“Why can’t we remember our premortal life as spirits, and when will those memories return?” New Era, Feb. 2015, 41
Our memories of life in the premortal world as spirit children of Heavenly Father are withheld from us while we’re being tested. They won’t return until sometime after our time of testing is over.
What we call the veil of forgetfulness exists during this testing for the simple reason that Heavenly Father needed “to assure that it would be a valid test.”1 If we came to earth with those memories intact, we wouldn’t be able to use our agency in the way Heavenly Father’s plan requires. So our premortal memories are blocked—though people often talk about having inklings and echoes of premortality in this life when our hearts are open to the influence of the Holy Ghost.2
We don’t know exactly when these memories will return, nor do we know whether they will return all at once or gradually or whether the timing will be the same or different for every person. All we know is that these memories will eventually be restored to us after this life.
As Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1926–2004) taught, “Among the ‘all things [that] shall be restored’ (Alma 40:23) will be memory, including, eventually, our premortal memories.”3