I am a collector of stories and a researcher about our spiritual origin before earth life and our destiny, our return home to God after our life mission is complete. My whole life I searched for more light and knowledge on these subjects. When I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a spiritual sense, I came home to God.
During my journey of research and collecting data, a special fascination has been children’s memories of the heavenly world we come from before we are born. Historically, that is called “the preexistence.”
Several years ago Brent and I became friends with a remarkable woman by the name of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a petite, feisty lady physician from Switzerland who helped treat survivors of WWII before moving to America where she became a pioneer of near-death studies and a founder of Hospice, which made her name a household word. We reference Elisabeth in our film “Remembering Heaven.” We visited with her several times in her desert home near Scottsdale, Arizona. We chuckled each time following her directions:
Turn east off the pavement at the huge boulder, drive thru the desert a quarter mile past the lightening damaged saguaro cactus until you see my sign (she had her own homemade street sign labeled “Elisabeth,” arrow pointing north). Follow the sign another quarter mile to my home.
Elisabeth’s home care nurse greeted us warmly at the door and guided us through stacks of mementos from her lecture tours around the world. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Elisabeth showed much interest in our research.
Elisabeth was interested in the endorsements I had received from some of her colleagues, including Dr. Kenneth Ring, (now retired) but who at that time was professor of psychology, University of Connecticut:
“Sarah Hinze deserves our recognition for drawing our attention to life before life In much the same way that Dr. Raymond Moody did for the near-death experience in his groundbreaking book, Life After Life. And just as Dr. Moody’s work launched a revolution in our thinking about possible postmortem experiences, Mrs. Hinze’s research may do the same for the study of those antedating birth.” Dr. Kenneth Ring, author of Heading Toward Omega
Though she appeared frail, her mind was obviously sharp. Her fame stemmed from research on death and near-death, with her most popular book, On Death and Dying, teaching the stages of dying and of grieving that have brought comfort and enlightenment to many when dealing with loss. For her work we now call hospice, which changed the way we die by bringing comfort to those preparing for death and allowing them to die at home, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering her background, we were surprised when Elisabeth began talking about children’s memories of heaven. I’ll never forget some of her remarks.
“People associate me with studies on death, but I have also dealt with thousands of children in my career. Many of them have memories of their spiritual life in heaven before birth. Their parents and others need to listen to them. Young children have much to teach us, but by the age of five or six when they enter school they become what I call “earth bound” and their memories and connections to heaven fade.”
I think the main point I learned from Elisabeth is to listen to our little ones. Heaven may be speaking to us through our little children and grandchildren—are we listening?
A few weeks later in our next visit to her desert home, we were pleased to receive this endorsement from her. It is my most treasured endorsement, from one who had become a dear friend;
“Sarah Hinze leads us into the next great area of research—the study of where we come from.” Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Here are a few examples of remembering heaven from young children taken from my books The Announcing Dream, Memories of Heaven, and Waiting in the Wings (to be published May, 2021).
From Karen’s young son:
“Mommy, I Miss Father”
When my son was eighteen months we were driving to the grocery store. He was unusually quiet for a time and then, out of the blue, spoke, “Mommy, I really miss my Father.”
It seemed a bit odd, as he normally called his father “Daddy.”
I responded, “Daddy will be home before we get back from the store.”
In a surprisingly matter of fact way he clarified, “No, I mean my Father in Heaven. I used to sit and talk with Him and I really miss Him.”
I was astonished, for never had I taught him such things.
My Angel Blessed Me
–Rami (age 8)
Before I came to earth, my angel blessed me. She told me I would be having a good mother and father and then a sister too. She said I would do something special on earth, but she didn’t say what it was.
I felt happy and excited to come to earth. I felt a drop sad to leave my heaven friends, but I knew I could come back [to heaven] in my sleep to visit.
My angel hugged me and gave me a lot of love, and told me to give the love to lots of people to make them happy. She said that she would stay close to me and I could pray to her if I needed help.
She Met Her Friend from Heaven
–Johanna (age 2 ½)
When Johanna was two and a half, she spoke often of a friend named Emily. But my wife and I had never seen “Emily.”
Whenever Johanna spoke of her, my wife and I questioned her about this imaginary friend. Most of her responses were typical for a child her age. She said they played and danced and sang together, things like that.
We wrote it off as a child’s imaginary friend and figured it might be her way of dealing with the upcoming addition to our family in a few months.
Yet some of Johanna’s responses puzzled us. She started mentioning “the light” in relation to her friend Emily. We wondered where Johanna was coming up with this, so we tried to question her more deeply, without putting thoughts or words into her mouth.
She made comments like, “Emily and I were together before,” and “Emily showed me the light.”
As interesting as this seemed, we still blew it off as an imaginary friend.
One day while shopping, Johanna got very excited and tried to stand up in the shopping cart. She pointed across the store. “Over there, there she is, that’s Emily!”
A family with four or five kids was shopping about a hundred feet away. My wife and I looked at each other and shrugged. “Why not?”
We walked up to the family, whom we’d never seen before, and asked, “By any chance, is one of your children named Emily?”
Somewhat startled, they answered, “Yes,” and pointed to their smallest child, who was already deep in conversation with our little Johanna.
The puzzled parents said, “Why do you ask?”
We explained about Johanna’s “imaginary friend” from heaven named Emily, whom we were beginning to believe may not be imaginary after all.
Emily’s parents seemed to think we were a bit strange, of course. Meanwhile, Johanna and Emily had shut the rest of us out and were excited and absorbed in each other.
We could not help but feel our little daughter had found her friend from heaven.
The Lady Angel Showed Me My Parents
–Becky (about age 10)
I was scared by the thought of leaving heaven. A woman who looked about thirty came to my rescue. She’d finished her earth life, and knew what mortality was like, because she’d been through it. She reassured me that I would be okay. I had known her for a long time in heaven, even before she went to earth. She was very kind to me and I knew she loved me.
This lady angel showed me a future scene of my earthly mother and how proudly my father held me as a newborn. They were beaming, proud parents. It was obvious that they loved me–even needed me to be a part of their lives.
Feeling of their love fortified my courage and eased my fear of leaving heaven. I then knew my time on earth would be okay.
This is Where You are Going to Live
–Lisa (when age 4)
One day when I was about four years old, my mother sent me to play outside so she could get some housework done. As I played, I glanced up and looked at the mountain ranges near our farm. It seemed that I had seen those mountains before, but from a different perspective.
As I studied them, a vision opened in my mind.
I saw myself with a group of boys and girls sitting in a circle on the ground. I didn’t count the exact number, but it was about twenty-five or thirty children. I had the impression we were learning, like in school.
Suddenly, from behind me and over my right shoulder, I felt my name being called. I say felt because it wasn’t a verbal sound–I just knew. I turned and saw a rather tall, slender man standing there.
I looked at him and mentally asked, “Is it my time to go?”
“Yes,” he replied.
The next thing I knew, the man and I were moving across the sky above the mountains by our farm. He was on my right side, and we spoke with each other as we went.
Suddenly we stopped mid-flight. Looking down, I saw a farmhouse, a barnyard with a fence, a canal behind the house, and a small road winding down a hill. I asked my guide, “Is this where I am going to live?”
“Will I be the only child?”
“No, you will be one of many.”
“Will I be happy there?”
“If you want to be.”
A snowflake fluttered across my eyes, bringing me back to the present.
I was born on that farm, and it looked just like it had from the sky. I was the eleventh and last child of the family.
“Tell Me of Grandpa Robert
—3 year old Johnny
I was putting three-year-old Johnny to bed when he asked for a bedtime story. For the past few weeks, I had been telling him of the adventures of his great-great-grandfather: a colonizer, a soldier, a community leader. As I started another story, Johnny stopped me and said, “No, tell me of Grandpa Robert.” I was surprised. This was my grandpa. I had not told stories of him, and I could not imagine where Johnny had heard his name. He had died before I even married.
“How do you know about Grandpa Robert?” I asked.
“Well, Momma,” he said reverently, “he’s the one who brought me to earth.”
Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared this story in a Fireside.
Mommy, Another Little Girl is to Join Our Family
When Nan and Dan Barker of Arizona were unable to have biological sons and daughters, they felt blessed to adopt four children. And they felt their family was complete.
Then one day their three year old son said, “Mommy, there’s another little girl who is supposed to come to our family.”
The mother said, in effect, “We’re already so blessed to have all of you.”
The boy continued, “She has dark hair and dark eyes. And she lives a long way from here.”
The mother asked, “How do you know this?”
To which the boy replied, “Jesus told me, upstairs.”
To which the mother replied, “We don’t have any upstairs.”
The parents, being taught by the child, got in touch with an international adoption agency. Today Nan and Dan Barker have added a fifth child to their family…a little girl with dark hair and dark eyes from Kazakhstan of the former Soviet Union.
Taught by a Toddler
—from 3 year old Alan
I had always heard that one could learn many things from children, but not until we had a very precious experience with one of our own did I realize how true this could be. When our first child, Alan, was just past two, his Great Aunt Lida passed away. I had been worrying about how I was going to tell Alan about death. My husband and I had taken him to see Lida once or twice a week, so there had to be some explanation for the termination of our visits. Mustering all my courage, for I was new at this sort of thing, I sat Alan on the kitchen stool and drew up a chair. “Alan, honey,” I said, “Aunt Lida has gone back to Heavenly Father.” Before I could say anything more, he asked, ‘Who took her?” I stumbled around for an answer, and then I said, “It must have been someone she knew.”
Immediately his little face lit up as if he recognized a familiar situation. He said with a happy smile, “oh, I know what it’s like. Grandpa Clark brought me when I came to you. He’ll probably take me back when I die.” Alan then three years old, proceeded to describe his Grandfather Clark, my father, who had been dead nearly twelve years. Alan had never even seen a picture of him. But he told me how much he loved his grandfather and how good his grandfather had been to him. Alan indicated that my father had helped to teach him and prepare him to come to earth. Immediately after this occasion, Alan’s father talked to him and Alan repeated the same experience to him. Alan later told his Grandmother Clark about the experience. For several months, he talked about these things as a happy, natural memory of real experience. Then, suddenly, the memory was erased and Alan did not know what we were talking about when we discussed it.
However, he had taught us some great truths when he was but a toddler.
One of my favorite chapters in The Book of Mormon is 3 Nephi 26 where Jesus teaches the people and expounds all things from the beginning.
The babes and the children uttered marvelous things which cannot be written.
Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children: yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things. . . . 3 Nephi 26:16
Could one of the sacred things the children and babes uttered have been about their life in heaven before they were born?
Sarah Hinze has collaborated with leading experts on near-death experiences and pre-natal psychology while conducting extensive research and hundreds of interviews. She has presented workshops, seminars, and lectures at conferences and universities, as well as on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. Sarah has been featured in articles and radio and TV shows in the US, Canada and Japan. In addition to English, her books are published in Spanish, Portuguese and German. Her writings have been the source of healing and hope for individuals worldwide. Sarah and Brent are the parents of nine children and thirty-two grandchildren, so far!
The film, Remembering Heaven, was awarded Best Feature Documentary and Audience Choice Award LDS Film Festival, Best Documentary Utah Film Festival, and 2021 Utah’s Best of State Award, Best Documentary.
**Check out the story and journey of the film, Remembering Heaven, by following Sarah Hinze and our dedicated filmmaker/ director Tom Laughlin on Facebook or Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahhinze.com/home/books/remembering-heaven/
The stories in this article were taken from Sarah Hinze’s books—The Announcing Dream, Memories of Heaven, Waiting in the Wings (to be published May, 2021). All books are on Amazon and can also be ordered from Sarah’s website at www.sarahhinze.com
Contact us at [email protected] .