"The Message by Lance Richardson" by Oak Norton
From http://www.oaknorton.com/themessage.cfm – personal emphasis added.
A couple years ago (2003’ish) I had the opportunity to meet Cleon Skousen, quite a well known individual in church and government circles. I spent a wonderful afternoon talking with him about a variety of subjects and over the course of that conversation he made a fascinating statement to me about a man named Lance Richardson. He told me that Lance had had an NDE (Near Death Experience) where he died, went to the spirit world, and came back. When Lance returned he said that he was told by some of the men who lived with the founding fathers of our country to read several books when he returned to help him better understand why our founding fathers were inspired to organize this country the way they did, and several of those books were written by Cleon.
Cleon is in his early-mid 90’s and still pretty lucid, but I wanted to verify the story so I tried to track Lance down to ask him if this was true.
My first search led me to a website where the author claimed to be at a fireside in rural Utah somewhere and Lance came and shared his experience with a small group. This person wrote down a bunch of notes including one I thought was particularly interesting about Lance meeting up with a friend of his in heaven that was still enjoying golf in the spirit world.
So I ordered Lance’s book, The Message. The book describes how Lance got some illness on a European mission when he was young that devastated his health. Numerous and frequent trips to the hospital for recurring pneumonia and other diseases really wrought havoc in his body and finally after a motorcycle accident ended with his near death experience. He talks about family relations and how there are reunions and celebrations (with food :)) in heaven. It also talks about sometimes departed friends and loved ones are sent to inspire us and give us direction in our own mortal lives. Part of "the message" that Lance was instructed to bring back is that this country is on the brink of self-destruction for removing God from our lives and country. He also discusses how he was told we needed to serve each other to prepare for the coming trials and preparation for creating Zion, or a place where peace and harmony exist between people.
Finally I tracked down an email address for Lance and made contact. These are Lance’s comments on the website I mentioned above:
"…the website you refer to where this guy claims to have heard me say each of these things he has in his website has many erroneous statements. I have tried several times to have him remove this material, because it is false. But he has hid behind the same legalities as the tabloids do in their false reporting. So, I have not been able to shut his article down.
"However, he does have a number of items in his article that are true. It is true that I met a friend of mine who used to be a professional golfer before he died. He is now a missionary to his ancestors, for he was the only family member in mortality that had joined the church. He was having great success, whereas these family members knew him, and loved him, and were willing to listen to him. But they do have a balance in their time and are given some time to enjoy the tremendously beautiful world God has created for them, as well. One of the things he had enjoyed in that world, he said, were some incredibly beautiful golf courses that had been created in this wondrous world. He said they were absolutely amazing. So, according to my friend, there are some of the wonderful things we enjoyed in this life in the world beyond, too. It is important that this point is properly understood, though. Unfortunately, because of this report, I have been quoted numerous times as having said that the spirits are just sitting around golfing in the spirit world, having a great time. Nothing mentioned about balance or the rest of the work they are doing. Thus I mention that it is important that the whole story be told rather than just that one sentence."
The next part is where it really started interesting me. I had asked Lance about Cleon’s comments. Lance’s reply drew out an exchange of emails between us that has provided me with some great reading material. Lance said:
"What occurred was that I met with many men who had died in the revolutionary and civil wars and who had assignment now, as part of a quorum, to protect America and keep her free for the final day when Christ returns and directs the building of the city of New Jerusalem, or the latter-day Zion. These men who died in the Revolutionary War shared with me that they had lived with the men who we consider as the founding fathers of America, and that they head the quorum which these men are a part of. They further explained that these men, in particular Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Washington, were deeply inspired in their work, and that they came to an understanding of exactly what they were ultimately doing; laying the foundation for the latter-day Zion to be built spoken of in the Old Testament by several ancient prophets. They came to understand this work that they were doing and carried out their assignments.
"These men then explained to me that I needed to understand better what they knew and what they had recognized in their studies and works. They told me several books which I should read in order to come to this better understanding. Three or four of these books were books written by Cleon Skousen about the founding fathers."
Lance died last year (2004) before he could look up from his journal the full book list, but he did give me several off the top of his head. I have only read a couple so far but they’re all on my short list to get and read. Here’s the list:
Books by Cleon (co-authored the last 3):
- The Making of America
- The Majesty of God’s Law (this book, I believe, Cleon told me he wrote at President McKay’s request stating this was how he got a job at BYU. President McKay and the first presidency told Cleon if the Elders of Israel are to save the constitution, we need to figure out how it is we are to do it. Please go do some research in the archives at BYU and Cleon wrote this book on the subject. I hope I’m not too far off on my recollection…) [Jacob’s note: the book was actually The Making of America, listed above.]
- The Real George Washington
- The Real Thomas Jefferson
- The Real Benjamin Franklin
Other books Lance was told to read:
- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
… message clipped….
Jacob’s note: You can find links to these books here.