This story has been edited. Because of the sacred and sensitive nature of this testimony, I felt it necessary to protect the sacred nature of it (Matt. 7:6). Search for the "Pearls" that will give you comfort.
Warning: If you have little faith in life after death or you are not open minded to Strong Testimony about life after death, do not read this. This is one man's very sacred experience and he could change your view of "The New Birth", forever.
Given to Heber Q. Hale
A heavenly manifestation given to Heber Q. Hale, president of the Boise Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is related by him at the Genealogical Conference held in the Auditorium of the Bishops Building, Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 1920, requested by the Presidency of the Church.
"It is with a very humble and grateful spirit that I attempt to relate on this occasion, by request, a personal experience which is very sacred to me. I must of necessity be brief. Furthermore, there were certain things made known to me, which I don't feel at liberty to relate here. Let me say by way of preface that between the hours of 12 and 7:30 (AM) on the night of January 20, 1920, while alone in a room at the home of W. R. in Carey, Idaho, this glorious manifestation was vouchsafed to me. I was not conscious of anything that transpired during the hours mentioned except what I experienced in this manifestation. I did not turn over in bed nor was I disturbed by any sound, which indeed is unusual for me. Whether it be called a dream, an apparition, a vision, or a pilgrimage of my spirit into the world of spirits I know not, I care not. I know that I actually saw and experience the things related in this Heavenly Manifestation and they are as real to me as my experience of my life.
For me at least this is sufficient. Of all the doctrines and practices of the Church, the principle of vicarious work for the dead has been the most difficult for me to comprehend and whole-heartedly accept. I consider this vision is the Lords answer to the prayer of my soul on this and certain other questions.
I passed but a short distance from my body through a film into the world of spirits. This was my first experience after going to sleep. I seemed to realize that I had passed through the chance called death and I so referred to it in my conversation with the immortal beings with whom I immediately came in contact. I readily observed their displeasure at our use of the word death and the fear, which we attach to it. They use there another word in reference to the transition from mortality to immortality which word I don't recall and I can only approach its meaning and impression which was left upon my mind, by calling it "The New Birth".
My first visual impression was the nearness of the world of spirits to the world of mortality. The vastness of this heavenly sphere was bewildering to the eyes of the spirit-novice. Many enjoyed unrestricted vision and action. The vegetation and landscape were beautiful beyond description, not all green as here, but gold with varying shades of pink, orange and lavender as the rainbow. A sweet calmness pervaded everything. The people I met there I did not think of as spirits, but as men and women, self thinking and self acting individuals, going about important business in a most orderly manner. There was perfect order there and everybody had something to do and seemed to be about their business, that the inhabitants of the spirit world are classified according to their lives of purity and their subservience to the Father's will was subsequently made apparent. Particularly was it observed that the wicked and unrepented are confined to a certain district by themselves, the confines of which are as definitely determined and impassible as the line marking the division of the physical from the spirit world. A mere film, but impassible until the person himself was changed. The world of spirit is the temporary abode of all spirits pending the resurrection from the dead and the judgement. There was much activity within the different spheres and appointed ministers of salvation were seen coming from the highest to the lower spheres in pursuit of their missionary appointments.
I had a pronounced desire to meet certain of my kinsfolk and friends but I was at once impressed with the fact that I had entered a tremendously great and extensive world, even greater than our earth and more numerously inhabited. I could only be in one place at once, could do only one thing at a time, could only look in one direction at a time and accordingly it would require many, many years to search out and converse with all those I had known and all those whom I desired to meet unless they were especially summoned to receive me. All men and women are appointed to special and regular service under a well organized plan of action directed principally towards preaching the Gospel to the unconverted, teaching those who seek for knowledge and establishing family relationships, and gathering genealogies for the use and benefit of mortal survivors of their respective families; That the work of Baptism and the Sealing ordinances may be vicariously performed for the departed in the temples of God on the earth.
The authorized representatives of families in the world of spirits have access to our Temple records and are kept fully advised of the work done therein. But, the vicarious work done there does not become automatically effective. The recipients must first believe, repent and accept baptism and confirmation. Then, certain consummating ordinances are performed effectualizing these saving principles in the life of these regenerated beings. And so the great work is going onů They're doing a work there which we cannot do here and we a work here that they cannot do there for the salvation of all God's children who will be saved.
I was surprised to find there no babies in arms. I met the infant son of O. Rawlings my First Counselor. I immediately recognized him as the baby who died a few years ago and yet he seemed to have the intelligence, and in certain respect, the appearance of an adult and was engaged in matters pertaining to his family and its genealogy. My mind was quite contented upon the point that mothers will again receive into their arms their children who died in infancy and will be fully satisfied, and the fact that entrance into the world of spirits is not an inhabitation of growth, but the greatest opportunity of development. Babies are adult spirits in the infant bodies.
I presently beheld a mighty multitude of men. The largest I had ever seen gathered in one place, who I immediately recognized as soldiers, the millions who died, who had been slaughtered and rushed to the spirit world during the first world war. Among them moved calmly and majestically a great general in supreme command. As I drew nearer, I received the kindly smile and generous welcome of a great loving man, General R. Young. Then came the positive conviction to my soul that of all the men living or dead, there is no one who is so perfectly fitted for the great mission unto which he had been called. He commands immediately the attention and respect of all the soldiers; he is a once great general and a great High Priest of God. No earthly field of labour, to which he could have been assigned, could compare with it in importance and extent. I passed from this scene to return later when I found General Young and his vast army of men completely organized with officers over successive divisions and he was preaching the gospel in great earnestness to them.
As I passed forward, I soon met my beloved mother. She greeted me most affectionately and expressed surprise at seeing me there and reminded me that I had not completed my allocated mission on earth. She seemed to be going somewhere and was in a hurry and accordingly took her leave saying that she would see me again soon.
I moved forward covering an appreciable distance and consuming considerable time, viewing the wonderful sights of landscape, parks and trees and flowers and meeting people. Some I knew, but many, a thousand, I did not recognize. I presently approached a small group of men standing in a path lined with spacious stretches of flowers, grasses and shrubs, all of gold and hue, marking the approach to a beautiful building. The group was engaged in earnest conversation. One of their number parted from the rest and came walking down the path. I at once recognized my esteemed President Joseph F. Smith. He embraced me as a father would a son and after a few words of greeting, quickly remarked, "You have not come to stay". This remark I understood as a declaration, not as interrogation.
For the first time I became fully conscious of my uncompleted mission on earth and as much as I would have liked to remain, I at once asked President Smith if I might return. "You have expressed a righteous desire" he replied, "and I shall take the matter up with the authorities and let you know later".
From a certain point of vantage, I was permitted to view the earth and what was going on there. There was no limitation of my vision and I was astounded at this. I saw my wife and my children at home. ...I beheld this nation founded as it is upon correct principles and designed to endure, but beset by evil and sinister forces that seek to lead man to thwart the purpose of God. I saw towns and cities, the sins and the wickedness of men and women. I saw vessels sailing the oceans and scanned the battle-scarred fields of France and Belgium.
In a word, I beheld the whole world, as if it were but a panorama passing before my eyes. Then there came to me the unmistakable impression that this earth and scenes and persons upon it are open to the vision of the spirits only when special permission is given or when they are assigned to special service here. This is particularly true of the righteous, who are busily engaged in the fields of activity. At the same time the wicked and unrepentant have still, like the rest, their free agency and applying themselves to no useful or wholesome undertaking, seek pleasure about their old haunts and exalt in the sin and wickedness of degenerated humanity. To this extent they were still tools of Satan. It is these idle, mischievous and deceptive spirits who appear as miserable counterfeits at spiritualist seances, table dancing and Quije board operations.
The noble and great ones do not respond to the call of the medium and to every group of meddlesome enquirers. They would not do it in the world of mortality. These wicked and unrepented spirits are allies of Satan and his host operating through willing mediums in the flesh. These three forces constitute an unholy trinity upon the earth and are responsible for all the sin, wickedness, distress and misery among the men and nations.
I moved forward feasting my eyes upon the beauty of everything about me and glorying in the indescribable peace and happiness that abounded in everybody and through everything. The further I went the more glorious things appeared. While standing at a certain vantagepoint I beheld a short distance away a wonderful beautiful Temple, capped with golden domes, from which emerged a small group of men dressed in white robes who paused for a brief conversation. ...In this little group of holy men my eyes centered upon one more splendorous and holy than the rest. While I thus gazed, President Joseph F. Smith parted from the others and came to my side. "Do you know Him," he inquired? I quickly answered, "Yes, I know Him, my eyes behold my Lord and Saviour". "It is time," said President Smith and oh, how my soul thrilled with rapture and unspeakable joy filled my heart. President Smith informed me that I had been given permission to complete the mission on the earth, which the Lord had appointed me to fulfill, and then with his hand upon my shoulder, uttered these memorable and significant words.
"Brother Heber, you have a great work to do. Go forward with a prayerful heart and thou shall be blessed in thy ministry. From this time on never doubt that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son, the Saviour of the world, that the Holy Ghost is God of Spirit and the Messenger of the Father and the Son; never doubt the resurrection of the dead and immortality of the soul. That the destiny of man is eternal progress. Never again doubt that the mission of the Latter-Day Saints is for all mankind, both the living and the dead and that the great work in the holy Temples for the living and the dead has only begun. His successors have recognized and ordained head of the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. Give him you confidence and support. Much you have seen and heard you will not be permitted to repeat when you return." Thus saying he bade me goodbye and God Bless you.
Quite disarranged, through various scenes and passing unnumbered people, I traveled before I reached the spheres, which I first entered. On my way I was greeted by many friends and relatives, certain of whom sent words of greetings and council to their dear ones here, my mother being one of them. One other I will mention, I met Brother J. Adamson, his wife, his son and their daughter, all of whom were killed by a foul assassin in their home at Carey, Idaho in the evening of October 29, 1915. They seemed to define that I was on my way back to mortality and immediately said "Tell the children that we are very happy and very busy and they should not mourn our departing, nor worry their minds over the manner by which we were taken. There is a purpose in it and we have a work to do here which required our collective efforts and which we could not do individually". I was at once made to know that the work referred to was that of genealogy on which they were working in England and Scotland.
One of the grandest and most sacred things of heaven is the family relationship. The establishment of the complete chain without any broken links being a fullness of joy. Links wholly bad will be dropped out and either new links put in or the two adjoining links welded together. Men and women everywhere throughout the world are being moved upon by their departed ancestors to gather genealogies. These are the links for the chain. The ordinances of baptism, endowments and sealings performed in the Temples of God, by the living for the dead, are the welding of the links.
As I was approaching the place where I entered, my attention was attracted towards a number of small groups of women, preparing what appeared to me, wearing apparel. Observing my inquiring countenance one of the women remarked, "We are preparing to receive Bother Worthington very soon". As I gasped his name in petition, I was admonished, "If you knew the joy and the glorious mission that awaits him here, you would not ask to have him longer detained upon the earth." Then came flooding my consciousness, this awful truth that the will of the Lord can be done on earth as it is in heaven only when we resign completely to his will and let His will be done in the through us. On account of the selfishness of many, persons who might have otherwise been taken in innocence and peace have been permitted to live, and have lived to their own perils, man and the assertion of the personal will as against the will of God.
Worthington died January 22, 1920 for which I was advised by telegram and returning to Boise, preached his funeral sermon on 25th January 1920.
Men, women and children are often called to missions of great importance on the other side and some respond gladly while others refuse to go and their loved ones will not give them up. Also many die because they have not the faith to be healed. Others yet live among and pass out of the world of mortals without any special manifestation of action of the divine will. When a man is stricken ill the question of prime importance is notů is he going to live? Or is he going to die? What matters is not whether he lives or dies as long as the will of the Father is done.
...To the righteous person, birth into the world of spirits is a glorious privilege and blessing. The greatest spirits in the family of the Father have not usually been permitted to tarry longer in the flesh than to perform a certain mission, then they are called to the world of spirits where the field is greater and workers fewer. This earthly mission may therefore be long or short as the Father wills.
I passed quietly out; where I had entered the world of spirits, immediately my body was quickened. And I was to ponder over and record the many wonderful things I had seen and heard.
Let me here and now declare
to the world that, irrespective of the opinion of others, I know of my
own positive knowledge and from my own personal experiences that God is
the Father of the Spirits of all men and that he lives. That Jesus Christ
is His Son and the Saviour of the world. That the spirit of man does not
die but survives the change called death and goes to the world of spirits.
The world of spirit is on or near the earth. That the principles of salvation
are now being taught to the spirits, and the great work of saving the Fathers
family among the living and the dead is now in progress and that but comparatively
few will ultimately be lost. That spirits will literally take up their
bodies again in the resurrection and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has
been established upon the earth with all of its keys, powers, authority
and blessings through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
That this is the power that will not only save and exalt everyone who yields
obedience to its principles but will ultimately save the world. That the
burden of our mission is to save souls unto God. And that the work for
the salvation of the dead is no less of importance than the work for the
This incredible after-life story was faxed to our home in May 1999 by Jared's grandparents. It is not known when Brother Hale's account of the spirit world was first written or recorded. I do not know who to give credit to for this writing, except to Heber Q. Hale himself, who has long since joined his loved ones in heaven. I hope his story has given you the peace and assurance that spirits are eternal and life has it's many purposes which we all must find. ~Brenda
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