"That revelation should be renewed again in the latter days: God willing, is devoutly to be desired by all rational and intelligent beings." Harry Edgar Baker



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A Curious Experience in Drowning



Recently I was much interested in listening to a relation by Brother Charles John Lambert of a peculiar experience he passed through. I will give the facts as if described by himself, although not in his own language. They are as follows:

"When I was about thirteen years old I was on the point of leaving my home to go to the vicinity of the Jordan River to bring the family cow from the pasture. As I was departing my mother said: ‘Charles John, you must not go into the water.’

"I fully intended to comply with this wish, but when I reached the pasture I set aside my scruples regarding disobedience to my parent, and, in company with Harrison Shurtliff, entered a tributary of the Jordan, near to where it entered into that stream, to bathe.

"We amused ourselves tumbling over a log that lay in the water. In going down I caught under this log, was there held fast, and found it impossible to reach the surface. I knew I was drowning, and as the water gurgled down my throat, a sleepy, painless sensation pervaded me, then all was blank.

"When I recovered consciousness I was no longer in the body, but my spirit was out of the water.

"No human power could describe my condition. Every action, and even every thought of my life, good, bad and indifferent, was clearly before my comprehension. I could not tell by what process this effect was produced, but I knew that my whole life in detail was before my view with terrible clearness.

"One idea seemed more vivid than the rest – the fact that I had lost my life by my own sinful act – disobedience to my mother.

"There were spiritual persons with me, and I understood that they also knew all about the nature of the deeds I had done in the body. They appeared to have taken charge of me in the spirit, and I seemed to be on the most familiar terms with them.

"I saw Harrison Shurtliff looking for my body in great excitement, but I had no power to communicate with him. I looked into the water and beheld my body and wondered why he did not see it; then I observed that I saw clear through the log, under which the body was lying. I saw young Shurtliff, after looking for it in vain, run along the bank a distance of about two blocks, and tell John Harker what had taken place. The two of them came rapidly to the spot where the drowning occurred.

"I discovered that I could move about without the slightest effort and with great rapidity. My spirit friends took me away from the scene of the incident and in a twinkling, as it were, I was in the city. They told me that my death was caused by disobedience to my parent. I felt keenly on this point, and informed them that if I were allowed to re-enter my body I should never be guilty of the same sin again. I was then informed that I might return to it.

"In an instant – almost as quick as thought – I was at the spot where the drowning occurred and saw my body lying on the bank. Young Shurtliff and John Harker had placed it in such a position that the head was downhill and they were working hard to get the water to flow from the mouth. It looked loathsome to me, notwithstanding I had expressed a desire to return to it.

"Suddenly I became insensible to what transpired. I began to recover sensibility in my body, to which I had returned in the interval that appeared blank. My agony while recovering was fearful. It seemed as if the suffering of an ordinary life-time had been concentrated into a few minutes’ duration. It appeared as if every sinew of my physical system was being violently torn out.

"This gradually subsided, I was raised to my feet, some boys took charge of my cow, and others helped me go to the city.

"On arriving in town I had so far recovered as to be able to walk alone, and wended my way home. I was so thoroughly ashamed of my conduct that I carefully concealed what had happened from the knowledge of my mother. She did not learn of it for several weeks, and would not then had not John Harker visited the house.

"On seeing me he remarked: ‘Is not this the boy who was drowned while down at the pasture after the cow?’ Then turning to me he said: ‘You are the boy, are you not?’

"I was in the act of slinking out of the house when this question was put, but I, of course, answered that I was the boy in question. This was news to mother, who felt quite exercised about it.

"The incident narrated above made an indelible impression upon my mind, and doubtless has more or less influenced my life since it occurred. Some people may think that the statements regarding my leaving the body are based upon imagination. What I have described, however, was as real as anything could be, and was not imaginary. While my spirit was separate from its earthly tenement I saw and understood all that took place, as afterwards verified by the parties whom I have named in connection with the drowning. The effect produced upon me has been to cause me to avoid ever disobeying my parents. I have never, from that time to the present, so far as I know, acted contrary to their expressed wishes, and I trust I never shall. I have therefore kept the condition upon which I appeared to be allowed to again take possession of my body.

"Thus ends the story of my experience in being drowned and coming to life again. The incident may serve to point a moral by which some young people may profit."




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