If We Don’t Have Children while Alive, Will We Be Able to Have Children in the Afterlife?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Giselle:

If we don’t have children while alive, will we be able to have children in the afterlife?

Thanks for the good question, Giselle! It is one that lies heavy on the hearts of many women and men who wish for children, but do not have them for reasons that are often beyond their control. Some are able to adopt children and satisfy their longing to be parents in that way. For others, it is a dream that is never fulfilled during their lifetime on earth.

Mother and Child

Mother and Child

For those who wish for children but never have them here on earth, does this mean they have missed their opportunity, and will never have children, even in the afterlife?

I have good news, and I have bad news.

First the bad news:

No children are born in heaven. If you long for children who carry your genes and are your own flesh and blood, then your only opportunity is to have children here on earth.

Now for the good news:

Even if you don’t have children on earth, that doesn’t mean you can never be a parent and raise children.

Every day, tens of thousands of children die all around the world. That’s millions of children every year, year after year.

Every single one of those children needs parents in the afterlife.

You see, children who die don’t just automatically become angels. They must still grow up in heaven. And that means they need parents to raise them.

For more on having children in heaven, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex, Marriage, Relationships, The Afterlife

What about Violent Religions? Is God Really Bloodthirsty and Vengeful?

A reader named Jen left this comment on the recent article, What is the Wrath of God?

Michelangelo, Creation of the Sun and Moon (detail from the Sistine Chapel)

Is God bloodthirsty and violent?

So here is my question: You believe the parts in the Bible about God’s love and God is Love, and all the feel good parts about God. But when it comes to the anger of God and all the terrible curses and mass slaughter and such, it is either “this is only what people thought God was like and have attributed to Him” or it is explained by evil doers not liking the light. We are only supposed believe the good things about God and cherry pick over the unpleasant stuff that doesn’t make sense?

On the spiritual plane the hiding from the light and sending yourself to hell makes sense. But when you read in the Bible that supposedly God told his people to go into a city and kill everyone right down to the infants and the cows, it is kind of hard to accept.

So why do you believe the Love stuff and not the vengeance and physical violence stuff about God in the Bible?

Jen is not overstating the case about the violent marching orders given by God in the Bible. Here are just two of many examples:

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 20:16–18)

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” (1 Samuel 15:2–3)

Sometimes the women and children were spared. Usually the livestock was taken as booty. Regardless, the God of the Old Testament is presented as a warlike and bloodthirsty God, who commands the wholesale destruction of Israel’s enemies. And as with the commandment to destroy the Amalekites, the stated motivation is often vengeance for previous attacks and wrongs against the Israelites.

How is this compatible with a God of love?

Did God really command the Israelites to commit genocide?

It is indisputable that the Bible says that God did so.

And can people who adhere to such violent, bloodthirsty religions really be considered God’s children? Are warlike, murderous, and genocidal people really living in the spirit of a God of love?

Or is God not always loving? Does God actually want whole clans and even whole races of people to be wiped out, as the Bible says?

And finally, can people who commit horrible acts of violence as commanded by their religion really go to heaven?

For more on violent religion and a bloodthirsty God, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed

The Swedenborg Foundation’s Heaven and Hell Community on Facebook

Swedenborg Foundation Heaven and Hell Community on Facebook

Swedenborg Foundation Heaven and Hell Community on Facebook

The Swedenborg Foundation sponsors a very popular Heaven and Hell Community on Facebook. Here is a description from its About page:

An ongoing exploration of this life and the next through videos and posts inspired by Emanuel Swedenborg.

The title of this page, Heaven and Hell, is drawn from 18th-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg’s book of the same name, which provides his firsthand accounts of the afterlife in vivid and fascinating detail. We created this page because his descriptions of life after death can offer profound spiritual solace to those who seek comfort, growth, and redemption.

The Heaven and Hell Facebook page is a treasure trove of information, videos, and discussion about Swedenborg, the afterlife, and many other spiritual subjects. You do not need a Facebook account to take advantage of most of what the site offers.

To read, watch, and take part in the discussion (if you have a Facebook account), go to the Heaven and Hell Community.

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Posted in Books and Literature

offTheLeftEye Swedenborg Foundation videos on YouTube

offTheLeftEye is a YouTube video channel sponsored by the Swedenborg Foundation. Here is a description from its About page:

offTheLeftEye looks at life and death through the uplifting spiritual perspectives provided by eighteenth-century scientist, theologian, and mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg.

We post an array of educational and entertaining video formats including our live weekly webcast, Swedenborg and Life, where host Curtis Childs from the Swedenborg Foundation and featured guests explore topics from Swedenborg’s theological writings and discuss how they relate to modern-day spiritual growth seekers. We cover the afterlife, angels and spirits, near-death experiences, God, spirituality, and more, and we try to balance these faith-based topics with evidence-based research from subject experts. Tune in every Monday night at 8 p.m. EDT, or catch up now by watching pre-recorded episodes in our Playlists section.

Here are three of the popular “Swedenborg Minute” videos:

What the Afterlife is Like

What are Heaven and Hell?

How to be Spiritual

For over 100 more short and long Swedenborg-inspired videos on a wide variety of topics, go to offTheLeftEye.

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Posted in Books and Literature

Can you Fall in Love in Heaven if you Haven’t Found Someone on Earth?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Amy:

Lee, do you think we will be able to fall in love in heaven? Let’s say I have never been in love or with anyone on earth, will I still have a chance to be in love with a soul in heaven? Even if it’s with someone I’ve never met here on earth? Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully respond to my question. God bless.

Thanks for the great question, Amy! There must be millions of other people out there who are wondering the same thing.

So for all you members of the Lonely Hearts Club Band, let’s get to the good news right away:

The answer is Yes!

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

If you long for a partner, soulmate, and lover, but just haven’t found anyone here on earth, after you die you will find someone, and will fall in love. And you’ll spend the rest of eternity sharing your life with him or her, growing closer and closer together, and yes, even making love. There is marriage in heaven, and it has everything that marriages on earth have, and more!

So fear not. Even if you may be lonely and longing, if you don’t find someone to share your life with here on earth, you will find that special someone in heaven after you die.

How does this happen?

For that, we’ll turn to what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) tells us in his book Marriage Love.

For more on falling in love in heaven, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex, Marriage, Relationships

What is the Wrath of God? Why was the Old Testament God so Angry, yet Jesus was so Peaceful?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Garret:

One question that I don’t think you addressed sufficiently in the articles I have seen so far is this: How do you explain the anger recorded in the Old Testament that God seems to feel a lot of the time? Because the God of the near death experience is never angry, ever. Except when somebody wants to come to heaven before their time, then he does get angry.

How do you explain the difference between the God revealed in the Old Testament and the approach Jesus took, which was very peaceful, and never promoting the killing or aggression we see in the Old Testament? How do you explain the angry feelings the Old Testament records God doing? Jesus seems to support the God of the Old Testament, but yet he seems so different than the angry God in the Old Testament.

When the Bible talks about the Wrath of God – what is it referring to?

I’m sure you understand my question. I’d be curious what your thoughts are. Does Swedenborg ever address this disparity? I go to group Bible studies and this question comes up a lot.



Thanks for the great question, Garret!

For those just tuning in, Garret has a great series of videos on near-death experiences that are well worth watching. Here is my review of them: A Short(ish) Video Course on Near-Death Experiences.

Back to the question, here’s the quick version:

First, God is presented as angry in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. And God is also presented as loving in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Still, it’s true that the Old Testament generally presents a more angry, wrathful, and warlike picture of God than the New Testament does.


It all has to do with the sort of people God was dealing with—and is still dealing with today. People who are at a low, materialistic spiritual ebb need to believe that God is angry at them so that they’ll listen to God. And the Bible is all about getting us to listen to God so that we will become more thoughtful and loving people.

“The Great Day of His Wrath,” 1851-1853 oil painting by John Martin

The reality behind the appearance of God’s anger and wrath is that God is never angry at us. God is love. And God never looks at us, or acts toward us, with anything but love. Even when it appears to us that God is angry, that’s just what God lets us believe when it’s necessary to dislodge us from our low and evil states of mind and heart, and move us toward accepting God’s love and wisdom into our lives.

Let’s take a closer look.

For more on the wrath of God, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed

What does it Mean to be Baptized with Water, the Holy Spirit, and Fire?

(Note: This post is an edited version of an answer I wrote and posted on Christianity StackExchange. You can see the original question on StackExchange here, and the StackExchange version of my answer here.)

In Luke 3:16-17, John the Baptist says:

I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

What did he mean?

There are four key elements that need to be explained and understood:

  1. Baptism
  2. Baptism with water
  3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit
  4. Baptism with fire

For more on baptism, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Spiritual Growth, The Bible Re-Viewed

Evil Lives in a Fantasy Land

“I believe I helped Inmate Matt and Inmate Sweat escape because I was caught up in the fantasy.”

Joyce Mitchell in prison garb

Joyce Mitchell in prison garb

That’s what Joyce Mitchell said to New York State police investigators in her sworn testimony following the Shawshank Redemption style escape of inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, near the Canadian border, on June 6, 2015.

A maximum security prison seems an unlikely setting for a fantasy. But according to a Washington Post article on Joyce Mitchell’s case, “rose-tinted” prison romances are more common than you might think.

Let’s face it. Many of us encounter periods of dreariness in our lives that stretch on from day to day, from week to week, from month to month, from year to year. And a prison is an especially dreary place to work, let alone to live. Is it any wonder that those who live there (as prisoners) or work there (as employees) get caught up in fantasies and illusions of romance and of an exciting life free of the drab and dreary prison atmosphere?

But it’s more than just the dreariness of prison. Prison is a place where people who have engaged in evil and criminal actions are separated from the rest of society. Yes, of course, there are far too many wrongfully convicted people languishing in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. But the prisons also hold a large concentration of real criminals: murderers, thieves, rapists, swindlers, and so on.

Most of them live in their own fantasy world. There’s an old saying: “There are no guilty people in jail.” Just ask them. They’ll tell you.

Yes, some prisoners do admit their guilt. But many believe that they have done nothing wrong. Or they steadfastly refuse to admit that they have done anything wrong.

In short, evil lives in a fantasy land.

That is the fantasy land that Joyce Mitchell got caught up in. And her fantasy has now landed her on the wrong side of those prison bars.

For more on the fantasy of evil, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events, Pain and Suffering

A Short(ish) Video Course on Near-Death Experiences

Are you interested in near-death experiences, but don’t have hundreds of hours to wade through thousands of books and videos to get a solid idea of what they’re all about?

Garret Weeks - Journey of Desire

Garret Weeks

Garret Weeks has done the work for you in his ongoing YouTube video series, Journey of Desire.

Garret has watched over 4,000 videos of people recounting their near-death experiences, not to mention reading many books on the subject. He’s also read what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) reports about the afterlife. This puts him in an ideal position to provide a short(ish) course summarizing what near-death experiences tell us about the afterlife and the spiritual realms, about the incredibly loving and wise nature of God, and about our relationship with God.

So far, Garret has posted eleven videos ranging from ten to thirty-five minutes in length. They start with a basic introduction to near-death experiences and the spiritual world. And they get better and better from there!

These are basic talking-head videos. Though they’re not packed with fancy graphics, Garret has a lively and enjoyable speaking style. And since the information is contained almost entirely in the audio, it’s possible to listen while doing other things, and get all of the beautiful information he has to offer.

The most recent video (at the time I am posting this), titled “8A-What is MISSING in ALL Near Death Experiences?” is my favorite so far. It provides a wonderful assurance, based on the reports of thousands of near-death experiencers, that God is love. God is not angry at us, and will not send us to hell or force us into anything against our will. Where we live to eternity is 100% our choice, based on what we truly love and desire.

For the full series, see the JourneyOfDesire channel on YouTube.

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Posted in The Afterlife

On Pluto, Atoms, and Other Things (such as Heaven) that Just Keep Getting More Complex

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto last week. And wow! What a bonanza!

Before this flyby, all we had were very fuzzy images of Pluto only a few pixels wide. Because Pluto is so far away, so small, and so faint, that’s the best we could do. We had very little idea what it looked like. We didn’t even know exactly how big it was. Most scientists figured that Pluto would be a gray, heavily cratered planet, battered by several billion years of impacts by asteroids and comets.

When the first close-up pictures came back, what we found instead was a young, reddish, geologically active surface with mountain ranges and plains, and hardly any craters at all.

Pluto in true color - NASA New Horizons global mosaic

Pluto in true color

This has sent scientists back to the drawing board. They had assumed that such a cold, small, and distant planetary body would be nothing but an inert, geologically inactive rock. But what we discovered when we finally got close enough to take a good look was far different, and far more complex, than anything anyone had expected.

This seems to be a pattern in science. We think we’ve got a handle on things. We think we have a pretty good idea how things work and how they will turn out.

And then we look closer and dig deeper, and find that the reality is far beyond our wildest speculations. We discover that this universe is far more complex and interesting than we had ever imagined.

For more on Pluto, atoms, and other highly complex things, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science, Philosophy, and History, The Afterlife
Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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Earlier Posts
Lee Woofenden speaking at Fryeburg New Church Assembly, Fryeburg, Maine, August 2012

Lee Woofenden speaking at Fryeburg New Church Assembly


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