I have a friend who suffered a series of heart attacks resulting in two near-death experiences. He told me about his experience meeting the Savior and being shown a comprehensive view of the Savior’s life.
He said that the Savior stood by his side as the events we’re familiar with from the scriptures unfolded in real time. He said it was a three-dimensional view of things as they took place. He stood in the stable when the Savior was born and saw all that occurred there. He was observing events as they happened. He couldn’t interact with others, but he was actually there observing and hearing all that transpired.
NDE (near death experiences) can’t be ignored, especially by people of faith, there are just too many of them. The NDE I am familiar with can be backed-up by hospital records of a health crisis resulting in “death”. This of course adds to there validity.
This will be the first time I’ve discussed NDE on my blog. I’ve tried to keep my focus on subjects that build faith in Jesus Christ. After talking with Ralph V. Jensen, I decided that discussing his NDE is a legitimate means of increasing faith. That said, I am aware that church leaders don’t discuss NDE in General Conference or the Ensign magazine—with one important exception. In Oct 1989 General Conference, Elder David B. Haight related his health crisis and apparent NDE and the “panoramic view” of the Saviors life he was shown (Another apostle, Elder Jedidiah M. Grant related his NDE from the 1850’s).
Brother Ralph V. Jensen is a contractor/artisan by occupation. He is a common, every day kinda of guy. Enjoyable to talk with, intelligent and very knowledge about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m going to related a couple of things from our conversation that I found most interesting. It is not my intention to do a review of his book. My intent is to make my readers aware of his book.
Ralph related in great detail aspects of the Savior’s crucifixion. He described the nails that were used. They were black with big heads (so they wouldn’t pull through the flesh) and varied one from the other because they were made individually. In those days they didn’t make things on an assembly line.
The Savior was a big muscular man because of the hard work he did as a carpenter. Ralph saw him as a youth and learned that in those days wood workers also carved and worked with stone. I’ve worked with slate-stone and know first hand about the hard work carrying and working with stone.
Ralph said, the Savior was crucified on a busy road in front of Golgotha, not on the top of Calvary. Ralph described the cross as being much shorter than we traditionally depict it in art. The feet of those on the cross were just above ground level. The Romans wanted the passer byers to interact with the crucified. This way they could further humiliate them when those passing by on the busy road could see them up close and mock the victims if they chose.
I enjoyed meeting with Brother Ralph V. Jensen. Author of a new book, Taught by Christ. To my knowledge, what he was shown is the most comprehensive NDE of the Savior told so far.
A Recent book titled, “Glimpses Beyond Death’s Door” by Brent L. and Wendy C. Top, gives and LDS prospective on NDE. Brother Top is a religion teacher at BYU.
Update: During the pandemic Ralph Jensen has opened a YouTube channel to continue his mission of testifying about Jesus Christ and the benefits that can come into our lives if we will strive to be men and women of Christ. Click here
Right out of the gate we have a problem: There is a slim to none chance that the Savior was born in a stable. The scriptures never mention a stable; stables are made from wood, which was/is a rare commodity in Judea. The 1st century Bethlehem home was typically built into a hillside, with the lower level dug out (or a natural cave) where the animals were cared for, and two living rooms built above. The scriptures say that Jesus was placed in a manger (trough) because there was no room in the “inn” – or sleeping area.
Wow, amazing that this gentleman was personally taught by the Savior, kind of like Moses’ vision. Why is he not in the 12? Waiting for an opening? Or just publishing his crap book to make a buck off gullible saints. Is Sarah Menet still around? These two could have an interesting conversation.
larryco and Scw have expressed doubt about what Ralph V. Jensen wrote. That’s OK. But the question still remains: is there anything to the vast numbers of people who have suffered death and then return telling these incredible near-death stories?
Are they all trying to make a buck from their crisis? Did Ralph V Jensen have two attacks and suffer greatly only to dream up a way to profit from it?
@larryco_. I’m a skeptic, don’t get me wrong. But I listened to a long podcast interview with this guy, and he did actually describe the ‘stable’ as a cave, and said the manger was made of stone (maybe built into the wall–I can’t remember entirely). The way he described the inn, etc. matched very well with what you are saying.
…also going along with what you are saying, he said since wood was not that common, Jesus and other carpenters worked with stone most commonly and with mud just as often as wood… or something to that effect.
Steve, thanks for the clarification. And, yes, the manger would, most likely, have been made of stone.
It’s not necessarily profit motive, but it’s at least for attention. I am sure he thinks he saw what he saw. How do you account for other NDE which describe different experiences? Why does his only mention Joseph Smith? I would not give too much credence to anyone’s NDE.
I want to believe that NDE’s constitute evidence for an afterlife, but the fact that a Mormon sees Christ among the Nephites and in the Sacred Grove with Joseph Smith is a bit of a red flag. How many non-Mormons who have NDE’s see the same things? If not, why not? If numerous NDE’s documented similar visions, that would be stronger evidence.
You asked an important question you labeled a red flag.
I think the reason a Mormon was shown Mormon history stems from the principle of faith. We’re taught that blessings come to us because of our individual faith. Without faith the Lord is restrained in the blessings He is able to extend to individuals (Matt 13:58, Ether 12:12)
Some who have experienced NDE have asked if the true church is on earth. One account provided by Elane Durham in her book “I Stand All Amazed” is very informative to your question.
“I was told by the angel that all these churches have a portion of the truth. I understood that he was not referring to worldly organizations that some men call churches, that are formed for wicked or evil or satanic purposes. Rather he was referring specifically to the various churches that had fragmented away from Christ’s perfected church…But only the Church as it was created in heaven has all of it…Though I was not informed by the angel which church it was, he did tell me that Christ’s heavenly church is on the earth…if I truly desired to find it, I would.” Pages 66, 68.
She later joined the Mormon church after years of searching.
It seems to me that this experience gets a number of things right. It is almost certain that Jesus was in fact crucified on the side of the road outside the Damascus gate – just as described. The nails used at the time are as described. We know because an archaeological site contained a nail from a wrist bone with a Roman nail still in it. The fact that an experience agrees with Mormon scripture is not a reason to doubt it. I have no dou t that NDEs can be exploited. I just do not see that here. I belie e that they are compelling reason to believe in an afterlife. My educational background is in neuroscience so I have scrutinized the evidence and do not belie e we are even remotely close to accounting for NDEs in term of materialistic or naturalistic terms.
Thanks for the heads up about Elane Durham. I’ll look into it further. A cursory glance at her book arouses a little skepticism, however. It was apparently published more than 20 years after the NDE. That leaves room for a certain amount of “retrojection.” She foretells melting of the polar ice caps and flooding of North America, and that Native Americans will be responsible for peace by teaching white people to live in harmony with their environment. These elements of her experience seem to be influenced by popular thinking.
The fact that an NDE agrees with Mormon scripture is not a reason to doubt it. The fact that Mormon NDE’s agree with Mormon scripture and non-Mormon NDE’s agree with non-Mormon religious beliefs is a reason to suspect that some elements of the NDE’s are in some sense compositions of the subjects’ own minds, not supplied from an external source.
I watched an interview “Taught by Christ” with Ralph Jensen on I Believe Podcast, 2015. It was definitely an uplifting and very informative in some ways! I’m writing to you to ask you a great favor, is there a way I contact Ralph Jensen? I have some questions to him as I am on my search for truth and will greatly appreciate if you can help me to get in touch with him. Thank you!
Zarema–send your email address to me at [email protected]
I have done research on Mr. Jensen. So my Savior took the trouble to show Ralph His life and told him to go back and write a book. Charge 15 to 20 dollars for it and go on a tour giving glimpses of what is in the book to create interest and raise book sales. I ask myself, why would my savior do such a thing since most everything Ralph says is in the Bible. Ralph said it himself, satan is a great deceiver and duplicator mixing a little lie with a little truth . There are many inspiring NDE’s. This is not one of them. The Word
says to try the spirits. This does not pass the litmus test. Not the Jesus I know.