"In the end, the only true religion is love." —Chaplain David Maginley
"There are many ways to the top of a mountain, but there is only one summit—love." —Morihei Ueshiba
I recently discovered the following lists of near-death experience aftereffects based on the research of P.M.H. Atwater. They also seem to hold true for those who have had deep or remarkable spiritual experiences, but that’s just my opinion. These lists were developed from more than 3,000 adult research sessions plus 277 with children.
Psychological Aftereffects of Near-death States
Most Common (between 80 to 99%)
- loss of the fear of death
- more spiritual/less religious
- more generous and charitable
- handle stress easier
- more open and accepting of the new and different
- disregard for time and schedules
- regard things as new even when they’re not (boredom levels decrease)
- form expansive concepts of love while at the same time challenged to initiate and maintain satisfying relationships
- become psychic/intuitive
- know things (closer connection to Deity/God, prayerful)
- deal with bouts of depression
- less competitive
Quite Common (50 to 79%)
- displays of psychic phenomena
- vivid dreams and visions
- “inner child” issues exaggerated
- convinced of life purpose/mission
- rejection of previous limitations/norms
- episodes of future knowing common
- more detached and objective (dissociation)
- “merge” easily (absorption)
- hunger for knowledge
- difficulty communicating and with language
- can go through deep periods of depression and feelings of alienation from others
- synchronicity commonplace
- more or less sexual
- less desire for possessions and money
- service oriented
- healing ability
- attract animals
- good with plants
- aware of invisible energy fields/auras
- preference for open doors and open windows/shades
- drawn to crystals
- laugh more
- adults: lighter afterwards
- children: wiser, more serious, bonding to parents lessens
"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. . . ." (Luke 24:5–6).
"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. . . . But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or he next, Sunday will come. . . . [T]he Resurrection is not a fable." —Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger." —Lamentations 1:12, KJV
I recently found Dusty Smith’s book Trial of Faith (also by Kimiko Christensen Hammari). It sort of waved me down. It was next to a larger book at waist level on a shelf at Deseret Book in Spanish Fork. I was not having a great day but it was about to get better. Something said, “You’ll want to pick up that book.” I took it in hand and bought the intriguing little volume forthwith.
I finished reading it the next day. It moved me. Dusty’s story is not candy coated. I was amazed by his honesty. He confesses his online antagonism —bitter, hate-filled, and frequent over two decades. But then something changed and his heart started to soften. The patience, understanding, and good humor of his now good friend Mike Robertson helped a lot.
Miracles came. Many, many miracles. Miracles so convincing that they seem more real than “reality.” Like the time (starting on page 60) when Dusty was deathly ill and his son innocently let a pair of missionaries into the house when he was not up to seeing anyone.
“You’re sick,” the missionaries observed.
“I’m not just sick,” replied Dusty, “I’m dying. Now please get out of my house.”
“Can we at least give you a blessing first?”
A hinge point. “If it’ll get you out of my house, then yes.”
They gave him a blessing and this is what happened. “I felt instant relief,” he reported. “I was immediately and completely healed. My fever broke, and I was able to get out bed even though I wasn’t able to just a few minutes before. I walked the missionaries downstairs and asked them to never come back . . . [but] I was left with a nagging feeling to read my mission journal, and I kept thinking about the Church. Was God trying to tell me something? Why did the missionaries just happen to knock on my door that day?”
That’s just one of many miracles that led a man who once had a Korihor-rible (John Bytheway’s word) attitude about the Church to someone who had his testimony resurrected, was rebaptized, came back into full faith, and had his story retold in general conference. Dusty’s tale was shocking to me, eye-opening, encouraging, heart-warming, and miraculous. I highly recommend the book.
When we adopt—or readopt—God’s wisdom as the guide to our lives, our lives change, and I was changed by this amazing story. Thank you, Dusty, for your example of faith and humility. I’m grateful to have made your acquaintance through your book.
"The treasure you seek is in the work you're avoiding." —Jim Kwik
"There is no greater compliment than to be trusted, no greater kindness than to be believed." —Anonymous
"Some who came back from space—cosmonauts, I believe—were reported in the press to have said that they didn't find God out there. President Spencer W. Kimball commented that if they had stepped outside their space capsule, they might have." —Truman G. Madsen