“You Were the Angels,” Ensign, Dec. 2010, 66–67
My heart jumped as I read the poster: “Handel’s Messiah performed by the Swansea Orchestra and Welsh Choir.”
I had been on my mission in Swansea, Wales, for six months and felt the longing that often comes to new missionaries during the Christmas season. We had many family traditions during the holidays, but my favorite was going to hear Handel’s Messiah. My mother had played the organ for many such performances. I would sit, listen, and feel the music.
With permission from the mission president, I purchased tickets for the missionaries in our area. The night of the performance, our group bundled up against the cold and walked to the concert hall. I silently prayed that we would all feel the sacredness of the inspiring music.
When we arrived, I realized that we were late and that the performance had already started. We weren’t going to be allowed inside until intermission! As I listened to the music through the doors, I could not hold back the tears.
An usher must have noticed my desperation and decided to let us in. He told us to stand in the back until the intermission so that we didn’t interrupt the singing. He slowly opened the doors, and we all quietly stepped inside.
Walking into the hall was like walking into heaven. The feeling of peace and joy overwhelmed me. It wasn’t long, however, before we noticed people turning their heads, pointing and staring at us. All of us had entered quietly and didn’t know what we had done to bring attention to ourselves. As soon as the intermission began, we found our seats.
When the oratorio resumed, the music filled my soul. I wept during the “Hallelujah Chorus” and when the soprano sang “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.” The missionaries beside me also felt the power of the music and grabbed their handkerchiefs. The experience was something we would always remember. But it wasn’t until the performance had ended that the truly memorable moment came.
As we were leaving the building, people were still whispering and pointing, but no one said anything until we were outside. A man then approached us, saying, “It was you! It was you!”
We all waited for an explanation.
“During the first part of the performance, we felt a change in the room—a strong feeling that Christ was there,” the man said. “So we turned to see what had caused the change. When we looked to the back of the auditorium, we saw seven figures glowing as if they were angels. When you came into the room, you brought the Holy Ghost. You were there to represent Christ; you were the angels.”
As he spoke, I looked down at my missionary name tag and read the bold lettering under my name: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” How humbled I was at that moment to be a representative of the Messiah and to have silently testified of Him that night before thousands of people.