By Brinley King
Editor’s note: Education Week coverage can be found in this section of the website.
A renowned Biblical scholar told a BYU Education Week audience on Wednesday that many times, when angels visit mortals, they bring spiritual strength and life-changing experiences.
“Angels have power over the elements, can serve as protectors and messengers, invite you to repent, meet loved ones at death, assist with temple work and minister to those in need,” said Donald W. Parry, a BYU ancient language professor best known for his work with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Parry said there are various volumes of accounts of angels from mortals’ points of view. He encouraged BYU Education Week participants to always ask for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and ask for Heavenly Father’s sending the Holy Ghost or angels to their side.
“As I sat through this class, I remembered when an angel visited my father, and now I am curious to know who it was. When we pray for angels, we have more help in the world,” said Lani Auwen, a participant from Goodyear, Arizona.
Angels have the ability to teach doctrine, Parry said. He recounted the experience of Elder Parley P. Pratt who received an answer to his cries from an angel. Elder Pratt said “a personage from the spirit world stood before me with the smile of compassion in every look, and pity mingled with the tenderest love and sympathy.”
Parry said God also reveals doctrine to his angels “line upon line, precept upon precept,” referring to 2 Nephi 28:30.
John Auwen, another class participant, said angels are one of the many ways Heavenly Father shows love for His children. “It is so comforting, and I have felt the Spirit.”
Parry went on to explain that angels manifest Christ and bear witness of Him. They work hard on both sides of the veil, teaching correct principles, exhorting saints to repent and come closer to Christ.
“Angels are working with your daughters, sons and your loved ones who are missionaries,” he said.