Led by the Hand of Christ

LedByTheHandOfChristI love reading books about NDEs – Near Death Experiences. Last year I gathered a few dozen from my library and wrote short reviews. It continues to be a popular post. Since that time several readers have written to advise me of additional NDE books I might enjoy. For example, in December I read and reviewed Home and Back Again by Imelda and Thomas Fowler.

Email from the Author

Suzanne Freeman wrote me a few weeks ago and suggested I might enjoy her books, starting with Led by the Hand of Christ. I purchased them and sat down one evening last week to read the first one. I couldn’t put it down. It was an easy read – straightforward story-telling, fascinating material and inspiring. I don’t think it took more than a few hours to get through the 150 pages.

Additional Works by Suzanne

As this was her first book, Suzanne used the services of Shirley Bahlmann, a professional author. Although I haven’t read her second book, Through the Window of Life, the synopsis contains wording to the effect that makes the book comparable with Visions of Glory with scenes from the future. Her third book is entitled The Spirit of Liberty, relating yet more of her spirit world vision.

Favorable Book Reviews

The book generated favorable reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble and Google Books. I few readers mentioned the same thing I felt as I read the book, that perhaps there was some embellishment or writer’s license involved. After all, the writer did not experience the NDE, so she had to interpret what Suzanne was telling her. Still, Shirley interpreted it well.

Died on the Operating Table

No two NDEs are exactly the same, but many of them have similar elements. Suzanne’s had a very unique beginning. She died on the operating table of an ectopic pregnancy. Hovering in the upper corner of the operating room, all she wanted to do was return to her body. Her family needed her. As Suzanne relates it, she was stopped by the hand of Christ upon her shoulder.

She Told the Savior No

There was no long tunnel, no sense of going toward a bright light, only the desire to get back to her body and return to her family. The Savior told her there were some people who wanted to see her. Suzanne said no and struggled once again to return. The Lord had to hold her back, sternly calling her name to let her know it wasn’t time, but promising she could eventually return.

A Tour of Paradise

With this reassurance, Suzanne began a tour of the spirit world, meeting family members and famous individuals. She met prophets of the Bible and LDS history, as well as founding fathers and many presidents of the United States. An especially touching chapter relates a conversation with mother Eve, whom she describes as being very tall, at least seven feet, as well as Adam.

A Tenacious Mama Bear

A humorous theme throughout her travels is that everywhere she went she was celebrated and recognized as the woman who said “No” to Christ. She continually downplays the action, explaining her only desire was to return to her children who needed her. She even equates it to the tenacity of a “Mama Bear” when someone is standing between her and her little children.

Writing in the Book of Life

Suzanne learns much from the Savior, including the importance of building our self-esteem. He illustrates this when he takes her to a room full of white books, where he takes one down – hers – and writes in it of her desire to return to her children. She relates she was astounded, mentioning she knew lots of mothers who would have done the same. The scene seems highly symbolic.

Prayer for a Return of Memories

In fact, you may perhaps feel that much of what she relates is symbolic and maybe it is, but it is how she remembers it. Oh, about that. Suzanne tells when it was time to return to her body, the Savior told her she would not remember anything, but if she prayed, the memories would return. I can relate as my own experience in the spirit world at age seventeen took years to remember.

Some Complained is was Too Mormon

I always read the one and two star reviews after I write my own. I can relate to what they were saying – mainly that it was told from a very Mormon perspective. Yet, at the same time, some of the Mormon reviewers wrote the story did not jive with what they believed about paradise, so go figure. I guess it depends on what you expect. Again, I stress perhaps some of it was symbolic.

A Well-Edited, Well-Told Tale

I recommend the book. It was well-told and well-edited. I’m always delighted when reading a book that is well-edited. This was not self-published so it had the advantage of good editing. I have read a few books from Spring Creek, and recognized several of the authors and titles when I went to their website. It’s good to see an independent publisher making it in the Mormon world.

I Recommend You read the Book

I look forward to reading Suzanne’s other two books, which I also bought, and wish her well on her continued publishing journey. I am pleased to add her books to my NDE collection and to be able to recommend at least the first one so far. It takes courage to tell your story, even today with so many NDE books on the market. Read it and determine for yourself how much truth it relates.


5 thoughts on “Led by the Hand of Christ”

  1. I enjoyed this author’s book “Through the Window of Life” very much. I’ll be reading her other two soon. She had a speaking engagement recently close to where I live, but I learned of it after the fact. I hope to have an opportunity to hear her speak in the future.

    I didn’t interpret Christ holding her back as stern. It felt somewhat humorous to me and unusual. I imagine most of us would beg to stay, which has indeed been reported by some who have died and returned. I loved the interaction between Christ and Suzanne. There was so much love and affection; so much genuine feeling exposed.

    Thank you for writing all the reviews on your blog. Reading them is how I began this incredible path of discovery and returning to the Lord.

  2. Thanks for the information about this subject. For some reason I like stores of NDE’s.
    My town’s library sells the books they no longer want to keep shelved. So we are able to buy some neat and interesting books for a great price. One book was about Ghosts. It was full of photographs of Spirits or Ghosts, people’s experiences with good Spirits and bad Spirits, and so forth. I got rid of the book because the cover was creepy (I took it to a used book store) but I wish I still had it. Should have torn the cover off so I would not be bothered.
    Anyway, one story stood out among every story in the entire book. It was in the early 1900’s and a five year old girl was dying. Her parent’s were distraught of course, as were other family members. The girl spoke of someone being with her, a male child older than her, always coming and going. The doctor and parents thought the girl was making it up for comfort, and trying to be brave herself. The little girl was always comforting her family and telling them not to be sad and not to worry about her. The girl was always telling her family about this male child who was visiting her and telling the family stories of the after life. The girl told her family she saw Heaven and what happens in Heaven, and a lot of other information. The parents and doctor thought the girl was hallucinating. Until the girl spoke of family members she never knew and giving her parents information the girl could not have known. The girl told her family that so and so said to tell her family hello and were waiting for them. Many passed on family members were coming to this girl.
    The best part was the girl described what went on in Heaven. She said the people were very busy, that there was a lot of activity. She said people were doing some sort of work, and there were books and papers and desks and everyone had a job to do. She said people in Heaven were doing things like people on Earth, but Heaven was beautiful and she could not wait to go. She saw her Grandfather and he told her he did not have much time to spend with her because he had a lot of work to do, but he would see her soon. There was more but I can not remember everything, but what it reminded me exactly of what LDS have been told that possibly goes on on the other side of the veil. People are busy, keeping records, and preparing for the Second Coming. The parents were convinced the girl was telling the truth, and the older male child who was visiting her was a cousin of hers she never knew, and he was to escort her when it was time for the girl to go.
    I am trying to find that book because I want that story. If I find it I will keep the good stories and throw the spooky and creepy stories away.

  3. marginalizedmormon

    I do want to ask a question.

    Do TBMs like NDEs?

    Seriously. I have never read one or not read one in possibly 30 years or more. I think years ago someone handed me a book with some NDEs in it, written by a doctor or an educator.

    I have been hearing that many people like these accounts. But I wonder if they are more likely to be read by people who are very mainstream LDS.

    And, yes, I know that many other Christians write about and read such things as well; I have heard that from someone who doesn’t like to read NDEs but who has an LDS family member who does.

    1. marginalizedmormon

      I read through some of the reviews. I admit I have been put off by those that talk about the last days. As for people having NDEs, I don’t doubt it at all; I guess I just tend to think of those experiences as being personal.

      I have been a member of the church my entire life, and I have a 7th generation member. In all that time I have never heard of an NDE from any in my huge extended family or among any of my ancestors.

      Spiritual experiences, yes, a few. Again, in my immediate family there have been a number of extraordinary spiritual experiences.
      I am not a ‘scoffer’.
      Perhaps I should read some of these. Thank you.

    2. I’m not certain how “mainstream” one might consider me, but I have always been drawn to these kinds of stories; anything having to do with spirits and Heaven/Hell really. I think it is because I’ve experienced a lot of loved ones passing on, since I was a little child. I’ve always wondered where they went and what was going on from their perspective. I do not focus solely on LDS NDEs either. I love to read across the broad expanse of human beliefs and experiences. Though this isn’t a topic discussed much in LDS circles, I do think some people enjoy discussing and sharing these things while others not so much. Maybe out of fear, but also maybe because they just like to quietly ponder until the Spirit directs them to share. I’m fortunate in the ward I live in because members don’t mind mentioning when they’ve had a dream or a vision. So far no one has mentioned seeing Christ face-to-face, but it seems to be something most in this area are aware can happen. Are you concerned about people seeking these experiences or reading about them? For me it brings comfort and a lot of knowledge.

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