(Continued from last week…)
MIKE from Utah
When Mike was about nine years old, he went on a weekend hunting trip with a seventeen-year-old neighbor boy, and two adults. On Saturday morning they hiked up to a ridge in the mountains until they came to a cliff, then climbed around on the back side until they reached the summit. After having lunch, the adults told the boys to wait there, and then left to go exploring. After an hour, the boys became impatient, and the seventeen-year-old left, leaving young Mike there alone. Mike said:
“It was a cold fall day, and the afternoon was getting late. I shouted to see if anyone would answer. There was no response, so I decided to go back the way I came. Our vehicles were just below the ridge.
“Leaving the ridge in the direction I thought would take me down, I soon found myself on the edge of the cliff. A small draw appeared to offer a way to get down, so I started to climb down it. Jumping off a large rock, I landed on a crevice that became a dead end. I couldn’t go forward, and the rock I had jumped off was too high for me to climb back up.
“Stretching to reach the top of the rock, I grabbed something and lifted—it gave way and I fell. My fall down the cliff was about 250 feet. There was no feel when I landed; I don’t remember the fall or when I landed.
“The next thing I knew I was standing looking at myself on the ground. It was dark outside and starting to snow…and it was a strange scene as I tried to contemplate what had happened to me. The really peculiar thing was that while I could see my body lying on the ground, I…the real I, was standing with my feet about six inches off the ground.
“There was a sense of floating, and the realization came that I must be dead….I leaned close to my body and reached out to touch it. My hand, and it was a hand, went right through my body lying on the ground. It was a shock.
“Suddenly I felt myself being drawn into the sky. The stars went by until there were no more; then I entered a tunnel of light and my speed seemed to accelerate. Eventually I cam to a black void—there was no light at all. Wondering what was happening, I put my hand in front of my face, but I could see nothing.
“While I was in this black void….I could hear the people that I had gone hunting with calling me. It was very strange. I knew I had left the earth, yet I could hear them calling my name.
“Coming out of nowhere, while I was puzzling the whole situation, a giant cone of light appeared. It was off in the distance, and I started going toward it. During this whole period I continued to hear my friends calling me, but since I didn’t know where they were I kept moving to the light.
“Something in the light seemed more important to me than anything else….more important than my friends calling me. I was drawn to it.
“When I reached the edge of the light, I could see the shape of a human in it. A man in the light reached out his hand, and I reached to touch him. Upon touching him, I knew immediately who He was. The confusion that I had felt, and every fear, left me.
“This wonderful Being called me by a name, not my earthly name, but some other name. I knew He was addressing me, but it was not a name that I had been called while on earth. I have since forgotten it.
“The Being urged me to enter the light, and He said: ‘Come, I want to show you something.’ He took me up, and we went to another place, a different world bathed in light. Located in a large field was an enormous and beautiful gate. It had jewels on it and it was of a shining golden color. My Guide pointed at it and said: ‘That is the gate to heaven.’
“Next, the Being said: ‘It is not your time, yet, to be here. You must go back.’
“I knew it was the Lord I was with, and I begged to say with Him. He again told me that I had to return. So I asked Him why. His startling declaration was: ‘I’ll show you why.’
“Five figures appeared before me in a bright light. The Lord let me know that one of the figures was I, as an adult; a second figure was my wife, and three smaller figures were my children. I was told by the Lord that one of my future children would perform significant service for Him, and I had to go back so that His purposes could be fulfilled.
“That was the end of the experience. The Lord took me by the hand and brought me back.
“When I regained consciousness, it was morning. It was hard to walk, but I scooted down the hill….The Search and Rescue team had been looking for me….When they got to me they put me on a stretcher and took me to the hospital….
“[Now, about Jesus]…He was in a white robe, He was transparent, and He was very bright….There was an overpowering love coming from Him to me….There is no experience in life that can duplicate what I experienced there in His presence….the love and the comfort that He gave. He was radiantly beautiful….He showed me the nail prints in his hands….They were on his wrists….There was music, and there were angels….thousands of angels, dressed in white robes….They were kneeling down with their arms outstretched, and they were singing….
“When [I was] told to go back, [I] didn’t…want to go….As far as me missing my mom, or my friends, or my dad, that didn’t seem to matter. Nothing could replace the feeling that I had when I was with [Jesus], and I didn’t want to leave” (Journeys Beyond Life, compiled by Arvin S. Gibson, [Horizon Publishers, 1994], pp. 32-38).
(to be continued…)