Presently four angels on our world have been given the power to save and destroy life, to spread the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and to seal up things unto life or to cast things down into darkness and despair. (D&C 77:8)
These four angels have another important responsibility - as destroyers. At God’s command they will send great calamities upon the earth. The Lord said “For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth.” (D&C 38: 11-12).
Given their direct involvement with mankind, it would seem that these four have an intimate knowledge of the wickedness that is in the world; this might explain why they have been pleading with the Lord to let them carry out their duties as destroyers. D&C 86:5 tells us that these “angels are crying unto the Lord day and night . . . to be sent forth to reap down the fields.” It appears that they have grown weary of the wickedness that covers the earth. They have seen enough and are anxious to get on with the business of punishing and purging wickedness. Certainly they have marveled over God’s patience.
Why have they been held back? The Lord has held them back because He does not want their calamities to disrupt his growing church, which is why He said “pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender, lest you destroy the wheat also.” (D&C 86:6). However, I wonder if things are beginning to change.
The BP oil disaster has me thinking about angel #2. What is in his vial? His vial contains destruction in the seas. Revelation 16:3 says that when “the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea . . . it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” And Revelation 8:8-9 says that when “the second angel sounded . . . it [was as though] a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died.”
When I view the video of oil gushing from the ocean floor, it reminds me of a volcano blowing fire and dust (“a great mountain burning”). Pictures of the oil washing up on shore resemble the “blood of a dead man”. And the oil is killing many creatures in the sea. With no end to the gusher in sight, the spill may once day cover an area large enough to qualify as “a third part of the sea” (what the ‘sea’ refers to, I don’t know).