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Monday, December 14, 2009

NDE's (Near Death Experiences) and the Church

A December 9, 2009 article in the Christian Science Monitor by Dinesh D'Souza caught my eye. Entitled "Life after death: What does the evidence show? D'Souza reflects on these experiences. I heard Mr. D'Souza speak once at Virginia Tech when I was a Ph.D. student. He seems to have wide interests. He's written on a number of different topics. In this article, he states the following:

"Atheists who deny both God and an afterlife may be vastly outnumbered, but they think they occupy the intellectual high ground on this question. That's because religious believers typically affirm the afterlife on the basis of faith, while atheists regard themselves as denying it on the basis of science and reason."
I have followed some of the writings on people who have technically died and then returned to life with extraordinary descriptions of what they have experienced. I've read some of Raymond Moody's work, Return From Tomorrow by George Richie, as well as Mormon collections of these experiences including Life Everlasting by Duane Crowther.

As I was going through these materials I naturally evaluated them by my secular self as well as my religious self. One story really stands out in my mind as significant proof. I don't remember which item it was in but I think it was one of Moody's books. The person who related the N.D.E. was a patient that had died in the hospital while being worked on by a doctor. After being revived, the person not only related experiencing an afterlife but could also relate what was said in the operating room by medical personnel, what happened in the emergency room, described the contents of the room, as well as the concerns by the doctor about an non-hospital situation where he had lent a hand. This incident had occurred earlier in the day, I think, while the doctor was commuting to work. He was concerned that he may be sued for it because of some legal loop holes in liability law (Good Samaritan Laws generally fix these problems). Besides relating everything going on around her body in the hospital and experiencing the afterlife, the author pointed out that the patient had read the doctor's mind.

N.D.E.'s are consistent with what little we know of the afterlife from church leaders and modern revelations to prophets.

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