Kimberly Clark-Sharp once shared an interesting near-death account of the life review of a woman who saw an event in her life as a child. The lesson the woman learned from her life review is that our actions which seem unimportant can be more important than we can imagine on the other side. When the woman was a little girl, she saw a tiny flower growing almost impossibly out of a crack in the sidewalk. She bent down and cupped the flower and gave it her full unconditional love and attention. When the girl became a woman and had an NDE, during her life review she discovered that it was this incident with the flower that was the most important event of her entire life. The reason was because it was the moment where she expressed her love in a greater, purer, and unconditional manner. This example of a life review by Kimberly Clark Sharp is one of my favorite examples because it shows in a dramatic way a principle that appears in many life reviews. The principle is that the actions which we think are unimportant may turn out to be the most important actions we have ever done in our life. Unconditional and spontaneous acts of love are the greatest acts we can perform – even if it is directed at a tiny flower.
1. Comments from NDE researchers about the life review
“The Being of Light presents the dying with a panoramic review of everything they have ever done. That is, they relive every act they have ever done to other people and come away feeling that love is the most important thing in life.” (Dr. Raymond Moody)
“A life review, seeing and re-experiencing major and trivial events of one’s life, sometimes from the perspective of the other people involved, and coming to some conclusion about the adequacy of that life and what changes are needed.” (IANDS FAQ)
“One of the common aspects found in NDEs is the life review. It can be described in terms that are similar to seeing a movie, in segments, or a reliving.” (P.M.H. Atwater)
“There is evidence that a type of judgment occurs at the time of death. This judgment involves a review of a person’s life and results in their placement in the spirit world. Sometime after the judgment the person is assigned (in many cases this assignment is self-imposed) to a specific place or level in the other world – a place where his or her spirit feels most at ease.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)
2. The purpose of the life review
There are many reasons for the life review and all of them are very important. The life review has been described by many to be the single most enlightening experience they have ever had. Here are some of the purposes of the life review according to experiencers profiled on this website:
b. The life review is for educating us about ourselves: why we are the way we are; what were our motives behind our actions; how did our lives impact others; how we could have done better; and what we can do to correct aspects to ourselves which are not compatible with life on the Other Side. We learn these things in order to become a better person.
c. The life review is for evaluating our soul development for the purpose of attaining soul growth.
d. The life review is for evaluating our progress in completing our mission.
3. The mechanics of the life review
The method of reviewing your life has been described in many different ways. Why there are different methods for this process is anyone’s guess. The theory I have about everything that happens after death is that we either get what we want, get what we expect, get what we need, or some combination of this. The important thing is that life review experiences have more in common than they have differences. Life reviews have been described as:
a. Viewing a movie of your entire life.
b. Viewing a movie of important segments of your life.
c. Viewing a video of knowledge concerning your entire life.
d. Viewing a panoramic view of your entire life.
e. Viewing a vivid, three-dimensional color display of your entire life.
f. Viewing hundreds of television screens with each screen showing a home movie of one event in your life.
g. Viewing a three-dimensional hologram of your life in full color, sound, and scent.
h. Viewing scenes of your life in little bursts.
i. Viewing scenes of your life flitting from scene to scene.
j. Viewing scenes of your life at a tremendous speed.
k. Viewing scenes of your life in fast-forward.
l. Viewing scenes of your life in a way that can be slowed down or paused in order to focus on a particular detail of your life.
m. Reliving your entire life with scenes of your life projected around you.
n. Having a feeling like a dam has burst in your mind and every memory has flowed out.
o. Having a religious figure or higher being initiating the life review.
p. Having the life review occur when getting in close proximity to the Being of Light.
q. Having a higher being reading from a Book of Life (for Christian experiencers).
r. Having a higher being reading from the Akashic Records (for Hindu experiencers).
s. Having a life review before a Council of Elders who are seated at a table.
t. Having a life review take place in a domed room with square screens up and down the walls and on the ceiling.
u. Having a life review take place in a amphitheater the size of a sports stadium filled with light beings who will observe your review.
4. The characteristics of the life review
The life review is an amazing experience having many interesting characteristics – not all of which are found in every life review. The following is a list of some of those characteristics.
a. Instantly becoming everyone you came in contact with in your entire life (feeling their emotions, thinking their thoughts, living their experiences, learning their motives behind their actions).
b. Reliving every detail of every second of your life, every emotion, and every thought simultaneously.
c. Re-living the way you dealt with others and how others dealt with you.
d. Viewing a few special deeds in your life.
e. Replaying a part of your life review to focus on a particular event for instruction.
f. Viewing past lives and/or your future.
g. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility.
h. Feeling a sense of judgment or self-judgment (often these feelings transform from judgment to self-judgment).
i. The review is a fact-finding process rather than a fault-finding process.
j. Your motives for everything will be as visible as your actions.
5. The being of light in the life review
While in the presence of the Being of Light during a life review, it is impossible to lie to yourself or to others or to the Light. In the Light, there is no place for secrets to hide. But it is not God who judges us after we die. The purpose for the life review is strictly for education, enlightenment and spiritual growth. In the presence of the Being of Light, some people may judge or condemn or punish themselves. There is no judgment except the judgment we might level at ourselves and even this we shouldn’t do. God’s standard is pure love and our lives will be compared to this standard in the light of God. Pure love is serving God and others without having self-centered motives for doing so. The life review is the perfect experience for the Being of Light to reveal to people how they have measured up to this standard and their mission in life. The following is a list of characteristics of the Being of Light during life reviews. Sometimes the Being of Light is accompanied with other light beings and for this reason the so-called “Being of Light” will be referred to as “they.”
a. They can fill you with a love that is beyond description.
b. They can eliminate any negativity you may feel from viewing your life review.
c. They may ask questions concerning your life and how you felt about it.
d. They may rejoice when love is displayed in your life.
e. The entire heavenly hosts may thank you in unison for your deeds done out of love.
f. They may applaud you and let you know that God approved of your acts of unselfishness and caring.
g. They may suffer and/or feel sorrow for you about something you did.
h. They can pause the review for awhile if you are upset to strengthen you with love.
i. They witness everything you did in secret.
j. They take into consideration various aspects about your life when it comes to evaluating your life; such as, how you were raised, what you were taught, the pain inflicted upon you, and the opportunities missed or not received.
6. Questions and responses from the being of light
The Being of Light often asks the experiencer a question or a series of questions to elicit a response that is then projected in the three-dimensional form of the life review. Sometimes this Being and/or other light beings respond to the experiencer’s life review. The following is a list of some of those questions and responses.
a. Any question they ask will be answered during your review.
b. They ask questions to elicit a response from you.
c. They already know the answers to the questions they ask you.
d. “What have you done with your life?”
e. “How much did you love during his life?”
f. “Did you love others as you are being loved now? Totally? Unconditionally?”
g. “How much love did you give others?”
h. “How much love did you receive from others?”
i. “What did you do with the precious gift of life?”
j. “Why did you choose the particular parents you have?”
k. Responding to an event in your life, whether good or bad, by saying: “You are doing wonderfully.”
l. “We are here to support you.”
m. “Continue to do good work, and we will help you.”
n. “You are part of us, and we are part of you.”
o. “We stand ready to come to your aid when you need us, and you will.”
p. “Call us. Beckon us. We will flock to you when the time comes!”
7. Insights about our deeds that are reviewed
The life review reveals how God is concerned about deeds – not creeds. This fact becomes crystal clear during a person’s life review. Many experiencers have expressed the astounding realization of how life on earth is one gigantic “test” for which our deeds will be graded during our life review. Here is a list of other insights concerning our deeds in relation to our life review.
a. Deeds which we might consider to be unimportant may turn out to be more important than we can possibly imagine on the Other Side.
b. Deeds which we might consider to be “very good” may not be considered as such on the Other Side if the deeds were done solely for self.
c. Deeds which we may have given “no second thought about” might amaze us when we learn how much they meant to God and the Other Side.
d. Deeds which are considered most valuable on the Other Side are those which express love in a greater, purer and unconditional manner.
e. Deeds which are considered to be “greatest” on the Other Side are usually those which are not done with great fanfare, but are small acts of kindness toward others.
f. Deeds which are considered “greatest” on the Other Side are often the little things we do out of kindness and love because they are more spontaneous and reveal our true motive behind the deeds. Such deeds demonstrate in a better way who we really are.
g. Deeds can carry repercussions which affect many lives and many lifetimes.
h. There are no “wrong” deeds. There are only deeds which either do or do not enhance positive spiritual growth.
i. We are very powerful spirit beings. Even our “little” deeds can have a powerful affect on others even though we are completely unaware of it.
j. All of our deeds have an affect on the evolution of our soul and the evolution of the souls of those around us.
l. The choices we make in life matters deeply
m. We receive what we give out.
n. It is practically impossible to forgive others if we cannot forgive ourselves.
o. Howard Storm was given the following insights after his life review when he was afraid of returning to earth life because he feared he would make the same mistakes again:
“Mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. We are here to make all the mistakes we want because it is through our mistakes that we learn. As long as we try to do what we know to be right, we will be on the right path. If we make a mistake, we should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind us and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important thing is to try our best, keep our standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise them to win people’s approval. God loves us just the way we are, mistakes and all. When we make a mistake, we should ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult if we don’t accept that we are forgiven. We shouldn’t continue going around with a sense of guilt, and we should try not to repeat our mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes. God wants us to do what we want to do. That means making choices – and there isn’t necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and we should make the best choice from those possibilities. If we do that, we will receive help from the Other Side.” (Howard Storm)
8. Insights of love from the life review
The overwhelming consensus among experiencers is that love is supreme. Love is where we came from. Love is where we will return. Love is what life is all about because love is God. Life on earth is like being in school – our lessons in life are mostly about love. Thus, during the life review experiencers are often given profound insights about love which they are allowed to bring back to share with the rest of us. Here are some of those insights:
a. A simple smile has the power to start a chain reaction of love that can spread throughout the entire world and alter the course of history.
b. Who you are is the love that you share; and that love is God.
c. The simple secret to improving humanity is this: know that the love you give to others is equal to the love you will have when you die.
d. Pure love is God’s measuring stick that is used to measure all of our actions.
e. Love is the message we receive from our life review.
f. Loving others unconditionally as we love yourself is the most important thing we do in life.
g. We must love ourselves unconditionally before we are able to love others in the same way.
h. Loving others is really the only thing that matters in life and love is joy.
9. Other insights learned from the life review
Love is the most important aspect of life on the Other Side. Love is also the most important aspect of earth life although there seems to be so little of it here compared to the Other Side. Along with insights of love, life reviews offer insights on virtually an unlimited amount of knowledge. Here are some of them:
a. Life is like a “gigantic test” which we will grade ourselves on during our life review.
b. Life reviews teach us who we really are. We are powerful spiritual beings.
c. Life reviews can show us how and why we were the way we were in life.
d. Everything about you and your life will make more sense after a life review.
e. From our earthly perspective, it seems like we are living behind a “curtain of secrecy” where we can do things without anyone knowing about it. But in reality, we are “on display” for the Other Side throughout our entire lives. All of our actions which are done “in secret” are known on the Other Side. At death, this illusionary “curtain” is lifted and “the floodlights” shine on us.
f. Life is very important because how we have lived our life largely determines how far we can go into the light.
g. Some of the opportunities we are given in life are orchestrated by Higher Powers.
h. The more we learn in life, the more the doors of opportunity will be opened to us later.
i. There really are no mistakes in life because all of our experiences are ways for us to learn and grow.
j. We need negative experiences as well as positive experiences in life in order to learn.
k. Every negative experience allows us to obtain a greater understanding about ourselves so that we can make better choices.
l. Before we can know joy, we must know sorrow.
m. God’s overriding desire is to purify us no matter how much suffering it takes to achieve it.
n. We come to earth to make mistakes and have a human experience.
o. Life is a golden opportunity to live a spiritual life in a world of darkness.
p. All events in our lives are significant. Even those events which we may consider to be insignificant can bring us great enlightenment.
q. We already know everything that we will learn from our life review. We have just forgotten it.
r. After having a life review, an experiencer may feel accountable for everything they do for the rest of their life.
s. We should learn to understand ourselves from the perspective of many lifetimes of evolution and soul growth. It may take many lifetimes for the negative karmic debts we owe others to be dissolved.
10. Various examples of life reviews
Berkley Carter Mills saw himself when he was a child and killed a mother bird with a sling shot. At the time, he was so proud of that shot; but during his life review, he felt the pain that the mother bird’s babies went through when they starved to death. (Berkley Carter Mills)
Reinee Pasarow described how the most positive thing she did was to give special attention to a not so lovable boy at a summer camp so that he would know he was loved. During the review, she said this act of kindness was more important from her viewpoint of expanded awareness than if she had been president of the United States or the queen of England. (Reinee Pasarow — Watch her video online)
After his review, Hal felt there is something missing. Because of this, the Being of Light takes him to a heavenly library where he was allowed to learn more about his life. He was shown a document that appeared to be about the size of a business card and described his entire life. Because the Being of Light did not want to interfere with Hal’s free will, he was not allowed to see all of it. (Hal)
Sherry Gideon was shown her future as if in a movie. She was told that she was a healer sent to earth to pave the way for others to live. She will also open healing centers for women and children. She was also shown a future event where she would help a man who helped her during the difficult times of her life. She was shown why we are all here in the world. It is to have a human experience. She was told that if it was religion, we would all be hoping the religion we chose was the right one. She was told that we are not here to kill each other, but help each other rise to a higher level of love. (Sherry Gideon)
Grace Bubulka re-experienced an event in her life when she was a child in class. Her teacher had set three special cards on a table which were to be awarded for a spelling bee they were to have. When everyone left for recess, Grace stole one of the cards. Later, she felt sick with guilt and put the card back when no one was there. Grace’s re-experience of this event made her remember everything about that situation. What really impressed her was her awareness at that time of how very wrong that action was. Although she made amends for it then, she felt her teacher’s dismay at having the card missing. Grace realized that other children saw only two cards on the desk for the spelling bee, not three. What she realized perfectly was that her actions carried repercussions that effect many others. (Grace Bubulka)
When Ned Dougherty’s life review began, he was overwhelmed by the process and the feelings of love directed at him from the audience. As events of his life were displayed, the audience would cheer for him and convey their love for him. They were saying things such as, “You are doing wonderfully. We are here to support you. Continue to do good work, and we will help you. You are part of us, and we are part of you. We stand ready to come to your aid when you need us, and you will. Call us. Beckon us. We will flock to you when the time comes!” Ned became confused by all the attention. There wasn’t anything wonderful about the way he had conducted his life. He wondered how he can be doing wonderfully when he tried to murder someone that very night. Ned was then spiritually rescued from the negative thoughts he was having. He was told that he mustn’t think such negative thoughts there. He was told that only positive thoughts will be heard there. Nobody can hear his negative thoughts. He must be positive to perform his mission. (Ned Dougherty)
RaNelle Wallace was shown how a friend of hers was given to her from God to guide and help her. But RaNelle saw instead how her own mistakes and uncaring attitude ultimately mislead her friend and propelled her into new mistakes and grief. Next, RaNelle saw another episode in her life when she was asked by a church leader to visit a particular woman to check up on her occasionally to see if she needed help. Because the woman was filled with such negativity and bitterness, RaNelle never went to see her. She didn’t think she could handle her attitude. Now, she saw that the opportunity to help her had been orchestrated by Higher Powers and that she was just the person the woman needed at the time. Now, RaNelle felt the woman’s sadness and disappointment because she did not complete this mission. It was a responsibility that would have been a benefit to RaNelle as well. (RaNelle Wallace)
Dr. Dianne Morrissey’s life review experience:
As Dianne Morrissey’s life review continued, she was shown two very special deeds she had performed in her life. As these scenes were displayed before her, every emotion she had originally felt returned in full force. She also felt as if God and the angels were honoring her for performing these deeds. Love and joy surrounded and ran through her. She felt as though she was being hugged by God.
The first deed she witnessed was when she helped a woman pushing her stalled automobile. Afterward, Dianne left in a hurry because she was afraid of getting a ticket. In Dianne’s haste, she didn’t give the woman a chance to thank her. While reviewing this scene, Dianne was filled with indescribable feelings of love, which seemed to be directed at her from the angels.
The second deed she witnessed was a scene she’d forgotten about. She saw herself as a teenager working in a convalescent hospital. She helped feed an elderly woman when no one else wanted to do so. She had grown fond of the old woman despite the old woman’s unsavory behavior. When this deed was displayed in her life review, she felt as if every loving spirit in God’s kingdom was thanking her in unison. She was amazed that such an act could have meant so much to God – and to her. She felt humbled and very honored. She communicated with the light beings telepathically. As she viewed the scenes of her life, she felt as if she were absorbing many books all at once with perfect clarity. (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)
Thomas Sawyer’s life review insights:
“I wish that I could tell you how it really felt and what the life review is like, but I’ll never be able to do it accurately. I’m hoping to give you just a slight inkling of what is available to each and every one of you. Will you be totally devastated by the crap you’ve brought into other people’s lives? Or will you be equally enlightened and uplifted by the love and joy that you have shared in other people’s lives? Well, guess what? It pretty much averages itself out. You will be responsible for yourself, judging and reliving what you have done to everything and everybody in very far-reaching ways. Very small, seemingly inconsequential things such as the day when I, nine years old, walked through Seneca Park and loved the appearance of a tree. In my life review I could experience a bit of what the tree experienced in my loving it, two little photons of love and adoration. It was somewhat like the leaves acknowledging my presence. Can a tree experience that? Yes, it can. Don’t go kicking trees anymore! You do have that effect on plants. You do have an effect on animals. You do have an effect on the universe. And in your life review you’ll be the universe and experience yourself in what you call your lifetime and how it affects the universe. In your life review you’ll be yourself absolutely, in every aspect of time, in every event, in the over-all scheme of things in your lifetime. Your life. The little bugs on your eyelids that some of you don’t even know exist. That’s an interrelationship, you with yourself and these little entities that are living and surviving on your eyelids. When you waved a loving goodbye to a good friend the other day, did you affect the clouds up above? Did you actually affect them? Does a butterfly’s wings in China affect the weather here? You better believe it does? You can learn all of that in a life review! As this takes place, you have total knowledge. You have the ability to be a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst, and much more. You are your own spiritual teacher, maybe for the first and only time in your life. You are simultaneously the student and the teacher in a relationship. My life review was part of this experience also. It was absolutely, positively, everything basically from the first breath of life right through the accident. It was everything. During this life review I experienced what I can only describe as “in the eyes of Jesus Christ.” Meaning, I watched and observed this entire event as if I were in the eyes of Jesus Christ. Which means unconditionally.” (Thomas Sawyer)
Howard Storm’s life review experience:
Howard Storm’s entire life review was a lesson during which they were trying to teach him. During some events, they slowed the review down to zoom in on it. All of the things that he worked to achieve, the recognition that he had worked for in elementary school, in high school, in college, and in his career, meant nothing in this setting. Howard could feel the light beings’ feelings of sorrow and suffering, or joy, as his life’s review unfolded. They didn’t judge him, but he could feel judgment. He could sense all those things they were indifferent to. For example, they didn’t consider his high school shot-put record. They just didn’t feel anything towards it, nor towards other things which he had taken so much pride in. What they responded to was how he had interacted with other people. His entire review would have been emotionally destructive if it hadn’t been for the love he felt from the light beings. Anytime he got upset during his life review, they would turn it off for awhile and just love him with a tangible love that can be felt through his entire being. Because his life review would keep tearing him down, he would feel their love every time. Despite all this, seeing his selfishness and hypocrisy made him nauseated. But through it all was their love. When his life review was finally over, they asked Howard if he had any questions. Sometimes they would replay the part of his life review in order to answer his questions. (Howard Storm)
Dannion Brinkley’s life review insights:
“When you have a panoramic life review, you literally relive your life, in 360 degrees panorama. You see everything that’s ever happened. You even see how many leaves were on the tree when you were six years old playing in the dirt in the front yard. You literally re-live it. Next you watch your life from a second person’s point of view. In this life we’re taught to be sympathetic toward others. But from the second person’s point of view, you’ll feel empathy, not sympathy. After that, you literally will become every person that you’ve ever encountered. You will feel what it feels like to be that person and you will feel the direct results of your interaction between you and that person. You know the story of the Book of Judgment? Guess what? When you have your panoramic life review, you are the judger … You do the judging. If you doubt me, believe this: you are the toughest judge you will ever have.” (Dannion Brinkley)
Laurelynn Martin’s life review experience:
During her life review, she relived an event when she was five years old and teased another girl to the point of tears. Laurelynn then felt exactly what the other girl was feeling. Laurelynn realized how the girl needed love, nurturing and forgiveness. Laurelynn then felt a love for this child that was so deep and tender, it was like the love between a mother and child. She realized that by hurting another person, she was only hurting myself. It was an experience oneness with everyone. Another event she relived was similar to the previous one. As a child she made fun of a scrawny, malnourished asthmatic kid who eventually died from a cerebral aneurysm. The kid once wrote a love letter to her which she rejected. In her life review, she experienced his pain of being rejected. At the same time, she felt a tremendous amount of love for this boy and herself. Her life review connected her with him in a way that went beyond the physical. It was a connection that was felt at the level of the soul. She saw how the boy had a vibrant, bright light burning inside of him. She felt the strength of his spirit and vitality. It was an inconceivable moment especially knowing how much he physically suffered when he was alive. (Laurelynn Martin)
David Oakford’s life review experience:
David’s life review began by witnessing the initial circumstances that occurred before being born that resulted in him being the person he was. The spirit beings asked David how and why he picked these particular parents. David didn’t know where it came from but he told them what they wanted to know. They agreed with him. David picked his parents to help them on their path as well as to achieve his own learning. David re-experienced his own birth and how he left heaven to become a helpless infant. He experienced his parent’s love and their anger. He saw all the good and bad episodes of his life. He felt all of his emotions and the emotions of others he had hurt as well as loved. From all of this he learned that it matters deeply what choices we make on earth. When his life review was over, the spirit beings in the room asked him questions concerning what he saw and how he felt about his life up to then. He knew that he had to provide an honest assessment and that it was impossible to lie. He hesitated when they asked him whether he affected others more positively than negatively. He thought about lying. Instead he told them that he could have done a better job, but he was not finished with his mission. Because of this, David told them he wanted to back and finish his mission. They spirit beings agreed. (David Oakford)
Christian Andreason’s life review experience:
“I saw four translucent screens appear (and form a kind of gigantic box around me). It was through this method that I was shown my life review. (Or rather I should say my LIVES IN REVIEW!) Without ever having to turn my head, I saw my past, my present, my future and there was even a screen that displayed a tremendous amount of scientific data, numbers and universal codes. I saw the beginning of my known existence as a Soul and saw that I had existed Spiritually long before this incarnation — where I am now a male human known as Christian Andreason! In Heaven, I undeniably saw that I had lived an innumerable amount of lives. Yet, what I saw went way beyond our comprehension of what we think reincarnation is. So, I am not exactly speaking of being born again and again on this planet alone. I saw that it is a big Universe out there and God has it all organized perfectly. Each of us is sent where we can obtain the best growth according to our Divine purpose.” (Christian Andreason)
Betty Eadie’s life review experience:
“I was led to a room, which was exquisitely built and appointed. I entered and saw a group of men seated around the long side of a kidney-shaped table. I was led to stand in front of them within the indented portion of the table. One thing struck me almost immediately; there were twelve men here – men – but no women. The men radiated love for me, and I felt instantly at peace with them. They leaned together to consult with each other. Then one of them spoke to me. He said that I had died prematurely and must return to earth. I felt them saying it was important that I return to earth, that I had a mission to fulfill, but I resisted it in my heart. This was my home, and I felt that nothing they could say would ever convince me to leave it. The men conferred again and asked me if I wanted to review my life. The request felt almost like a command. I hesitated; no one wants their mortal past to be reviewed in this place of purity and love. They told me that it was important for me to see it, so I agreed. A light appeared to one side, and I felt the Savior’s love beside me.
“I stepped to my left to watch the review. It occurred in the place where I had been standing. My life appeared before me in the form of what we might consider extremely well defined holograms, but at tremendous speed. I was astonished that I could understand so much information at such a speed. My comprehension included much more than what I remember happening during each event of my life. I not only re-experienced my own emotions at each moment, but also what others around me had felt. I experienced their thoughts and feelings about me. There were times when things became clear to me in a new way. ‘Yes,’ I would say to myself. ‘Oh, yes. Now I see. Well, who would have guessed? But, of course, it makes sense.’ Then I saw the disappointment that I had caused others, and I cringed as their feelings of disappointment filled me, compounded by my own guilt. I understood all the suffering I had caused, and I felt it. I began to tremble. I saw how much grief my bad temper had cased, and I suffered this grief. I saw my selfishness, and my heart cried for relief. How had I been so uncaring? Then in the midst of my pain, I felt the love of the council come over me. They watched my life with understanding and mercy. Everything about me was taken into consideration, how I was raised, the things I had been taught, the pain give me by others, the opportunities I had received or not received. And I realized that the council was not judging me. I was judging myself. Their love and mercy were absolute. Their respect for me could never be lessened. I was especially grateful for their love as the next phase of my review passed before me.
“I was shown the ripple effect, as they described it. I saw how I had often wronged people and how they had often turned to others and committed a similar wrong. This chain continued from victim to victim, like a circle of dominoes, until it came back to the start – to me, the offender. The ripples went out, and they came back. I had offended far more people than I knew, and my pain multiplied and became unbearable.
“The Savior stepped toward me, full of concern and love. His spirit gave me strength, and he said that I was judging myself too critically. ‘You’re being too harsh on yourself,’ he said.
“Then he showed me the reversed side of the ripple effect. I saw myself perform an act of kindness, just a simple act of unselfishness, and I saw the ripples go out again. The friend I had been kind to was kind in turn to one of her friends, and the chain repeated itself. I saw love and happiness increase in others’ lives because of that one simple act on my part. I saw their happiness grow and affect their lives in positive ways, some significantly. My pain was replaced with joy. I felt the love they felt, and I felt their joy, and this from one simple act of kindness. A powerful thought hit me, and I repeated it over and over in my mind:
Love is really the only thing that matters. Love is joy!
“I recalled the scripture that said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10), and my soul was filled with this abundant joy. It all seemed so simple. If we’re kind, we’ll have joy. And the question suddenly came out of me, ‘Why didn’t I know this before?’ Jesus or one of the men responded, and the answer was ingrained in me. It sank into the deepest part of my soul, changing my outlook on trials and opposition forever, ‘You needed the negative as well as the positive experiences on earth. Before you can feel joy, you must know sorrow.’ All of my experiences now took on new meaning. I realized that no real mistakes had been made in my life. Each experience was a tool for me to grow by. Every unhappy experience had allowed me to obtain greater understanding about myself, until I learned to avoid those experiences.
“So the review quickly changed from a negative experience to a very positive one. My perspective of myself was changed, and I saw my sins and shortcomings in a multi-dimensional light. Yes, they were grievous to me and others, but they were tools for me to learn by, to correct my thinking and behavior. I understood that forgiven sins are blotted out. It is as if they are overlaid by new understanding, by a new direction in life.
“My review was over, and the men sat in stillness, radiating their absolute love for me. The Savior was there in his light, smiling, pleased with my progress. The men then conferred again and turned back to me. ‘You have not completed your mission on earth,’ they said. ‘You must go back. But, we will not compel you; the choice is yours.’ Without hesitation, I said, ‘No, no. I can’t go back. I belong here. This is my home.’ I stood firm, knowing that nothing could ever make me choose to leave.’
“One of the men spoke, also firmly. ‘Your work is not complete. It is best that you return.’ I was not going back. I had learned as a child how to win a fight, and now I employed all those skills. I threw myself down and began crying. ‘I won’t go back,’ I wailed, ‘and nobody is going to make me! I’m staying right here where I belong. I’m through with earth!’
“Jesus stood not far from me, off to my right, still glowing in his brilliant light. He came forward now, and I felt his concern. But mixed with his concern was a sense of amusement. He still delighted in me, understanding my moods, and I sensed his empathy for my desire to stay. I arose, and he said to the council, ‘Let us show her what her mission involves.’
“Then turning back to me he said, ‘Your mission will be made known to you so that you might make a clearer decision. But after this, you must decide. If you return to your life on earth, your mission and much of what you have been shown will be removed from your memory.’ Reluctantly I agreed and was shown my mission.
“Afterward, I knew that I had to come back. Although I would hate to leave that glorious world of light and love for one of hardship and uncertainty, the necessity of my mission compelled me to return.” (Betty Eadie)
11. Biblical support for the life review
The Bible supports the NDE phenomenon of seeing your entire life reviewed after death – every thought, word and deed:
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:2-3)
The Bible supports the NDE life review of there being no judgment from God:
“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22)
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words, that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:47-48)
The only judgment existing after death is self-judgment at which time we enter the light of God where all is made known. Having your true inner self revealed (realizing that you are a part of God) can be hell for those who have been motivated mostly by negative forces in life. Having your true inner self revealed can be heaven for those who have been motivated mostly by positive forces in life. Everyone’s true inner nature is a part of God. Those who enter the afterlife realize their true inner nature. Those who lived a life against their inner self will find difficulties. This is self-realization and self-judgment.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)
The verse above describes people dwelling in the dark to escape from having the light of God reveal their inner divine nature and life of ignorance, both of which are exposed to everyone in the heavenly realms.
Near-death experiencers have affirmed that so-called evil is, in reality, ignorance (darkness). In the Bible, light is always a reference to God and knowledge of God. Those people who lived a life of darkness (ignorance) will find an incompatibility with their true nature (divinity). This self-realization can truly be a hell for such people. This realization is self-realization and self-judgment. Below are verses that suggest self-judgment.
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:18-20)
“If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask” (1 John 3:21-22)
The verse below describes how God’s light can shine in the darkness of our hearts even before we die:
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Both Edgar Cayce and Emanuel Swedenborg revealed from their NDE journeys how, after death, all humans literally become angels. One particular passage of scripture can be interpreted to describe how the self-judgment that we, as angels, undergo:
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
The word “angels” is sometimes used in the Bible to apply to humans. Here are some of them:
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones [children]. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)
“Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, ‘Peter is at the door!’ ‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.'” (Acts 12:13-15)
“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)