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What does it mean when it states “to speak with the tongues of Angels?”  I’m assuming it’s to do with the Holy Ghost? Thank you.





Dear Renee,

Nephi answers your question, but you have to be willing to follow his sermon past the chapter. In his great discourse describing admittance and endurance on the “way… whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 31), he leads us through the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.

“And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. 


And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do” (2 Nephi 31:11-12).

It’s all there: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the worthy who continue on this path through the gate, a great blessing awaits:

“But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels” (2 Nephi 31:14)

What a great blessing! But, as you rightly note, what does it mean? Many of Nephi’s people didn’t understand it either. But instead of asking what it meant, they focused on another confusing part of his sermon: If these are the first principles, what are we to do once we’re through the gate (2 Nephi 32:1)? Nephi reminded them of this pivotal point and how angelic tongues tie it all together.

“Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?


Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:2-3)

Of course the angelic tongue is the power of the Holy Ghost! Nephi even mentions it immediately after he talks about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift of tongues is such a notable gift of the spirit that it is referred to as “the gift of the Holy Ghost” in the New Testament (Acts 10:45). And just as the Aaronic Priesthood (which holds the keys of the ministering of angels) is subject to the Melchizedek Priesthood (which holds the key of the knowledge of God), so would the message of angels be subject to the message of the Godhead.

And to wrap it all up, Nephi gives us the takeaway (remember, the question is not just “what does it mean”, but “what do I do”):

“Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.


For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:4-5).

Having “the tongue of angels”, you can speak the words of Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost. And the words of Christ are here for you to know how to continue in the way that leads towards being “saved in the kingdom of God”.





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