Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pursuit of Excellence Study Challenge

Yesterday I read about this challenge, which was mentioned on Diapers and Divinity, and thought I should participate. I love to read the conference talks and usually go through the entire Ensign as part of scripture study time--so it seemed like a fun idea. To participate, I decided to study and read President Holland's talk on angels. (Remember, I told you how much I love President Holland's talks!) If you would like to participate, join in the fun.

"The Ministry of Angels"
by: Jeffrey R. Holland

It is interesting to note the byline for this talk is as follows: "God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face." This is a great summary of what Elder Holland ultimately wants us to take away from the talk.

He starts off defining what an angel is: they are divine messengers sent to bless and help us. {This is a good definition that would help children learn to understand exactly what angels are.} Then President Holland discusses heavenly angels and their role in more depth, saying, "From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children."

Here are some of the things we can learn about angels from President Holland's talk:
- Sometimes angels are seen, other times they are not
- Angels are always near
- The assignments of angels range from the very grand to the very simple
- Angels are usually sent to warn, comfort, and/or guide
- Angels have helped those on earth, from Adam and Eve to the current time and even the Savior Himself

I love this quote from the talk: "I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember the Lord has said He “would fight [our] battles, [our] children’s battles, and [the battles of our] children’s children.”10 And what do we do to merit such a defense? We are to “search diligently, pray always, and be believing[. Then] all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”11 The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants."

So if you want the assistance of angels, we need to search the scriptures, pray, and exercise faith.

After discussing heavenly angels, Elder Holland took time to discuss how sometimes angels can be people here on earth who behave in an angelic manner; "…not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me."

Then he tells a wonderful story about a boy whose father, coming to rescue his son, seemed at first to be an angel sent in answer to prayer. I highly recommend this story for an FHE lesson. (You can find it here.)

President Holland concludes with, "I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face."

To be truthful, this was a message I needed to hear today, so I am grateful for President Holland's words. His words were my angelic intervention for the day. And I hope they are for you too.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 101:64


  1. I absolutely believe that angels are all around us. I love this talk. Thank you.

  2. So glad you're joining the challenge; we can all benefit from each other's insights and motivation. Loved E. Holland as usual and felt reminded about my loved ones who are "gone"-- I imagine they help me out much more than I realize.

  3. I loved his talk as well. I'm enjoying reading everyones thoughts from the challenge.

  4. Beautiful talk, thanks for sharing your insight


Comments are much appreciated!