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Q&A: Are you an angel?

On YouTube, someone asked me "Are you an angel?"

There are two principles I will apply in answering this question.

Principle one: do not care for what a person claims to be, but what they do

First, rather than using the verb "to be," we are better off using the verb "to do." Jesus is "that I AM," but when asked who he was, he instead described what he did. For example, consider that when the disciples of John the Baptist asked him whether he was the Messiah, Jesus did not say yes or no, but instead rehearsed the public works he had performed:

19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Luke 7)

Here and on many other occasions, Jesus opted out of making a plain statement of who he was, preferring to state the things he had done, which everyone knew the Messiah would do. One can argue with a claim of identity, but the works of a person are what they are.

And herein lies a lesson that has not received the slightest bit of attention of which it is worth: what if Jesus were not the only one who could say these things? We do not have to wonder. 

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9)

Moses responded in a similar way when Joshua suggested he ought to censure two men who were prophesying in his day:

27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! (Numbers 11)

Jesus wishes nothing more than that all people would be even as he is, and that spirit dominates all who love the Lord. So, one accurate answer to your question is would to God that all men were angels.

Second principle: use precise words when you ask questions

I'm not sure I've seen evidence that anyone really appreciates the power of the right question in activating the power of God in our minds. Archimedes said, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." I say: "With the right question, I can get God to tell me anything." And this is as true for you as it is for me, because God gives all people access to himself according to the same laws.

Language is an immensely powerful tool. It has many opponents, among which are numbered natural or intentional corruption of original meaning. A simple way to avoid the many potential pitfalls of language is to be precise in what you say. Say what you mean. Instead of using ambiguous terms, think intentionally about what might leave less room for miscommunication. I say this will full admission that I am constantly striving to be better at this myself.

It is better to be explicit than to use words that many people use for many different things. Angel (malak - Strong's Hebrew 4397) means "a messenger." As is the case with many words in Hebrew, there are multiple senses of the word. These are all from Biblehub.

1. Messenger.

1a. One sent with a message.

1b. A prophet. This word means different things to different people. Included in these are the duty of a prophet to reveal mysteries from God, or to foretell the future.

1c. A priest. This is another word that means different things to different people. 

…king Benjamin…appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made…. (Mosiah 6:3)

And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (Ezekiel 44:23)

18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
19 And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.
20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. (Mosiah 18)

1d. A messenger from God acting as an interpreter and declaring what is right.

2. Angel. I must confess that I don't understand the distinction made between this sense and the others by the authors of this entry, so I'll skip it.

3. The theophanic angel. [1]

Anyone who is the least bit familiar with the books, videos, and blogs I have published will find abundant examples of each of these definitions of angel.

Why does any of this matter?

As always, the most important question is, "so what?" Why does this matter? It doesn't, unless it helps you better understand how God is and choose to become more like him. Angels communicate more information from and about God, assisting others to become more like him than they otherwise would. Even when they perform their duty as God intends, the choice of what to do about it still remains the observing individual's to make.


[1] - This is "the angel of the Lord," or one who is sent to represent the Lord, demonstrating precisely what he would do in their place. During his mortal ministry, Jesus was the archetype of this role, demonstrating what the Father would do in every situation in which he found himself. 

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:9)

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12)

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)

I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. (John 8:26)

Jesus was not greedy of this duty. He outright commanded us to do the same:

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5)