Through the Window of Life


ThroughTheWindowOfLifeThis is a short review of the second of Suzanne Freeman’s trilogy of books based on her near death experience (NDE) of 1999. I reviewed the first, Led by the Hand of Christ (2004) last week and hope to review her final book in the series, The Spirit of Liberty (2013) sometime in the near future. Through the Window of Life was published in 2006, “as told to” author Shirley Bahlmann.

A Trilogy of Books From One NDE

This book is different from Led by the Hand of Christ, which was more of a first-hand, “here’s what happened to me” sort of book. Through the Window of Life tells of a stopping point along the way in her NDE that is more of a vision and compares favorably to the book Visions of Glory by Spencer as told to John Pontius. This is not your typical NDE book. It is more of a vision.

A Vision of Potential Future Events

Many readers have shared with me their main difficulty in reading NDEs is the required faith or wiling suspension of disbelief to learn new and different things and even unique ways of looking at this life and life in the spirit world differently from what many people assume or are taught. Through the Window of Life is so well told it reads like LDS fiction, making it easy to consume.

The Book is an Easy Read

I read the 132 pages in about two hours last night. Carol and I had enjoyed a beautiful one-day trip to Santa Barbara to visit our son so I was tired and didn’t want to do any deep doctrinal study when I got home. Reading Through the Window of Life was just the ticket. I sat next to Carol while she read one of her romance novels. We listened to “The Voice” in the background on TV.

Some Things That “May” Happen

I was enthralled from the beginning. Having just finished her first book, she led us to the point where the Savior asks her to view some things that “may” happen before he returns to the earth. I looked back through Led by the Hand of Christ to see if she refers to the room where most of Through the Window of Life takes place. Maybe someone else can point it out. I couldn’t find it.

An Interesting Publisher’s Note

The publisher’s note of explanation is interesting. It reads in part, “Some generalized events have been condensed into one representative example for clarity.” Also, “…her interview included accounts of her consciousness moving back and forth between living through the events leading to the Second Coming of Christ and watching the action unfold through the Window of Life…”

Written as Though She Experienced it

“…her story is written as though she experienced all of it. This format provides continuity for the reader.” It then notes “…some lessons…are italicized so readers can differentiate them from the experiences that she personally experienced.” I had to think twice about this explanation. It can be easily interpreted, “what she shares is from her imagination, not necessarily what happened.”

“As Told To” Someone Else

I know that sounds a little harsh and I’m not saying Suzanne made any of this up. I’m just saying the publisher’s note can be interpreted that way. If you want to read the book as fiction, then it’s darn good fiction, just as some people have read Visions of Glory as a work of fiction. I’m not calling this book or Spencer’s book fiction. I’m just saying they both read as well-written fiction.

An Amazing Attitude Through Trials

I was extremely impressed with Suzanne’s faith. In her vision she lived through a deadly plague, generously shared her food storage, sent her husband and sons off to war, left her home forever, hiked over rugged mountainous terrain, dealt with death, threats by an unknown enemy, attacks of attempted terrorizing warfare on her group and lived with only a single change of clothes.

Pressing on to Jackson County

Suzanne and her group continue their journey to Missouri after getting through the mountains. But I had to ask myself, “Well, either the prophecies in the Old Testament are mistaken or Joseph was mistaken in declaring Independence to be the place for Zion to be built (section 57). There is a glorious future for Independence but Zion first gathers in the tops of the mountains.

Location of The City of Zion

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know I disagree with the location of the city of Zion. I do not believe it is to be built in the flat land of Independence Missouri, but somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I have shared my logic and reasoning on this unusual position in a previous post. I differ from most LDS folks, including Carol who served her mission in Independence.

Return of Ten Tribes and City of Enoch

I guess that’s the only difficulty I had with the book. I couldn’t quite place the timing of when all the events portrayed were supposed to be taking place. I agree with the prophecies of plagues, invading armies, collapse of the United States, both economically and politically, but somehow all of a sudden, Suzanne is walking alongside the Ten Tribes and then the inhabitants of Enoch.

Everyone Shall See it Together

I know you’re supposed to give spoiler alerts for works of fiction, but according to the publisher, this is not a work of fiction, but a foretelling of “one way things may happen” in the future. If the Ten Tribes are already here, then I can accept them just showing up, but not the City of Enoch. The lack of anyone pointing upward at an approaching planet or piece of the earth troubles me.

A Few Concluding Thoughts

So there you have it. I won’t share much more other than these two objections: 1) The location of the gathering of the people of Zion along with the building of the City of Zion and 2) The lack of any notice by anyone in the vision that the City of Enoch has returned. According to scripture, it is a big deal. The Lord will come with the City of Enoch. Not so in Suzanne’s Window of Life.

Bottom line Recommendation

This is a great book to read and a fascinating story, but it doesn’t seem to jive with the scriptures, or at least my understanding of the scriptures. Still, I recommend you read this book, Through the Window of Life. You don’t need to read her first book before this one. It stands on its own. I found it an enjoyable experience. Just remember, things “may” or “may not” happen in this way.

 

Jesus Teaches of the Last Days


JesusTeachingI’ve been reading Isaiah Decoded by Avraham Gileadi. I just started it Friday (thanks for the recommendation, Roy). I’m halfway through the book and hope to finish it this week. I have mixed feelings about what I’m reading. I’m not ready to review it yet but it got me thinking about some things relating to the last days, especially what the Savior taught in Matthew 24.

Sign of the Son of Man

You know Matthew 24 is a fairly important chapter. Joseph “enhanced” it enough that we include it in the Pearl of Great Price as a chapter worthy of independent study. It contains a bit of a roadmap to the last days, one of my favorite subjects. It’s also in Matthew 24 that we find the phrase, “…the sign of the Son of Man in heaven…” Joseph called it “…one grand sign…”

False Prophets – Signs and Wonders

I often wonder what it must have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus as he taught his disciples privately about the last days. They specifically asked, “…what is the sign of thy coming…?” He gave them so much more as he answered their questions. He spoke of false Christs and false prophets who shall show great signs and wonders. What do you think – have we seen this yet?

Return of City of Enoch

He made it clear that His return shall be seen by all the world, accompanied with power and great glory. He tells us elsewhere in the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 7:62-63) that he will be accompanied by the City of Enoch. That is going to be one amazing sight. I don’t know that we talk about it much. Can you imagine looking up and seeing part of a planet coming toward you?

All People Shall See It

Joseph was also impressed by this. He must have seen it in vision. As he described the scene, he said, “What will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet…But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.” D&C 88:93 confirms “all people shall see it together.” Amazing.

A Planet – Looks Like a Comet

Joseph didn’t say the world’s assessment of the scene would be incorrect. He simply confirmed that the sign could indeed appear to be a planet or a comet. In other words, the scientists will tell us a comet is approaching. As it gets closer, it will become obvious it is a small planet or part of a planet. We have no idea how large the City of Enoch was. I’ll bet it’s a good-sized chunk.

Accompanied by Great Destruction

John wrote in Revelation (8:8-10) about meteors crashing into the sea before the Lord returned. He called one “…a great mountain burning with fire,” and the other “…a star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp…” The Lord spoke many times of the sun being darkened, the moon being darkened and later glowing red as blood, unable to dissipate heat, and other stars falling.

Nobody But Father Knows When

He told his disciples that no one but Heavenly Father knows exactly when this shall happen. I will say something about Avraham Gileadi’s interpretation of the events of the last days (I have that book as well). He mentions possible nuclear holocausts. I don’t believe the Lord will allow that to happen. He doesn’t need to. With one EMP he can wipe out all man-made weapons.

EMP or Fire From the Sky

Of course my friend Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) will tell you the chances of an EMP hitting the earth are slim to none (see Death From the Skies). He also tells us the idea of fire from the sky as in fire and brimstone a la Sodom and Gomorrah is nonsense. In fact, he dismisses as bunk most all the cosmological events foretold by the Savior in the scriptures at the time of his return.

Media Seeks Expert Opinions

But to whom will the media turn when they want an expert opinion on what it is that is coming towards us? They will turn to people like Phil Plait and other scientists. Now, I know many good scientists do believe the signs foretold by the Savior will happen and will accept them for what they are: signs of the return of Christ. But if their opinions are sought out, they will be mocked.

Stuff Hitting Planet More Common

Why is it so hard to accept the things the Savior taught us in the scriptures about his advent? I suppose it’s because we haven’t seen anything like it in our day. It’s rare to see news footage of something from space hitting the planet. When it does, as we saw last year in Russia, it’s notable. The day will come when such events will be more common as we get closer to the Lord’s return.

Secular Versus Revealed Knowledge

Don’t get me wrong. I like Phil Plait. I read his stuff all the time. I love science, especially as our knowledge of the cosmos expands. Of course there are those at the other end of the spectrum, who ignore science in favor of what they believe in sincere faith. There will always be those who take both sides to the extreme. I seek a balance between science and the words of the prophets.

The Sound of the Trump

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Matthew 24 and overlooked the obvious implications of verse 31. Have you ever wondered why the sound of trumpets accompanies the second advent of the Lord? It is because when two celestial bodies come close together, they oscillate back and forth with electromagnetic vibrations that grow louder and louder the closer they get to the other.

Science Can Support Prophecy

Now science will tell you that Kepler’s laws of planetary motion will not allow two planets to come close together. Once inside the Roche limit of the larger planet, the smaller body would begin to break up. We saw that with the Shoemaker-Levy comet hitting Jupiter. What science does not take into account, at least some scientists, is the attraction of electromagnetic energy.

The Electric Universe Trumps Gravity

If you want a fascinating alternative view to the worship of gravity as the God of the universe, take a look at what the proponents of the Electric Universe have been proposing and attempting to demonstrate for years. It is a growing body of scientists who understand the laws of physics but have added the additional knowledge that electromagnetic energy is a much larger force.

The Abomination of Desolation

I wonder if I dare end this post on this note. Don’t stone me for this. I know it’s controversial. I’ve written about the Abomination of Desolation before. The Lord specifically mentions it in Matthew 24. I have recently come to a different conclusion as to what it is. Besides, scripture can be interpreted in multiple ways. It can also be fulfilled at different points in time through history.

Gay Marriages in the Temples

I’ll leave you with this quote: “When an abomination that renders sexual relations desolate (they don’t produce offspring) occurs in the holy place, you can know the promised destruction is soon at hand.” I know of individuals who are gifted with dreams and visions. They tell of having seen court orders presented at temples to enforce the law of the land – gay marriages in the temples.

Look to the skies for the signs

I know this will anger some folks, especially of the younger generation. Just remember, I’m an old guy. I am convinced gay marriages in the temple are inevitable, in spite of what the Church recently published on the subject. I read the disclaimers from those advocating gay marriage, that such a thing will never happen. I disagree. When it does, Matthew 24 will be fulfilled in earnest.

An Open Invitation to Dialog

What do you think? I’ve written about signs of the times many times. In this post I put a few of them together in ways I hadn’t thought of before. It all started with pondering Matthew 24.

For more information on these unusual interpretations of the signs of the last days, see:

Website – http://mormonprophecy.com/
Videos – http://youtube.com/user/toeknee1943/
Blog – http://mormonprophecy.blogspot.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/keystomormonprophecy
Scribd – http://www.scribd.com/anthonyelarson

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