The Miracle of Raising the Dead
The miracle of raising the dead is one of the most exceptional and sacred miracles. During his mortal ministry Jesus raised several people from the dead, including, the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5: 22-42), the widow’s son in Nain (Luke 7: 11-17), and Lazarus (John 11: 1-46). Of course, these miracles foreshadowed the greatest miracle of the universal resurrection.
Christ promised that his prophets and apostles would also have the power and authority to raise the dead. (Matthew 10:8; 4 Nephi 1:5) Elijah restored the widow’s son. (1 Kings 17:17-24) Elisha raised the son of a Shunammite woman. (2 Kings 4 18-37) Peter restored Tabitha. (Acts 9: 36-42) Paul raised Eutychus. (Acts 20: 7-12) Nephi restored his brother Timothy. (3 Nephi 7: 10; 19:4)
I am aware of five published accounts of such miracles taking place in the church in modern times. This is the fifth.
(Despite the sacredness of these miracles, since they have been published, we can discuss them. Some miracles and personal spiritual experiences are too sacred to share without the prompting of the Spirit. “Sacred, not secret.” Also, what people may have learned during these experiences is not necessarily official church doctrine.)
Lorenzo Snow Raises Twelve-Year-Old Ella Jensen from the Dead
Here is one of the modern miracles of a child being raised from the dead by Lorenzo Snow.
In March 1891, twelve-year-old Ella Jensen, of Brigham City, Utah, lingered on the verge of death from complications of scarlet fever.
The Vision: 3:00 a.m.
At 3:00 am, on March 3rd Ella suddenly awakened and called out to her caretaker and parents. She wanted her hair combed and her nails done. She explained that her deceased uncle appeared to her in a vision, and he told her that heavenly messengers were “coming to get me at 10 am.” She wanted to say good-bye to as many people as possible before she died. She also wanted to look presentable when she passed away.
The Death: 10:00 a.m.
At 10:00 am, Ella died. She stopped breathing, and she had no pulse.
President Lorenzo Snow knew the Jensen family. At this time he was speaking at the nearby Tabernacle in Brigham City for a conference. Ella’s parents sent a messenger to ask if President Snow would visit the family and help them make arrangements for Ella’s funeral.
The Blessing: 12:00 Noon
President Snow was handed the message during his talk. He stopped speaking and read the message. He told the audience that he had an urgent matter he had to take care of. President Snow “grabbed” Stake President Rudger Clawson, and he left the meeting with President Clawson in tow.
Lorenzo Snow arrived at the Jensen home at 12 noon, two hours after Ella was declared dead. He stood next to Ella’s bed for a few minutes, and he asked if there was any consecrated oil in the house.
After the anointing with oil, President Snow gave Ella a blessing. He declared: “Dear Ella, I command you, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to come back and live. Your mission is not ended. You shall yet live to perform a great mission.” President Snow pronounced that Ella would live to raise a large family, and she would be a comfort to her parents and friends.
After pronouncing the blessing, President Snow turned to Ella’s parents and said, “Now, do not mourn or grieve any more. It will be all right. Brother Clawson and I are busy and must go, we cannot stay, but you just be patient and wait, and do not mourn, because it will be all right.”
The “Resurrection”: 1:00 p.m.
Ella remained in the same condition for more than an hour after President Snow left. This was now more than three hours after she had died.
The family were sitting beside her body, when, all of a sudden Ella opened her eyes. She looked around the room and asked her parents, “Where is he? Where is he?” They asked, “Who?” She replied, “Why, Brother Snow. He called me back.” Ella’s parents explained that President Snow and President Clawson had administered to her and had to return to their meeting.
Ella dropped her head on her pillow and asked, “Why did he call me back. I was so happy and did not want to come back.” She explained that she was in a heavenly place with family and friends and singing hymns, when all of a sudden, she heard a commanding voice from a long-distance declaring: “Come back, Ella. Come back! Your work on earth is not yet completed.”
Ella explained that she did not want to return, but the commanding voice was so authoritative that it drew her spirit away from the place, and she realized that she must return to earth.
Ella went on to describe in detail several deceased ancestors and relatives she met for the first time. She had never met them before. She was able to accurately describe these relatives to her parents.
The Long and Productive Life
Ella lived. She married and had eight children. She became the President of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association in Brigham City.
(Sources: “Raised from the Dead” by LeRoi C. Snow, September- October, 1929, Improvement Era; “Remarkable Experience,” Young Woman’s Journal, Jan. 1893, 165). “He Brought a Young Woman Back to Life,” President of the Church, CES Manual Chapter 5, Lorenzo Snow; Thomas C. Romney, The Life of Lorenzo Snow, pp. 406-419. Salt Lake City, 1955; “Raising the Dead,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism.)