ap1054 wrote: ↑
Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:09 pm
I’ve never shared my quasi-NDE experience other than with a few individuals, but here it goes. Think of it what you may. I’ll try and be as straightforward and genuine as I can, and avoid the flowery words that Mormons love to use.
A little about me: born & raised in the church, full-time mission, temple marriage, etc.; still attending LDS church but not really participating (other than being the organist which is the best calling BTW) because of all the issues I have with everything.
When I was 12 years old I was involved in a really bad bike accident. No helmet, riding on my new mountain bike that I was riding all over the place, and heading with my family to go clean our local LDS building (of all places). I loved riding to the church building because it resides off a highway that has a gradual decline (maybe 2-3% grade) so I could turn and burn on the corner coming into the church parking lot and get that excitement of leaning into a corner hard and fast.
I was ahead of my family, and was making really good time getting there, and took that corner into the church parking lot much faster than I probably ever had (because I didn’t make it this time). From what I remember, my wheels both hit the sidewalk curb maybe at the same time and I got catapulted off my bike and went head first into the sidewalk. I’m a pretty big cyclist to this day and I think I was going probably 18-22mph. Pretty big impact for a young kid with no helmet. From what I can remember, my head hit first followed very closely (likely within milliseconds) by my left shoulder and then entire left side of my body. It’s probably a miracle that I survived the impact and had no serious cranial damage. To this day anyone who knows me well will say I’m hard-headed.
I remember being in total pain and couldn’t see much. I managed to get up off the sidewalk (where there was a blood stain for years afterward) and limped over and collapsed onto the grass. I remember being in so much pain that it was overwhelming. I just moaned for someone to help me. And then at this point I experienced my “brush” with the other side…
Probably 4 months prior to this crash, my grandpa passed away from parkinson’s disease around the age of 85. I had never gotten to know him because he was pretty incapacitated by it later in his life and he was a solemn, quiet farmer who never had much to say. Add to that we lived 14 hours from their house so we only visited once, maybe twice a year, and I was way too preoccupied with cousins to spend much time with grandparents. But I was always a little nervous around him. He made me uncomfortable and I always was worried I was in his way or inconveniencing him (probably was because I was running around the small house with my cousins). He never snapped at us or anything but would watch us with a tired face. I never had good reason to be afraid of him - probably just a natural thing being a kid and all. Anyways, when he finally passed away I don’t remember being sad or anything - just understood (I think) it was part of life and it was clearly his time to go.
…Back to the crash scene. While I was lying on the grass and moaning for someone to help me, everything started to fade to white and the pain went away. I don’t remember being able to see any part of my physical surroundings, everything was glowingly white. And then I saw my grandpa. He simply just “appeared.” And he just looked at me and smiled, and communicated with me, the best way I can explain, telepathically. The clear simple communication I received was - “I love you so much, and everything is going to be okay.” And that’s all I remember for that exact moment when I had that brush with the other side, if you’d like to call it that. I don’t know how long it lasted or anything else until I came back to myself.
I regained consciousness lying on my back in my bed at home, with my dad and Bishop with their hands on my head wrapping up a blessing. The sharp pain came back intensely and everything was as it was once again. The weird thing is that I never lost consciousness according to my family. I was definitely in trouble though and according to my mom (a nurse) in a state of extreme shock. I didn’t really recognize my siblings and I didn’t know the car they were putting me into (a new family car) when they picked me off the grass to take me home. I never flatlined or anything close to it, but I still had my quasi-NDE experience, and it had and continues to have a significant impact on my life.
The experience is weird to me because (a) I had no out-of-body experience, but I still had a brush with the other side, and (b) why did I see my grandpa, given that he honestly wasn’t of much significance in my life? No matter how I think of it, the reality remains - I had a very tangible (I think) experience that deeply affected me. When I think back and remember it all, it still brings me peace and I have a renewed desire to be more loving to other people. And on that point, the love I experienced was other-worldly!! I’ve studied NDE stuff and that seems to be a common experience that others have.
Another interesting thing was my regaining consciousness during the blessing. I’ve always been uncomfortable with “priesthood authority” and “one true church” claims in Mormonism, even when I was a TBM. At this point in my life I really don’t think we (counting myself with Mormons) have it at all. But I don’t know what that was about. I do believe in the power of faith and that it is an accessible power source available for any human being (not exclusive to Mormons, Christians, etc.). Did I regain consciousness because of faith or because it was singly God’s intervention, independent of the faith of my dad and Bishop?? I have no idea and I don’t think I’ll ever know.
Lastly, my simple experience with the other side always made me uneasy with Alma 40 and D&C 76, even as a teenager. My reading of other NDE experiences also cause me to lean towards LDS theology being wrong or misdirected as to what is beyond the mortal veil.
But whatever you’d like to think about my experience, it is what has allowed me to maintain a very firm faith that there is a God who loves us, that we exist beyond death, and God is all about love and we’re just supposed to try and love others the same way while we’re here. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of Mormon messiness and as a NOM, I believe nothing beyond the simple principles taught by Jesus - love, tolerance, forgiveness, mercy, peace, service, etc. Everything else in Mormonism IMO has been added on (either deliberately for power or through genuine well-intentioned pondering or misinterpreted inspiration by leaders) and is completely unnecessary, and may even distract from the simple foundations of Jesus’ teachings.
I think without this “brush with the other side” I may have lost my faith in God altogether at this point given all the crap that is Mormon history. But I’m grateful to God that I had this experience. It really was a life-impacting event that opened up my mind to what is and changed the way I interact with people, although I’m in no way a perfect person.