Wyoming surgeon reflects on visit with spiritual beings and her life after her death

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  • Ida Preston, ID
    June 8, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    To the "Scientist" from Provo, Ut. I feel sorry that you can't accept anything that you can't prove! As a scientist you must be fully aware of Mr. Hawkings statement that "a theory is always a theory, and all you can do is add more information to make it a new theory". That being said, nothing exists, not even you, because I can't prove the theory that you exist!

    So, now that your total knowledge base is blown to smithereens, why don't you try to glue it back together with some "faith" that what is, IS, and you can neither prove it nor disprove it! Those who have had these experiences happen to have some information that you don't have nor can you prove that they didn't have the experience or gain the information.

    Take that and put it into your Scientific Method!!!

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Too bad all the wallstreeters and congress could not have a similar experience. If they had I think that would quickly end our economic woes. With a new gained perspective on life they might see how ludicris it is to live to get more money and presumed power. The billionaires and multi-millionaires may come to realize that they were blessed with such fortunes to do good in this life rather than just to acquire more. How much money does one person need? I have been blessed to have sufficient for my needs, any more and I'd probably just get in trouble. If everyone lived their life with the knowledge that we are all Children of the same Heavenly Father and that one day we will return and give an accounting, What a wonderful world this would be.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    June 7, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    Go to Biography.com and watch a few segments of "I Survived: Beyond and Back." You'll find that this thing we've labeled a near-death experience is a fairly common occurrence. Every single one of us is going to die, but unless they have experienced it for themselves, some claim such things never happen or are effects of oxygen-deprived minds. One of my relatives is featured on the program on the website I mentioned, and although she was clinically dead (no brain or heart function) for ten minutes, she was later able to accurately tell the doctors and nurses (and her own mother in the waiting room) what they were talking about and what they were doing when she was "dead," along with identifying the "guardian angels" that attended each of the doctors trying to revive her. Additionally, I witnessed myself how after this NDE she was not able to wear those old quartz digital watches without having them malfunction, and how her "touch lamps" would turn on as she walked by, without her ever touching them. Somehow the experience affected her energy. In essence, like the woman in this article, the experience changed her significantly.

  • Aimless Bellevue, WA
    June 7, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    We are not likely to have spiritual experiences while walking down Main Street! Don't be surprised that these happen when the conscious mind is at rest! And not everything that comes in a dream is fantasy. So let's learn from those who have been blessed with an other-worldly experience. I firmly believe there is much more to life than what our five senses reveal.

  • Noogieburger Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    I choose to believe there is a "hereafter." Otherwise, what is the purpose of good vs evil, pleasure vs. pain, etc. Why do we seek to improve ourselves and our lives. Why help others? Why love others? If there is no life after death, why are we not just like unconscious animals. No, I refuse to believe that there is nothing after this life. There is too much that transcends this mortality. Why do we miss those we love who have died yet animals easily forget. Why do we need clocks to continually remind us of time? Because we are eternal creatures and our nature is contrary to time.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    June 7, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Morepunkt--Dr. Stephen "Hawking" (not "Hawkins") may not be "ultimate paragon of scientific thought," but I somehow think it unlikely that he is "running away" from God, or anyone else for that matter. Try looking into his work, or maybe just google an image of him and see if you don't agree with me.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    June 7, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Love these comments! I don't know what she saw but the skeptic in me sees a coincidence in the death of a close loved one and her NDE about the same time. At any rate it is her experience and is meaningful and comforting to her. God bless her.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    June 7, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    I can see why some are so determined to believe that there is life after death, but why are some so determined to convince us that there is not?

    You believe what you want, just don't make fun of my beliefs. (Santa Claus, indeed)

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    June 7, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    RE: Just Me,
    You state:
    Ask yourself, 'Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?' The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!"

    This is a cute quote, but not very realistic because if a explosion were to scatter the printing keys in what ever pattern it would be virtually impossible to replicate that pattern with another like explosion. And a dictionary is not capable of healing itself because it is made of inorganic dead material. On the other had biology is capable of healing itself and evolving because it is organic and living. But it is cute children's stories.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    June 7, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    Who knows. No one knows. But, while this story is amazing it is mild compared to some of the before and after life tales I have heard from Mormon friends which in themselves are some what mild compared to the spiritual stories told in parts of remote South America among the superstitious. Anyway, it is comforting that we can all be happy for the good doctor.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 7, 2012 6:17 a.m.

    I feel bad for anyone who relies on Steven Hawkings for spiritual guidance. The story is a great one to be shared by someone who has been positively affected by her experience, and who has enhanced her life by it. I appreciate the insight offered.

  • SportsFann Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    I'm saddened that people want to minimize this woman's experience. Who are we to judge her? I have never had a near-death experience, but I have had amazing spiritual experiences in my life. No scientist is going to tell me I was disillusion at the time. Scientists are the most arrogant, self-centered and insecure people I know. Many live in a world that is so rigid they can not experience anything that can't be proven in a lab. Sorry way to live.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    May 22, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    I have no reason to disbelieve this woman's story. She strikes me as credible from what I have read and the interview I saw on youtube.

    It's puzzling to me that so many brilliant minds can think in terms of numerous dimensions, imaginary numbers and multiple universes, etc. and yet find the concept of a spiritual dimension coinciding with this physical one just impossible to believe.

  • Just Me SLC, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    yet you have the ability to get on here and state your opinions (agency) and the physical abilities to do it!!!!

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 9:22 p.m.

    A Scientist here...


    Thank you for the sentiment. Here is my "testimony": I spent over a quarter of a century "investigating" Mormonism and following the "Moroni's Challenge" process with which you are no doubt familiar.

    Got nothing.



    I, too, have sought, but not found; asked, but not been given; knocked, but the door remained unanswered; requested from "Father" a fish, but received a stone of nothing.

    So I understand where you are coming from. But hopefully you will also understand that the requirement to suspend disbelief is just the gullibility factor prayed upon by such charlatans as the Tailors in the profound story of the "Emperor's New Clothes". Do not err into believing that because I do not "see" the robes, authority, and existence of your professed "god" - Emperor of the Universe - that I am somehow unworthy.

  • TaipeiModerate New Haven, CT
    May 21, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    A Scientist:

    I respect your approach to life quite a bit, and understand the subtext of your comments-- rife with alienation toward non-skeptics who couch much of their belief in uncritical and illogical leaps.

    Not that it would change your mind about anything, but I have directly experienced the reality of the existence of God. I had to suspend my own atheistic leanings, and trusted that he would manifest himself to me if I was willing to follow the answer I received. I adopted this admonition to seek him out when invited, remained skeptical, and received a convincing answer to my surprise. I remain critical, but cannot deny the existence of God.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2012 8:24 p.m.

    If we all held to such rigorous standards in the search for truth as to be "forced, compelled, coerced, constrained, necessitated, and obliged to believe by cold, harsh facts, reality, and reason" we would all still be in the dark ages of science compelled to be intellectual virgins in world of beauty that we never see, never sense or never comprehend.
    Apply the scientific principals to this phenomenon rather than say it's beneath your intellectual capacity. You could be a brave new explorer on the horizon of human understanding. A wave of ones intellectaul hand does not negate thousands of experiencers who would call you blind.
    "There is none so blind as they who will not see" A great bit of wisdom even if it was from some one you may be unfamilier with.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 7:32 p.m.


    I never presumed to speculate about the origins of school buses or "big bolders" (sic).

    But the "Believe what you want" philosophy is the tagline of the religionists. For myself, I only believe what I am forced, compelled, coerced, constrained, necessitated, and obliged to believe by cold, harsh facts, reality, and reason.

    The truth demands nothing less than that.

    To give ourselves over too easily to belief in various and sundry ideas and notions, especially the ones we find "comforting", is no different than freely giving ourselves to a beautiful woman (or man) whose beauty we find comforting. It is intellectual promiscuity, for which I have as much disdain as I do for the person who is not rigorously selective about their intimate companion.

    The pursuit of truth demands at least as much fidelity as our chastity deserves. Beware licentious belief!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    a serious man,

    Who is Richard Dawkins?


    There has never been any scientific evidence supporting the existence of "uncanny clairvoyance and knowledge of hidden things," nor yet of "remote viewing", "Astral projection/travel", nor "psi-conducive states" and the rest of the parapsychological nonsense.

    Keep in mind, there is no way to distinguish telepathy, clairvoyance, retrocognition, precognition, perceiving the akashic record, or having perceptions directly implanted in our minds by some god from perceiving the hidden record of all perceptions in the eleventh dimension that is vibrating in the intersection between the tenth and twelfth dimensions.

    People can predict the future. We do it all the time, but we usually, if not always, do it by taking into account our experience, knowledge, and surroundings. Some predictions by psychics come true. So do some predictions by non-psychics. No doubt much of our anticipation of the future is unconscious and second nature, but it is based on quite natural and mundane abilities, not on mysterious or supernatural powers.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    May 21, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    I believe that your mind can conjure up images to make you more comfortable when your body is distressed and make you feel happy, sad or even peaceful. But that does not explain the external knowledge given to some people who have NDEs. How could someone who has no viable knowledge of things which will happen; things which are taught them of which they had no previous knowledge, or even be physically be touched by one of those beings, such as a handshake? There is a lot of truth to the fact that the body can comfort itself by causing hallucinations, but those are just that and not real. It is the things which happen during the near death experiences which cannot be explained are the things which matter.

    Personally, I prefer to believe because I know that there is post-mortal life. But no one is forcing anyone to believe or not. There is only one way to find out and I am just not ready to go there yet.

  • Just Me SLC, UT
    May 21, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    RE: The Scientist:

    Thanks for the good laugh before I went home!!! I like how you can explain grey matter, brain cells, hallucinations etc... but I leave you with a quote from a medical doctor and apostle of Jesus Christ:

    "Ask yourself, 'Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?' The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!"

    It more simple than you can even admit. Science is REAL with laws and controls. It's how "The Creator" gets things done. Geez' he's not magic!!

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2012 6:19 p.m.

    If you don't understand this phenomenon the scientific approach would be to collect data, propose a hypothesis, determine tests that would prove or disprove this hypothesis or how to develop a theory once you have taken the fore mentioned steps. I actually have and all the claims about hallucinations, delusions and psychotic episodes do not relate to the topic of what these people who have experienced. I do not expect anyone to believe anyting but I do recommend more than casual investigation of this fascinatiting topic. I will recommend the word of a world reknowned cardiologist or a prominet neurologist who has actually had one of these events over some one who reads pop science articles written by journalists with no knowledge of the subject matter. Might I recommend starting with Dr. Pimm Van Lommel M.D. Cardiologist or Dr.Eben Alexander M.D

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 21, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    A Scientist,

    Don't be so offended by this. After all, school buses evolved from a big bolder over many years.

    Believe what you want.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    May 21, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    I find it odd that Steven Hawkins is so obsessed trying diss the idea of a God.
    Could it be that he is running away from Him?
    Many notable scientists of at least equal notoriety, ie, Einstein, Newton, to name a few, believed very much in a higher power.
    Hawkins is not the ultimate paragon of scientific thought.

  • bob j Bli Bli, Queensland
    May 21, 2012 3:22 p.m.


  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    May 21, 2012 2:10 p.m.

    @A Scientist,

    I have seen similar phenomena in people under hypnosis. These people were in no way brain damaged or oxygen deprived, but experienced definite stimuli of multiple senses. They saw scenes acted out, felt emotions such as joy and sadness, felt electric shocks, and even smelled various odors. It is quite an easy matter for the mind to conjure things which are not really there, under the right circumstances (circumstances that are surprisingly easy to encounter, as I have done myself).

    The experiences I find difficult to explain away, however, are those that include an uncanny clairvoyance and knowledge of hidden things. A friend of mine, an atheist, had one such experience in which a number of messages were conveyed which he delivered to relatives who were surprised to receive such insights from a man who should not have had knowledge of the sort. Oddly, this near-death experience did not include directives to join a church, find Jesus, or anything of that nature, and my friend remains an atheist to this day.

    It does leave one wondering what it all could mean.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    May 21, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    To "A Scientist" So how do you explain one lady dying on the dying and coming bakc to life and observed a tennis shoe at the roof of the hospital and later confirmed by doctors that there really was a tennis shoe on the located on the roof of the hospital.

    So does lack of oxygen lead the similar near death experiences as seeing loved ones. Wow, maybe I should "lack of oxygen" and see my loved ones. Must be something specific to oxygen.

  • a serious man Rexburg, ID
    May 21, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    A Scientist: Look, I get the whole Richard Dawkins skeptical scientific materialism thing, but when it comes to NDEs you are obviously out of your depth. The experiences bear no resemblance to hallucinations nor do the people exhibit any form of mental illness or brain damage.

    May 21, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    At least eventually we will all experience the truth of whether there is life after death. If our consciousness ends then no one will really 'know'.

    I for one don't really want an end to my consciousness and as a scientist (Chemical Engineering processes not MetaPhysics) I do find it a little encouraging that so many of these near-death stories are similar especially when most had not heard of these experiences before their near-death experience. I did notice while reading several of these books years ago that the one common thread to all of these experiences was they no longer feared death which I also find very encouraging. Please note that oxygen-deprivation experiments do not reproduce any of these experiences, even with adrenaline.

    Death is the last, great adventure to life! How better to experience it than by becoming the best person we can be in this life?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    Santa Claus is also a comforting thought.

    But comfort does not equal truth.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    There are people who say that we have to prove that there is life after death. With a challenge like that, I say, they have to prove that there isn't.

    What, no takers... because you can't, just like I can't prove that there is, it is all taken by the faith that you have one way or another. So let me believe my way and don't attack it. I don't attack the way you believe...

  • IDC Boise, ID
    May 21, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Nice story.

    We will all figure out how this works one way or the other. We all get to die. Perhaps one of life's adventures. This story is comforting to me and may help me live a better, fuller life. If Hawking is right, my life will have been better and fuller. If he is wrong, he will likely be pleasantly surprised. I don't have a lot of faith in atheists.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Beautiful story.
    My Grandfather had a life-after-death experience and described it the same way.

    Death - just like mortal birth, the experience of mortal death happens to ALL people exactly the same.

    Even Celestial, Terrestial, and Telestial Glories do not happen until after the Final Judgement --- whenever that may be....

  • Paul Wally Richmond, TX
    May 21, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    I believe what happened to myself and many of those are the same experiences,not only the beautiful peace which comes during those times. In my case there were doctors who were in control of my life and death. The first experience I was able to talk with my brother-in-law who had been dead for over a month. The next time I was able to watch my surgery. They had just talked me into being resuscitated before surgery. Also two men up for surgery left and my surgery was done about 4 hours early and I had the best leg amputee surgeon in Houston because they left without surgery. Dr. Stephen Hawking also like to got to strip joints. We see and hear from who we follow if be of God or Satan. We chose who our master is by how we live our lives. Everyone has selective hearing, not just our children. The gifts given us can be used for good or evil and that is a choice we make each time we receive those gifts.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    When the brain is deprived of oxygen, or when the typical electro-chemical composition is disturbed, hallucinations, delusions, and psychotic episodes are common.

    I recently visited with a woman who was "seeing" people long dead and holding conversations with them, mixed in among "seeing" people who are still alive but thousands of miles away - but she saw them in different ages of their lives. She would talk to me, then to them, then to me again.

    Either I must conclude that, like Sixth Sense, I am a ghost (in which case you should all worry that I can type on this keyboard), or that there is no reason to place any confidence in "near death experiences" as testimony of "life after life".

    Stop depriving your brains of oxygen or scrambling your grey matter like eggs in a bowl - this will reduce the delusions. And for crying out loud, stop using brain-damaged persons as witnesses for your faith! It really detracts from your credibility!

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    Has Stephen Hawking had a near-death experience? If not, who is he to judge? If so, who is he to judge? This was someone else's experience. Only the person who experienced it really has any idea of how real or unreal it was.

  • a serious man Rexburg, ID
    May 21, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    These experiences are real, and they are changing the face of spirituality around the world. The scientific explanations are embarrassingly inadequate.

  • Tiger5 Cache county, USA
    May 21, 2012 6:58 a.m.

    Now that's a comforting story.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    May 21, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    Amazingly interesting topic - I heard Dr. James Moody (author of Life after Life) speak in the 1980's at BYU. He had collected many accounts of people who'd experiences in this realm and published them, noting the commonalities etc. He had not had an experience himself, just collected from his medical connections. Great read.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    May 19, 2012 4:04 p.m.

    Nice story! I hope more people read this and take something good from it!