Angels are spiritual beings created by God who are often relied upon to carry out tasks on his behalf. Sometimes they relay messages from God to specific humans. In other cases they are sent to protect or guide individuals whom God has deemed worthy.
Angels possess powers superior to those of humans but inferior to those of God. They are often considered to be semi-divine. Although they are normally invisible, they have the ability to disguise themselves in human form – with human physical characteristics, the ability to speak in human languages and to eat human food. They possess individual personalities, and exhibit intelligence, free will and emotion.
Although the overwhelming majority of angels are benevolent and obedient, in rare cases the independence of thought bestowed upon angels by God leads them to stray from him. Some angels have felt intense resentment towards their creator and have devoted their existence to spreading evil values among mankind as an act of defiance.
The primary evidence for angels is accounts written by the authors of various religious texts, including the Bible, the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon.
Although reports of encounters with angels are common, even in the modern world, no claims have ever been verified scientifically. A 2008 survey by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, which polled 1,700 respondents, found that 55 percent of Americans believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life. An August 2007 Pew poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe that “angels and demons are active in the world”.
The lack of any real evidence for the existence of angels makes it highly likely that they are a product of human imagination and wishful thinking.