Archive 2017

January 2017 – Vern Swanson
The speaker for Friday January 27, 2017 will be Vern Swanson.  Vern Swanson fell into a deep depression when his wife and young son were killed in a horrible car accident.  Vern felt an unshakable sense of loss and grief and that life was not worth living.  Then, one night, Vern’s wife and young son appeared to him. . . .   Come hear the rest of Vern’s story, this Friday.
Vern has had a wonderfully varied and storied career.  In college he played football for BYU and for a year coached semi-pro football.  The rest of his story involves his love of art.  He retired in 2012 as the director of the Springville Museum of Art and is now a trustee and representative of the prestigious Art Renewal Center, New Jersey, the world’s largest visual fine art website.  He has a master’s degree in art history from the University of Utah and a doctorate from the University of London.  He has held many prestigious positions before arriving at the Springville Museum.  His impressive bio can be read at
The January 27th IANDS meeting will begin at 7PM in the Salt Lake County Commission hearing room in the north building of the County Government Center located at 2001 South State, SLC.   We meet the fourth Friday of each month except December.  Bring a friend as meetings are free of charge.

February 2017 – Sarah Hinze
Sarah Hinze will be the speaker at the February 24th meeting of Utah IANDS in Salt Lake City.  The meetings will be held at the Salt Lake County Complex, Mayor Counsel Auditorium, 2001 South State Street 7-9PM.
Sarah looks forward to meeting with her wonderful friends of Utah IANDS and will have her books available for special discount purchases. She also has prepared a few surprises to be premiered at this meeting of Utah IANDS, so please make a special effort to attend!
Sarah has dedicated her life to researching and sharing our connection to Heaven– before birth, during our life journey, and after we pass.
Sarah has spoken in a variety of settings in several countries, including many colleges and universities, several international IANDS conferences, and in 2016 Sarah spoke at the United Nations in New York City with Big Ocean Women under the banner of “Women Who Are Changing the World.”
In her numerous books, speaking and coaching, Sarah brings to light a unique, full-spectrum picture of human existence. Her work has helped many people to expand their understanding of the spiritual origin of man. Some of her books have been translated into Spanish, German, and Portuguese.
What she teaches is not a new concept. In fact, in her lectures and her writings she quotes ancient texts from many cultures and presents anecdotal evidence she has gathered from hundreds of interviews of those who have had a near death experience.
Her message is healing and uplifting, bringing peace and imparting hope.  One of Sarah’s most touching endorsements is from the very distinguished and kind friend of the near death community, Dr. Kenneth Ring:
“Sarah Hinze deserves our recognition for drawing our attention to life before life in much the same way that Dr. Raymond Moody did for the near- death experience in his groundbreaking book Life After Life.  And just as Dr. Moody’s work launched a revolution in our thinking about possible postmortem experiences, Mrs. Hinze’s research may do the same for the study of those antedating birth.”
Sarah is married to Dr. Brent Hinze and they are the parents of nine children and a growing cluster of grandchildren. They reside in Mesa, Arizona.
Sarah’s books include:  The Castaways (2016) The Memory Catcher (201)2 The Announcing Dream (2016) and Memories of Home (2017) All on Amazon, Paperback and Kindle.She has appeared in several documentaries, TV and radio shows.

March 2017 – Marlena Tumlin
Marlena Tumlin will be our speaker for March 24,2017. At the age of 23 pregnant with her second child, Marlena had traveled to Boulder Colorado to be with her mother during the period her husband was traveling for work.
Marlena unexpectedly went into labor and was admitted to the small Community Hospital in Boulder Colorado. Once in her room, she was examined by the Nurse who felt that it was unnecessary to call the doctor, as it was late evening and she did not feel Marlena would be delivering before morning. Marlena was then left alone in a room. Soon she was experiencing coldness, pain and spasms.
As time passed Marlena’s pain, uncontrollable spasms and fear grew; alone and unable to contact anyone. Soon Marlena was at a point that the pain and fear consumed her. She was pleading for relief from the pain and the fear of being alone. Suddenly Marlena found herself separated from her body, initially thinking she had died. Then Marlena had an experience that transformed her Life forever.
Marlena was given a gift that helped her overcome not only the pain and fear she was enduring, but has helped her confront her fears, and many losses throughout her life.
The experience was transformative in all areas of her life. Providing her with a strong and unwavering faith, strength, comfort, and the ability to share these gifts with others.
Earning a MS degree in education and counseling, Marlena’s life has been devoted to the service of others. Working as an educator, counselor and trainer in both formal education and hospice care. She has provided Love, Comfort and understanding to both dying children and adults, as well as invaluable training to other educators and counselors.

April 2017 – Debra Martin and Sheri Getten
We are pleased to announce that our speakers for Friday, April 28th will be Debra Martin and Sheri Getten.  In 1997, Debra Martin was in a horrific car accident where divine intervention saved her life. This was her first door opened to the Other Side. In 2000 she was in another tragic automobile accident where she crossed over and witnessed everything that was happening to her here on earth from above. On January 21, 2012 Debra was laying in her bed dying from an unknown illness where she crossed over into the arms of God. Debra signed a life span contract that day with God. Sheri Getten played a role in all three of Debra’s NDEs. On 1-21-12 she came to Debra’s house to do a healing. She witnessed Debra’s transitioning into the arms of God, she could listen to Debra describe in detail what she saw and what was being said with God. This is a profound and powerful NDE and healing miracle. This story gives hope, healing and awareness that with God all things are possible. Today because of these NDEs they perform spiritual, physical and mental healing. Together they have discovered a unique healing technique and are currently doing healings around the world.

May 2017 – Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson is a PhD psychologist who has been studying and interviewing near death experiencers since the middle 1980s. He likes to say he has the spirituality of a beagle, but he has learned a few things over the years. In this talk he reviews the amazing experiences that happened as soon as he decided he would study NDEs. He believes when you start on a path that is right for you, all kinds of “coincidences” happen to confirm and support that decision. He talks about how he helped start the NDE support group that turned into UTAH IANDS, and the many fascinating and inspiring events that confirmed to him that was the right thing to do. This was a lively and entertaining account, tune in and listen to his insights from years of study of the many lessons from the other side.

June 2017 – Sally Firmage
We are pleased to announce that our speaker for June is Sally Firmage.  In September of 2013 Sally, while hiking, experienced a life-threatening electrolyte imbalance and ended up in the hospital very near death.  As she came close to death, she witnessed her Light Body unravel from her physical body. She found herself in a formless black spaciousness and later observed as the same chords of light re-weaved themselves back into her body.
The most transformational aspects of her experience are the insights gained from the deeper meaning of coming so close to death. The experience is a blessing which can raise intuition, perception and unleash hidden gifts and understanding. She now understands how deeply the world’s healing traditions complement one another and that self-love and forgiveness are forces which can heal the world.
Sally is an acupuncturist, massage school instructor and aspiring author. She also teaches yoga to cognitively impaired adults.  She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in Sant Cruz, CA.

July 2017 – Greg Nordfeldt
Gifts from a Traumatic Brain Injury – In 2011, a motorcycle accident left Greg Nordfeldt with a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones.  When he rejoined the world after 11 days in and out of a coma and nearly a month of memory loss, Greg found himself radically changed.  But Greg’s story isn’t one of loss and pain.  Instead it’s a story of incredible gain.  When he recovered full consciousness, Greg had a newfound focus on love, connection, and gratitude–a focus he was inspired to bring to his relationships at home and work.  During his coma Greg did not experience a complete void of memory.  We will discover what Greg learned from his brush with death.

August 2017 – Russ Horman
On the evening of October 8, 2001 Russ’s life changed profoundly after being targeted in a home invasion robbery. Russ had been setup by the girl he was dating at that time for the home invasion. During the robbery Russ was shot four times by the two intruders, two times after confronting one of the intruders and attempting to wrestle gun from him, shot two more times by the second intruder as Russ was struggling with the first intruder.  After the intruders fled Russ’s home police medical personnel responded, Russ was transported to the hospital where he was immediately prepped and taken into surgery. As his life was slipping away due to the multiple gunshots, Russ experienced a profound near-death experience which completely changed the course of his life and provided answers.  Being shot and the subsequent NDE in his words was “the best thing that ever happened to me”.

September 2017 – Janet Crawford
The speaker for Friday September 22, 2017 will be Janet Crawford.  Janet Crawford is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing.  She first spoke to IANDS of Utah in the early 1990’s when she was a critical care nurse at the University of Utah Hospital, often on LifeFlight helicopter efforts to save severely injured people.  In those roles, she frequently heard amazing near-death experiences from patients.
Since Janet last spoke at IANDS, she has been a nurse at major hospitals in the mid-West and southern U.S. where she has continued to interact with and provide care to those suffering from critical illnesses and injuries.  She has first-hand heard and seen some extraordinary near-death and related experiences.  You will enjoy her presentation of a few of the experiences she has witnessed!

October 2017 – Brandon Smith

The inspiring documentary, Glimpses Beyond Death’s Door, available on DVD, was filmed by Utah IANDS member and film-maker Brandon Smith.  This documentary includes statements of experts and the near-death experiences of individuals from Utah and Idaho.  The included near-death experiences are from people of differing cultural and religious backgrounds.  They describe peace in death, first-hand descriptions from the other side of the veil, a being of light, meeting deceased loved ones; communication by thought transference; travel at phenomenal speeds; expanded comprehension and memory powers; and all-encompassing, overwhelming light and love.

November 2017 – Jeff O’Driscoll, MD FACEP

We are pleased to announce our speaker this Friday,  November 24, 2017, will be Jeff O’Driscoll, MD FACEP.  Dr. O’Driscoll is an emergency physician who often comes into contact with patients who are seriously injured. Many die or are close to death.  Dr. O’Driscoll has had a series of shared-death experiences with some of his patients, as he helps them through their difficult recovery.  Dr. O’Driscoll had such an experience with our IANDS Board member Jeff Olsen, whose experience was partially shared in our last meeting.  Dr. O’Driscoll has just completed a book about his experiences with shared death experiences and near-death experience, entitled “Not Yet” from the words often heard by those who have just gone to the other side and are told it is not yet your time, you must go back.  Dr. O’Driscoll will be a fascinating speaker sharing his experiences acquired over 25 years an an ER physician.