Bahia Blanca, Argentina
Benin City, Nigeria!
Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo!!
By the time those last two temples had been announced, I confess that I was in tears. When the multinational choir came together for “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” I could not join in. I was simply unable to sing.
From Lee Nelson, Visions from Beyond the Veil (Springville, UT: Council Press, 2014):
I found a typical near-death experience in a nursing journal about a man in Switzerland who found himself in a fatal automobile accident while driving to a championship soccer match. The first thing he remembered after the accident was floating in the air above the crash scene. He could see his mangled car, which was blocking traffic in both directions. He saw an ambulance, and a white blanket covering the remains of his physical body that had died in the accident.
He was obviously concerned at having died, and wondered what would happen next. Then he could hear voices, but not angelic ones. Angry words were coming from the cars that couldn’t move forward because of the accident. His fellow soccer fans were upset about missing the beginning of the game, and were cursing him for making them late. Some of the drivers were actually swearing at him.
Then, through all the angry words, he heard a woman’s voice offering a very sincere prayer that the man under the blanket, regardless of his religious beliefs, would be made whole, that the minds and hands of the paramedics and doctors would be guided in their efforts to heal this accident victim. It was too beautiful of a day for this man to die.
The man was so touched by the prayer on his behalf, coming from a total stranger, that he decided he would try to help the woman see her prayer answered. He willed himself down to the ground, and somehow pushed himself back into his body. He was able to get the attention of the paramedics by wiggling a toe. Fluids and drugs were administered. He lived.
Months later, after a long and painful recovery, the man asked an attorney friend to visit him. The soccer fan told all that had happened on the day of the accident, including how the woman’s prayer had touched him.
“I want you to find her for me,” he told the attorney. “I want to meet her and talk to her.”
“Impossible,” the attorney said. “There were hundreds of cars at the scene of the accident. Nobody took roll.”
“I can make your job easy,” the man responded and handed the attorney a piece of paper with the woman’s license plate number written on it. (xivii-xviiii)
This story, of being in an auto accident and finding oneself suddenly up in the air looking down upon the scene, is very striking to me. (Another such story, quite similar, occurs on pages 6-7.)
Why? Because it reminds me of a story told me many years ago by a man whom I didn’t know and whose name I’ve long since forgotten. He was driving me from an airport in North Carolina to the home where I would be staying while I spoke to a stake fireside there. I must have mentioned my strong interest in near-death experiences.
“Oh,” he said. “I had one of those when I was young.” (He was then, I would guess, in his early to middle seventies.)
He described being T-boned by a truck as he was driving along a rural road in a forested area of North Carolina. Suddenly, he was about a hundred feet above the crash scene. He watched as an ambulance and other emergency vehicles hurried toward the accident, and then as police and medical personnel attempt to revive him. He tried to tell them that they should calm down, that he not only felt completely fine but, in fact, exceptionally well. Of course, they couldn’t hear him. Then, in a flash, he was back in his body. “It hurt like hell,” he told me.
That man had nothing to gain by telling me that story. He wasn’t even happy about having to pick me up at the airport. He was doing it as a (somewhat grudging) favor to his daughter, who had arranged my visit but, for some forgotten last-minute reason, had been unable to meet me when I landed. I have no reason whatever to doubt his honesty, and precious little reason to doubt the truth of what he related to me.