What Power and Authority Do Angels Have?

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(This is an excerpt from the book Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power by Donald W. Parry.)

In October 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated in general conference, “I think about the power and force of angels that stand among us.” Indeed, scriptural texts indicate that the Lord’s angels have extraordinary capabilities and powers, making them formidable beings. Angels may have power over the elements, and the various earthly forces that exist in this telestial world do not bind them. These great powers of angels enable them to fulfill their missions here upon the earth and to assist mortals, who are, in comparison, delicate and frail. As we discuss the extraordinary powers of angels, however, we must remain cautious and open about those powers, because there is so much that we do not know. We must also remember that many scriptural statements, especially those from John the Revelator, contain symbolisms. The miraculous powers of angels build confidence among mortals who understand angelic authority and powers. Not all angels, of course, have equal power and authority: Angels with resurrected bodies have greater power than do translated beings, which in turn have greater power than do angels who are either unembodied or disembodied spirits. Depending on their rank and status and the errand on which they are sent, angels may have some or all of the following powers:
• Power over gravity
• Power over the elements
• Other superhuman powers and capabilities, including the power to appear seemingly out of nowhere and vanish in an instant; to cause doors to open of their own accord; to cause chains to fall from bound prisoners; to mingle undetected with mortals; to pass through walls, closed doors, and ceilings; to escape earth’s pits and depths; to remain unharmed in fiery furnaces and among wild beasts.

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