Ivan Richard Scott

July 31, 1924 - September 30, 2009

A Memorial Address by the Rev. James P. Cooper

There’s not much in scripture that tells us about the life after death.  There’s hardly anything in the Old Testament except the story where King Saul asks the Witch of Endor to raise the prophet Samuel from the dead.  There are a handful of parables in the New Testament that compare heaven to fishing, or a farm, or to a wedding feast.  There’s not much of substance there.

At a time when the world was ready to hear it, the Lord provided another source, a revelation about the life after death by inviting a highly respected scientist to visit and examine the spiritual world for 28 years, and then report back to us what he found.  Emanuel Swedenborg testifies that he was permitted to personally experience the process of awakening in the life after the death of the body. Since we are today thinking about the resurrection and resuscitation of Ivan Scott, it would be useful for us to about the process that he is going through himself, even now.

From the work Heaven and Hell, we read:  …At first a communication of the pulse of the heart with the celestial kingdom was established, because that kingdom corresponds to the heart in man. Angels from that kingdom were seen, some at a distance, and two sitting near my head. Thus all my own affection was taken away although thought and perception continued. I was in this state for some hours[1].

The first experienced is a deep and peaceful sleep. The communication with the spiritual world is so subtle as to be no more noticeable than one’s own pulse.

…The angels seated at my head were silent, merely sharing their thoughts with mine; and when their thoughts are received the angels know that the spirit of man is in a state in which it can be drawn forth from the body.

The order of life is that “influx is according to the receiving vessel.” As long as the body is a suitable vessel, life can flow in. But as the body, through illness or advancing age, begins to shut down, eventually that connection is broken. The obvious signs are when the heart and lungs cease to function, but there are other activities, more deeply hidden, that take time to gradually shut down, releasing the spirit. The highest angels are on guard at this time, watching over and protecting the person as they begin their transition into eternal life.

I perceived the angels … wished to keep my mind in … [the] thought [of eternal life].

As we sleep through the transition, while the celestial angels watch over us, our thoughts are guided towards eternal things. There is no fear, there is no pain. Instead, there is a sense of profound safety, and hope.

…I permitted to see and feel that there was a pulling and drawing forth, as it were, of the interiors of my mind, thus of my spirit, from the body; and I was told that this is from the Lord, and that the resurrection is thus effected.

The celestial angels who are with the one that is resuscitated do not withdraw from him, because they love everyone[2]

However, this does not last forever. Just as we eventually get enough sleep and we wake up feeling rested, so too this state comes to its natural end. The new spirit, although enjoying the sphere of the celestial angels, begins to long for information about his new state. It’s like when we first wake up in the morning and look out the window because we’re curious about what kind of day it is. The celestial angels sense the awakening interest in facts, in spiritual things, and withdraw allowing the spiritual angels to take over.

When this takes place angels from the Lord’s spiritual kingdom come, through whom is given the use of light; for before this he saw nothing, but merely thought. I was shown how this is done. The angels appeared to roll off, as it were, a coat from the left eye towards the bridge of the nose, that the eye might be opened and be enabled to see. This is only an appearance, but to the spirit it seemed to be really done. When the coat thus seems to have been rolled off there is a slight sense of light, but very dim, like what is seen through the eyelids on first awakening from sleep. To me this dim light took on a heavenly hue, but I was told afterwards that the colour varies. Then something is felt to be gently rolled off from the face, and when this is done spiritual thought is awakened.

This rolling off from the face is also an appearance, which represents the spirit’s passing from natural thought into spiritual thought. The angels are extremely careful that only such ideas as savour of love shall proceed from the one resuscitated. They now tell him that he is a spirit. When he has come into the enjoyment of light the spiritual angels render to the new spirit every service he can possibly desire in that state; and teach him about the things of the other life so far as he can comprehend them.

Eventually the new spirit is satisfied about the spiritual nature of his new life, and begins to become curious about the more “natural” things about his new life. Where is his home? What will he eat? Where are his friends and family that have gone before?

… When the spirit has thus withdrawn he is received by good spirits, and as long as he continues in their company everything possible is done for him. … [Eventually] he comes into association with such as are in entire harmony with his life in the world; and with such he finds his own life, and what is surprising, he then leads a life like that which he led in the world.

These are the steps that people go through as they awaken into spiritual life upon the death of the body. The Lord has revealed these things to us so that we can know that we have nothing to fear for ourselves, and that we can know that our friends and loved ones who go before are being well-cared for. We still grieve because they are no longer with us, because our love can no longer touch them in the same way, but we can be comforted that they are among friends and are well cared for.

Let us now take a moment to remember some of the things that made Ivan the unique individual that he was, the character that is even now being set free to be more useful than ever without the encumbrance of his natural body.

Ivan was born in Kitchener, Ontario to “Archie” and Lucille Scott in July, 1924.  He had two older brothers, Robert and Bruce, and a younger sister, Doreen.  The Scotts moved to Toronto when Ivan was a youth. He attended Olivet Day School in Parkdale. 

While attending High School in Parkdale, he met Margaret Hudson. They have now been married for 58 years. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Susan and Caroline.

Ivan was a part of what we now call “the Greatest Generation” - those who lived through the great depression, served either overseas or in support industries at home during WWII, and then went on to build great nations out of the wreckage of war.  Ivan joined the Canadian Army right out of High School, and was selected for training as an officer, eventually being commissioned as a Lieutenant. The timing was such that by the time he completed his training and was ready to go to the European Theatre, the war was over. Before he could complete his training for the Pacific Theatre, the war was over.  Being a veteran meant that he received financial assistance and was able to go to University which prepared him for a career with the Confederation Life Insurance Company.

Ivan spent his whole career in the Insurance business. After many years with Confederation Life, he moved to the Canadian Life and Health Association where he organized a board of experts to help people by answering questions and solving problems. Ivan was the “Ombudsman” of the Canadian Insurance industry.

Ivan was a man of intelligence and integrity. Over the years he served the General Church in Canada in many different ways, serving as a Trustee, chairing committees, providing his expert opinion and wise guidance.  He was also a great student of the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem. Until ill health forced them to stop, Ivan and Margaret were faithful members of the Thursday Morning Arcana reading group. There we all appreciated and respected his thoughtful and carefully worded contributions to our study of the Word.

Ivan also loved the outdoors and spent many happy hours in his garden caring for his flowers and fruit trees. He also enjoyed watching tennis, and reading.

In closing, remember the selection from Heaven and Hell that was read as the third lesson:  In a word, when a man passes from one life into the other, or from one world into the other, it is like passing from one place into another, carrying with him all things that he had possessed in himself as a man; so that by death, which is only the death of the earthly body, man cannot be said to have lost anything really his own....  So, as we remember Ivan and think about him being gently awakened by the angels into his new spiritual life; as we think about him awakening into a life where his body will no longer hold him back and cause him pain; as we think about the joyous reunion as Ivan meets his parent and brothers once again; let us also remember that all those things that made Ivan a unique individual will also be a part of him. When our time comes to lay down the physical body and join those who have gone before, we will be pleasantly surprised at his vigour and good health, but the man we will meet will be the Ivan Scott that we have known, respected, and loved. (Luke 12:32) “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


First Lesson:

PSALM 8:1-5, 9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

PSALM 23:  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

PSALM 90:1-6, 10, 12 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Second Lesson:

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Revelation 22:12-14 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Third Lesson:

AC 10594, 10595 A person’s spirit is seen in the next life within a human form, exactly as that person was seen in the world. The person is also endowed with the powers of sight, hearing, speech, and feeling, as he was in the world, and possesses the full ability to think, will, and act, as he did in the world. In short, he is a human being in every single respect except that he no longer has the coarse body which clothed him in the world. This he leaves behind when he dies and never takes it up again. This continuation of life is what should be understood by rising again.

HH 461. …When [someone] passes from the natural world into the spiritual, as he does when he dies, he carries with him … everything that belongs to him as a man, except his earthly body. For when man enters the spiritual world or the life after death, he is in a body as he was in the world, with no apparent difference, since he neither sees nor feels any difference. But his body is then spiritual, and thus separated or purified from all that is earthly; and when what is spiritual touches or sees what is spiritual, it is just the same as when what is natural touches or sees what is natural. So when a man has become a spirit he does not know otherwise than that he is in the same body that he had in the world and thus does not know that he has died. [2] Moreover, a man’s spirit enjoys every sense, both outer and inner, that he enjoyed in the world; he sees as before, he hears and speaks as before, smells and tastes, and when touched, he feels the touch as before; he also longs, desires, craves, thinks, reflects, is stirred, loves, wills, as before; and one who takes delight in studies, reads and writes as before. In a word, when a man passes from one life into the other, or from one world into the other, it is like passing from one place into another, carrying with him all things that he had possessed in himself as a man; so that by death, which is only the death of the earthly body, man cannot be said to have lost anything really his own....

[1] HH 449

[2] HH 450