.

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  14. FireTag on June 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Bonnie:

    I may have been TOO tongue-in-cheek to be clear. The glow I saw was not hormone induced unless the two of them were Cylons. Whatever happened to them was very real.

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  15. Bonnie on June 3, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Ah, I see FireTag. What an amazing thing that must have been for them. How did others react to their experience? Do you know how they came to understand or possibly reinterpret it after time had passed?

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  16. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    BTW, a great analysis of a visitation involving angels (among other points made):
    http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2012/06/bmgd-23-alma-8-12/#comment-345697

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  17. Bonnie on June 4, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I follow Julie’s outlines too and have been mulling another post on seeing the face of God by way of faith and repentance instead of outward things (callings, visitations, etc.) Thanks Stephen.

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  18. FireTag on June 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    No, Bonnie, I do not know what happened to them afterward. They were not from my congregation, nor from the age cohort of the youth group for which I had leadership responsibilities, so I wouldn’t even have normally interacted with them for stake activities before I moved east.

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  19. lucy on June 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Yes. Moroni 7:29-30

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  20. Toni on June 5, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Do you include unseen angels in that (where one knows they are there, but cannot see them with one’s mortal eyes)? And those seen in dreams? If so, then . . .

    Do you believe unremarkable people are worth post-mortal attention?

    Yes.

    If you do, would you call them guardian angels or do you think of them as infrequent messengers to the outstanding?

    They could act as guardian angels, as messengers sent to deliver a specific message, or a combination of the two.

    Would you characterize them as more Clarence, Grandpa, Obi-wan, or Moroni?

    I would characterize them as themselves. Perhaps many of them concerned ancestors, but not looking to have their work done (I’ve never had any “Do my work, Descendent,” experiences.).

    I have never experienced a Clarence. Obi-wan – not sure. Having never met Moroni, I don’t know. They are just people. I don’t see a box to put them in.

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  21. Toni on June 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I didn’t address this part: “infrequent messengers to the outstanding?”

    No. Never.

    To go a little farther down in lucy’s scripture reference:

    36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

    37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles 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 bunbelief, and all is vain.

    38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

    The visitation from angels is for the common man, woman, and child.

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  22. An Imperfect Saint on June 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Yes, Yes, All of the Above, and I think it depends on the experience.

    Like Stephen I had experiences while my young infants were in the hospital. Unlike his experiences, the appearances reassured me that my daughters would live. (They are now very active children who show no signs of their premature birth.) I have a lot of empathy for other patents who were not as blessed in the outcomes of their children.

    Do I talk about those specific experiences, as well as several others throughout the years? Only if I feel prompted to, and only to the extent that it would be helpful to that person.

    I consider those experiences to be sacred, not secret.

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  23. Mormon Heretic » Talking to Angels on July 1, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    [...] has written a really interesting post on whether regular people can have access to angels.  Denver Snuffer was interviewed by John Dehlin on Mormon Stories back in February, and Denver has [...]

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  24. Thomas H Walker on September 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Wednesday came to a close no different than any other day that week. My wife was at Bible study and my youngest son was staying with his older brother in Indianapolis, IN. Around 9:20 pm I decided to take my dog for a walk. The sun had set leaving the air comfortably warm and with just enough light that the surroundings were painted with soft tones of muted evening colors.
    The Holy Spirit’s presence was unusually powerful that evening as He whispered to my heart about my heavenly Father’s love. The reality of the kind of love needed for Jesus to die such a horrible death and for His Father to endure the scenes of rejection, torture, and crucifixion of His beloved Son, became intensely heartfelt.
    I asked God to forgive my sins and especially my ungrateful attitude. I had been complaining about situations in my life that seem to never go away. Because of this insightful understanding of the tremendous sacrifices that my heavenly Father and Jesus made on my behalf, I stated that if He had done nothing more for humanity than offering His Son as the sin sacrifice, it would still be more than we deserve. I prayed that His “will” be accomplished in my life. My prayer ended with a request for a hug. Sometimes I prayed for a sign, but I am hesitant because we are to walk by faith and not sight. Admittedly, over the past twenty years, I have asked to see an angel. However, my heavenly Father has provided me with hugs vicariously through the following signs: a kind word from a brother, a smile from a loved one, a personal message in a sermon, a friendly hug or kind gesture from a stranger, an odd coincidence, favor, an unexpected meeting with a total stranger that brings me peace, and the list goes on. Not a sign or miracle that defied the natural laws governing this earth, but inconspicuous acts that only I recognize as a miracle. I don’t need a sign to believe in God, but on occasion my flesh needs a word of encouragement.
    Heading back home, I began walking up the driveway. I noticed the star in the Southwestern sky that I have always called Alfa Centauri, because it is the first to appear. It seemed unusually bright that evening, so I stood gazing up at the celestial wonder. Suddenly, below the star and against the tree line across the road, there was a motion – like a bird flapping its wings. It appeared as if the bird was caught in a fabric and imprinted on the fabric was the view before me. Whatever was thrashing seemed to fly up above the tree line and now is against the evening sky. Unexpectedly, it was as if a dozen sparklers had been lit causing me to ask, “Is this a meteor?” There was a tremendous burst of light resulting in a hole, window, or portal of sorts. I will describe it another way. The scene before me (sky, trees, yard, etc.) was like a piece of fabric and behind this drapery was a bright light that began burning holes in the fabric revealing a view of the other side.
    Through the opening, I saw the backside of a winged creature and its wings were moving quickly. Suddenly, the wings stopped moving and then the creature spread them open like a bird drying its wings in the sun. At that moment, I realized that the winged creature was an angel. Visible was the angel’s left wing, because the right side was beyond the window opening. To the left of the angel’s wing and in the background was a crystal blue sky filled with white clouds brilliantly illuminated by a light. A beautiful white light was shining in the distance, but its source was out of view. The light was similar to what you see in a morning sky only more radiant and a hundred times whiter. The angel’s wing glowed as it reflected the light. The wing was translucent and looked like it was made of glass or crystal. Luminous colors ran through the wing changing colors and direction. As I think back, the best way to describe how the colors moved in the angel’s wing would be similar to the cuttlefish. The colors instantly appeared and continually changed colors as they coursed through the crystal-like framework of the wing.
    All at once, the angel’s wings started to flutter and instantly the hole in the evening sky was repaired. The entire phenomenon seemed to last about ten seconds. I don’t remember if there was sound associated with this supernatural manifestation, for the visual overpowered the audio senses.
    The window that appeared in the sky that evening was small; however, what God allowed me to see has been difficult for my mind to process. I flew out of town the next day for a meeting, and in every waking minute I was in a mental tug-of-war; vacillating between the natural and spiritual. When something happens that defies human logic our natural mind tries to dismiss it. I no longer question the legitimacy of what I saw that evening, even though it has taken several days for my mind to absorb. However, my question now is, “What is the lesson God wants me to learn from this vision?”
    Two weeks later, a thought surfaced about my reaction at the time of the vision. My thoughts, as I gazed at the light of God’s Glory and upon an angel who was present when God spoke the world into being, were not: “God is real”, “The Bible is true”, “Jesus does exist”, or “There really is a heaven”. These thoughts never entered my mind. Over the years, my Christian journey has removed all doubt about whether God is real and that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. The reason that God allowed me to see a glimpse of heaven was not so that I would believe. For I had walked with my heavenly Father long enough that a sign was not necessary.
    Signs and wonders will follow those that already believe, not to convince one to believe. Signs and wonders strengthen God’s children as they walk through the storms of life. Blessed are they that have not seen, refers to Jesus’ gentile bride; those who worship a risen Savior, but have never seen Him in the flesh. “Jesus saith unto him, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29, ASV).
    After walking with God for twenty-nine years, He decided to answer my prayer for a hug in a miraculous way. The heavenly Father was encouraged with my heartfelt empathy regarding the costly sacrifices made by Him and His Son and for my deepest gratitude for His love. Almighty God seared an opening in the fabric (veil) of creation to give me a glimpse of my future home and the light of His glory. God didn’t do this because I am more special to Him than any other born-again believer. However, like any parent whose child comes to a full understanding of the sacrifices his or her parents have made for them, we (the parents) react with uncommon favor toward that child.

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  25. Bonnie on September 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Thomas, what a beautiful experience. What beautiful observations you make about it as well. Thank you for sharing that with everyone.

    My son had a similar experience Friday morning. We have been deeply mourning the death of his friend, like a member of our family. He stepped outside just as a storm convulsed the sky and looked at the roiling clouds and felt the roiling grief within and simply said, “Mike, are you okay?” His soul was weeping and he needed a father’s comfort.

    Suddenly a break in clouds so thick and black one would never imagine they could break, opened, and a warm beam of sunlight shone directly on him. For a full minute he stood in absolute amazement as he felt warm in an unseasonably cool wind, one that had brought hail much larger than we’ve seen in all our years in Utah just hours before. Then, the clouds closed back, and it rained. For him, the answer was clear: Mike was okay.

    All of our experiences are different, testimony of a loving God who speaks to us individually in ways that best nurture our souls. Thanks again for writing to let others know how he had blessed you. It is all about the Savior, in the end, isn’t it?

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