Upon Thy Belly Shalt Thou Go

Using Near Death Experiences (or NDEs) for information is a lot like trusting in one’s own dreams; sometimes a really clear one comes along that lands us with a ton of good insight but what we usually find ourselves doing is piecing together patterns from several, looking for recurrent elements and images. One of our favorite books here at The Wonder Women is a treasure trove of LDS NDEs called Life Everlasting by Duane S. Crowther, and it has helped to answer some really important questions of mine, such as: What will my hair be like in the spirit world? Seriously, it is fuel for the imagination and will help you to understand that above all, your most important task here in this life, according to persons who have gone and come back, is to love people. 


NDEs have also helped to answer a couple of other questions of mine relating to both the angel Moroni and Satan. I had always wondered why Angel Moroni and other angels were in the habit of appearing to Joseph Smith high in the air as if they were floating. Joseph described Moroni as having “appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.” Consider the wording common in so many NDEs: "I found myself high above my body." Here's another one:

My spirit left the body; just how I cannot tell. But I perceived myself standing some four or five feet in the air, and saw my body lying on the bed.
— Peter E. Johnson, The Relief Society Magazine, vol. VII, No. 8 describing an experience he'd had August 8, 1898 when he was stricken with malaria

There is also Joseph Smith's instruction that "the spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work: hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us." (History of the Church 6:52, October 9, 1843). The word "exalted," I imagine, is both literal and figurative. I dare suppose the spirits of the righteous exist on a higher plane, perhaps on the surface of the earth's spirit that I have heard described as larger than the present, physical earth, which would put those residing there a few feet above this mortal plane. 

Conversely, it would follow that the spirits of the wicked would exist on a lower plane (this is starting to sound a lot like the 9 realms of Norse mythology - which had to have its roots somewhere - welcome to Middle Earth, folks). Lorenzo Dow Young, of his near-death experience, said his "guide" told him, "'I will now show you the condition of the damned.' Pointing with his hand, he said, 'Look!' I looked down a distance which appeared incomprehensible to me" (Fragments of Experience, pg 28). It is also common to hear those unfortunate enough to have experience with these sorts of NDEs say things like, "I was looking down into a large pit" and "I descended into Hell." 

garden-of-eden serpent.jpg

I am sure the pit of Hell is of varying depths and degrees, but it would make sense that those given license to interface with the mortal plane would need to be somewhat close to us. Let's suppose they are physically as "fallen" as the angels assigned to us (like Moroni) are "exalted." If a messenger from the Lord had his feet fall somewhere between our belly and our head, that would put an evil tempter in an interesting position, with our flesh and blood feet striking somewhere between *it's* belly and head. Doesn't that sound a lot like the natural consequence (or curse) the Lord laid out for the serpent, whom we know as Lucifer, or Satan?  

And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thous has done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of they life.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
— Genesis 3:14-15

Does that make sense, now, or what? Maybe that is the plane Satan and his followers are confined to, out there like a sea of floating torsos, eating our dust? A generation of ankle-biters. I swear they still manage to whisper in the ear although, seriously, I don't really think spirit communication happens that way. I think that part is figurative.

If this is true, wouldn't a whole lot of things make more sense? Like why mountains are such holy places? They would be so much further removed from the plane of the wicked; no unclean thing would have access to them. It would further elucidate why thieves and other wicked men (including politicians - have you noticed?) seek refuge in the holes of rocks. Try this little morsel of speculation on for size and see if it works for you and then get back to me.

What say ye?