Desiring Communication with the Dead

17 May

 Recently I came across an article in Meridian Magazine titled “Finding Our Way Through the Veil” by Wallace Goddard that I found quite chilling.

Before I get into the article, it’s important for you know that when Mormons talk about the veil, it’s referred to in a few different ways.

One way Mormons refer to the veil is “the veil of forgetfulness”. This is what they believe God put us under before sending us to earth so that we would have no memory of our preexistent life.

They also call the long piece of cloth that’s hung in the temple separating the endowment room from the Celestial room, the veil. The third definition for ‘the veil’ is what Mormons believe separates us from the spiritual realm. This is ‘the veil’ we’ll be discussing in the article.

In the article, Mr. Goddard begins by referring to how individuals in the Bible and Book of Mormon had “heavenly communications” with spiritual beings.  He questions why more of us don’t have the same type(s) of spiritual experiences.

He writes:

“The scriptures are packed with invitations for us to experience the Divine. Of course ordinary saints do have not the authority to claim revelation on behalf of the church. But, if we take the scriptural invitation seriously, we must wonder if we missing out on a lot of heavenly guidance on our own behalf.” (emphasis mine)

Mr. Goddard goes on to talk about his hope to have a connection with his deceased great-grandfather, but has he states:

 “I yearned to talk with him and learn from him. But I didn’t know how to make a connection with immortals. Then a word from Alma’s great message to the people (Alma 5) jumped out at me: “Imagine.” I felt invited to travel mentally into Ben’s world. I even wrote a letter to him in a time of his missionary loneliness. Much to my surprise, I felt his response. Though I never saw him with my eyes nor heard him with my ears, I felt him. I became a witness to his life and a friend to his journey.

He tells another story of a ‘yearning’ he had to be part of an event his deceased grandmother attended –

“When I was sorting her papers and found an invitation for her to speak to a group of young women in Cache valley, I felt that the Spirit inviting me to sit as a quiet witness in that gathering. I felt that I was not allowed to intrude on the occasion but was welcome to be a witness.” (emphasis mine)

While the experiences Mr. Goddard is sharing may sound disturbing to those who aren’t Mormon, they’re nothing new to those who are.

In fact, Mormons are encouraged to want experiences with those who have departed. During my time in the Mormon Church I heard more times than I care to remember of people commenting that they hoped to have some type of experience with the dead while they were in the temple. The experiences usually included feelings, other times people claimed to have manifestations of seeing their dead loved ones in one of the temple rooms.

One story I heard was on a Sunday morning during Fast and Testimony Meeting. A man and his wife had just gotten home from their latest temple trip. He told the story of them standing in the place of his grandparents (by proxy), and having them sealed for all eternity.  As they were sitting in the sealing room he said he could see his grandparents, who had passed away in the reflection of the mirrors.

While I can honestly say I never saw any dead relatives I did experience something, while I was in the Celestial room of the temple.

My husband and I had just finished an endowment session, and had walked into the ‘through the veil’ into the Celestial room (this room represents the highest degree of heaven). As I was praying I could feel myself going into a ‘trance’, if you will. I felt a weight on my head as though someone had placed their hands on it. This was only for a minute or two, and I snapped out of it when my husband touched my shoulder, and asked me if I was alright.

Looking back that’s really creepy, but at the time I thought God was communicating with me.

Mr. Goddard ends his article by encouraging the reader to desire, and “yearn for a connection with loved ones long gone”.

Now, I ask you, does this advice sound like something God would want us to do? What does the bible say about communicating with the dead, also referred to as necromancy, divination, and sorcery?

Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or pan enchanter, or a witch”.

Galatians 5:19-20 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies”.

Clearly this is something forbidden by God. I pray Mormons will to stop participating in this, and understand that it’s in direct opposition to God’s word.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes


Finding Our Way Through the Veil

The Veil

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