“Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us?”

I came across the following passage today which made me think:

Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?
(Alma 21:5)

The interesting and the ironic thing about the challenge at the end is that the time Aaron saw an angel (and which he is doubtless describing) was when he, his brothers and Alma the Younger were intercepted by an angel as they sought “to destroy the church” (Mosiah 27:10-19). Neither Aaron nor his brothers nor Alma could be described as a good person at that time, and so the angel’s appearance had nothing to do with their personal righteousness.

But it does make me wonder what made the difference – why did an angel appear to them but not the people in this verse. Perhaps God’s knowledge of how they would react played a role? Or perhaps it was the faith and likely prayers of their fathers? And how many spiritual blessings come into our own life undeserved by any goodness on our part, but because of the faith and devotion of others, or God’s extending to us unexpected opportunities?

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3 thoughts on ““Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us?”

  1. I reckon you only get a sign like that if u have a vital role to play and that’s what it takes to awaken you to it. I know when i was younger and wanted a sign i was told by the Spirit that if i pondered i would realise that i actually had a testimony already, however small, so didn’t need it…

  2. “… how many spiritual blessings come into our own life undeserved by any goodness on our part…?” Excellent question, and as usual an insightful post.

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