Feast upon the Word Blog

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On Angels–or RS/MP Lesson 47: “‘Praise to the Man’ (Joseph Smith Manual) redux

Posted by robf on December 18, 2009

Our quorum discussion on this one only made it through two quotes. Most of our time was taken by a discussion of the Wilford Woodruff quote that states “…the Prophet of God was administered to by the angels of heaven. They were his teachers, they were his instructors, and all that he did, and all that he performed from the commencement, from that day to the day of his martyrdom, was by the revelation of Jesus Christ”.

We didn’t get much further because we spent most of our time talking about angels. How much Joseph Smith revealed to us about angels and how the whole restored church is set up to place us in the role of angels. No just sitting around listening to nice Sunday sermons for us. We are called and ordained and sent forth as angels–messengers–to teach and serve our fellows.

We observed that through Joseph it was revealed that the Celestial minister to the Terrestrial, and the Terrestrial minister to the Telestial (D&C 76). We talked about how this world is a Telestial world, and when we do our missionary work and (often) our home teaching, we are ministering to the Telestial world. Does that means we should be living at least a Terrestrial law if we are to help and lift those we are to serve? Otherwise we are really just hanging out, and not serving.

If Church programs like home teaching can have us serving the Telestial, do they also have us serving in a Celestial capacity of ministering to the Terrestrial? We talked about how veil workers and ordinance workers in the temple stand in for Celestial beings ministering to Terrestrial temple patrons. By serving as temple workers, we learn how angels minister, and get to participate in those ministrations.

This whole system was revealed through Joseph Smith. Perhaps we could see the whole Church program as one of angelic apprenticeship.

So sometimes we are angels, but then there are angels that are resurrected or translated beings, as well as ministering spirits. We talked about how we are entitled to have their help in our gospel work. We asked why we seem to have so few of these types of interactions. I was tempted to bring out Moroni’s statement that it is because of unbelief, but held back for some reason. However I did mention that perhaps we don’t have those kinds of interactions because we aren’t up to the kind of work that would require angelic assistance. If all we do is the minimum in our callings, that doesn’t really require angels to become involved.

Perhaps we have more angelic assistance when we are pushing the boundaries of our service to step into areas where we are uncomfortable and tackle service that is beyond our realm of knowledge or ability. We may not know how to bring souls into the Church, or to reactivate someone who has been inactive since their teenage years. But when we commit to really trying to do those tough things, that’s when the help of angels are required, and available.

Anyway, this quote sparked some good discussion. We did manage to read one more quote, the Lorenzo Snow quote that followed Pres. Woodruff’s quote mentioned above. But the bulk of our lesson was a call to take seriously the ministering of angels, and our role to both serve as and to be served by heavenly messengers.

One Response to “On Angels–or RS/MP Lesson 47: “‘Praise to the Man’ (Joseph Smith Manual) redux”

  1. Robert C. said

    Thanks, Rob. I haven’t thought of the Celestial-Terrestrial-Telestial ministering in quite this way, and I really like it!

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