I consider myself a deeply religious person, and have never felt the need to look for 'proof' of God's existence. Rather I rely on the faith I have developed over the years through the personal experiences of which have been numerous and varied. Do I feel like the world needs proof? Perhaps, for many this scholarly approach to figure out whether there is substance to the claim that God exists and whether scriptural texts like the Bible are true, is a necessary step.
Timothy Smith starts off by explaining his history, and why he is pursuing this path. He strikes me as one who feels a deep connection to nature, and with that he gets answers he seeks in that environment. This is not alien thinking to me. There is great power connecting with the natural world, and the peace and healing you experience out in the mountains, rivers, forests can have a overwhelming impact on your life. There's probably too much explanation here though, and I can understand how this can make the reading tedious and has the feeling of it being dragged out. At first my eyebrows raised with some of the experiences he shares. However, I am reminded that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I am already familiar with the concept of Heavenly visitations. It's not a stretch for me to believe in the validity of his claim. I did however wonder where the connection was, although his experience of meeting Moses strikes as to familiar. I wonder what his personal religious background was, and regarding some of the retelling I wondered if he had actually experienced this himself or is he using other people's experiences to retell an interesting story. I usually rely in cases like this on the promptings I feel as I read. Is the Holy Spirit giving me a feeling of confirmation to the truth of the account. This is to how I rely on the revelation of truth. Timothy doesn't actually make an initial connection to this experience. I'm not confused, or an unbeliever, more skeptical to where the significance of this event was. For me, God doesn't send messengers to his people on earth without a purpose. What would His purpose be in this vision?
I'm not sure that there is any new evidence raised within these pages that hasn't been brought to light by other scholars. His connections with passages he feels have a revealing nature, could be purely coincidental. Or they could have validity. I am wondering why as the book progresses the author is still asking the question - 'what is this all about?' 'why me?' 'What does this mean?' etc. He jumps from thought to thought and its just not straightforward or easy to understand. I've read countless non fiction doctrinal and inspirational books on the nature of God or other religious subjects. This one was just strange in format and retelling. He does refer often to acclaimed legitimate sources - I wonder if that is to bring some credibility to his own findings?
Would I recommend this to anyone? Probably not. It didn't do anything for me other than confusing what the true nature of his journey is. I am a solid believer in that this could have been something he could choose to devote his life to. Often the experiences we are graced with from on High are highly personal and sacred and are not really meant to be shared with another. I am usually skeptical of those who use those experiences for monetary gain. How did he even fund all of these travels around the world, months on end in the wilderness or living in expensive real estate areas without working?