Crowther’s Life Everlasting is a genuine delight to me.  Thanks for 
raising it to my attention.  I thought it was a wonderful book when I 
first read it, more than thirty years ago.  On reexamination, I find it 
to be even more relevant and edifying than the first view.  I have in 
the interim period had cause to reflect on many of the issues Crowther 
examines.  The insight afforded is significant.  And, to those of us 
with serious concerns about loved ones gone before, it is a great 
comfort to have this review and compilation of so much good LDS-oriented 
information on that subject.

Of course, as with other proper works in this genre, this book does not 
presume to be authoritative.  Crowther provides his own disclaimer in 
the introduction.  

“Brigham Young taught that ‘When any man publishes or preaches his 
peculiar views he should not say they are the views of the Church’.  
This book presents my views in the sense that they are based on the 
evidence available.  As that evidence grows, my views grow and I grow.  
I write as an individual and not as an official spokesman for The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the concepts expressed herein 
are not official statements of Latter-day Saint doctrine.  Undoubtedly 
the teachings expressed herein sometimes exceed in scope the Church’s 
doctrines on the future life.”

Crowther further states:

“The evidence is historical, not clinical.  The chemist or physicist 
will never hold the key to life after death unless it is revealed to 
them.  That key lies in the accounts of those who have ventured into the 
spirit realm and then returned.  Its meaning is found in the realm of 
religion, not of science.  The things of the spirit are spiritually 
discerned.”

Currently there is some legitimate concern about popular ideas regarding 
“near death experiences”.  We are well advised to be conservative in our 
approach to this idea, particularly in regard to sources that 
sensationalize and exploit our natural interest in the subject.  What 
distinguishes Crowther’s work is the quality of his references and 
sources.  He carefully documents his ideas using scriptures and 
authoritative quotes from Church leaders.  These actually constitute the 
bulk of the text. I especially appreciated his end-of-chapter summaries 
for their clarity in outlining important principles and ideas.

Much of what is valuable in Crowther’s book is in the collected 
testimonies of many LDS members who share their own experiences with 
regard to death, and touching the spirit world.  Sharing of testimonies 
is an important principle in the Church.  Our understanding is that it 
affords opportunity for the Holy Ghost to bear witness to our souls, and 
thereby enlighten our minds.  In this troubled world, a spiritual 
witness is an invaluable source of faith.

Crowther’s dependence on citing personal testimonies is a strength, not 
a flaw.  We cannot presume to dismiss the collective witness of so many 
individuals, particularly when many of the sources are well-respected 
figures in Church history.  As Crowther states in his disclaimer, this 
is historical evidence, not a clinical study.  In a cynical, skeptical 
world where such stories are almost inevitably associated with some kind 
of fraudulent misrepresentation or scam, Crowther’s book projects a pure 
white pillar of light.  It suggests some good answers to questions that 
are vitally important to certain of us.

---
Mij Ebaboc

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