What's new: 'What's on the Other Side?' A look at the afterlife

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"WHAT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE: What the Gospel Teaches Us About the Spirit World," by Brent L. Top, Deseret Book, $15.99, 94 pages (nf)

Many people wonder what happens after the mortal body dies. Do we live on? Is there a world of spirits? The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that life continues after death, and Mormon author Brent L. Top takes this perspective in his new book. Fascinated with near-death and afterlife experiences for more than 30 years, Top presents highlights from his research within a gospel perspective.

Beginning chapters of the book explain that death is inevitable for all. Life does continue. The soul is immortal and there is a world of spirits. Through scriptures, quotes and stories about people that have testified of the afterlife, Top builds a convincing argument.

Delving deeper into the spirit world, the book presents the idea that a type of judgment takes place immediately upon entering. Those who lived just and good lives enter a state of peace and paradise. The wicked and evil are separated into a place of darkness. The book also teaches that each of us will have a life review. We will see the affects of our actions for good or ill.

The most powerful chapter of the book is called, "Things that matter most." Individuals who have been given a peek beyond the veil describe the eye-opening importance between love, service and relationships. Materialism and selfishness have no place. People who have near-death experiences come back and pursue new careers, serve others, make major life changes and try to live productive lives.

This is one of the best overviews of the afterlife from a perspective of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The references are fantastic and the scriptures, quotes and brief stories paint a broad but thorough picture.

What isn't included are stories about near-death experiences. This is one of those books that can motivate you to change your life.

Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.

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