Mary Ellen Jensen “Ella”

Mary Ellen Jensen (Ella) was born on August 3, 1871, and was the eldest daughter of Mary Althea Wight and Jacob Peter Jensen. At the age of 20 in 1891, Ella contracted scarlet fever. Her condition gradually deteriorated until she required almost constant care for several weeks. Many kind neighbors would take turns in her care to relieve her parents during the night. On one such night Ella awoke calling for her comb, brush, and scissors “to get ready, for they are coming to get me at 10 in the morning.” Ella further explained, “Uncle Hans Jensen and the messengers are coming. I am going to die, and they are coming at 10 to get me and take me away.” As she was so weak, she asked for help in the preparations. Her parents attempted to calm her and encourage her to rest, but she was persistent saying her Uncle Hans who was dead had appeared to her and told her that the messengers would be there at 10:00 to conduct her into the spirit world.

Ella’s brother Bud was sent to get Mrs. Nelson, the nearest medical attendant. As Ella wanted to see family to bid them goodbye, her father gathered all including her Grandma Sarah Josephine Jensen. At 9:30 a.m. and upon Bud’s return, Ella put her arms around her brother’s neck, kissed him, and fell back onto the pillow. Her father holding her hand felt her pulse stop. It was now 10:00 a.m. The heart-broken parents wept and grieved at the loss of their beautiful daughter and decided for Jacob to go into town and inform Apostle Snow to make arrangements for the funeral.

Apostle Snow was speaking at the Brigham Tabernacle and upon receiving the note telling of Ella’s death, Apostle Snow explained he must be excused to visit people in great sorrow. Requesting to have Rudger Clawson from the Box Elder Stake accompany him, they departed with Jacob. Apostle Snow asked for consecrated oil and asked Rudger Clawson to anoint Ella. Apostle Snow then sealed the anointing. He said, “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 live to perform a great mission to rear a large family and to be a comfort to your parents and friends.”

After Apostle Snow had finished the blessing, he turned to Jacob and Althea 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.” As already stated, it was 10:00 in the morning when Ella died. It was not long after 12:00 noon when Apostle Snow and Rudger Clawson left our home after the administration. All at once Ella opened her eyes. She looked about the room but still looked for someone else; and the first thing she said was, “Where is he? Where is He?” Jacob and Althea asked, “Who? Where is who?” “Why, Apostle Snow,” she replied. “He called me back.”

Ella had been restored to life through the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood administered at the hands of Apostle Lorenzo Snow and Rudger Clawson. This was truly a miracle for the Jensen family. Ella had been dead for more than three hours and was now restored to life to fulfill her mission on the earth.

Ella’s Spirit World Remembrance

At 10 a.m., my spirit left my body. It took me some time to make up my mind to go as I it was very hard for me to leave my family. But as soon as I had a glimpse of the other world, I was anxious to go, and all fears and worry left me. I entered a large, long hall filled with people. Grandpa Hans Peter Jensen was the first person I recognized. He had disappeared while salmon fishing on the Snake River. His body was never recovered. Baby Florence whohad died at two months was also there being cared for by Hans and his wife, Ellen. The eternal family unit existing in the next world showed that the little ones we lose in this life are held in the loving care of our own family.

A cousin asked me how the folks were getting along and shared his concern to hear that some of the boys were using tobacco and liquor. This showed that people there know to a great extent what happens here on earth. Everyone appeared to be perfectly happy. All were dressed in white or cream.

I entered another room filled with hundreds of children, all arranged in perfect order by size and age. They were presided over by Aunt Eliza R. Snow. As I listened to the children sing, it was then that I heard Apostle Snow call me, “Sister Ella, you must come back, as your mission is not yet finished here on earth.

While observing Aunt Eliza Snow’s song practice, I recognized Alphonso Houtz Snow (son of Lorenzo Snow by a prior marriage) who had been in my Sunday School class. I could not understand how he was there as I thought he was still alive. Later my mother told me, “Yes, Ella, little Alphie is dead too. He died early this morning while you were so sick. We knew you loved him so did not want to tell you of his death.”

Ella’s sister, Meda (Sarah Almeda Jensen) says that Ella frequently told of the terrible suffering she experienced when the spirit again entered her body. There was practically no pain on leaving the body in death, but the intense pain was almost unbearable in coming back to life.

Ella Jensen’s sojourn on earth was not to be the short one she had anticipated. Ella married Henry Wight on March 20, 1895, and lived to bear eight children. It was not until October 23, 1957, at the age of 86, that she was allowed to return to the spirit world she had left almost 66 years before.

Ella’s personal experience reassures us that we need not fear the next stage of our progression. The spirit world is but a more perfect extension of life as we know it-the spirit world is the place where loved ones meet.


  • Adapted from an article in the September 1929 Improvement Era by Le Roi Snow (son of Lorenzo Snow).
  • Excerpts in Where Loved Ones Meet by Dr. Dorothy Jensen Schimmelpfennig (pages 12-13).