Chapter 21, Family Councils

Family council meetings are also held on the other side of the veil to facilitate the work of families on both sides of the veil.

I believe family organizations are presided over by a presidency similar to that of a temple. A temple is presided over by a husband and wife as president and matron. Two counselors and matrons also assist. They serve for a time, are released, and others are called.

The family presidency presides over the work of the family. Needs are discussed, callings are given, assignments are made. Unitedly they oversee the work of the family on both sides of the veil. They serve for a time, are released, and others are called.

It was in one of those family council meeting that Kurt’s Uncle Steve was assigned to assist him during a trying time in Kurt’s life (golfers stick together).

The Church on the other side of the veil, and family organizations on the other side of the veil, work hand in hand, for the blessing and benefit of all mankind on both sides of the veil.

Tom Heal was in the Scout troop from Provo, Utah, that was involved in a tragic accident on the way to Hole in the Rock in 1963. Thirteen people died in the accident.

Thirty years later, Tom and another survivor of the accident, Lee Colvin, raised money to build a monument to those who had died in the accident. They built the monument on the hairpin turn where the accident happened.

Tom and Sandy Heal, with family and friends, were camping about 40 miles from Escalante, Utah on the road to Hole in the Rock, as they worked on the monument.

Tom Heal Return to Hole in the Rock, pages 69-73 Lee Colvin, Tom Heal

Not long after we finished breakfast, my 15-year-old daughter, Rebecca, said her back really hurt and she felt sick. I felt her forehead and noticed she had a fever. I took her into the big tent and had her lie down on a cot to rest. When I returned moments later, she was shaking, her fever was worse, and we couldn’t make her stay awake longer than a few moments at a time.

Together, my friend Lee and I gave her a priesthood blessing. As we finished, I had a very strong feeling that we should get her to a hospital as soon as possible.

The nearest town was Escalante, which was just over 40 miles away. The nearest hospital was in Panguitch, another 65 miles beyond that. We put Rebecca in the back of our Suburban, and my wife Sandy held her and put an ice pack on her forehead to reduce the fever. We left the rest of our family with Lee and his boys and began the dusty drive to the hospital. A few minutes after we started, Sandy said, “Tom, I think we are losing Rebecca! She has stopped breathing and was turning white. She was unresponsive and limp.” I told Sandy to keep talking to her and try to keep her awake.

I called 911 on my cell phone to report our emergency, but was only able to get an intermittent signal. I was driving as fast as I thought was safe, and occasionally when we would get to the top of a hill, I could get a call through to the 911 operator. During the course of nine or ten separate calls, I was able to explain where we were and that our daughter was gravely ill and in danger of dying. I asked the Sheriff’s dispatcher if they could send an emergency helicopter to meet us on the road.

She said they didn’t have a helicopter, but they would send an ambulance from Escalante to meet us.

Between phone calls, I could hear Sandy talking constantly to Rebecca. She pleaded with her to wake up and please stay with us. A short while later, Rebecca started breathing, awoke, and asked her mother, “Mom where are Jared and Tammy?” Sandy answered, “Your brother and sister are back at camp. We’re on our way to the hospital to get you some help.” Rebecca said, “Mom, we need to go back,” and Sandy asked her why. “Because I need to say goodbye to them,” she replied. As we heard her response, we were more concerned than ever that we were going to lose our precious, daughter, because we wouldn’t be able to get help for her in time.

Rebecca then went limp and stopped breathing. Sandy desperately tried to get her to wake up, and after several minutes she opened her eyes and said, “Grandpa is here and wants me to go with him.” Her grandfather, Ward Heal, had died 13 years earlier when she wasn’t yet two years old. She said there were two other people with her grandpa whom she didn’t know, and they were all dressed in white robes. It was more beautiful and peaceful where they were than she ever imagined a place could be. Sandy told her, “Tell your grandpa you want to stay with us! Tell him you don’t want to go. Becca…please! We want you to stay with us!” Sandy was in tears as she pleaded for her to stay. I was beside myself with emotion, trying to drive, talk on the phone, and listen to the conversation that was going on behind me.

Rebecca came and went beyond the veil several times during our drive, each time describing to her mother what she was seeing and doing. After about 45 minutes I got a call from the sheriff’s dispatcher. She said the plane had taken off from St George but had to turn back due to mechanical problems. A few moments later Rebecca came back again, and this time she had a smile on her face. She said that her Grandpa told her that a council had been held, and they determined that she could stay. He then asked her to please tell Stephanie and Christie that he loved them. (They are his twin daughters, my sisters.) From that point on she remained awake and stable.

“A few days after we got home, I asked Rebecca if she remembered anything about her near-death experience. She said she remembered everything. I asked her how she knew the man who wanted her to come with him was her grandfather. She said she just knew him. I asked her what he looked like, and she said, ”Well he looked young, but I could tell he was old.” She said the place was impossible for her to describe. She saw marvelous buildings and colors she had never seen before. Being there made her feel “perfect,” and she didn’t want to come back. When I asked her why she did come back, she said, “Because Mom kept telling me to.”

There are many books written about the spirit world, and I have read my share. By far the best I have ever read is The Message, by Lance Richardson.

My personal experiences since Lorna passed away have confirmed to me that The Message is spot on as he explains how loved ones who have passed away are given assignments and minister to us.

Lance was injured in an accident and spent some time on the other side of the veil. His cousin Randy, who had died twenty years previous tells him:

The Message, page 66, 87

I’ve been asked to be your escort. I’ve been assigned to take you to certain places and show you certain things. There is much we need to teach you.  . . . . I have helped you many times in your life. I have been given assignments on several occasions to assist you and inspire you.

Lance, on meeting his Grandpa Mark Richardson:

I’ve enjoyed helping you and your family so much over the past years.” I appreciated his assessment. But his final sentence caught my interest. “What do you mean by that, Grandpa? How have you helped us?”

“Oh Lance, you’d be surprised how involved many of us are in your lives.

When Lance was on the other side of the veil he saw sections of buildings lined up on streets.

The Message, page 88.

These buildings were places where the work of the spirit world was done, and where meetings took place between those who had particular assignments.