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To Heaven and Back

Mary C. Neal
To Heaven and Back
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In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Des... Read More

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In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, she died.

To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life - and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.

A story of finding a purpose on earth, an awareness of God, a closer relationship with Jesus and a personal spiritual journey, To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.

Product Details:
Page Count: 240
Released: 05/2012

  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Jun 5, 2012
  • UPC: 9780307731715
  • Height: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Publish Date: May 29, 2012
  • Language: English
  • BISAC: "REL012010"

Customer Reviews

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Not much about Heaven by ShuShu on 4/20/2014

I was very excited to get this book so I could read about Mary's "extraordinary" journey to heaven. A better title would be, "My Spiritual Journey After Death" or "Coincidences are Really Signs from Dead Loved Ones." There may have been only one paragraph on her journey to heaven, which really didn't consist of much at all. Basically, she got to a "hall" to continue her journey and found out she had to come back. There, that's it. Now you don't have to waste your money like I did. Well, I guess finding out that she donates some of the proceeds to charities makes me a little less upset about spending my money.

Beautiful by Carie on 4/9/2014

I read this book twice. Thank you Dr. Neal for putting yourself, and your family into this book, and reminding us how precious life is. Also for reminding us that the universe is way more magical than we on Earth realize while we are here. I am sure that it had to be difficult to share such private parts of what you went through, and especially what your family went through with your son. I thank you for that. Your book is a blessing for so many people. All the best to you and yours. I loved this book.

Loved the book. by bishpoul on 5/8/2013

I love the simple truth that comes from Heaven. We are so
blessed to be able to look beyond the veil and see what God
has in store for us. God bless us.

A Gift by Schambechc on 1/5/2013

This book is a gift and I will share it with everyone I know

A gift by suzanne on 1/5/2013

This story is a gift and I will share it with everyone I know.

Credible Account of Multidimensional Reality by Rachel on 7/6/2012

This book is a wonderful contribution to the stories, published or not, of how our human journey can and does take us into alternate reality
under certain circumstances- and not all of them involve a near death experience. Many of us have had these experiences, and they ARE utterly difficult
to put into words- thus I appreciate that this one came with the fleshing out of a human story, making for a nice, and for many, validating summer read. These experiences generally do change us for the better and are profound. I find it interesting that most of the low reviews come from "christians"- and from people who appear locked into narrow and rigid beliefs dictated by man, and not by personal spiritual experience. While that - personal spiritual experience- may be scary for some, and it may feel "safer" to stay within a rigid belief system, it certainly doesn't make for growth and understanding.

Mankind was much more connected to these very natural experiences in former times, and they remain accessible to pockets of people around the globe, but in our age of fear and extreme closed mindedness, they are seen to be on the fringes. Unless you personally have one or more of them, you have no real business commenting on the validity of hers- but reading the book with an open mind might invite such experiences to your life, for the greater good.

A Leap of Faith by hoytann on 7/6/2012

In our analytical, data driven world, we are lulled into the belief that we know it all, or at least we can research what we don't know. That eliminates the leap of faith it takes to take part in many of the most rewarding experiences in life. If we spent time analyzing all the possible problems associated with experiences like having and raising children, getting married, moving to a new town and starting a career, most of us would stay in bed. Mary Neal has shown us that there is so much in our world that we can't actually see, but must take a leap of faith and believe. Her story is told in such a way that we are drawn in and vicariously experience all that she went through. After finishing the book, it's impossible not to continue to mentally revisit her experiences, and notice all that is holy in our own lives. This book shows you that faith comes in many forms, and can be strengthened through our interactions with those in our lives. It is hard to put this book down once you start it.

An Angel of Light by lizziesmom1998 on 6/13/2012

An Angel of Light

Book review of To Heaven and Back, by Mary Neal, MD

I remember several years ago when my family and I took a summer trip to the Grand Canyon. The mountains were the tallest I’d ever seen, and the remoteness of the area made us feel like pioneers blazing a trail where no one had ever gone before. And then there was the time we went to see Niagara Falls. There was an abundance of cactus covering the landscape, and the scorpions and coyotes were things to be feared.

How much more would I need to write before you, the reader, would question my experiences, and eventually discard what I’ve written as worthless? There are no mountains at the Grand Canyon, nor cacti, nor desert creatures that live near Niagara Falls. You would know that my narrative doesn’t match up with the reality of those places. You’ve probably seen pictures, read about, or possibly even seen them firsthand. My statements are easily disputable by anyone who knows the truth.

The same is true regarding Dr. Neal’s description of her death experience. We have Scripture to teach us about Heaven, including the eyewitness experience of John, who was given an extensive glimpse into Heaven and wrote about it in the book of the Revelation. The apostle Paul also wrote about his experience when he was “caught up to the third heaven” in 2 Corinthians chapter twelve. Interestingly, after Paul’s experience, he did not feel compelled to write a best seller, but rather realized that his experience could cause him to become boastful, so God gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble.

In this day of religion and spirituality, there are many who claim to have had near death experiences. They describe seeing their loved ones, angels, gardens, etc. The thing I find to be most curious, is that the focus of those experiences is never on Jesus. Paul says that to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord’. Based on his statements about Heaven, combined with the totality of Scripture, I believe that Heaven is Heaven because Jesus is there. We’ve become so focused on our “Mansion just over the hilltop” that we’ve lost the real treasure of Heaven – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who left His throne in glory to take on the form of man, humble Himself in obedience to His Father and die on a cross to ransom His people from the certainty of spending eternity apart from God. These are the statements that are sorely lacking in a book about Heaven.

I have no doubt that Dr. Neal nearly lost her life during her kayaking trip in Chile. I have no doubt that it took a miracle for her to survive oxygen deprivation, shock and injury during the arduous trek back to civilization, and ultimately back to her home. Those circumstances were real, verifiable and overwhelming. My knowledge of Scripture, however, has taught me that our minds and our hearts are easily deceived. To quote the apostle Paul once again, “…even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14). Why would Satan give a woman an experience that she attributes to God and Heaven? Maybe you should chew on that question yourself for a bit!

Other statements made throughout the book made me question the “god” of Dr. Neal’s experience. For example:

“Thankfully, God is patient and God is faithful. He sits in the back seat just waiting for our invitation to move up to the front so that He can steer and press the pedals. If we give Him the car keys, He will take us on an unbelievable ride.” (p 25)

That is not the God of the Bible. The true God “changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; He reveals deep and hidden things;” (Dan 2:21). He “shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb…’ He “commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place…” (Job 38). He “knows when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar…Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.” (Ps 139) Ours is not some wimpy God hoping that we’ll give Him the keys and let Him drive a while!

“’It was a good example of how easily things come together when one is moving in the direction of God’s will. It has taken many years to truly learn that when everything seems difficult and feels as though you are swimming upstream, it is usually because you are not following the direction of God’s will. When you are doing God’s will, everything seems to happen without much effort or many obstacles.” (p 12)

Perhaps you can think of a few Biblical folks who might disagree with that idea. A few that jump into my mind are Moses, Joseph, Paul, and Jesus. They were right smack in the middle of doing God’s will, and they were pursued by an army, sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned, stoned and crucified respectively. It’s a good thing they didn’t use her qualifications for reassuring themselves that they were doing God’s will!

Speaking of her son, Dr. Neal wrote, “Given his very young age, I believe he still remembered God’s world, which seemed to give him an understanding of the spiritual aspect of my experience and what I was going through.” (p 114).

Dr. Neal mentions this idea a few other times in her book. In other words, all of us are eternal beings whose lives began in Heaven, until we were to be born as fleshly beings. This is an unbiblical teaching that is embraced by Mormons, and other cults.

My review of this book is lengthy. I could go on, but I am hopeful that what I have written will serve as a warning to those considering reading this book. I do not believe it has any basis in truth, apart from the description of her accident. Perhaps her visions were dreams, or notions sent to her from Satan to deceive the masses. I take comfort in the knowledge that Jesus “is able to keep you from stumbling…” (Jude 24). Don’t be deceived. If you want to know about Heaven, read about it in the Book written by the One who made the Heavens and the earth, because “Every word of God proves true.” (Proverbs 30:5)

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. Obviously, I was not required to write a positive recommendation of this book.

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