Monthly Archives: August, 2021

He Needed that Structure

Here is a video link to a presentation by Dr. Mary Helen Hensley who has had a near death experience (NDE) as well as numerous spiritual experiences.

Her father was a Southern Baptist minister. He did not seem to be a “fire and brimstone” preacher, but did have strong beliefs about who went to heaven and who went to hell.

The father had developed memory problems and was in a rest home. Dr. Mary and her mother were visiting him one day when he had a “lucid” episode prior to his passing. He described seeing his own mother in heaven which he referred to as the “Land Beyond the River.” He marveled that his mother appeared so young in this vision. Then he was surprised and pleased to see his own father there (Mary’s grandfather).

The grandfather had been a gambler and had done other things that should have disqualified him from heaven according to Baptist teachings. Mary’s minister father concluded that he had been mistaken about his own beliefs. “I had it wrong all along, everybody gets to go,” he exclaimed.

Mary rhetorically asked in her presentation whether that sudden change in belief had negated her father’s life as a minister. She wisely concluded that it had not, because he had “needed that structure.” And so it may be with our TBM family and friends.


See also:

Karen Thomas, Fundamentalist Christian who had an NDE

Karen experienced unconditional love without judgment during her NDE.

– Tom Irvine

Patrick Mason & the CES Letter


I am not a fan of the CES Letter. But I agree with Patrick Mason’s quote.

We need to come to a realization that some, or many, stories and accounts that have been taught as solid historical fact may indeed be inspired metaphors or allegories.

A huge problem for the Church leadership is that calls for obedience and tithe payment are based on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s experiences all being literally true. If the leaders were to instead recast these events as “inspired metaphors,” then their claim to authority would slip away.

See also: Oh Say What is Truth?

– Tom Irvine