Jump to content

Poll: Opinions of "near-death experiences"


Your opinion of "near-death experiences"?  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your primary general perception of so-called “near death experiences”?

    • Hallucinations and/or spasms of an oxygen-starved brain
      7
    • Exaggerations and/or fabrications
      2
    • Evil or satanic deceptions
      0
    • Potentially plausible and educational only if they support LDS teachings (or my belief system if not LDS)
      3
    • Potentially plausible and educational whether or not they support LDS teachings (or my belief system if not LDS)
      25
    • Too confusing and/or too variable for conclusions to be drawn
      7
    • Irrelevant
      1
    • No opinion
      2
    • I'm not touching this topic with a ten-foot pole!
      1
    • Other (please describe in the comments below)
      1


Recommended Posts

With advances in resuscitation technology has come an increase in the number of people who have apparently been dead but who have been revived, some of whom report experiences while out of their bodies.

In general (by which I mean, this is not necessarily what you think about each and every such account), what is your opinion of these reports?  Are they fabrications, hallucinations, deceptions, plausible, irrelevant, whatever?    

It looks like you can select multiple answers, which is what I was hoping.  Feel free to post elaborations/explanations/objections/whatever below.

Thanks!

Edited by manol
Link to comment

I've heard of them in the church. One was even a Near-Death with a Spirit World and Pre-mortal Existence cross over. There was this couple I had Home Taught that told me how one of their elderly mother's was dying while they were pregnant. She had went into a comma. She came back out of the comma, she said she met their child, that it was a son, that he said his name was Gabriel and he had blonde hair and blue eyes. It was that moment they kind of dismissed their parent has having a fantasy, because neither one of the couple had blonde hair or blue eyes. She slipped back in to her comma and died a week later. Their later sonogram came back it was indeed a boy. They kind of knowingly looked at each other when they were asked if they had a name for him. They said "Gabriel". Then as it turned out after he was born, he did have blonde hair and blue eyes.

I believe them.

th-3816105434.jpg

Link to comment
Posted (edited)

I voted "Potentially plausible and educational whether or not they support LDS teachings (or my belief system if not LDS)", but just for the record I have encountered several NDE accounts, including by one of the "rock stars" of the NDE world, that I'm quite skeptical about.

It does seem to me that there can be enormous variation from one account to the next, and I don't really have an explanation for that.  I speculate that people tend to have an experience beneficial to them based on where they are/what they most need at that time, but I cannot yet say I've looked at enough NDE's through this lens to be confident about that. 

My first encounter with a near-death experience was in the late 1960's, when I was a boy.  My grandfather described to me what one of his patients, a police officer, reported following a motorcycle crash.  A decade or so later I read Raymond Moody's book, but I have not had a near-death experience personally.

My next-door neighbor has.  I noticed in him the kind of characteristics NDE researchers have described as often showing up in near-death experiencers.  So one day out of the blue I asked him, "Have you ever died"?  He said yes, and told me about it. 

My wife's step-father has died five times and counting, and while he didn't get the "grand tour" (as far as I know) he did experience some cool stuff.  He's looking forward to going back when he's done here.

My understanding is that about one in seven NDE's includes a scary or hellish component, but that they are usually (always?  I dunno) resolved with some sort of positive or educational message standing out to the person.  

My recollection is that polling indicates somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 percent of the population of the U.S. have had a near-death experience.  I figure it's possible that some of those polled are falsely claiming because there is presumably also a small percentage of the population who will do so, and I don't know if that can be controlled for.  I am under the impression that well under 2-3% of the people I have known are near-death experiencers.

I do find near-death experience accounts educational, even if I have yet to figure out how to reconcile some of them with other beliefs I currently have. 

Edit: I wanted to post something @Kevin Christensen wrote below in order to give it more chances of being seen.  I think this observation is brilliant and its implications staggering:

"... just reading and listening to NDE accounts conveys the same benefits as the actual experience."

Edited by manol
Link to comment

The more recent version of Duane Crowther's "Life Everlasting" contains journal material and NDEs from non-Mormons as well. What is striking is that the spirit world seems to be what people expect it to be. That is, it's not immediately a big Aha! moment ("The Mormons were right!"). Missionaries there will run into the same obstacles as here, as people are still who they were when they were here. I believe that even atheists and people who don't believe in a hereafter will be able to explain it away to themselves, if they want. 

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, rongo said:

The more recent version of Duane Crowther's "Life Everlasting" contains journal material and NDEs from non-Mormons as well. What is striking is that the spirit world seems to be what people expect it to be. That is, it's not immediately a big Aha! moment

Yes, I've noticed that too!   It seems like the experience is more often teaching what might be called the "next level" from where the person's belief system was, rather than completely redrawing their entire roadmap.  Like just today I watched an interview with an atheist who is still an atheist following his experience, but it did significantly expand his paradigm, such that he's now working on a book about his experience. 

Then there are experiences which go well beyond my normal comfort zone, and one of the possible explanations is that "I'm not there yet, and not even close."  So I try not to be closed-minded towards concepts described by near-death experiencers which are foreign to me. 

 

Link to comment

Just for fun I will relate what my MD friend told me about his experience with patient that had coded and that he had to shock several times before he got good heart signs back. This was done in the evening. The next morning he went in to see how the patient was doing. The patient saw him and said," It was YOU, you &*&%$#. " The patient told my friend that he was in great pain and then he was floating up out of his body , pain free and happy when suddenly ,BAM . he was back in his body in pain again. This happened several times and he could see looking down who the guy was causing him to go back into his body and the pain. He recognized my friend as the doctor and cussed him out for bringing him back each time. 

I think he eventually forgave my friend . 😎

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

Just for fun I will relate what my MD friend told me about his experience with patient that had coded and that he had to shock several times before he got good heart signs back. This was done in the evening. The next morning he went in to see how the patient was doing. The patient saw him and said," It was YOU, you &*&%$#. " The patient told my friend that he was in great pain and then he was floating up out of his body , pain free and happy when suddenly ,BAM . he was back in his body in pain again. This happened several times and he could see looking down who the guy was causing him to go back into his body and the pain. He recognized my friend as the doctor and cussed him out for bringing him back each time. 

I think he eventually forgave my friend . 😎

 

Link to comment

I believe in NDEs.  I do have a couple of caveats when reading them.

My belief that one is true and not made up is in direct contrast to the level of detail and the length of any given experience.  In other words, the longer it is and the more details that it has, the greater chance that it was made up.  Sadly all LDS authors of NDEs have a greater likelihood of fabricating them than other authors (ex, Julie Rowe, Spencer, Chad Daybell, Sara Menet, Betty Ede …).

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Durangout said:

I believe in NDEs.  I do have a couple of caveats when reading them.

My belief that one is true and not made up is in direct contrast to the level of detail and the length of any given experience.  In other words, the longer it is and the more details that it has, the greater chance that it was made up.  Sadly all LDS authors of NDEs have a greater likelihood of fabricating them than other authors (ex, Julie Rowe, Spencer, Chad Daybell, Sara Menet, Betty Ede …).

The exception to the LDS thing are the accounts that were not made for publication (e.g., journals, family tradition, etc.). I totally agree with you on the "rogue's gallery" above. 

I highly recommend Crowther's "Life Everlasting." He heavily uses journal accounts, and the non-Mormon accounts in the newer edition are very interesting and inspiring in their own right. 

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Everlasting-Definitive-Study-After/dp/1462120466

One of my favorite parts is the personal account of when Joseph F. Smith drowned on his mission in Hawaii. He saw his body down below on the beach, and hovered above it. When other missionaries anointed him with oil and laid hands on him, his spirit "snapped" back into his body. Many people (but not all) describe the spirit returning to the body as painful or unpleasant, while the spirit being outside the body is peaceful and pleasant. 

Link to comment
Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

Been there done that already discussed it on the board. Don't care to discuss it again.

I recalled someone on this board mentioning having gotten a negative reaction when they described their experience, but I couldn't remember where I'd come across that.  If that person was you, then I totally respect your decision and included the "not with a ten-foot pole!" option specifically for you. 

36 minutes ago, Durangout said:

I believe in NDEs.  I do have a couple of caveats when reading them.

My belief that one is true and not made up is in direct contrast to the level of detail and the length of any given experience.  In other words, the longer it is and the more details that it has, the greater chance that it was made up.  Sadly all LDS authors of NDEs have a greater likelihood of fabricating them than other authors (ex, Julie Rowe, Spencer, Chad Daybell, Sara Menet, Betty Ede …).

Hmmm, I'll have to think about that.  I'm not sure there is necessarily a one-to-one negative correlation between length/detail and plausibility, but I agree that sometimes there is (in my opinion anyway).  I do think there are people who see coming up with a good NDE story as an opportunity to gain unearned credibility and/or make money. 

@Fether on the Lazarus video - LOVED IT!!!

Edited by manol
Link to comment

Has any non member ever come back and proclaimed that the Mormons are right?  Or the Catholics?  Or whoever?  Just curious if anyone has ever heard of that information coming back from the dead.  Or even, I know which church is true, but I promised not to reveal that information.

And if it hasn't, it kinda makes one wonder just how important religious affiliation is.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

... I think he eventually forgave my friend . 😎

I hope so! :huh: 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Just for fun I will relate what my MD friend told me about his experience with patient that had coded and that he had to shock several times before he got good heart signs back. This was done in the evening. The next morning he went in to see how the patient was doing. The patient saw him and said," It was YOU, you &*&%$#. " The patient told my friend that he was in great pain and then he was floating up out of his body , pain free and happy when suddenly ,BAM . he was back in his body in pain again. This happened several times and he could see looking down who the guy was causing him to go back into his body and the pain. He recognized my friend as the doctor and cussed him out for bringing him back each time. 

I think he eventually forgave my friend . 😎

I am saying this if I ever need defibrillation whether it happened or not. Thanks.

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, california boy said:

Has any non member ever come back and proclaimed that the Mormons are right?  Or the Catholics?  Or whoever?  Just curious if anyone has ever heard of that information coming back from the dead.  Or even, I know which church is true, but I promised not to reveal that information.

And if it hasn't, it kinda makes one wonder just how important religious affiliation is.

Based on the accounts I've read or watched on YouTube, I do not think religious affiliation is "what matters most", and it may not even be on the list of "what matters".  There are teachings which show up in religions which ARE about "what matters most"... there's just also a lot of distracting emphasis on other stuff.   

Here's a collection of NDE'ers describing what they learned about "the purpose of life", and no they do not all say the exact same thing.  Anyway I cued it up to one such guy who expresses himself rather well in my opinion, takes about four minutes:

https://youtu.be/Vo9LSnf5lHU?t=588

From a different collection video we get a rather encouraging perspective from this lady, it takes less than two minutes but she says a lot with relatively few words: 

https://youtu.be/lXK7Pi9uKmU?t=2107

 

Link to comment
7 hours ago, manol said:

Based on the accounts I've read or watched on YouTube, I do not think religious affiliation is "what matters most", and it may not even be on the list of "what matters".  There are teachings which show up in religions which ARE about "what matters most"... there's just also a lot of distracting emphasis on other stuff.   

Here's a collection of NDE'ers describing what they learned about "the purpose of life", and no they do not all say the exact same thing.  Anyway I cued it up to one such guy who expresses himself rather well in my opinion, takes about four minutes:

https://youtu.be/Vo9LSnf5lHU?t=588

From a different collection video we get a rather encouraging perspective from this lady, it takes less than two minutes but she says a lot with relatively few words: 

https://youtu.be/lXK7Pi9uKmU?t=2107

 

I think "what matters most" gets presented when we stay dead. Otherwise, I think these experiences and their explanations would vary just like "far death" experiences do in this life.

Link to comment

I believe they are sometimes valid, however I believe many of the ones that are "viral" are often exaggerations or fabrications.

Any yes, that's because I'm bias and I think if they contradict previous light and revelation then I can dismiss them as a false manifestation.  That's what Joseph taught.
But I AM convinced that near death experiences happen and are valid.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, rongo said:

The more recent version of Duane Crowther's "Life Everlasting" contains journal material and NDEs from non-Mormons as well. What is striking is that the spirit world seems to be what people expect it to be. That is, it's not immediately a big Aha! moment ("The Mormons were right!"). Missionaries there will run into the same obstacles as here, as people are still who they were when they were here. I believe that even atheists and people who don't believe in a hereafter will be able to explain it away to themselves, if they want. 

I'd love to see the dead atheist explaining to himself that A. He's not actually dead or B. He's still alive imagining this...

I've always said I'll volunteer for the heavenly assignment of meeting atheists as they die.

Link to comment
8 hours ago, manol said:

Based on the accounts I've read or watched on YouTube, I do not think religious affiliation is "what matters most", and it may not even be on the list of "what matters".  There are teachings which show up in religions which ARE about "what matters most"... there's just also a lot of distracting emphasis on other stuff.

I think it is culturally impacted. From the little I have read, an NDE in eastern societies is quite different from western ones. So perhaps the question CB should have asked is; has any eastern person who experienced an NDE came back and said western cultures have it right or vice versa?

Link to comment

The Spirit World chapter in the Brigham Young Priesthood manual has things like this:
"I can say with regard to parting with our friends, and going ourselves, that I have been near enough to understand eternity so that I have had to exercise a great deal more faith to desire to live than I ever exercised in my whole life to live. The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered so that when we advance in years we have to be stubbing along and be careful lest we fall down. We see our youth, even, frequently stubbing their toes and falling down. But yonder, how different! They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or this, that, or the other place—and I presume we will be permitted if we desire—there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on these western islands, or in China, we are there; in fact, we are like the light of the morning. … God has revealed some little things, with regard to his movements and power, and the operation and motion of the lightning furnish a fine illustration of the ability of the Almighty (DBY, 380)."

"When we pass into the spirit world we shall possess a measure of his power. Here, we are continually troubled with ills and ailments of various kinds. In the spirit world we are free from all this and enjoy life, glory, and intelligence; and we have the Father to speak to us, Jesus to speak to us, and angels to speak to us, and we shall enjoy the society of the just and the pure who are in the spirit world until the resurrection (DBY, 380–81)." 
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-38?lang=eng 

In looking at the Teachings of Brigham Young on the Spirit World it is evident that he goes far beyond what is contained in the Bible on the afterlife, (which contains remarkably little), and that he can do so because of his personal experience.  The manual does not make the connection between his knowledge and to what happened to him at Winter Quarters, but that, I think is the best explanation.  See the account here:

https://sunstone.org/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/097-86.pdf 

Then there was David B. Haight's NDE, reported in General Conference.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1989/11/the-sacrament-and-the-sacrifice?lang=eng 

Joseph F. Smith's Vision of the Redemption of the Dead in our Doctrine and Covenants is also informative and useful.

The Nibley video, Faith of an Observer, contains Nibley's account of his own NDE.  Many years ago I wrote an essay that demonstrates that Alma's conversion was comparable to modern Near Death Experience accounts. And Alma, it happens, provides the most detailed reports of the afterlife.  He also provides the accounts by Lamoni, the Queen, and Lamoni's father.

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol2/iss1/2/ 

One of the interesting things about Raymond Moody's Life after Life book is that it was preceeded by Duane Crowther's collection of LDS NDE accounts, Life Everlasting.  Among other things, it includes several accounts, from Joseph Smith's vision of Alvin, to many more up to the time of his writing.  Moody soon discovered how neatly LDS teachings and reports fit with his discoveries.  His book The Light Beyond cites the LDS as the most prominent western faith to accept NDE accounts.  He cites "Mormon Leaders" but if you check the accounts he provides, it turns out to be Brigham Young.  Moody tells the story of Jedediah Grant's NDE, as reported by Heber C. Kimball in conference, but leaves out Grant's most telling remark, "Why it was just as Brigham has told us many times."

This is a video of Raymond Moody talking with an interviewer about NDEs and containing the reports of six different experiencers, one of whom tried to commit suicide.  I have seen several different videos on the topic and this is by far the my favorite.


One of the key aspects of NDE accounts on experiencers is that those who have them report that they no longer fear death.  It also turns out that just reading and listening to NDE accounts conveys the same benefits as the actual experience.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
Link to comment

This takes a bit of a detour, but since we are talking about whether our religious allegiance matters in the grand scheme of things, I personally believe it doesn’t. Everywhere I read, it appears that what really matters is how much we act on the light we are given (whether that is a little or a lot). I imagine there will be more exalted beings from outside the church than in

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, Fether said:

This takes a bit of a detour, but since we are talking about whether our religious allegiance matters in the grand scheme of things, I personally believe it doesn’t. Everywhere I read, it appears that what really matters is how much we act on the light we are given (whether that is a little or a lot). I imagine there will be more exalted beings from outside the church than in

I don't believe that at all.
It's got nothing to do with "allegiance".  It's about obedience to God's laws.
Nobody is getting exalted without an endowment, whether live or proxy.

Link to comment

Brigham Young taught that the Spirit World was essentially co-local with the temporal world. While living, our spirit bodies aren't interacting with that world (imagine driving down a road and the road passes through a spirit world mountain -- our spirit bodies clearly don't slam into it). The thought is that after death, our spirit body will then enter and start interacting with that spirit world. Sounds reasonable enough. But, it's not instantaneous. Suppose a bunch of individuals in the spirit world are pleasantly chatting as they take a short break from the work they are engaged in. They happen to be in a location that coincides with a nice forest in Minnesota. But, a mortal hiker happens to be passing through that exact same spot and has a heart attack and dies. Imagine the surprise of the group when this individual suddenly pops up in their midst! ... Point being, this literal take on things can have too many complicated, but quite plausible, scenarios.

For me, I think there is a transitory space between the mortality and death -- a time when our mind and spirit body can prepare for re-entrance to that realm. Think of it as a virtual reality experience. In that scenario, the experience is tailored to mitigate the shock of transition from one realm to the next, both the perceptual and mental shock. And different individuals could very well experience different things. Sometimes relatives could join the "VR" experience, other times not. Sometimes it would mimic the physical reality where their now deceased physical body is, other times it could be a tranquil glade. Sometimes they are just as they are when they died, other times they are younger, or a glowing sparkly dot. Sometimes vocal communication is used, sometimes "telepathic".

Basically, I think of the transition as:  physical world -> death -> ["VR" experience of the mind] -> spirit body -> spirit world

Near death experiences would basically be of the VR experience phase. I don't think there are but a very, very few (if any) who entered the literal spirit world with their literal spirit body. The positive and negative of this position is that I can believe or not believe pretty much anybody's account as real. But, it also means that I can't really use them to inform doctrine or any such thing (which we shouldn't do anyway).

 

Link to comment

"strait is the way and narrow the gate "  seems to refute the " all roads lead to Rome " idea. 

Just like after being born here it takes some time to acclimate , so to a return home may take a while to take it all in again . 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...