The reality and ministry of angels as messengers from God is accepted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This belief is validated through the scriptures: angels are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Angels are also prominent in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Doctrine and Covenants 130:4–5 states “In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside? I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth, but those who do belong or have belonged to it.” Latter-day Saint scholar Donald W. Parry adds, “Accordingly, the well-known angels Michael, Gabriel, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Moroni, and many others are historical persons who have lived upon the earth. Other angels who have ministered on this earth may have done so before they were born in the flesh.”
The angel Gabriel ministered to the prophet Daniel. As recorded in Daniel chapter 8, Daniel had received a vision and he needed help understanding its symbolism. Verse 15 tells readers that he “sought for the meaning.” “And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.” Gabriel came near, touched him, and gave him the meaning.
Gabriel also fulfilled a ministering role in the birth of Jesus Christ. Luke 1 tells us that Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the temple, told him not to fear, and proclaimed that Zacharias’s wife Elisabeth would bear a son and that his name was to be John. “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.” John would be the forerunner of Jesus.
Gabriel was also “sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
- Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
- And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
- He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
- And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Gabriel had a prominent role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!
Joseph Smith revealed more about the earthly mission of the angel Gabriel. “While speaking in 1839 to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and some Seventies prior to their leaving for missionary service, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “Noah, who is Gabriel, … stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.”
In addition to the aforementioned, the following is a partial list of information about his earthly and postmortal mission:
- Noah, the son of Lamech, was a great-grandson of Enoch and an ancestor of Jesus Christ (see Genesis 5:21, 25, 28–29; Luke 3:23–26).
- He was ten years old when he was ordained to the priesthood under the hand of Methuselah (see D&C 107:52).
- He was a just man, perfect in his generation, and he walked with God (see Genesis 6:9).
- For 120 years he called the people to repentance, warning them of the Flood that would occur if they did not repent (see Moses 8:16–17, 20, 23–24).
- He built the ark and entered with his family and the animals (see Genesis 6:14–22; 7:2–16; Hebrews 11:7).
- After the Flood subsided, he offered sacrifice to the Lord (see Genesis 8:1–22).
- Noah is to return to earth after Christ's second coming to attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (see D&C 27:5–7)
- Church News, "Noah, who is Angel Gabriel, is next to Adam in priesthood" by Larry E. Dahl
- Donald W. Parry, Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013], 9
- Luke 1:30–33
- Doctrine and Covenants 128:21; see vv. 20–25
- See History of the Church 3:386
- See Luke 1:11–20; D&C 27:6–7; 110:12