Songs of the Morning Stars by Sarah Hinze
Reviewed by Paul Thomas Smith

We are a nation at war, and casualties are in the millions.  Not soldiers in combat, but defenseless, unborn souls whose lives come to an end in clinics.  A recent study shows that for “every 100 pregnancies, 24 ended in abortion.” 

Three times more unborn children have been destroyed since 1973 than the fifteen million people exterminated in the Nazi Holocaust.  The American abortion toll has been estimated at 45,000,000 souls and climbing. 

Many abortions likely occur because of misunderstanding.  We don’t suddenly flare into existence at birth, as many believe, but come from God, our Eternal Father.  Premortal life is referred to quite often in early Christian literature such as the Apocryphon of James:  “When they ask you who you are, say, ‘I am a son and I come from the Father.’  And when they ask you what sort of a son and from what father, answer, ‘From the preexistent Father and I am a son of the Preexistence.'”  

Tragically, the doctrine of premortal life was declared anathema by the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553.  Teachers were no longer permitted to teach of preexistence on penalty of excommunication.  As we have learned, the price for ignorance can be staggering!

But a restoration of lost truths has begun.  The Prophet Joseph Smith learned stunning truths regarding our divine origins while preparing a new translation of the Bible.  One example: “God spoke to Adam and said, ‘I  made the world, and men (and women) before they were in the flesh” (Moses 6:51).    

Armed with knowledge of a previous life, Latter-day Saints have asked such questions as, “Do some have the opportunity to choose their parents?”  “What steps are taken to prepare us for life in mortality?”  “Is there an assigned time and place for our birth?”  “Did stillborn infants have spirits assigned to them?  If so, are those spirits reassigned to other bodies?”  “Is there hope for the spirits whose bodies have been aborted?”  “What of those born with physical, emotional, and mental handicaps?”  “Is there a way for parents to know how many children they should conceive?” 

Although we do not have doctrinal answers to some of these questions, individuals interviewed told their own personal experiences – near-death experiences, memories of premortal life, contacts of parents with unborn children, as well as cultural practices around the world. 

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For more than a decade, Sarah and Brent Hinze have researched legends and traditions, and conducted hundreds of interviews with individuals who have had contact with unborn children.  They have described such encounters as “prebirth experiences” (PBEs).  Mothers, fathers, and sometimes grandparents and other close relatives have been given to know of an impending birth to a family member.   

One such story: While visiting with a friend, Cherie Logan felt the presence of angels, followed by a visitation from beyond.  She was startled to see her son Marshall, who had died in infancy, accompanied by her other children yet unborn.

Some women anticipate when a child will be sent to them.  Women of a certain African tribe will sit quietly under a tree, waiting to hear, within, the song of their unborn children.  When the mother has hears the song, she returns to her village and teaches it to her husband.  Together they sing the melody when they are intimate, “inviting the child to join them.”  The song is taught to midwives and other villagers as well, so they may use the melody to sooth the child when ill; during rites of passage; marriage, and just prior to death.

Contact with the unborn has even saved lives of the parents.  Twenty-seven-year-old Aron Ralston was solo hiking in a remote area in southern Utah when an 800-pound boulder shifted and pinned his right hand and wrist.  For five days Aron sought to free himself as he increasingly suffered from dehydration, hypothermia, and gangrene.  Aron concluded that he would die, so he recorded messages for loved ones on his video camera. 

Then he saw himself “stepping into a living room… A blond three-year-old boy… comes running across a sunlit hardwood floor in what I somehow know is my future home.  By… intuitive perception, I know the boy is my own… The boy happily perches in my right shoulder… while I steady him with my left hand and right stump.  Smiling, I prance around the room, tiptoeing in and out of the sun dapples on the oak floor, and he giggles gleefully as we twirl together.  Then, with a shock, the vision blinks out.  I’m back in the canyon… Despite having already come to accept that I will die where I stand before help arrives, now I believe I will live.  That belief, that boy, changes everything for me.”     

Because of his vision, Aron gained the courage to self-amputate his right hand and wrist.  He is alive today, awaiting the time when he will be the father of his blond-headed little boy who saved his life.  Others, having had contact with their prebirth children, have been saved from suicide, or, having died, made the decision to return to earth to become parents of those children.

But what of the fate of the millions of unborn who were rejected by their mothers through abortion?  Not only did Cherie Logan see her own future children, but her son Marshall introduced a child named Joshua.  He begged three times to be part of her family.  Each time she agreed.  Joshua was an aborted child.  Cherie was then shown a field filled with endless rows of white cradles filled with babies.  Jesus, who was present, turned to her and said, “These are the Cast Off Ones.  Their blood cries to me from the earth.”  Yet Cherie learned that they might still be born into homes prepared to receive them.

Sarah’s new book, Songs of the Morning Stars: Life Changing Truths Revealed by Unborn Children is a treasure trove of stories.  Not only do those pre-birth contacts firmly establish our divine origins, but the book is a virtual primer on many aspects of preexistence.  Sarah writes, “In that heavenly realm it appears that we are taught, trained and prepared to come to earth.”  The curriculum includes schooling in arts, culture, language, the time and place of birth; the bestowal of talents; the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some learn of a choice of life’s experiences, of trials and testing which enable them to grow more rapidly in things of the spirit.

The book concludes with twelve truths about life, God, and the purpose of life – all in harmony with gospel principles.  It is beautifully written, and powerful in its message.  I don’t know of a book outside of Scripture that has had such a profound effect upon this reviewer.  I wept as I read of those who have been aborted, yet rejoiced in God’s love and plan for them.  Those who read the book, prepared to learn, will find that their understanding of premortality and the sanctity of life will be vastly expanded.  And, placed in the right hands, it will save many lives.  Can one ask for more?

Songs of the Morning Stars: Life Changing Truths Revealed by Unborn Children is published by Spring Creek Book Company of Provo, Utah.  Sarah Hinze has lectured at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and has been interviewed on many radio and television programs.  She has previously written about the PBE experience in Coming from the Light, published by Simon & Schuster.  Her research has been used in lobbying against abortion in Washington, D.C. policy meetings, and at United Nations international conferences.  She and her husband Brent are the parents of nine children, nine foster children, and a growing number of grandchildren.  They live in Mesa, Arizona.

Paul Thomas Smith serves as as associate director for the Joseph Smith Academy, BYU Semester at Nauvoo.  He authored “Prophetic Destiny: the Saints in the Rocky Mountains,” and co-authored “Symbols in Stone” with Matthew B. Brown.   He and his wife Gail are the parents of nine children and grandparents of thirteen grandchildren.  They make their home in northern Utah.

Bibliography

Nibley, Hugh W., Old Testament and Related Studies.  Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company and FARMS, 1986.

Silverstrim, Karen, “Overlooked Millions: Non-Jewish Victims of the  Holocaust. www.uca.edu/divisions/academic/history/cahr/holocaust.htm.