In one’s walk with Christ, most would consider the occasion of an angelic visit very special, for indeed each occasion is extraordinary. The Book of Mormon tells us that such angelic visits happen. Moroni states that, “neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men… according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”(see Moroni 7)
Such angelic visitations are useful, in continuing with Moroni’s words, to “call men unto repentance, [and] to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ…”
Of course, having a visitation of an angel—which is a physical manifestation of the five senses—is profoundly special, but is it as powerful as experiencing the influence of the Holy Ghost—which does NOT involve the five senses?
In my 45 years of living, I believe that I’ve experienced angelic visitations unawares as per Hebrews 13:2, and I’ve reflected on these experiences from time to time. I’ve asked myself, what was the specific reason for the experience? I’m resolved that the answer lies in continuing with Moroni 7:
And by so doing [angles visiting mortal men], the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, (verse 32)
After having heard the words of his Father concerning “the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, [which] should be grafted in, [and] come to the knowledge of the true Messiah” Nephi desired to personally experience the things of which his father spoke. Thus the record states:
And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost. —1 Nephi 10:17
Nephi sought not an experience with his five senses, but with his 6th sense—which, according to his own expression, absorbs his other senses. This is God’s pattern throughout the history of all the fathers.
To some, the whisperings of the Holy Ghost are rare, because they take no action upon its promptings; while to others, He is their constant companion—even a friend to which one avoids the least of offenses towards.
On one occasion while driving to Phoenix from Flagstaff in the dark, with my entire family aboard (wife and four children), a warning came to my wife. Her spiritual senses were keen and aware that something bad was about to happen, or may happen. Sometime later the car got a flat tire.
While preparing to pull over in a clearing up ahead, my wife suddenly yelled, “Stop right here!” The force of her conviction caused me to pull over in a place that was less than optimal for changing a tire, but still completely out of the way of traffic. One minute later a driver behind us lost control of his car, recklessly swooshing into the very spot in which I had planned to park, to change the tire.
When in tune, the promptings my wife felt is the power the Holy Ghost extends to each of us. Warnings, witnessings, comfortings, and proddings—all of these messages to us from the Holy Ghost are tied to a powerful truth unexplained by the world, and is received—as Nephi mentioned—by faith on the Son of God.
Truth from the Holy Ghost is more powerful than mere words, even from an Angel.
We are reminded of the man who was rich in mortality, but then died, and in death saw Lazarus, a beggar he knew from mortality being “carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.” Seeing this transpire while in hell, the rich man cried out saying, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” His request was denied.
In an effort to warn his five brothers who were still alive, the man replied by asking if Lazarus would at least go and visit his brethren, saying “if one went from the dead [to testify] they will repent.”
Father Abraham’s reply must have shocked the man, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (See Luke 16)
I glory in that the Holy Ghost is the great persuader! A witness from the Holy Ghost is much stronger than any witness from one or all of the five senses. Remember that Satan can use the five senses to imitate and deceive.
The Holy Ghost will attend one as he reads the scriptures, expounding truth that is not of this world—for, says John, “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…” and from Moroni, “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (John 14, and Moroni 10) What truth does that leave out?
One final thought comes by way of the bad example of the Lord’s apostle, Thomas, wherein Christ tells him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen… thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
God bless you as you search the scriptures and seek the divine manifestation of the source of truth—even the Holy Ghost—a member of the Godhead, yet a man who we know, from the Book of the Remnant, was with us in the pre-existence.
When is the last time you felt this man’s promptings? Do you feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost often? Do you act upon these spiritual treasures?