(Continued from last week…)
ANN from California
“I was approximately twenty-eight when….one day I felt quite ill, but I was cleaning up the [construction] trailer [where we lived while my husband was working construction]…I knew I had to or I would be in trouble [with] my husband—he was having emotional problems, and he took some of his problems out on me.
“…when I first got up [that morning] I felt just fine. Just a little while later, though, I suddenly got this fever and a really weird headache. I didn’t know what it was but I thought it might be the flu so I kept going. In about three hours my head felt awful and my back hurt….I had these spasms going up and down my spine….I knew something was wrong. My temperature had climbed to over 105 degrees in less than three hours.
“I didn’t realize how sick I was. I figured I could keep working and it would go away. At one point I fell down and couldn’t get up, but I kept working on the floor. By this time I couldn’t think properly….[and] one of the workers from the project came in and found me….he rushed to a phone and called my husband….he said I looked like I might be dying.
“…I didn’t want my husband to see me when I was sick because I was afraid of what he would do. He was abusive to me…
“When my husband came…he made me lie down on the couch….He took my temperature and checked my other vital signs. [He had some experience in medicine.] Then he took me into the bedroom and put me in bed—he had to lift me onto the bed….He also took some blood for a blood test.
“I drifted in and out of consciousness and sleep for the next several hours. I remember my husband coming in and going to bed, but it was mostly a haze for those hours, until I awoke and found that I could hardly breathe….I knew I was in desperate trouble, and I was kind of afraid. All of a sudden I wasn’t there; I was…floating. It was so fast I didn’t realize what had happened. And the pain—it was gone. There was this tremendous relief….
“…I looked up and noticed that I was coming up to the ceiling. I remember wondering what was on the other side of the ceiling, and then I went right through. I found myself standing, and still moving up, and I went into this blackness. I traveled in the blackness—sort of like a tunnel—until I came to this person who blocked the way.
“…this person [was] standing in the way, and I couldn’t go around so I stopped. The person was in a brilliant, brilliant light. I was fascinated. Even the hair was lit up. It was beautiful. In fact the person was beautiful. It was a man…I didn’t know that men could be that beautiful.
“I wondered who he was and He identified Himself as my Savior, Jesus Christ. And…I had this joy…welling up inside of me. It was like an explosion going on in me.
“Then He said, almost immediately, that I had to go back….I cried to Him: ‘No, please.’…
“…I pleaded with Him. I didn’t want to go back. There was the pain I had just been in…it was far beyond anything I could handle.
“…and the other reason was that life had become just plain hell for me….because of [my] husband….
“…I pled with Him and He held me for a while. I don’t know how long I pleaded and begged…then I knew that He was feeling my sorrow and pain.
“Suddenly I felt this tremendously powerful…it’s beyond words…I was suddenly enveloped in this deep, deep peace. It surrounded me, enveloped me, and He said: ‘If you will go back I will put you immediately to sleep and when you wake you will be completely healed. And the pain will be gone.’
“Well, I stopped crying, and I thought for a few moments. I looked at Him and I knew that this was an absolute promise if I did what He said. I knew this was my Savior, and He was asking me…He was giving me the choice. I bowed my head and said that I would, and that very powerful peace stayed with me. It finally penetrated into my heart; I relaxed and turned around.
“I went again into the darkness, and I came out under the ceiling of my room. I stopped and looked and I could see….my husband sleeping and my own body next to him. My husband was breathing but my body was motionless….
“I knew that was my body, yet the real me was up near the ceiling. That thing down on the bed…repulsed me. But I could feel the presence of my Savior, so I went over to my body and turned around. Then I settled down into it, sitting up. I hesitated in this position because I really didn’t want to complete it. I was afraid I would feel that awful pain again—yet I felt reassurance from Him….that it would be all right.
“I lay back and…that terrible pain hit. I gasped because of the awful severity of the pain. Then instantly I was out; before I could take another breath I was unconscious. It was so fast that the next morning when I woke I realized I hadn’t even had a chance to think.
“I awakened the next morning with a feeling of complete peace. The fever was broken, my body was covered with sweat, and there was no pain….I knew what had happened. I remembered back—and I prayed—and gave thanks to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior.
“In my prayer I promised to do what I had to in order to live on, because there had to be a purpose. He had told me, and I remembered that my missions were not finished….when I had gone to the other side I was pregnant with another child. I had to return for that purpose as well as my other children” (Journeys Beyond Life, compiled by Arvin S. Gibson, [Horizon Publishers, 1994], pp. 67-75).
(to be continued…)