My brother died in a car accident in May 2006. His family was badly injured as well. His death was an emotionally painful experience for me. As part of my coping, my mother gave me a copy of a book titled, The Message, by Lance Richardson. It gave me some comfort, though certainly didn’t relieve very much of my pain.
Lance is a mormon. In his youth, he was recruited to play college football, but some serious medical issues drastically changed his life. He was in and out of hospitals for the rest of his life, and died in 2004 at age 42. During one of his hospital stays, he was put in a medically induced coma, and had a near-death experience. He saw many of his relatives who had passed on before, and was able to visit his family who was grieving for his poor health.
I want to relate 2 passages from the book, and ask for comments. Lance has a cousin named Randy, who had died a few years before from leukemia.
“I remembered when I left to come here,” Randy continued. “I had suffered so long that it was a welcomed rest to leave my bodily pain, but, oh how I missed my family at first. I wonder if it was right for me to have died. Then I was shown what is about to happen in your world. And it was explained to me that certain members of each family chose, long ago, before this life, to die and come to this realm that they might better help their families endure what is about to happen.”
Randy’s expression changed to one of reverence. “There are many powerful, wonderful spirits who are being called home right now, that they can better help their families prepare for that which is about to take place in your world. One of the major reasons man of us are here is to serve and help those in mortality….
“Lance, do you understand what I am saying to you? I have helped you many times in your life. I have been given assignments on several occasions to assist and inspire you.”
Randy then shared several stories of times when he had helped me. Each was a time I could remember, and I became deeply thankful to God, to know He had sent someone whom I loved so much to help in those times when I had needed help so desperately. And again I gained a greater appreciation for family and its eternal function….
I was deeply moved. I had never understood nor thought of how God delivers assistance to us. With billions of children, what more perfect plan could he use than through righteous family members? It made me think about how often I may have been given inspiration from God through ministering “family” servants of God. I could believe it was truth. And once again I felt that burning warmth inside, testifying to me that it was.”
Then there is another experience, that I find eerily similar to my brother.
we came upon two friends of mine who had died almost exactly one year before. They had been notified I was there had had come to say hello. It was wonderful to see each of them. Both looked so good. One had died of cancer, while the other had been caught in an avalanche while snowmobiling. It had been difficult for their families and friends to lose them. So, it was particularly good to see them again….
I asked my friend, whom we will call Rick, how he was doing.
“I absolutely love it here!” Rick began. “But my wife’s pain is hurting me.” I knew she had been having a very difficult time coping with his loss. They are the parents of five children, which made it all the more difficult for her to handle all of this alone. “Lance, you need to go talk to her and let her know that it was right that I died. I know that now.” He then shared how it had been difficult for him to accept when he first found that he was dead.
“But after they escorted me into this world and showed me the plan for me and my family, I knew that it was right.”
We talked of his family, especially of his children, and how he is able to help them in ways he could not have from our world. The work with his family was a very important reason for why he had died when he did.
So, my first question is this. Has it ever occured to you that the Holy Ghost might be a member of your family? Are there any theological problems with this implication?
Second, Rick implies that he could help his family more from the spirit world than he could do in life, yet his family was obviously struggling. How do we reconcile this with the statement from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” which says ‘Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother…. I will add that it says “Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation”. But to me it seems rather clear that children are entitled to be reared by a a father and mother, and it seems to me that God’s first choice is to have fathers rear their children. Why does God make exceptions such as my brother, Rick, and Lance?