The Real Shangri-La?

The Real Shangri-La? March 29, 2020


Cloud and sunset
A cloud, with sunlight. A soothing image for an often contentious subject. (Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)


Here are two new items that are available via the website of the Interpreter Foundation:


“Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Hinckley Comments on Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s Critics”: Part 19 of a Series Compiled by Dennis B. Horne


“Interpreter Radio Show — March 22, 2020”

An archived recording of the 22 March 2020 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show — shorn of commercial and other interruptions — is available at no charge at the link immediately above.  The participants in the broadcast were Steve Densley and Matthew Bowen. In this particular episode, they interviewed Mark Johnson about his recent Interpreter article on Moses chapter 1.  Also featured was a roundtable on the upcoming Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon lesson #16 on Mosiah 4-6.




I’ll be intermittently sharing notes here that I’ve drawn from J. Steve Miller, Near-Death Experiences As Evidences for the Existence of God and Heaven: A Brief Introduction in Plain Language (Acworth, GA: Wisdom Creek Press, 2012).  I’ll start with the following:


Imagine that you’ve heard tales of an extraordinary lost civilization somewhere in the mountains of Tibet called Shangri-La.  Your curiosity gets the best of you and you’re itching to find out if it’s real.  But how could you gather evidence without launching your own costly expedition?

Your best bet would be to talk to scads of people who claim to have independently visited Shangri-La and compare their stories, while evaluating their intelligence, honesty, and sanity.  And it wouldn’t hurt if they produced corroborating evidence, like a souvenir that could have come only from Shangri-La.

Essentially, this is what many people claim about the afterlife.  Since we’re told that the most popular way to meet God face-to-face is to die, it’s simply not practical to schedule a trip over Spring break.  That leaves us with the option of interviewing levelheaded people who claim to have visited the other side.  (15)


Miller says, though, that he never took near-death experiences seriously.  Until something changed, and he did.


NDEs aren’t rare.  Studies found four percent of the populations of Germany and the USA reporting that they had experienced one.  That’s over one out of 25 people, or over nine million Americans.  (25))


Here are some representative comments from NDE reports:


It was real — as real as me sitting across from you and talking to you now.  Nothing could ever convince me otherwise.  (26)


All the pain vanished and I began to experience the most wonderful feelings.  I couldn’t feel a thing in the world except peace, comfort, ease.  I felt that all my troubles were gone.  I’ve never felt so relaxed.  I’ve never felt this happy before.  It was so emotional that I can’t possibly describe it.  (26)



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