Angie Fenimore, a wife and mother who had been abused as a child, was in a desperate state. On January 8, 1991, she committed suicide, hoping to avoid feelings of emptiness and suffering. But clinical death did not attract her to the light that can be seen in many near-death experiences. Instead, she found herself in the realm of darkness. The hell she experienced was much more horrible and personal than the old metaphors of fire and brimstone. Her hell was a realm of terrifying visions and deep mental disunity. Miraculously, she returned to life with a new sense of faith, submission to the sacred will and a true child of God. The following is an excerpt from her wonderful book Beyond the Dark: My Dying Journey Into Hell and Back.
I was moving into another sphere. My soul detached from my body with a hum that grew louder, rising to a whimper as the vibration of death pulled me deeper. I noticed that there was a large screen in front of me. I was being pulled into a three-dimensional slideshow of my life that unfolded in chronological order before my eyes, while I experienced every part of it from all angles. I knew exactly how everyone who ever communicated with me felt.
In particular, they showed me in vivid detail what my childhood was like. Pictures flew past me, but I easily absorbed every moment, each of which recalled a part of my life. This is what people meant when they said, "My life flashed before my eyes."
The closer I got to the end of my life, the faster the paintings flew past me. That was incredible! In an instant, I experienced the entire twenty-seven years from my birth to the moment when I found myself dying on the couch and moving into a warm tunnel. Then the rapid movement of my life that swept past me suddenly stopped.
Now what? Where was I?
I was plunged into darkness. My eyes seemed to get used to it and I could see clearly even though there was no light. The darkness continued in all directions and seemed to have no end, but it wasn't just blackness, it was endless emptiness, the absence of light. She was completely enveloping.
I turned my head to explore the thick darkness and saw a handful of other people standing shoulder to shoulder to my right. They were all teenagers. "Oh, we must be suicidal."
With a laugh, I opened my mouth, but before I could form the words, they came out. I wasn't sure if I was thinking about the words or trying to say them, but they could be heard without having to move my lips.
Then I wasn't sure if other people heard me until the guy next to me answered. He didn't say a word to me. He slowly looked at me and turned forward again. There was absolutely no expression on his face, no warmth, no intelligence. Suspended in the dark, he and everyone else stood motionless in a mindless stupor.
At the other end of the line was a girl who looked in her late teens. This feeling - what some call intuition or telepathy - was the preferred method of communicating information here, where unspoken ideas became audible. I had a hunch that I was recalling a long-forgotten, natural, familiar skill that had been supplanted or undermined by words, and I quickly gained experience in this new way of learning.
But she didn't connect with me. Her empty gaze, focused on something, continued, not being distracted from my thoughts about her. She was just like everyone else, staring blankly ahead, not caring or interested in where we were. They were dead, and so was I.
Внезапно, как будто мы ждали, когда произойдет некий процесс сортировки, я была погружена в темноту невидимой и неопределенной силой, оставив подростков позади. Я приземлилась на краю тенистого царства, подвешенного во тьме, простирающегося до пределов моего зрения. Я знала, что нахожусь в состоянии ада, но это был не типичный ад из огня и серы, о котором я узнала, когда была маленьким ребенком. Слово чистилище зашептало мне в голову.
Men and women of all ages, but not children, stood or squatted or roamed the world. Some muttered to themselves. Darkness emanated from the depths and radiated from them in an aura that I felt. They were completely immersed in themselves, each too immersed in their own suffering to engage in any kind of mental or emotional exchange. They had the ability to connect with each other, but they were incapacitated by the darkness.
Gradually, I became aware of the sounds of a kaleidoscopic wave, and realized that in this world, thoughts were a way of communication. I could hear the hum of thoughts like I was in a crowded movie theater with dim lights, picking up muted sounds.
A man of about sixty was sitting next to me. The man's eyes were completely incomprehensible. He squatted on the ground, in dirty white clothes, he did not radiate anything, not even self-pity. I felt that he had absorbed everything that could be recognized here, and decided to stop thinking. He was completely exhausted, just waiting. I knew that his soul was always rotting here. In this dark prison, a day could just as well be a thousand days or a thousand years.
I was sure that this man had committed suicide. His clothing suggested that he could walk the earth during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. I wondered if he was Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Savior and then hanged himself? I felt that I should be ashamed that I thought about it in his presence, where he could hear me.
When my mind reached for more information, I felt immensely disappointed. I could feel and be fully aware of everything around me simply by asking a question in my mind or looking in any direction. The learning opportunities were endless, but I had no books, no television, no love, no privacy, no sleep, no friends, no light, no growth, no happiness, no relief, no knowledge, nothing.
But worse was my growing sense of total loneliness. Even hearing about someone's anger, however unpleasant, is a form of tangible connection. But in this empty world, where it was impossible to connect, the loneliness was terrible.
Then I heard a voice of incredible power, not loud, but crashing against me like a booming wave of sound; a voice that gripped such a fierce anger that in one word he could destroy the universe, and that also gripped such a powerful and unshakable love. I shrank in his strength and in his anguished words, "Is this what you really want?"
A great voice came from the light, which filled with every thunderous word like a shining sun, right behind the black wall of fog that formed my prison. Although the light was much brighter than the sun, the light soothed my eyes with its deep and pure white glow. I felt that light could not (but I was not sure) to cross the barrier of darkness. And I knew with complete confidence that I was in the presence of God.
He was a Being of Light, not just emitting light or illuminated from within, but almost seemed to be made of light. It was a light that had substance and dimension, the most beautiful, glorious substance I have ever seen. All beauty, all love, all kindness were contained in the light that poured out of this being. But there is nothing that we could even imagine that comes close to the amount of perfect love that was poured out on me.
Although I did not remember the details of life before my mortal birth, I was reacquainted with the life I shared with the Father, a spiritual life that seemed to extend to the beginning of the universe.
I could see that no one else in the world knew about the presence of God. The person sitting next to me could see that I was focused on something, but it was obvious that he could not see anything beyond the barrier. Others continued to babble without suspecting anything.
Then God spoke to me. His words were painful:
“Is this what you really want? Don't you know that this is the worst thing you could do?"
I felt his anger and frustration because I had cut myself off from him and from his leadership.
And I felt trapped. I had no choice but to die before I could do more harm in life. And I said, "But my life is so hard."
My thoughts were transmitted so quickly that they weren't even finished until I took in his answer: “Do you think it was hard? This is nothing compared to what awaits you if you commit suicide."
As Father spoke, each of his words exploded into a complex of meanings such as fireworks, tiny balls of light that spilled out into a billion bits of information, filling me with streams of vivid truth and pure understanding.
“Life has to be hard. You cannot miss the parts. You have to earn what you get."
Suddenly, I felt another presence with us, the same presence that was with me when I first went over to the side of death and revisited my life with me. I realized that he was with us all the time, but I only now began to be able to perceive him. Then I sensed his powerful but gentle personality, but now I could feel him so strongly that I could even determine his shape.
What I could see were bits of light piercing through the darkness, like tiny laser beams piercing a black leaf, or like stars peering through the darkness of a cloudless night. This light unmistakably had the same brilliance as the glorious light that emanated from the Father, but my spiritual eyes were unable to fully see it. My ability to see with my eyes was somehow related to my willingness to believe.
The rays of light pierced me with incredible power, the power of all-consuming love. This love was as pure and strong as that of the Father, but it had a whole new dimension of pure compassion, complete and perfect compassion. I felt that he not only accurately understood my life and my pains, as if he had really lived my life, but that he knew all about how to lead me through it; how my different options can cause either bitterness or new growth. Having thought all my life that no one can understand what I went through, I now realized that there is another person who really did it.
A deep vein of sorrow ran through this sympathy. He fell ill, he really mourned the pain I endured, but even more so my inability to seek his comfort. His greatest desire was to help me. He mourned my blindness as a mother mourned a dead child. Suddenly, I realized that I was in the presence of the world's redeemer.
He spoke to me through the veil of darkness: “Don't you understand? I did it for you."
As I was overwhelmed with his love and the real pain he brought me, my spiritual eyes opened. At that moment, I began to understand exactly what the Savior did, how he sacrificed for me. He showed me; He took me into himself, included my life in his own, accepting my experiences, my suffering as his own. And for a second I was inside his body, I could see things from his point of view and experience his self-awareness. He let me in so I could see for myself how he took my burden …
And I knew where I went wrong. I doubted its existence. I questioned the authenticity of the scriptures because what they claimed seemed too good to be true. I hoped that the idea of a Savior who gave his life to me was true, but I was afraid to truly believe. My trust had been broken so many times in my life, and so I held on to my pain so tightly that I was ready to commit suicide rather than free myself and act in the belief that there was a Savior. He wanted to comfort me and hug me, but we were separated by my reactions to life's lessons.
When I looked from the Savior's perspective, his unique understanding of my position was conveyed to the Father. From my new point of view, I saw God in profile as he looked at my form. The communication of the Father and his Son was so quick, so perfect, that they seemed to think and think in unison.
There was no conflict or dispute here; Jesus' understanding was accepted without controversy because he had all the facts. He was the perfect judge. He knew exactly where I was in relation to my need for mercy and the universe's need for justice. Now I could see that all the suffering in my earthly life would be temporary, and that it was really for my good. Our suffering on Earth should not be useless. From the most tragic circumstances a person grows.
When God the Father and Jesus taught me, their words gained speed and strength, and then merged, so that they said the same thing at the same moment. They had one voice, one mind and purpose, and I was flooded with pure knowledge.
I learned that as there are laws of nature, physics and probability, so are the laws of the spirit. One of these spiritual laws is that for every act of harm you have to pay the price of suffering. I was painfully aware of the suffering that I caused my family and others because of my own weaknesses. But now I saw that, having ended my life, I destroyed the network of connections between people on Earth, possibly radically changing the lives of millions of people, since we are all inextricably linked, and the negative impact of one decision can be felt throughout the world.
My children will, of course, be severely damaged by my suicide. I was given an idea of their future, not the events of their life, but rather the energy and character that their life would have. By giving up my earthly responsibilities, I would encourage my children, in particular my eldest son, to make choices that would lead him away from his divine purpose. I was told that even before Alex was born, he agreed to perform certain tasks during his life on Earth. His responsibility was not revealed to me, but I felt the energy that his life would have until his young adulthood.
I was told that my children were great and strong spirits and that until this moment in my life I did not deserve them. I caught a glimpse of how deeply God loved my boys and how, with my pitiless disregard for their welfare, I interfered with God's sacred will.
I was then shown how I can harm other people close to me, such as my husband and my sister Tony, by taking my own life; and, as a consequence, countless others. There were people on Earth whom I would never have met and who would be struck by my suicide. Because of the anger and pain I caused them, my loved ones would not be able to accumulate the good that they had to pass on to others.
I will be held responsible for the damage - or lack of good - they will bear, sinking into the pain of my selfish death. And I would pay dearly for this, as spiritual laws dictate that all harm, including the lack of good, resulting from my death, should be punished by means of suffering. If I had not foreseen the ripple effect that my death would cause, I would have been held accountable. God Himself is bound by spiritual law, and there can be no salvation for me.
And I was shown that for me the kingdom of darkness was literally a spiritual break, a place where I had to realize the seriousness of my insults and pay the price. But I had to ask why me? Why could I see God, why did I absorb light and learn when he plunged into poverty and darkness?
I was told that the reason is readiness. When I first looked at this man and wondered if he was alive during Jesus' earthly ministry, this question showed that I was ready to believe in God, to believe that Christ once walked the earth. And as soon as I wanted to believe, I was able to see. Around me in the dark world were people of varying degrees of readiness, understanding, ability to see that Jesus Christ was with us all the time.
I don't know if others spoke to God as I did, or if they spoke to other messengers of light that I was not yet able to see, but I … I'm sure not all of them were just muttering to themselves. And I could see that my spiritual time could last for a moment, or it would take thousands of years for me to get out of this dark prison, depending on when I reach the point of being ready to see the light.
What about a spiritual law that required me to suffer for the damage I had already done in my life, right up to my suicide? I was told that the debt had already been paid, that the sacrifice had already been made. Jesus Christ experienced all the suffering that has had or will take place in the life of any person born on this earth. He lived through my life, he bore my sins, he accepted my grief. But in order to calculate the suffering that Jesus suffered on my behalf, so that he would take my place in fulfilling this spiritual law, I had to accept his gift.
It broke my heart when I realized that I not only hurt my family, who are the beloved children of God, but also made my Savior suffer, who had such an all-encompassing love and compassion for me - all because I allowed myself to be shaped by weaknesses. other people.
Now my perception has changed, and the darkness seemed to rise a little. When I first entered the dark prison, my vision only encompassed things and people in the kingdom of darkness. But as soon as I received enough light from God and Jesus, my spiritual eyes were opened to another dimension in darkness. Now I could see that the Beings of Light were around me.
Hell, although it is a certain dimension, is primarily a state of mind. When we die, we are bound by what we think. In mortality, the stronger our thoughts become, allowing darkness to develop in others and in ourselves, the more terrible they become. I was in hell long before my death and did not realize it, because I avoided many consequences until the moment when I committed suicide.
But when we die, our state of mind becomes much more apparent because we are gathered together with those who think like us. This order is completely natural and consistent with how we choose to live while we are in this world. Our time is but a heartbeat in the eternal scheme of creation, and yet it is a defining moment of truth, a turning point. It determines how our spirits will last forever, both in the future and in the past.
I became less and less a part of the place of darkness with every particle of light that I took in. I did not feel myself rising from the surface, but now I was floating above the field of darkness, into the realm of the running spirits of light.
I felt the urgency in the spirits that scurried to do the work of God. Then I was told that we are in the last minutes before the Savior returns to Earth. I was told that the war between darkness and light on Earth has become so intense that if we do not constantly seek light, darkness will consume us and we will be lost. I was not told when this would happen, but I realized that the Earth was preparing for the second coming of Christ. I looked at the pitiful souls and realized that I no longer feel like them. I wanted to live!
Then the powerful energy source that took me to the dark prison returned to free me. For a split second, a rushing sensation came over me. The darkness passed by, and suddenly I was back in my body …