By C.C. Fisher  
Orem Daily Journal
Section C Sunday January 3, 1999 a town of about 60,000 people, two hundred miles north of Parowan.

   Imagine living during Joseph Smith's time, or that of Mohammed, when each claimed to have had revelations from God.
   Would you have been among their first believers? This is one off the questions philosophers and skeptics have asked for centuries in their continuing debates over the validity of religion and prophets' visions.
    Leland Freeborn, "The Parowan Prophet", is no exception.
Questioned, laughed at, mocked and scoffed, Freeborn has been predicting World War for nearly 23 years. His story has been broadcast all over the United States and in countries such as Guam and Australia.
His face has graced the covers of local, national and international papers. He's been the subject of television news broadcasts and the target of much ridicule. People have called him a kook many more times than they've called him a prophet.
     The theme of his sermon is no laughing matter. If believed, it is frightening enough to make people scurry under their beds and pray until the millennium comes. On his Website, he foretells people dying and others wishing they were dead/ He also sees the deaths of prophets and fallout in every direction.
     Almost every religion believes there will be a final, great destructing end to the existence we now know, Hindi, Buddhists, Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons-- each predicts, and most dread this awesome event.
     Many have speculated that the time is very close. Freeborn says the time is closer than many believe.
   "World War III will start in a matter of days," Freeborn said Wednesday in a phone interview with the Orem Daily Journal. "There's no such thing as deathbed repentance. People need to live through this destruction, so they can start repenting and putting their lives together."
   Freeborn's goal is to save as many people as he can before the nuclear bombs start exploding.
   He has spent thousands of dollars on his project. In recent months, he has begun publishing his warnings on the Internet.
   "I get about 50 to 60 hits a day, but I need more like 5,000 a day in order to save lives," Freeborn said.
    Freeborn claims to have begun receiving his revelations when he was in a coma following a plane wreck nearly 23 years ago. He was flying back from his farm in Milford with his father when their plane crashed into the side of a mountain. Freeborn's father was decapitated. Freeborn lost a hand.
    While in a coma, Freeborn said he returned to God's presence.
"I wanted to stay. but the Lord gave me a blessing. He reminded me of the things I needed to do. He told me he would not leave me comfortless. I fell into a wishing well and came back into earth," Freeborn said.
    The wishing well is what most people who have near death experiences think of as a long tunnel, Freeborn said. He said among those whom he met were a group of seafaring people and some of his ancestors. "I knew they either lived or worked by the sea because they smelled like the ocean," Freeborn said.
   When he awoke from his coma, Freeborn said he continued to see visions from God.
   He publishes many of his visions on his Website at
    If there's a sunny side to Freeborn's prophecies, he says it's the millennium, where Christ will reign for 1000 years and peace will abound.
    Freeborn said he doesn't really care if he's around for the millennium. He says he has an 800- square-foot fallout shelter in his backyard that sleeps 14. The shelter is connected to a 70-foot-long, eight-foot-wide tunnel full of food.
    "I've got it made, I've seen Christ.  I've talked with God," Freeborn said.
His claim to being a prophet in Parowan hasn't always been easy for Freeborn. When he took a second wife. he said his house was constantly bombarded by "unwelcome gifts." But the Southern Utah town of more than 2000 has learned to accept him.
    "The Stake President even came up to him the other day and said, "Leland, you sure have good kids," Freeborn said. He has 12 children- six boys and six girls. He jokes about it saying, "I first had a boy, then a girl, then a boy, then a girl, then a boy...I just kept trying, but all I could get was a boy and a girl."
    Not all his children come from the same wife. Freeborn did not say how many wives he has.
    He says one son is a doctor in Sun Valley, Idaho. Another son is studying for a degree in computer science. He says a daughter has a graduate degree in theater from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and auditions for many movie and television spots.
    Freeborn said his youngest daughter, 16, has been having visions since age eight.
    Freeborn said he's only had one run in with Satan. He said the devil once tried to give him false revelations, but he said he was knowledgeable enough to know who it was. He refused Satan. and. Freeborn said, "He hasn't bothered me since."
    Freeborn says he also knows. by revelation, that Y2K will not be a problem. What will be a problem is one he calls"electromagnetic pulse."  He said it will end up doing more damage than Y2K could ever dream of. Freeborn has been excommunicated from the LDS church. He farmed in California before moving to Utah. He says LDS presidents Gordon B. Hinckley and Spencer W. Kimball have visited him in his home.
    He said he yet believes and practices many LDS precepts. He says he keeps the Word of Wisdom, prays and reads scriptures.
   All of his time and money are now involved in publishing his survival information. He predicts that 2 billion people will die in the near future and says he would like to save as many lives as he can before it happens. He says his Website has information on how to build a fallout shelter and to treat burns from nuclear fallout.
    Despite scorn and ridicule from the media, he said he has gained a few believers. "One lady from Italy wrote to me on e-mail," Freeborn said quoting her, "Dear Mr. Leland, I heard you years ago in Chicago on a radio station. I only recently looked at your Website. The radio interviewer was rude to you, but I appreciate that you put out your message."
    Though he doesn't have many fans, Freeborn said he will continue to publish his visions
on the Internet and is offering hundreds of pages of text on his survival information free of charge. Freeborn said Joseph Smith had told him in a vision not to charge for the information.   

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