Can People Become Angels in Heaven After They Die?

Humans Turning Into Angels in the Afterlife

Angelic Profile
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When people are trying to comfort someone who's grieving, they sometimes say that the deceased person could be an angel in heaven now. If a loved one has died suddenly, people may even say that God must have needed another angel in heaven, so that must be why the person passed away. These comments that well-meaning people often make imply that people turning into angels are possible.

But can people really become angels after they die?

Some faiths say that people can't become angels, while other faiths say that it is indeed possible for people to become angels in the afterlife.

Christianity

Christians view angels and people as completely different entities. Psalm 8:4-5 of the Bible declares that God has made human beings "a little lower than the angels" and the Bible says in Hebrews 12:22-23 that two separate groups meet people when they die: angels, and the "spirits of the righteous made perfect," indicating that humans retain their own spirits after death rather than turning into angels.

Islam

Muslims believe that people never turn into angels after they die since angels are entirely different from people. God created angels from light before he created humans, Islamic doctrine declares. The Qur'an reveals that God created the angels separately from humans when it describes God speaking to the angels about his intention to create people in Al Baqarah 2:30 of the Qur'an.

In this verse, the angels protest the creation of humans, asking God: "Will you place on Earth those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, while we celebrate your praises and glorify your holy name?" and God replies, "I know what you do not know."

Judaism

Jewish people also believe that angels are separate beings from humans, and the Talmud in Genesis Rabbah 8:5 mentions that angels were created before people, and the angels tried to convince God that he shouldn't create people who were capable of sinning.

This passage notes that "While the ministering angels were arguing with each other and disputing with each other, the Holy One created the first human. God said to them, 'Why are you arguing? Man has already been made!'" What happens to humans when they die? Some Jewish people believe that people are resurrected in heaven, while some believe that people are reincarnated for multiple lifetimes on Earth.

Hinduism

Hindus believe in angelic beings called devas that may have once been humans in previous lives, before evolving through many states of consciousness to reach their divine state. So Hinduism says that it is possible for people to turn into angels in the sense that humans can be reincarnated to higher spiritual planes and eventually attain what the Bhavagad Gita calls the goal of all human life in passage 2:72: becoming "one with the Supreme."

Mormonism

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) declare that people definitely can turn into angels in heaven. They believe that the Book of Mormon was dictated by the angel Moroni, who was once a human being but became an angel after he died. Mormons also believe that the first human being, Adam, is now the archangel Michael and that the biblical prophet Noah who built the famous ark is now the archangel Gabriel.

Sometimes Mormon scripture refers to angels as holy people, such as Alma 10:9 from the Book of Mormon, which says: "And the angel said unto me he is a holy man; wherefore I know he is a holy man because it was said by an angel of God."