A caution about Julie Rowe’s book

Please read this story.

To summarize:

Julie Rowe’s book “A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil” has been added to a list of “spurious materials in circulation” that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is warning its seminary and institute instructors not to use.

“Although Sister Rowe is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her book is not endorsed by the Church and should not be recommended to students or used as a resource in teaching them,” the warning reads. “The experiences she shares are her own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect Church doctrine or they may distort Church doctrine.”

In the book, Rowe writes of her near-death experience in 2004, complete with visions she claims to have had of the history of the world and the chaotic events of the last days.

A Church spokesman said the following:

Church spokesman Doug Andersen released a follow-up statement to 2News Thursday about the warning to seminary and institute instructors.

“The internal memo does not constitute an official Church statement but serves as a routine reminder to teachers from Seminaries and Institutes of Religion of their responsibility to teach from the scriptures and church leaders,” Andersen said. “People who read her books should recognize that they are personal accounts and do not necessarily reflect church doctrine.”

Sister Rowe responded:

“I agree that the curriculum for LDS church classes should only come from sources recognized by the LDS Church as being authoritative. My story is not intended to be authoritative nor to create any church doctrine. It is simply part of my personal journey that I have chosen to share in hopes that it can help people to prepare for the times we live in by increasing their faith in Christ and by looking to our prophet and church leaders for guidance.”

My take:

As Sister Rowe said, people should look to the prophet and other church leaders for guidance. Regarding apocalyptic events, the prophets have repeatedly warned us to have food and water storage and to be prepared for emergencies. But, most importantly, the prophets have warned us to create Zion in our own homes by reading the scriptures, having family prayer and family home evening, among other things. Members who are looking for guidance from people other than the prophets and other church leaders are likely to be disappointed.

This entry was posted in General by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

20 thoughts on “A caution about Julie Rowe’s book

  1. I’ve read both of her books and thought that they were very interesting. In the end, I think that regardless of whether or not what she wrote is a true vision of future events, we have been warned to be prepared and I think that’s the main take away from her books. Be prepared, listen to the prophets, and if there is a call-out, respond appropriately.

  2. My seminary teachers would absolutely have taught this in class. For me, seminary consisted of a heavy diet of FPRs and sensationalistic nonsense, which gave me a deep appreciation for Correlation and gratitude for these kinds of reminders. I love my kid’s dedicated, sensible, orthodox seminary teachers so much–they are great!

  3. “Should you receive a vision of revelation from the Almighty, one that the Lord gave you concerning yourselves, or this people, but which you are not to reveal on account of your not being the proper person, or because it ought not to be known by the people at present, you should shut it up and seal it as close, and lock it as tight as heaven is to you, and make it as secret as the grave. The Lord has no confidence in those who reveal secrets, for He cannot safely reveal Himself to such persons…. When you see a person of that character, he has no soundness within him.”

    -Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:288 (15 March 1857)

    “It seems that periodically it becomes necessary to call attention to the true order the Lord has given us in regard to revelation. During the past three or four months I have received a number of communications, coming from various parts of the Church, asking if certain purported revelations or dreams or purported visions are reliable and have the endorsement of the Authorities of the Church….

    “Now, the Lord will give revelations to this Church, and he will give commandments to this Church from time to time…but always in accordance with his own law; and we do not have to run around and invite individuals who are without authority to relate to us purported visions, or revelations or commandments, for the guidance of this people….

    “If a man comes among the Latter-day Saints, professing to have received a vision or a revelation or a remarkable dream, and the Lord has given him such, he should keep it to himself. It is all out of order, in this Church, for somebody to invite him into a sacrament service to relate that to the Church, because the Lord will give his revelations in the proper way, to the one who is appointed to receive and dispense the word of God to the members of the Church….

    “Now, these stories of revelation, that are being circulated around, are of no consequence, except for rumor and silly talk by persons who have no authority….When you know God’s truth, when you enter into God’s rest, you will not be hunting after revelations from Tom, Dick and Harry all over the world. You will not be following the will-o’-the-wisp of the vagaries of men and women who advance nonsense and their own ideas.”

    – Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report (April 1938), 65–67.

  4. D&C 28. Gorgeous, wonderful section that should be much better known.

    I haven’t read the book(s), but I reflect on my unbelieving cousin, who had a near-death experience after breathing pool water for an extended period of time. His youthful account of the experience significantly resembled other near-death experiences about seeing a light, etc. but in his case, the nice ladies told him it wasn’t his time and sent him back to mortality.

  5. Near death experiences are real, but somewhat subjective. They tend reflect the various after-life beliefs of the person: Buddhists see Buddha, Christians see Christ, etc. If Julie’s real-life beliefs are conspiratorial and apocalyptic in nature (Bigfoot, the last two elections were stolen), then it makes sense that an afterlife experience might elaborate upon those views. Apocalyptic narratives might have something important to say, but only to the person receiving them, not as prophetic guidance for real-world events.

  6. I’m not big on the kind of books Rowe writers, but I do think she had a mature, grown up response to the statement. And for that I respect her.

  7. @ James Stone. I think she knows that pushing back against the leadership of the church is not in her best interest – she knows who buys her books and that many of those would soon disappear if it seemed she was in opposition to the leadership. Besides, the publicity is not a bad thing for her and she knows it. How many people who, until this, were ignorant of the existence of these books will now buy them just to see what the all the fuss is about? Maybe it is a “mature, grown up response” or maybe it is a shrewd, calculated response. I cannot with any certainty say which.

  8. Kent, yes. A lot of people fall for craziness rather than simply following the prophets. They have told us not to panic. Why are people panicking?

    People should get food storage and prepare themselves spiritually. A 72-hour emergency kit is a good idea. Wards and stakes usually have emergency preparedness plans. Follow those.

  9. The not-so-funny thing is that water will be the resource (in the west) likely most hard to come by. So freeze-dried food makes little sense.

  10. So she thinks something will happen on September 28th?

    I haven’t read her books, so I’m not sure what coincidence she is attempting to say is confirmed by buying a trailer that was purchased secondhand on September 28th, a day when she was in the hospital for some reason.

    I think my being given a rather unusual dream in 1994 that foretold a day in 2001 when I would *not* have a living son and would have two “twin-like” daughters is a bit more not-coincidental.

    Then there was the dream I had of being shot at in front of a building and hiding behind berms. It was so vivid that when I came out of the Pentagon metro a few months (years?) later and found them putting in berms that I mentioned that kind of catastrophe at a terrorism workshop for work (not mentioning the dream). I wasn’t personally pinioned under fire, but the berms were installed at the Pentagon right around the time that the DC sniper started killing people. Everyone in the area felt “under fire” during those months before the two killers were apprehended in mid-October 2002.

    A dream revealed to an individual may well presage personal disaster. And such a personal disaster would not appropriately be given to the Prophet. So I hope nothing terrible happens to Julie later this month.

  11. How we verbally frame these kinds of things is important. I could say that _I_ was inspired to do “X”, where “X” is something I am already authorized to do with or without inspiration. And I could legitimately encourage/exhort others to do “X” if “X” is recognized as a good thing, especially if the prophets have already encouraged “X”. But it is not appropriate, to paraphrase Old Man, to say “the Lord told _me_ to tell _you_ to ….”.

    I think personal and family preparedness is an important topic. The Brethren have emphasized it for many years. With droughts, shrinking aquifers (google Ogalala aquifer), terrorists with weapons of mass destruction (think what a few dirty-bombs could do in US wheat country), it would be a good idea to increase US food production for a few years to increase general food reserves. And a good way to do that (stimulate an increase in overall US grain production) would be for as many people as possible to get their 1-year supply.

    And I say that by way of friendly exhortation, not by commandment. 😉

Comments are closed.