By Cordell and Janice Vail

23 Nov 2003

Copyright 2003 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

Gratitude for Angels

At this Thanksgiving time one of the things that we are all more focused on is gratitude for our blessings. Elder John A. Widtsoe promised us that if we would go to the temple on a regular basis that those for whom we did the temple work would be allowed to come as ministering angels to protect our children. I know that our family has laid claim to Elder Widtsoe's promise many times when our children have been protected. So many times they have been blessed and "PROTECTED" from harm. In many of those instances we felt it was the divine intervention by angels. For that I am very grateful.

I would like to share with you a true story that I have been grateful to have heard. It makes me ever aware of the Angels that are around us protecting us and helping us all the time. May I start by reminding you of this scripture:

Hebrews 13:2
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

It was my opportunity several years ago to help an older woman write her history. As a part of writing that history she told me a story that she remembered about her childhood. This is what she told me.

When she was very young her parents died and she had to go live with her uncle and aunt on a farm in northern Idaho. They had several children so she just became one of the kids. In those days (early 1900's) the church used to call men to go on missions even when they were married. Eventually her uncle was called to go on a mission to the Southern States even though he had a farm to run and a large family to take care of. She said that when he came home from his mission, he had his missionary companion with him. His companion was from Oregon and they had been missionary companions together the whole mission so his companion wanted to stop on the way home and meet their family. He stayed with them several days. The first night he was there they started telling the family about the many wonderful spiritual experiences they had as missionaries. In those days the missionaries went with out purse or script. That meant that they did not have any money with them and they did not stay in any apartment. They just went tracting every day and depended on the people they met to feed them and at night to let them sleep with them over night. They said that a few weeks before they came home they had been in a very hard area of the South. None of the people would let them in. They had gone for 3 days with nothing to eat and had slept in the forest because no one would let them stay with them. On the third day they were very hungry. As they walked down a lonely road they saw a farm house up ahead and so they decided to go off the road into the woods and pray to the Lord before they went to the house and ask the Lord if He would soften the people hearts so that they would give them something to eat.

While they were kneeling in prayer they heard someone walking up towards them in the woods. They opened their eyes and there was a man coming who had a backpack on his back. He had a beard and wore an old trench coat. He just walked up to them and asked them if they were hungry. They told him that they were very hungry. So he opened his backpack and took out a hot loaf of bread that was warped in a while linen cloth. He gave it to them and left. They were so hungry that they did not pay much attention to him or where he went they just ate the loaf of warm bread.

Then her uncle took the white linen cloth out of his nap sack and showed it to them. He said that it was the white linen cloth that the bread had been warped in. He said he had kept it to remind him of the kindness of the man who gave them the bread to eat that day.

Then she told me that her aunt began to cry. They all ask her why she was crying. So she told them that a couple of weeks ago she had been in the kitchen baking bread and a beggar knocked on the door. She told them that he had a beard and was wearing an old trench coat. She told them that she did not like beggars and remembered thinking that she wished he would just go away. But he looked so hungry, so she went back into her kitchen and took one of her white linen cloths and warped a loaf of hot bread in it that she had just taken out of the oven. She gave him the bread and he left. Then she looked at her husband and his companion who was holding the white linen cloth that the stranger had given them and she said "that is my white linen cloth that I warped the loaf of bread in that I gave to the beggar".

This is a true story. When we lived in North Carolina I met a man there that said he was a grandson of that family and he had also heard his grandparents tell that same story.

NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.

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