Monday, March 4, 2013

Near-Death Experiences from Early Church Members

Some of us have particular interest in reading the experiences of faithful church members in the early years of the Church.  This new book "Gaze Into Heaven" offers us that blessing along with the opportunity to learn about the life beyond this and to strengthen our understanding of why we are here and where we will go after this life. 
 From author Marlene Bateman we read the following:  
Gaze Into Heaven is a carefully compiled collection of more than 50 near-death experiences that occurred during the early years of the Church. These documented accounts give fascinating glimpses into the Spirit World by those who have actually been there. Besides being filled with stories of insight and inspiration, Gaze Into Heaven has pertinent quotes from latter-day Prophets and other leaders, scriptures, and perceptive commentary. After reading this book, you will never think of life—or death—in the same way.
Most of us have wondered exactly what will happen when we die. What does the Spirit World look like? Will we see departed family members and friends? What do people do there? Do spirits there know what is happening on earth? What did people who had near-death experiences learn from their visit? All of these questions and many more are answered in Gaze Into Heaven. There have been many books written about modern day near-death experiences, but Gaze Into Heaven is the first to focus solely on those that took place in early church history.
  Joseph Smith said; “All men know that they must die . . . it is important that we should understand the reasons . . . of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world . . . and our departure hence. . . It is a subject we ought to study more than any other. . . Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that was ever written on the subject.” Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Period I, vol. 6, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 9 October, 1843), 50.

The Doctrine and Covenants also counsels us to learn more. We are to study “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass.” (D&C 88:79).

Studying near-death experiences can bless us with a better understanding of this life and increase our knowledge of the life to come. By reading about those who actually entered the spirit world and saw conditions there, we can benefit from the insights they gained and use that information to reevaluate our lives and use our time on earth productively.
 With this book, Marlene Bateman Sullivan has done a valuable service for Latter-day Saint readers. Previous life-after-death studies published brief extracts from numerous sources and combined them to define spirit-world events and conditions. Returning to those sources, she has compiled many of their complete accounts, which add additional insights that will be enjoyed by many. Well done! —Duane S. Crowther, author of Life Everlasting—A Definitive Study of Life After Death 
You can purchase the book at Deseret book or Seagull Book or.... online at:  Deseret Book, -  Seagull Book-  or Amazon.

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