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In 1975, Dr. Raymond A. Moody coined the term “near-death experiences” in his bestselling book Life After Life.
Mormons have latched on to this concept, which is not surprising, considering our unique doctrine regarding the afterlife.
Dr. Brent Top has extensively researched near-death experiences, especially by those outside of the LDS community.
He has identified several common elements to these experiences such as the “life review,” encountering loved ones, and spirit communication.
Far from fading as a fad, the topic is becoming more and more popular.
While Dr. Top finds his studies interesting, he warns of the danger of trying to establish doctrine through experience. He emphasizes what the LDS doctrine is regarding the afterlife rather than anecdotal experiences. He also introduces a concept he coined as the “Apocraphal Principle” to help us evaluate these stories.