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Dear Gramps

My sister-in-law who is not a member of the Mormon Church asked me about archangels. In particular she wanted to know if Raphael and Jarameel were men or women. I found a site on the internet that said that Gabriel was a woman and I always understood that Gabriel was a man. Can you give me any information on archangels as this article had twelve names listed as archangels and I had not heard of some of them. I appreciate any information that you can give me on this topic.

Gail

 

Answer

 

Dear Gail,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) interprets the term archangel as meaning “Chief Angel”, Michael is the only individual so-designated in the Latter Day Saints canon. It is believed that he is the head of all of the angels.  LDS Church doctrine also states that the archangel Michael was the first man, Adam. Though no other being is identified as an “archangel,” Joseph Smith taught that the angel Gabriel was known in mortality as Noah and the angel Raphael is a being of significant standing, even though he has never been identified with any mortal prophet

Two angels are mentioned in the Bible. These are Michael and Gabriel (Jude 1:9, Luke 1:5-38) These angels are also mentioned in the Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants 128:21. A third angel named Raphael is found in the apocryphal book of Tobias (Tob. 12:15), and also in the Doctrine and Covenants 128:21. The names of four other angels are recorded in the Book of Enoch, a non-canonical apocalyptic work. They are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel and Jerahmeel. I know of no other angels mentioned in the religious literature.

Your source mentioned twelve angels The last three mentioned above were called in some apocryphal sources by the names of Izidiel, Hanael, and Kepharel. If they were thought to be different angel, that would bring the total to 10. I have no idea about the naming of any others.

There is no question that the angel Gabriel was a man. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, one of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Mormon Church had the following to say with respect to Gabriel.

“To play his part in the great restoration of all things, Gabriel came in modern times and conferred the keys of his dispensation upon Joseph Smith. As with other angelic ministrants to this earth, Gabriel also spent his mortal probation here. He is Noah, the one who stands next to Michael or Adam in the priesthood hierarchy.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., p.301)

 

Gramps

 

 

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