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Angels are real, Donald Parry tells BYU Devotional audience

Donald W. Parry, professor of Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls, addressed students Tuesday in a devotional titled “Angels, Chariots, and the Lord of Hosts.”

Parry cited the many experiences in which angels ministered to figures in the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the histories of the early Latter-day Saints.

“Angels are agents of power,” Parry said. “Each of the Lord’s angels possesses extraordinary capabilities and powers, making them formidable beings.”

Parry recounted the instances in which angels saved Daniel in the lion’s den, as well as Jerusalem from the Assyrian army of 185,000 soldiers. In our day, angels likewise bring messages and blessings.

In an account from President Harold B. Lee, he shared an experience when President Lee received blessings on a plane from an unseen person. After returning home, he fell ill, suffering in a way that would have taken his life had it occurred while he was on the plane.

The story of Elisha and his servant’s eyes being opened to see the “mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha,” is told many times to remind us of angelic power.

Parry quotes President Henry B. Eyring’s encouragement: “I know that the promise of angels to bear us up is real. You might want to bring to memory the assurance of Elisha to his frightened servant. That assurance is ours when we feel close to being overwhelmed in our service. Elisha faced real and terrible opposition . . . . Like that servant of Elisha, there are more with you than those you can see opposed to you. Some who are with you will be invisible to your mortal eyes.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has also related the account of Elisha and applied the story to everyone: “In the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have help from both sides of the veil. When disappointment and discouragement strike, and they will, we need to remember that if our eyes could be opened, we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see, riding at great speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.”

For the devotional in its entirety, visit speeches.byu.edu or byutv.org.

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