Lorenzo Snow Raises
Ella Jensen from the Dead


Soon after Lorenzo Snow was baptized, he received a blessing from Patriarch Joseph Smith Sr. Among other blessings, Lorenzo was promised that “if expedient the dead shall rise and come forth at thy bidding” (quoted in Romney, Life of Lorenzo Snow, 406).

This promised blessing was literally fulfilled many years later when President Snow, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, blessed his niece Ella Jensen, of Brigham City, Utah, and called her spirit back from the spirit world after she had been dead for three hours. Ella Jensen wrote the following about her experience:

“On the 1st of March, 1891, I was taken severely ill with the scarlet fever, and suffered very much for a week.  It was on the morning of the 9th that I awoke with a feeling that I was going to die. As soon as I opened my eyes I could see some of my relatives from the other world. . . . I then asked my sister to assist me in getting ready to go into the spirit world. She combed my hair, washed me, and I brushed my teeth and cleaned my nails that I might be clean when going before my Maker. . . . I then bade my dear ones good by, and my spirit left my body.

“For some time I could hear my parents and relatives weeping and mourning, which troubled me greatly. As soon, however, as I had a glimpse of the other world my attention was drawn away from them to my relatives there, who all seemed pleased to see me. . . . I saw so many of my departed friends and relatives, all of whom I have mentioned many times afterwards, and with many of them I conversed. . . .  After having stayed with my departed friends what seemed to me but a very short time, yet it lasted several hours, I heard Apostle Lorenzo Snow administer to me, telling me that I must come back, as I had some work to do on the earth yet. I was loath to leave the heavenly place, but told my friends that I must leave them. . . .

“For a long time afterwards I had a great desire to go back to the place of heavenly rest, where I dwelt so short a time” (quoted in “Remarkable Experience,” Young Woman’s Journal, Jan. 1893, 165).

Additional Account of This Experience

On the recommendation of Elder Snow, Rudger Clawson became president of the Box Elder Stake following his release from the penitentiary. Although Elder Snow was the older of the two by forty-three years, there was an unusually close relationship between them. In March 1891 they joined in raising Ella Jensen from the dead. Ella had died at 10:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Her father, Jacob Jensen, Elder Snow's brother-in-law, traveled from his farm to Brigham City to tell Lorenzo. Called out of a meeting, he took Rudger Clawson with him. By the time they reached the farmhouse, Ella had been dead two hours. All were surprised when Elder Snow, after meditating, asked for consecrated oil. He had Rudger Clawson anoint Ella, and Lorenzo sealed the anointing. According to Brother Clawson, in the blessing Elder Snow said "in a commanding voice, 'Come back, Ella, come back. Your walk upon the earth is not yet completed, come back.'" An hour after Elder Snow and Rudger Clawson left, Ella's spirit returned to her body. She later married, gave birth to eight children, and lived to age eighty-six. (Francis M. Gibbons, Dynamic Disciples, Prophets of God: Life Stories of the Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p.127)