In 2 Nephi 31 Nephi teaches what we should do after we are baptized. We are to “feast upon the words of Christ,” and “endure to the end.” (2 Nephi 31:20) In chapter 32 he illustrates what it means to feast upon the words of Christ.
He writes: And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts? Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak 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 32:1-3).
One way to understand these verses is that as we read the scriptures, we become open to the impressions of the Holy Ghost. Another way to read these passages is that as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, these impressions come from angels that are very close to us. Elder Holland and other apostles have suggested that these angels are related to us, indeed, that they are very near to us and aware of our situation. Elder Holland has had much to say regarding this:
But God knew the challenges they would face, and He certainly knew how lonely and troubled they would sometimes feel. So He watched over His mortal family constantly, heard their prayers always, and sent prophets (and later apostles) to teach, counsel, and guide them. But in times of special need, He sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near. Indeed, shortly after Adam and Eve found themselves in the lone and dreary world, an angel appeared unto them, who taught them the meaning of their sacrifice and the atoning role of the promised Redeemer who was to come.
When the time for this Savior’s advent was at hand, an angel was sent to announce to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God. Then a host of angels was commissioned to sing on the night the baby Jesus was born. Shortly thereafter an angel would announce to Joseph that the newborn baby was in danger and that this little family must flee to Egypt for safety. When it was safe to return, an angel conveyed that information to the family and the three returned to the land of their heritage.
From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. Time in this setting does not allow even a cursory examination of the scriptures or our own latter-day history, which are so filled with accounts of angels ministering to those on earth, but it is rich doctrine and rich history indeed.
Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. 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.
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. Matthew records in his gospel that after Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness “angels came and ministered unto him.” Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality. And so such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time. 1
1. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, The Ministry of Angels, October Conference, 2008.