Magnificent World of Spirits:
Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die
Marlene Bateman Sullivan
Some books entertain us. Some books teach us. Some books change us. Marlene Bateman Sullivan’s Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die, does all three.
Bateman has written extensively on the Spirit World and angelic visitations as recorded in the journals of early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Magnificent World of Spirits, she offers carefully researched accounts of Latter-day Saints who visited the Spirit World through dreams and visions. These accounts are almost identical to the experiences of people who actually crossed the veil, visited the Spirit World, and returned, which she chronicled in her first book on the subject, Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History. Both books remind us where we came from, why we’re here on earth, what really matters, and why we want to make it Home.
The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die is a well-documented, fascinating read that’s hard to put down. Sullivan’s research has earned her accolades from other respected LDS scholars. The book opens with an acknowledgment by Lee Nelson (Beyond the Veil Series.) The extensive foreword was written by Duane S. Crowther, the prolific and highly respected author of over fifty LDS titles.
Adding to the veracity of these accounts is the era in which they were give. Before our media-driven days, these stories were personally recorded in private journals, and initially shared with family and ecclesiastical leaders to strengthen and teach, Sullivan supports the context of the accounts by interspersing correlating scriptural content and passages from modern revelation, adding further substance until the overall effect is powerful, convincing, and educational.
She explained that while researching the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for another book, LDS Heroes and Heroines, she came across touching accounts of people who had visited the Spirit World. After completing that book, she returned to the LDS libraries to search for similar accounts and found scores of them.
Though each experience shared is unique to the individual, the personal accounts contain many similarities—concourses of people dressed primarily in brilliant white, feelings of love, a sense of familiarity, a longing to stay in Heaven, the sense of freedom from the burden of the body, acute awareness of the separation between the co-existing worlds of spirits and mortals.
Most touching to me was the reminder that mortality is a time to prepare for eternity where what matters most are our relationships—to God, and to others—further reminding us that matters most in heaven should be the primary subject of our concern here on earth.
Though the accounts are from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages are universal. There is peace in these pages. The Magnificent World of Spirits:Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die is a comfort to those who have lost someone, to those suffering through illness, and to anyone who wonders whether Heavenly Father and Jesus are real.
As a family reference book, it would be a source of easy devotionals, scriptural dessert before bed, a gift for peace for those providing bedside comfort to the ailing, and a source of beautiful stories to support favorite scriptural passages.
For me, it provides a challenge to keep eternity close, like a ruler by which we measure the way we use this precious time. I can highly recommend any of Marlene Bateman Sullivan’s books, but The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die is a resource every family would return to many times.
Marlene is offering a free, personalized copy to one of my readers. Please leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. The winner will be chosen May 6th. In the meantime, please visit other stops on the Magnificent World of Spirits blog tour, available by visiting www.marlenebateman.info.