LDS Doctrine

Episode 17: Exploring Near Death Experiences – Brent Top

In 1975, Dr. Raymond A. Moody coined the term “near-death experiences” in his bestselling book Life After Life.

Mormons have latched on to this concept, which is not surprising, considering our unique doctrine regarding the afterlife.

Dr. Brent Top has researched extensively near-death experiences, especially by those outside of the LDS community.

He has identified several common elements to these experiences such as the “life review,” encountering loved ones, and spirit communication.

Far from fading as a fad, the topic is becoming more and more popular.

While Dr. Top finds his studies interesting, he warns of the danger of trying to establish doctrine through experience. He emphasizes what the LDS doctrine is regarding the afterlife rather than anecdotal experiences. He also introduces a concept he coined as the “Apocryphal Principle” to help us evaluate these stories.

Extra Resources:

Beyond Death’s Door: Understanding Near-Death Experiences in Light of the Restored Gospel

Glimpses Beyond Death’s Door

What’s on the Other Side? What the Gospel Teaches Us about the Spirit World

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