Near-death experiences get treatment from a Mormon perspective

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here) I’m fascinated by the pop science/theology  behind near-death experiences. I’ve read the “Life After Life” books by Raymond Moody and several similar books. It was interesting to discover a new book, “Glimpses Beyond Death’s Door,” (here) by Brent L. and Wendy C. Top, from the publisher Covenant Communications, which strictly follows LDS theology and authority. One can assume that “Glimpses …” has been thoroughly vetted by LDS leaders.

The authors provide a fascinating, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, overview of near-death accounts, using many sources liberally with an emphasis on the “Journal of Near-Death Studies,” the book “Heaven and Hell,” by Emanuel Swedenborg, the 18th century Swedish Lutheran and scientist who claimed to have received access to the afterlife. Also, there are numerous discourses and writings from LDS Church leaders, including “Journal of Discourses” accounts from Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt.

If one had to summarize “Glimpses …” approach quickly, it’d be, “throw out traditional, man-made concepts of crime and punishment” and “law and order.” Based on a consistency in nature of the NDE accounts compiled, compassion and love are the dominating sensations experienced at death. Whether greeted by family members, a guardian angel, or a life reviewer, death appears to be a very positive experience. Many didn’t want to return and were unaffected by the grieving of family members and friends.

(I will digress here to mention that for this essay, I am assuming that these experiences are real, although other than the amount of professed NDEs out there, they certainly can’t be proven. Belief in divinity, an afterlife, or other theological claims cannot be proven, and that’s why heated debate usually leads nowhere. But even for skeptics, I’d wager the topic has interest.)

LDS theology teaches that after death, we go to a spirit world, which is located here on earth, but in another sphere which we can’t see as mortals. Much of “Glimpses …” is devoted to taking the many NDEs of Swedenborg, Moody and others, and applying what they witnessed as glimpses into an LDS-taught afterlife spirit world. While readers must be aware that the authors can pick and choose sources as they wish, the Tops do make an effort to put most precedence on NDEs from non-Mormon sources.

Based on “Glimpses …,” it’s clear that death, and the subsequent journey into a spirit existence, is not a place where a “true church,” or “true gospel,” is revealed to newly arrived spirits. In fact, the most persons who have had NDEs, the authors claim, experience a jump in spirituality, but not any discernible move toward a particular religion.

In fact, the afterlife spirit world, based on many of the NDE accounts, is a place where autonomy, the ability to choose, still exists for the deceased person. Despite being in a sphere that is more advanced than earth’s  (time travel and increased, almost effortless comprehension of reason, memory and why bad things happen have been reported) there is no traditional purgatory or hell.

However, most accounts show a separation of spirits based on knowledge accumulated and charitable love expressed for others while on earth. The spirits who might be in a place considered “paradise” are not tethered to their own self interests or to so-called worldly pleasures. They want to serve others. They also appear to shine with a greater light. Spirits who might be considered to be in a “prison” are focused on their own personal needs or worldly indulgences. It is hypothesized that these latter group of spirits, still obsessed with the world and themselves, are those who haunt TV ghost shows, or seances, etc.

Not surprisingly, spirits tend to congregate based on similarities of light and interests. It is hypothesized by many that more self-centered spirits are simply not comfortable within the light that more “righteous” spirits possess. Hence, “hell” or spirit “prison” is defined not as an application of pain, but an inability to comfortably exist with other, more righteous people. (This frequent NDE observation may be one reason that conservative, fundamentalist Christians, who preach a literal hell of eternal pain and fire, are very skeptical of NDEs.)

In “Glimpses …,” the authors point to these distinctions, personal autonomy, and the absence of a “true church” or “gospel” as evidence that missionary work is active in the afterlife spirit world. This is one main concept, of course, that distinguishes this NDE book from others. What may surprise LDS readers of “Glimpses …” is that missionary work in the spirit world appears to be harder than missionary work here on earth. The Tops quote Swedenborg, who describes an afterlife of spirits waiting to be taught more information, but not until they are ready to receive it.

One of the more interesting concepts of afterlife found in “Glimpses …” is that it is far harder to convert a spirit than it was during that spirit’s mortal existence. That’s because a spirit retains all that he or she learned — secular or non-secular — into the spirit world. Personalities and beliefs are molded in life, as well as passions, biases, prejudices and pride. In other NDE recounted in “Glimpses …,” persons who had been skeptics of divine authority while on earth were observed still believing what they had once taught, and rationalizing, in a manner favorable to their own self interests, what they were now experiencing.

While reading “Glimpses …,” I was struck by how closely aligned some NDEs were to literature. In one NDE, persons who had caused great evil or tragedy (such as suicide) were observed trailing people on earth — who could not hear them — and begging forgiveness to those who had been hurt. It reminds of Marley’s ghost, in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” telling the unrepentant Scrooge that he had, after death, sat by his former partner in his office often.

Also, the idea that persons are assigned in the afterlife based on where they feel comfortable is similar to the C.S. Lewis novella, “The Great Divorce,” where residents of “hell” are taken on a journey to “heaven,” where spirits there minister to those in hell and attempt to convince them to remain with them, endure some discomfort (a metaphor for repentance), and live in heaven. Most of the travelers reject the offer, either because they are still afflicted with self pride and self pity, or, interestingly, believe that they are already in heaven.

That may sum up a key theme of “Glimpses …,” which is that in the spirit world, we end up basically where we are most comfortable. In Mormon doctrine, this requires a Millennium’s worth of missionary work, and the attendant patience and love, to bring everyone to knowledge of God’s plan of salvation.

Rather than viewed condescendingly, or as a tool to argue with, “Glimpses …” can be an interesting — and unique — opportunity to learn how Mormon theology views NDEs and how it fits into its doctrine.

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31 Responses to Near-death experiences get treatment from a Mormon perspective

  1. William Sillyman says:

    Doug, I’ve heard of the book “Glimpses” have never read it (at this point). There is several other books written on NDE’s from an LDS point of view. For some reason the first name escapes me, but their last name was also Gibson and they were from Layton, UT. He and his wife were also members of the IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) chapter in SLC for many years, this is how I knew them. I have experienced 3 NDE’s in my life, my first at age 19, from an reaction to anesthesia during surgery; at age 22 from a heart attack and my last one in 1991 at 36 from a ruptured appendix.

    You mention in your blog where the level of spirituality grew in these individuals yet they do not remember being directed toward any specific religion. I know that each NDE is individually unique to the experiencer, and for specifics I only know from my experience. If anyone would like to read about my experience you can at: http://www.nderf.org and go to the Site Index and it will pull up all that have been shared. Mine is “William S” and you can read it there.

    My second NDE was the one which made the most impact on my life. I had been raised Methodist/Pentecostal and during this experience I knew it wasn’t right. It wasn’t what was said, but a deeper understanding to the cellular level that I would know the truth when I heard it. Little did I realize that less than a year after that experience I did hear the truth of what belief was right. I felt that “familiar” spirit from my NDE, yet I didn’t know what an NDE was at that time. The moment I heard the first word of the true church, it was like every fiber of my body jumped. I didn’t get goosebumps, it felt like warm welts on my skin. I knew to the cellular level and the spirit confirmed it to me.

    NDE’s and those who have experienced them (especially those who are LDS that I know) have an extremely strong testimony, sometimes to the point of being a bit intimidating because of its strength. Doug, you mentioned several of the prophets mentioned, however I must add that Phoebe Woodruff and Camille Kimball both had NDE’s and they are recorded in Church history. Their husbands (the prophets) testified of these. As I read the scriptures, there are instances where the ancient prophet is speaking about an experience or vision and it has all the earmarks of an NDE or an OBE (out of body experience) which does not have a health issue connected to it.

    This is from a personal experience and one I have shared many times. I also have three very good friends who have books out on NDE’s or coming out on NDE’s. None of them are LDS, in fact one is an Episcopal Priest (retired) and his book will come out next year. Many people don’t want to talk about NDE’s because they think the person is a bit “crazy”, but that is further from the truth. It does make a difference in your life.

  2. William Sillyman says:

    I want to add an addendum to my post. Where my second NDE helped me to know the truth when I heard it, the third one (during my ruptured appendix) is one that had the most profound impact upon my life.

    I left my body 7 times due to intense pain from the surgery and because of all the infection poison in my body. It is difficult to describe something when there is nothing to compare it to. If there are any questions you want to ask, they are instantly answered (not verbally, telepathically) all answers are given to you in perfect clarity. Each episode was built upon the previous episode. I had no sensation of time, as there is no concept of time on that side. What you could experience in moments there, would take you lifetime’s (plural) to experience on earth in the human realm.

    I know that not all NDE’s are positive, some are Hellish, but that is interesting because that individual needed to experience that to turn their life around. I also know there were places within the spirit realm I could not go. Not that I was restrained from them, but knowing that if I crossed the “doorway” or crossed that veil, my physical body would die and I would not be able to return. I experienced a “life-review”, and within moments I could see my whole life before me (as I had lived to that point). The good and the bad. You are also shown your mission on this earth, yet knowing when you return that it will be blocked from again, to live your life in faith. You can set up “sign posts” with spiritual points to know you are still on the right path.

    My NDE’s have made such a difference in my life. I use to be a bit materialistic, I’m not anymore. I have things, but if they were taken away, I wouldn’t be angry about it, just “Oh well”, I don’t need it anymore. There are parts of my experience which I know, yet if I try to talk about them they “slide” further back into my memory. I’ve come to know this, that what was contained within that memory is not time to come forth. Many times I have actually heard them spoken of by the prophet, and these memories are my testimony of their truthfulness. I hope this adds to what I’ve already written and further explains my experience.

  3. Bob Becker says:

    1. There’s a “Journal of Near Death Studies”? Good grief ( so to speak)…….

    2. Your column begins in the first person (“I’m fascinated….”) but in the very next sentence, switches to the imperial “we.”. As Arte Johnson used to say on “Laugh In,” “veddy in-ter-esting.”

    ( Well, I said minor points.)

  4. Lasvegasrichard says:

    If communication is an instantaneous powerful level of intelligence , but not spoken , it almost reminds me of Borg in the Star Trek series. Maybe by becoming a temporal being we become individual and break free of the collective hive mind .

    • William Sillyman says:

      Richard, interesting analogy, but no. We were individual before we came here, individual now and will stay individual through all eternity. In the scriptures the phrase, “Heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow”, very symbolic of saying the same thing about each of us individually. We were the same in the pre-existence, today (except with a human body), and tomorrow (when it will be glorified). Just as the scriptures are loaded with symbolism, it is learning to decipher what those symbols mean. Things are only a mystery until you ask to learn it. Before we started school, that was a mystery, now it isn’t (except for those of us still in college). In the tomorrow, all that knowledge you have learned here will go with you and join all the knowledge your spirit already knows.

      The “collective consciousness”, is different than the Borg on Star Trek. Where we all have our individual experiences and knowledge, yet we all share in the one consciousness of our Heavenly Father. I have to be careful of what I write, not because I’m hiding anything (because I’m not) it’s what I experienced and the knowledge I learned during my NDE’s, is difficult to talk about, let alone explain in our limited language. I can get very deep, and I just don’t want to get into it here. I would definitely end up with a doctoral thesis. LOL

      When I first started talking about my NDE’s, it came after my wife gave me, “Embraced by the Light” by Betty Eadie. I started bawling like a baby. My wife asked me what was wrong. That book opened the door (more like flood gate) of memories. I had always had these feelings, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Then when I would talk about it, people would look at me as if I had two heads. They really thought I was crazy. I know I’m not, I’m sane (or at least my version of sane). Just like Bro. Joseph Smith knew he had a vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove, I know my experiences were real and they changed my life forever. I do not fear death. Even the things that are happening to me, may unnerve me a bit (like I’m going blind), but I know there is a reason for everything. I just have to trust in Heavenly Father and I’ll be fine.

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  6. Dave says:

    Since the death of my Son I have immersed myself in the study of NDE’s. In all of the accounts I have read not once was someone ever presented with a question about signs and tokens as revealed in the LDS temple ceremony. As a matter of fact, I discovered that for the most part Christians had Christian experiences, Buddhist had Buddha experiences, and Muslims had Mohammed experiences etc. In all of the videos and stories never was anything revealed that indicated Mormonism was the only true religion.

    • David Fidjeland says:

      When we die & continue on to the spirit world, we do not yet cross through the veil. This is done at the time of resurrection. Hence, that will be the time for the things that we learn in the temples. The spirit world is just a continuation of our mortal experience, but without our bodies. This is why the gospel is tsught there & those that accept it can still repent & receive a celestial glory at a later time.

  7. manaen says:

    “Many didn’t want to return and were unaffected by the grieving of family members and friends.”

    Someone suggested that Jesus wept before calling Lazarus back to this life because Jesus felt sorry for what he was about to do to Lazarus.

  8. Leon Porter says:

    Although I am interested in NDEs and have read several books and have seen documentaries on them, there is no evidence they are real. They can be pretty much explained by a dream-like state. The experiences have been duplicated by scientists and medical professionals using equipment to cause people to black out. It’s all in your mind.

    If they were real, there would be a definitive push to some religion or common belief but there is not. Certainly not to mormonism as there are none of the things Mormons are taught there such as the signs and tokens.

    Also, interesting that many of these people hawk books after they have their supposed experiences – anyway to make a buck I suppose.

    Again, I say it’s all in your mind. Bring back some evidence next time you have a NDE otherwise there’s nothing to indicate you weren’t just having an intense dream-like experience. You know maybe get a glimpse of the future since time seems to not be an issue in an NDE or find out something you couldn’t possibly have known – but something spectacular then we’ll give you some credibility. As of no you have none.

    • Kathy givens says:

      You should read “Proof of Heaven” by Ebon Alexander as he believed just as you do that NDEs were all dreams and a result of the mind until he died himself. The thing is, he was an atheist and neuro surgeon himself so brings a scientific element to the experience others do not.

    • FWTX says:

      Leon, check out Eben Alexander’s account of his “visit” to heaven – he’s the Harvard-trained neurosurgeon who spent a week in a coma, and as a scientist, insists it wasn’t a drug-induced or unconscious state he was in, that our spirit doesn’t need our brain to exist and in fact is able to experience a higher state when freed from the body. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/neuroscientist-sees-proof-heaven-week-long-coma/story?id=17555207

      • Trevor says:

        Yeah, and Alexander would be somehow exempt from the desire to make a quick buck off an amazing and unprovable story…

  9. Catherine Gardner says:

    You dont need signs and tokens to enter the spirit world especially if your not meant to be there! Besides everyone goes to the spirit world not everyone will dwell with the great God of the universe.

  10. Vader says:

    “One can assume that “Glimpses …” has been thoroughly vetted by LDS leaders.”

    I’ve not read the book and have no opinions on its merits. But this claim seems highly dubious to me.

  11. Justareader says:

    Well-written review.

    “One can assume Glimpses has been thoroughly vetted by LDS leaders.”

    I just have to say that unless a book is actually published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then we absolutely CANNOT assume that it has been thoroughly vetted by church leadership. Even prominent church members are entitled to their own opinions and publish books containing their ideas, but these are not considered church-sanctioned unless delivered over the pulpit in general conference or published directly by the church (ie: Ensign magazine, church websites, etc.). For more information about what the church teaches, visit one of these two websites: lds.org and mormon.org. This particular link gives a basic background of what Mormon’s believe about God’s plan for His children, including what happens when we die: http://mormon.org/plan-of-happiness (for a more in-depth study of the topic, visit the church’s main website, lds.org, and browse around). Just had to clarify that while probably a very good book full of doctrinal truths, written by well-known LDS authors, this is not considered church-vetted/sanctioned, etc, and the book probably contains a note stating such on the copyright page.

  12. Doug Gibson says:

    I never said the book was akin to a General Conference speech, etc. Given that I have read the book and that the publisher is Covenant, I’m very comfortable asserting that it was vetted, previewed, whatever you want to say, by LDS church authorities, even if not officially. The authors bend over backwards to inform readers that church doctrine supersedes any other NDE evidence.

  13. Lasvegasrichard says:

    I’d like to use this forum to ask people in the blogosphere what their opinion is of the text of the so called sealed portion, which I only discovered this last month ? It appears to touch on much of existence other than mortality . I have an open mind and discovered things in it that never even occurred to me . So what’s the consensus … anyone ?

    • Truthseeker says:

      If you are referring to Chris Nemelka’s sealed portion, it is indeed remarkable. But what it shows me is that scriptures are certainly able to be faked. It lends credibility to the critics that say Joseph Smith and/or others wrote the Book of Mormon in the 19th century.

  14. Rose Voigt says:

    Never thought of that but totally agree with that possibility. “Coming back” or being here feels like hell compared to the indescribable love felt in the spirit world. Sometimes choosing to remain here after such an experience can be vary difficult.

  15. Raevon Day says:

    I had a NDE 35 years ago.
    My mother had died when I was young, about 12 years before I had my experience.
    I was strangled by my husband and everything went dark, I couldn’t breathe. This was my experience: I was with my Mother, we were both so happy, talking rapidly, but we were talking without using our mouths, we were speaking from within ourselves. It was very bright around us. It was just her and me, I seen nothing else, no backgrounds or other people or things. Then everything went dark again. I felt myself falling rapidly, and I landed hard. I was back in the world, I remember how shocked I felt, to be back; I heard my children crying. Yes, I remembered it as being back in the world, that I definitely had been somewhere else, some place that I had felt so extremely happy.
    I was never able to remember anything that my Mother and myself talked about, though I knew it was comforting, and felt like it had been normal conversation, i.e. how are you? I am fine. and how are you? I never told anyone this story until years later.
    A few years later, my husband again tried to take my life, he had hit me over the head with a bottle, and kicked and punched me, at first I just gave in to the beating, but then all of a sudden something in me told me to fight for my life, I got up on my feet and I shoved him, and he fell back, it was miraculous that I was able to do that. I ran through the house, I could feel his breathe on my neck (literally), but I made it out the front door, running and screaming as loud as I could, and ran right into the arms of two LDS missionaries that were just walking by. (my husband ran back into the house, out the back door, and took off in our car). One of the Missionaries ran across the street to the neighbors to have them call the Police and the other stayed with me. This was the beginning of my process to finally succeed at separating from my husband and I never seen those two Missionaries again.
    I was converted to the church, a little over a year after this occurred; not really related to the earlier occurrance.
    I was raised Lutheran, and taught that when we die, we are asleep, in the grave, and will awaken on Judgement Day.
    From studying the scripture, attending the various church meetings, I learned things that made me believe that the experience I had with my Mother, was an experience I would now treasure with all my heart.
    I now truly believed that my Mother was not asleep in the cold, hard ground, but that she was alive, but just in a way that I was not alive.
    I have since told my NDE story to several people, and do not worry if they believe it or not, just hope they do. People can say anything they want about NDE, but I know what I know, and no one can take that from me.
    Has it changed my life? What it has done for me, is just add certainty to the things that I now believe to be true.

  16. Wow, even in this there is controversy. I have not personally experienced an NDE but have experienced those who have died and whose spirits linger, the latest one being a boy who passed on in the very house I am living in now. I assume it was a boy that passed away, we never could pin down what the presence was but just that we could feel it. I exercised my Melchizedek priesthood and asked that it leave our home and move on and it did. When I was a boy I lived in an old fortress of a place that was also inhabited by a spirit, at least one, and expect it was the previous owner’s wife. Hard to say, they don’t come right out and tell you. In this case it often made deliberate noise such as footsteps during the night and one night it sounded like all our dishes crashed to the floor. Nope, no fragments of broken dishes, it was just a sound in our heads I suppose. The thing is that everyone in the house heard it. I no that this does not relate directly to NDE but yet it does, spirits crossing over, in this case not coming back. I like the concept of the other side of the veil being a warm place to go and be accepted. I’m in no rush but then I don’t feel I’m fearful of going across any more. I know I have people/spirits there who have gone on before and who love me and that’s important. I have had many answers to prayers and real help from my father in Heaven so I know that he listens to me and cares for me. Pretty hard to beat that. I just hope that I can behave myself for the rest of my life and also give service to others. I think the latter is the most important thing we can do. It does not necessarily mean being missionaries, some of us just don’t seem to be equipped to do that well. There are lots of things we can do to just make people to be more at ease, make them feel cared for or loved.

  17. Joy B says:

    Referring to the comment “throw out traditional, man-made concepts of crime and punishment” and “law and order…….compassion and love are the dominating sensations experienced at death.”

    What the authors of the book “Glimpses” forgets is that this is the Spirit World, not Judgment Day. Judgment Day comes later after everyone has had to opportunity to “accept” or “reject” the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Compassion and love would prevail there. Heavenly Father will try to the very end to give everyone every possible opportunity to accept the gospel. His methods are compassion and love. What he tries to teach us on this earth.

    Another quote “In “Glimpses …,” the authors point to these distinctions, personal autonomy, and the absence of a “true church” or “gospel”. They
    then mention about “missionary work” and teaching of the spirits. What do you think they are teaching if not the Gospel of Jesus Christ or truth?
    The “true church” or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a vessel on this earth from which the “living water” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is freely poured to the inhabitants of THIS earth. With Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ “in charge” of the Spirit World, they do not need a “church” organization to teach truth, but if one were allowed
    in a NDE to look closely at the missionary work proceeding and the set up of how it is done, it would absolutely be the same–The Priesthood. The truth is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But it would not be “labeled” as any Church. After all, on this earth, we are here to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ/Truth. Too many Church members think of it as accepting or rejecting “The Church”. “The Church” is the conduit, and the message is the Gospel. Now, in order to receive the “fulness” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the fulness of the truth–we join the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Thank goodness we have the “fullness”. The more you learn here, the better off you will be because all that knowledge will go with us. But, what some fail to remember that all inhabitants on this earth who accept whatever part of the Gospel they were able to get here, will be blessed for what they learned and lived. We will not be the only followers of the Lord there. They will learn and, hopefully, accept the “fulness” or “the rest of the story” in the Spirit World. NDE is not “death”. They are only allowed to view what they, personally, need to see in order to come closer to the Savior and the
    truth, and to bring back to us the message that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. That there is life after death. After all, the scriptures state that “out of the mouths of 2 or 3 witnesses shall everything be established.” I, for one, appreciate the NDE experiences and the people who have the
    courage to share them.

  18. A Kyger says:

    My sister & I grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My twin sister living in Phoenix, AZ at that time was contemplating and praying and wanting to know if there is missionary work going on for our family’s on the other side. She came to visit our mother in Las Vegas, NV began telling mom what she had been pondering and praying about. This was right after she was sealed in the Temple. My mother smiled and handed her the book “Life Everlasting” and told her to read the OBE that James LeSueur had. My mother has shared this particular story in her genealogy classes she was asked to give over the years at church.
    Here is the link which we found online one day several years ago which to me was a surprising. To understand the experience my sister had please go and read this pdf file taken from the book. http://chapmanresearch.org /PDF/The%20James%20LeSueur%20Spirit%20World%20Experience.pdf
    Now what I’m about to tell you was indeed the answer to her prayers. Her experience has made my testimony stronger.
    After visiting with our mother she went back to Phoenix, AZ without the book and wanted to read it again, so that took her into the Desert Book Store there in town which isn’t there anymore on Indian School Rd or something like that. Anyway she went in there and was looking for “Life Everlasting” book. She finds it and was trying to find James & Franks experience inside the cover. She couldn’t remember the name LeSueur and so she is looking all over inside for it. She hears people all around her on the other side of the book shelf laughing and buying books. She hears a cow bell ring as if someone was entering or exiting the store. She sees a gray hared man nice looking older gentleman come walking towards her. She smiles and turns to him and asks him if he by any chance knew this book. He smiled and said I do know this book. She sighed and smiled and said I’m looking for two brothers James & Frank and I think their last name starts with an S. He says to my sister are you sure it doesn’t start with an L he says “LeSueur” sound familar? She said “oh yes”! “That’s it” . “Frank and James LeSueur”. She said “How did you know that” He said “because Frank was my father”!. Her chin dropped down to the floor. His wife Bobby was next door at the flower shop and he said he felt prompted to go next door. Come to find out from his wife after he passed on that he was a former Bishop. Bobby told us he had died in a car accident a few years after they met in the book store. Alison first spoke with Bobby over the phone and she sent her pictures of James & Frank and the girl Frank was sealed to and it was wonderful seeing their pictures. We met up with Bobby LeSueur and her granddaughter in 2008 many years after this experience. Bobby said many things to us that helped me and Alison make some decisions in our lives. Alison moved out of AZ to Las Vegas, NV in 2008 and It wasn’t long after meeting with them I was re-baptized in the church. I’m so grateful for my sisters experience and it’s true what they say that we are strengthened by others testimonies. We know that the work we do in the Temple is for a grander purpose. The Spirit world is a place of learning and progressing and those loved ones on the other side are waiting for us. Lets get busy! :O)

    Malachi 4: 5-6
    5 ¶Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the Lord:

    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

  19. Donna says:

    In 1998 a young member of the church had a NDE and wrote a book about it, The book is “The Message” by Lance Richardson…give lots of glimses into all the things that have been discussed in this blog..

  20. Robin says:

    Eben Alexander doesn’t “need a quick buck”. He is from a very WASP, socially prominent East Coast family – my brother went to boarding school with him. He really had this experience (NDE). NDEs can happen to anybody (rich, poor, etc.) because death happens to everyone, and with tofay’s life support systems many are surviving permanent death that did not in the past. Also, hate to surprise people: There is no “organized” religion and it’s intolerances and prejudices in the other Dimension; that is why most Western religions despise NDE survivors – no churches necessary, no $$$$ for the pastors and no control of the masses – just what a just God would want.

  21. Leah says:

    A near death experience left me in the presence of Jesus, who through the telepathy form of communicating in Heaven known to most who have these nde’s, KNEW exactly the one question I wanted to know above all else, as I knew my time was limited….I was struggling trying to scream out the question, “which religion is the right one?” smiling at me he replies, “Catholic, Christian & Jewish” at the time I didn’t know enough about anything other than the Christian basics, & didn’t know the similarities or differences between them. But what resonated through me was that neither was one all right or wrong, but that there were components of each that combined into the core truth. As I tried to ask something else, Jesus waves his hand in front of him & says “when you return, you will be asked the one question that is asked of everyone who will pass, what have you done for our fellow man?” then I was gone, like a swoosh, back to my body in the accident. It’s changed my life entirely. It wasn’t a hallucination, if you ever experience it, you just KNOW. It impacts your soul.

  22. e says:

    Leah: one of the best comments ever in history of blogging and religion. Thanks. Wish people would argue more about the best way to love each other

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