OGDEN -- A recently released book by a former Ogden resident who now lives in Cache Valley is being handed out by several area funeral directors to their clients who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"Prophetic Teachings on Death, Angels, and Heavenly Manifestations" (Cedar Fort, $12.99) was released earlier this year.
The book is meant to be a comfort to those who have lost loved ones, and includes a collection of teachings from scriptures and LDS General Authorities.
In the preface, author Bruce E. Dana writes: "Throughout this book, I have purposely limited my commentary, deferring to what the scriptures and General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have said on this important subject. It is my prayer that many people will find hope, peace, and understanding from the messages that are presented."
Dana said he wanted readers to grasp the concept of death being simply a movement from one state to another, of opening a door to another realm.
He quotes Book of Mormon scripture Alma 40: 11-12 to address this concept.
"Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life," reads the scripture.
"The spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace."
A central theme Dana follows in the publication is for readers to not fear death.
He quotes Elder Franklin D. Richards, who said this of death in one of his sermons:
"Latter-day Saints who live their religion having a testimony of Jesus, have no fear of death.
"We look at it as but a steppingstone from one apartment of God's great creation to another. When we leave our kindred here, we will be united with a great number there ..."
Dana also recounts a story told by Ella Jensen after she and others said she was raised from the dead by former Church President Lorenzo Snow and Rudger Clawson. Jensen told of being in the spirit world for three-and-a- half f hours.
"As soon as I had a glimpse of the other world I was anxious to go and all the care and worry left me," Dana quotes Jensen as writing in her journal.
Jensen tells of walking down a long hall and into a room.
"Everybody appeared to be perfectly happy," she wrote. "I was having a very pleasant visit with each one that I knew. Finally I reached the end of that long room. I opened a door and went into another room."
It was the loss of a grandson, who lived only a week, as well as the loss of his first wife, that led Dana to compile this latest of 10 books he has written.
Dana said he wrote a poem for his grandson's funeral and then felt led to continue the research that resulted in the publication. (See the poem included with this article.)
The loss of young children is just one subject Dana covers in the book.
About this trial, Dana quotes LDS Prophet Joseph Smith: "The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again."
Dana tells stories of those who have died appearing to their living friends and relatives.
He tells of instances when these spirits have appeared as young children so that those who knew them could recognize them. But he also tells of instances when these spirits appear as adults, even though they died as children.
He said he believes they appear in whatever form they need to appear, to bring the most comfort to those they visit.
Titles of other books by Dana are: "Mysteries of the Kingdom"; "Mary, Mother of Jesus"; "Simon Peter"; "The Three Nephites and Other Translated Beings"; "Glad Tidings Near Cumorah"; "The Eternal Father and His Son"; "The Apostleship"; "The Three Most Important Events"; and "Stories and Jokes of Mormon Folks."