An Afterlife?

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
Minyan Man
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by Minyan Man » 29 Jul 2012, 17:27

m&g, thank you for sharing your experience. I can tell that the experience has special significance to you.

Mike from Milton.

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 29 Jul 2012, 18:30

Thank you M&G. I appreciate hearing your experiences and thoughts. It provides added insight into my life in a positive way.

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mercyngrace
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by mercyngrace » 29 Jul 2012, 19:03

I think I've only even talked about this experience with maybe 3 or 4 friends and family members. Partially because some of it was so intensely personal and partly because I just have never known exactly what to make of it. People tend to experience NDEs, visions, or out of body experiences that reinforce their belief systems. Mine sort of did that but some aspects were distinctly not how I understood Mormonism at 20. As an example, there were people who I knew were family (and again I can't even begin to verbalize this because it was like I was behind a thick, velvet, theater curtain - close enough that I was convinced I could reach out and touch it in front of me - but weighty and heavy enough to darken the whole room and completely separate me from the voice of the man on the other side). I had not been through the temple and had no idea about the veil in the temple so there's no correlation to that imagery. Anyway, those people who were there - I knew what they looked like and they were all, except my one grandmother who I actually knew in mortality, non-member relatives. They looked like my mom's people. She's a convert, the only member in her family. At 20, I would have expected them to be in "spirit prison", not meeting me, a faithful member, as I crossed over. The voice of the man who spoke to me was gentle and loving and I knew (again, I don't know how I knew but I did) that if I just reached out my hand, He would take it and that would be the end of my life in this body. At my age and understanding then, I would have expected to be welcomed with light and rejoicing, not compelled to decide whether I wanted to live or not. It felt very much like the whole experience was designed to teach me something rather than to actually provide passage elsewhere. This feeling was reinforced by the growing awareness I have had from the moment I decided to stay, that the one offering a choice already knew my answer.

Does that make any sense at all?
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

Curt Sunshine
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Jul 2012, 19:15

The one offering a choice already knew my answer.

Does that make any sense at all?


Absolutely.

One of my uncle's lessons from his experience was that he had to be presented with the choices he was given so HE would accept his life afterward as HIS choice - what he really wanted, even given the difficulties that followed. He couldn't "blame" god or anyone else - and it allowed him to see everything that happened, even the hard stuff, as truly a gift.

That is a profound understanding, imo.

I think we would fall upon our faces and weep for joy if we truly understood the entire span of out eternal existence - and how little this life matters, even as it matters so very much. That's nothing more than faith for me, since I have no personal evidence of it, but it's how I feel and what I hope.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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wayfarer
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by wayfarer » 29 Jul 2012, 19:18

absolutely makes sense. it was clearly a mystical experience...very powerful. was it a lucid-dream vision or actual near death? I ask rhetorically--please don't answer that. the way you act here, your clear spiritual sesitivities are present in almost every dialogue. your comment of merely coninuing the divine dance is most enlightened.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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mercyngrace
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by mercyngrace » 29 Jul 2012, 19:39

Ray Degraw wrote:
The one offering a choice already knew my answer.

Does that make any sense at all?


Absolutely.

One of my uncle's lessons from his experience was that he had to be presented with the choices he was given so HE would accept his life afterward as HIS choice - what he really wanted, even given the difficulties that followed.
Ray, this is absolutely what happened to me! After I decided to stay, the voice said that I would face some tremendous challenges and that some would seem too hard to bear but that from that point on I would always know that I had made the choice to be here. That knowledge alone has gotten me through a handful of moments when I thought I would break - and by all accounts, probably should have.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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mercyngrace
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by mercyngrace » 29 Jul 2012, 19:54

wayfarer wrote: the way you act here, your clear spiritual sesitivities are present in almost every dialogue. your comment of merely coninuing the divine dance is most enlightened.
Thanks, Wayfarer.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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InquiringMind
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by InquiringMind » 29 Jul 2012, 23:00

M&G, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm tempted to say that I would like to have an NDE so that I could have such a strong belief in the afterlife, but I don't think I want to be in a position where I am that close do death. I have also found it strange that no NDE I have read about fits the Mormon model of the afterlife. On my mission I taught people that there is a partial judgement immediately after death and that people go to either spirit prison or spirit paradise, but no NDE account that I am aware of has reported this happening. I imagine you've read all of the NDE literature and the potential neurological explanations, but I'm sure that none of the biological explanations can adequately explain the powerful reality of your experience.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Jul 2012, 23:25

No NDE account that I am aware of has reported this happening.
No NDE would, since they are experiences of people who were only mostly dead. ;) :lol:

(Sorry if someone doesn't recognize that movie reference from one of the funniest movies ever made.)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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InquiringMind
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Re: An Afterlife?

Post by InquiringMind » 29 Jul 2012, 23:53

Thanks, I caught the movie reference :smile: I suppose that's a good point- since the person didn't actually die, I guess we wouldn't expect people to be sorted in such a way. Christopher Hitchens used the same argument to dismiss NDE- since the person didn't actually die, then NDEs don't tell us anything about the afterlife. I guess a "Mormon NDE" would involve seeing all your dead relatives wearing dark business suits with white shirts and conservative ties or pastel-colored dresses, hearing one of your dead relatives quote Bruce R. McConkie, going to a correlation meeting in a Mormon-looking chapel, hearing primary songs in the background, seeing people's temple garment markings showing through their thin white shirts, and being told that you need to meet with your Bishop for a PPI so he could consult the handbook of instructions to decide whether or not you would go back to your body. That's what I would expect for a Mormon afterlife- everything would be very Mormon, even down the the casserole :smile:

But yes, the above Mormon afterlife scenario is one that a TBM might maintain a belief in. Since I am no longer a TBM, I wouldn't expect an NDE or an afterlife to be like that.

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