“The Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings. Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten.”
President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1
Sometimes I think that if an angel were to visit me, that experience would have a greater impact on me than anything else. I would surely never let Satan get to me after that would happen, I would think. That would mean that I was highly favored of the Lord, right? That shows that He cares whether I pass or fail, so to speak, right? I would sometimes think, why am I not “important” enough to be visited by heavenly messengers. Am I not trying hard enough? Why am I not favored? Doesn’t He love me enough?
But, does a heavenly visitor mean that I would be or am highly favored? And does not being visited mean He doesn’t care or love me? We tend to see love, favoritism, and impartiality through our mortal lens. It’s only natural for the Lord to love others a bit more, right? But does He? Or is everyone equal in His eyes? Does He love President Nelson the same way He loves Hitler? Doesn’t mean people will go about doing good or being decent though. That tears Him up when His children choose evil over good.
Think of Laman and Lemuel. Did not angels appear to them? Why did they not change after that? Why did they let Satan destroy them still? Afterall, they saw an angel from the other side. Surely, that would strengthen faith. Were they not being chastised by the angel though? Also, Alma the younger….chastisement?
The Lord chastises who He loves. Sometimes it’s quick, like a visitation, or slower. But He will never force righteousness upon us. Alma the younger did change. Laman and Lemuel did not. He loves all of us equally. He gives everyone the same opportunity to change but based on our unique circumstances. All of us endure hardship, whether that is due to chastisement or just a way for us to shift our focus to what really matters.
The Lord is sending us truth and knowledge, and love and encouragement already. Not in a manner that is super glamorous or exciting. Not by sending throngs of angels to appear to us. Not in a manner highly visible to ourselves or others. The Lord has never worked like that. He works in a completely hidden, less obtrusive, quiet, peaceful way. Only… it is us that won’t hear Him, even recognize what He is doing. It is us who has to receive His message. We have to open our hearts. We have to make sure our soil is ready for the planting, otherwise the seed just dies. That is how our foundation gets stronger.