CASTILLO - What does the church have to say concerning the Near Death Experiences that are reported by those who are bought back to life after dying?

JOEL - By "near death experience" I assume you are talking about those who said they died, felt themselves leave their body and then return to their body and report back details about their "out of body" experience. As far as I can tell there has never been any "official" Church policies or statements concerning what people call a "near death experience". I see no reason to have any. There have been many who have reported having had such experiences; several coming from General Authorities of the Church(See for example the book "Life Everlasting" by Duane Crowther). Therefore, these things apparently do happen to a few people for reasons only God Himself knows. It is a very personal experience that only those who have come back from the dead can understand.

Scientists studying the phenomenon have come up with some biochemical and psychological explanations that they claim might explain some of these occurrences. And they may be right in some cases. The only way anyone can tell if the experience was a true journey to the after-life is to examine everything that happened and see if the details contradict anything we have been told through the scriptures or through the prophets of God.

It is interesting to note that most people who experience this, whether they are LDS or not, tell of what a beautiful experience it was as they were ushered into heaven. Because of this, some come to the conclusion that it then matters not how one lives in mortality, because all these people who briefly enter the Spirit world come back and report such peace and happiness. The reason for this of course is because of what we are told by Alma that ALL departed spirits, "whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life." (Alma 40:1) Sometime later the unrighteous spirits are separated out into spirit prison, as Alma explains.

"And then it shall come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. And then it shall come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil - for behold they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they choose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house - and these shall be cast into outer darkness; (Alma 40:12)

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