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5 Times Angels Rescued Prophets and Apostles in the Latter Days

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a plethora of resources to help us in times of need or struggle. The scriptures, prayer, words of modern-day prophets and apostles, Church leaders, family, temple worship, priesthood blessings, and, most importantly, Jesus Christ are all assets that provide divine assistance and strength.

However, there is at least one other way to receive divine help that is sometimes overlooked. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, "In times of special need, [God] sent angels, divine messengers, to bless His children, reassure them that heaven was always very close and that His help was always very near. . . . Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near."

There have been plenty of times where prophets and apostles in the Church have been recipients of angelic help. The following examples detail times when angels assisted Church leaders in this last dispensation.

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1. President Russell M. Nelson

"The Lord made a promise to those faithfully engaged in His service. He said: 'I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up' (D&C 84:88).

"My wife Wendy and I are the beneficiaries of that promise. On one occasion, we were attacked by armed men with malicious intent. They announced their purpose: to kidnap her, and to kill me. After they maliciously molested us in those evil objectives, they became totally foiled. A gun to my head failed to fire. And my wife was suddenly released from their hideous grasp. Then they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. We were mercifully rescued from potential disaster. We know we were protected by angels round about us. Yes, the Lord’s precious promise had been invoked in our behalf."

—Excerpted from Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What You Can Do

2. President Harold B. Lee

"I was suffering from an ulcer condition that was becoming worse and worse. We had been touring a mission; my wife, Joan, and I were impressed the next morning that we should get home as quickly as possible, although we had planned to stay for some other meetings.

“On the way across the country, we were sitting in the forward section of the airplane. Some of our Church members were in the next section. As we approached a certain point en route, someone laid his hand upon my head. I looked up; I could see no one. That happened again before we arrived home, again with the same experience. Who it was, by what means or what medium, I may never know, except I knew that I was receiving a blessing that I came a few hours later to know I needed most desperately. . . .

“Shortly [after we reached home], there came massive hemorrhages which, had they occurred while we were in flight, I wouldn’t be here today talking about it.

“I know that there are powers divine that reach out when all other help is not available. . . . Yes, I know that there are such powers."

—Excerpted from Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power

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3. Elder Parley P. Pratt

In January 1844, the Times and Seasons published an account of when angels helped Elder Parley P. Pratt escape a Missouri jail:

“On the grand national Anniversary of American independence, the glorious 4th of July, [Parley] being instructed and warned, by an Angel of the Lord, in a vision of the night, burst his chains, threw open his prison doors, and emerged forth from his prison: and after wandering for near a week, night and day, almost without food, he avoided all pursuit and arrived at the residence of his family.”

4. President Heber C. Kimball 

“I was in a great water, swimming, and had swam away, trying to make land, although  I saw no land until I had become weary and tired, when I began to sink, then an angel came to me and placed his hand under my chin, for some time keeping me from sinking, until I had rested and gained strength; he blessed me and said, ‘Brother Heber, you shall now have strength to swim ashore.’ I again began to swim, and it appeared as though every time I stretched forth my arms and feet, I would move rods at each stroke, and continued doing so until I reached land.”

—Excerpted from Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power

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5. President George Q. Cannon 

In November 1850, President George Q. Cannon was on a ship to Hawaii, a ship that was “wind-bound in the Bay of San Francisco, and we had been thus delayed for nearly a week near the Golden Gate in consequence of head winds." President Cannon continues, talking about a lesson he learned in a dream from Joseph Smith, who had past away six years earlier:

"I dreamed one night that this party of brethren were heaving at the windlass, having a rope attached to it reaching forward to the anchor, but seemingly we made but little progress. While thus engaged I thought the Prophet Joseph Smith came from the after part of the vessel…and tapping me on the shoulder told me to go with him. I went, and he climbed on to the forecastle which was higher than the main deck and on a level with the bulwarks, and there he knelt down, also telling me to kneel down with him. He prayed according to the order of prayer which is revealed. After prayer, he arose upon his feet. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘George, take hold of that rope—the rope we had been pulling on with all our might. I took hold of it, and with the greatest ease and without the least effort, the anchor was raised.’ ‘Now,’ said he, ‘let this be a lesson to you; remember that great things can be accomplished through the power of prayer and the exercise of faith in the right way.'"

—Excerpted from Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power

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Learn more about how angels help us in our lives in Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power.

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