Another Latter-day Saint podcaster has been excommunicated. Julie Rowe caused a commotion several years ago when she was widely publicized as one of several people inspiring a massive prepper craze in September 2015. Although she’s kept a lower profile in recent years, Julie continues to share her visions in podcasts, books, and media interviews. She also practices and teaches the Emotion Code, a holistic method combining energy healing and muscle testing. It appears that both her teachings and involvement in energy work were factors in her April 9th excommunication.
Julie Rowe first came to the public’s attention in 2014 with the publication of her first two books, A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil and The Time is Now. These books describe what she experienced and witnessed during a near-death experience in 2004. Her first book, A Greater Tomorrow, was released in May 2014 and was wildly successful. Publisher Chad Daybell said in 2016, “The first printing sold out within a month, and the eBook version smashed my book distributor’s all-time records.” The two decided she should follow up with a second book, The Time is Now, which would include “quotes from LDS prophets concerning the future, as well as answer many questions Julie had been asked on how to prepare spiritually and temporally for troubled times.” That book was released in November 2014 and proved to be just as popular as its predecessor.
Seagull Book, one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ for-profit companies, loved Julie’s books. Daybell explained that Deseret Book had been burned on the whole near-death experiences topic with the controversial 2012 book Visions of Glory: One Man’s Astonishing Account of the Last Days, but Seagull Book buyers had no such qualms. In 2015, Seagull contacted Daybell to increase advertisement space for Julie’s books. Daybell said,
I was elated, because the only books that receive that much space are typically written by General Authorities. The larger advertisement boosted sales even more. By August 2015, Julie’s books had been featured in 13 straight Seagull Book catalogs, which is almost unheard of.“Behind the Scenes of the Julie Rowe Media Frenzy” by Chad Daybell, President of Spring Creek Book Company
But then the Church released an interior memo to Church Educational System instructors in late August, specifically calling out Julie’s first book, A Greater Tomorrow, as inappropriate for classroom use. Although people assumed teachers were tempted to use Julie’s book for her end times predictions, Julie’s publisher later hypothesized that it was her visions of Old Testament events that were the real concern.
Well, the new seminary year was just underway, and the students were studying the Old Testament. As readers know, Julie spends several pages in “A Greater Tomorrow” describing what she saw concerning ancient prophets. Julie gives detailed accounts about Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark. Abraham and Isaac, and even Potiphar’s lustful wife that aren’t in the scriptures or in the seminary manuals. Undoubtedly many instructors had read the book during the previous year and were supplementing their lessons with these very interesting tidbits.
I still have never received any explanation from the Church about the internal memo, but that’s my assessment of why a “caution” was issued. Julie and I wholeheartedly agree with the Church’s stance that these accounts should not be shared in seminary or institute classes. Please note that Julie’s second book “The Time is Now” was not included in that statement, which lends credence to my Old Testament theory.“Behind the Scenes of the Julie Rowe Media Frenzy” by Chad Daybell, President of Spring Creek Book Company
Unfortunately, the Church’s warning against Julie’s book came out when people were on edge about the apocalyptic “Blood Moon” of September 2015. Two Christian pastors, John Hagee and Mark Blitz, popularized the theory that the “series of four consecutive lunar eclipses” between August 2014 and September 2015 signaled the “beginning of the end times.” Since news outlets already assumed the Church disliked Julie’s books due to end times predictions, it was easy to merge her story with the wider hysteria of doomsday preppers. When news outlets reached out to the Church for comment, the Church responded with a summary of the Church’s position on emergency preparedness, ending with, “The writings and speculations of individual Church members, some of which have gained currency recently, should be considered as personal accounts or positions that do not reflect Church doctrine.”
After the Media Frenzy
September came and went, but the preparations didn’t slacken. Julie formed the non-profit Greater Tomorrow Relief Fund in November 2015. One description on her blog stated,
As conditions in the United States worsen due to natural disasters and civil unrest, millions of innocent people will be affected. They may be forced to leave their homes, taking with them only those items they can carry.
The Greater Tomorrow Relief Fund has been established in preparation for such situations. It is a non-profit 501c3 organization headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. A network of volunteers have been organized in communities across the United States to help those in need.
Any donations will be used to buy supplies and other items needed for disaster relief efforts. These items will be stored at secure locations across the United States, ready to be distributed when needed. These goods and services will serve the poor, the weak, the homeless, and the hungry.“The Greater Tomorrow Relief Fund” post on julieroweprepare.com
Julie released another book in March 2016, From Tragedy to Destiny: A Vision of America’s Future. She kept the book non-denominational to appeal to a broader audience. In it, she shared a message the Founding Fathers had revealed to her in her 2004 NDE. “They expressed their worries about the country’s eroding moral fabric, and she promised to share their counsel and warnings when she returned to earth… Earthquakes, famines, plagues, and wars are coming to the United States, but Julie saw how God is preparing places of safety to protect righteous people from the coming calamities.” Apparently, all proceeds from that book go towards Julie’s Greater Tomorrow Relief Fund.
She continued to do media interviews. In May 2016, Julie talked about the “Wasatch Wake Up” on a radio interview, forecasting a large earthquake to occur along the Wasatch Front.
My understanding right now is this interview that I’m having with you Bryan, is the last opportunity I have to essentially publicly testify and witness of our Savior Jesus Christ, testify of His plan, and warn many of our brothers and sisters that there is a very imminent earthquake on the Wasatch Front. What I’ve been shown and told is this is my last opportunity to do a live interview before that earthquake is going to happen. After that earthquake happens, which is happening very soon, then I’m going to get hit by a whirlwind of media.From transcription of Julie Rowe’s May 3, 2016 interview with Bryan Hyde published on julieroweprepare.com
A year later, in May 2017, Julie began a podcast series, “The Julie Rowe Show.” The first episode talked about this “Wasatch Wake Up” and Julie confirmed that the earthquake is still “right around the corner.” Other podcasts also talked about her visions of the coming challenges ahead of the Second Coming. For example, her fifth podcast, “What I See on the West Coast,” talked about Russian and Chinese troops invading the western coasts of Canada and the United States (see transcript here). The podcasts seemed to have had a decent following. As of October 2017, her first episode had been viewed over 14k times.
It seems that a significant amount of Julie’s time, though, has been devoted to energy work. Julie described her 2012 exposure to Dr. Bradley Nelson’s Emotion Code holistic approach in the appendix to her second book, The Time is Now. In her NDE and in subsequent visions, she was told about energy healing, and she was even given the name of the doctor and specific type of holistic approach to search for. “It was made known to me that I was to research Dr. Nelson and The Emotion Code and The Body Code. I was shown repeatedly that I was to be involved in this work in helping myself, my family, and others heal from illness and disease. It was made clear to me that this work would not only benefit me, but also my ancestors on the other side of the veil. It was made clear to me that this form of energy healing would be used in the tent cities, as well as in the New Jerusalem and into the Millennium.”
Julie has been doing energy sessions with clients for several years now, releasing “trapped emotions and other negative energy which inflict the body.” She also travels to different cities and teaches group classes in the method. (For those unfamiliar with the price schedules of energy healing, this will shed some light.)
Why talk about the energy work? Well, the Church hasn’t been so wild about energy healing in the past few years. In September 2016, a Salt Lake City-based television station ran a story on Christ-centered energy healing and asked the Church for a statement. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins responded, “We urge Church members to be cautious about participating in any group that promises-in exchange for money-miraculous healings or that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of properly ordained priesthood holders.” Does that statement sound familiar? It should. Elder Ballard repeated it verbatim in a general conference talk a year later. He added, “Brothers and sisters, be wise and aware that such practices may be emotionally appealing but may ultimately prove to be spiritually and physically harmful.” (In the same address Ballard also talked about not being deceived by men or women when it came to looking for signs of the Second Coming.)
On May 26, 2019, Julie released a podcast titled “Unrighteous Dominion” which gave a detailed overview of the events leading up to her disciplinary council. Julie Rowe first shared that she tried to get in touch with her stake president over two years ago when she first moved to her current location in Kansas, but he never responded. It was thus a surprise when he texted her husband for a meeting with Julie this last January (her discussion of this meeting begins around the 19:50 minute mark).
On the morning of Sunday, January 6th (Julie’s birthday), she sat in a room with four men (her husband, her bishop, the stake president, and a counselor in the stake presidency) and had an unpleasant conversation. The stake president informed her that he’d been contacted by a member of the Area Presidency. Julie said she was accused of teaching false doctrine, and that the stake president expressed dislike for her podcasts, books, blog, and energy work (although she blamed the last on his bias as an MD/allopathic doctor). She said that he stated repeatedly, “You realize I’m your judge.” Later in the podcast (about 35:08) it comes out that the stake president apparently told her in this meeting to stop all energy healings, classes, or sessions where she began with a prayer and cast out spirits. Not only did she refuse to do so but quipped, “As a doctor, if you prayed before you went to work, before you went in to see your patients, and you cast out, you would be a lot better at your job!” She sure showed him.
Due to scheduling conflicts, Julie did not speak again with her stake president until March when he took away her temple recommend and put her on probation. She affirmed that it was NOT the stake president but God, however, that told her to temporarily take down all her podcasts on March 11th and to stop selling her books (she’s not even listed as an author on the Spring Creek Book Company’s website anymore).
She was given only a couple days notice before her disciplinary council on Tuesday, April 9th. At the two-hour council meeting it was declared that she would be excommunicated based on the charges of (1) apostasy, (2) teaching false doctrine, (3) priestcraft, and (4) defaming the good name of the Church. She insists she was falsely accused.
Okay, stepping back from Julie’s account, it’s not difficult to see where her local leadership may have felt they were on solid ground for excommunication (aside from the fact that higher-ups were irritated). Although we don’t know WHY the Area Presidency decided to go after her now, it only takes this May 26th podcast to see possible arguments of all the different charges local leaders levied against her (which is helpful because access to her other podcasts is difficult right now).
- Apostasy: In 2014, the First Presidency released an interesting definition of apostasy after the prominent excommunication of Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly. They said, “Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.” Some people have taken that a step further, that doing anything after a church leader has counseled you to stop counts as apostasy (see this example of a
GAstake president declaring a woman is in apostasy because she refused to stop talking about her divorce). So, Julie’s leaders could easily see her refusal to stop practicing energy work as apostasy.
- Teaching False doctrine: It’s also possible that Julie was considered in a state of apostasy simply because she refused to correct “false doctrine.” (She did mention the false doctrine thing in the January meeting.) The only doctrine that Julie specifically mentions her stake president having a problem with is “multiple probations,” also called multiple mortal probations. It’s a Mormon version of reincarnation, where a single spirit goes through several different turns on earth before moving on to the afterlife. You can learn more about it here.
- Priestcraft: The traditional LDS definition of priestcraft comes from the Book of Mormon, “Men preaching and setting themselves up for a light to the world that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.” (2 Nephi 26:29). If “gain” is interpreted as money, then they could be thinking of her profiting off her visions and supernatural healings. (Though it sets an interesting precedent. Could anyone who does energy healing get charged with priestcraft, or is this unique because of the additional component of Julie’s visions?) They could also just say that she’s setting herself up for a “light to the world” because she’s claiming to have messages from God. (This charge of priestcraft likely inspired Julie’s friend, Eric, to write a rebuttal against those who would accuse her. His post was published in April a few days after her excommunication.)
- Defaming the good name of the Church. Defaming the good name of the Church means defaming the good name of Church leaders. I’m not sure what she said before her stake president talked to her, but she’s definitely not painting Church leadership in a positive light right now. A theme seems to be that there church leaders who aren’t what they appear to be (not President Nelson or the First Presidency, but… others). For example, at 45:50 Julie says, “And if these men who are corrupt that are in the church think they can get rid of me, they’re wrong. And when they listen to this I hope they hear me loud and clear. I’m not going anywhere.” She claimed that in her disciplinary council, Satan himself was whispering in her stake president’s ear. In a more recent podcast, at about 16:08, Julie mentions crime families “cloaked” within the LDS hierarchy “clear up into the Seventies and, dare I say, more so. In time, you will see that this is going to be exposed.”
So what’s happened since the disciplinary council? Julie continues to travel for her energy healing workshops and appear on radio shows. She and her husband have both filed appeal letters to the First Presidency, though she expects them to be denied. It won’t be until after a significant number of Church leaders apostatize and what’s left of the church moves to Rexburg when church leaders will finally ask her forgiveness.
 Some contend her 2004 experience was more of a vision than a near-death experience because she was just in a “weakened state,” not actually dead. If you’d like to read a chapter from A Greater Tomorrow, click here.
 Visions of Glory records the near-death experience of a man named “Spencer” as told to Latter-day Saint author John Pontius. (Pontius passed away December 2012, a month after the book was published.) The back cover states, “In this true account of near-death experiences, we learn about the miracles of the millennium, the return of the Ten Tribes, the building of the New Jerusalem and temple, and many other astonishing events long prophesied in scripture but never before described in such vivid detail. Visions of Glory is a mesmerizing and fascinating read that you will not be able to put down.” In January 2014, emeritus BYU professor D. Kelly Ogden wrote an article about the book for Meridian Magazine. He noted, “Speaking with the publisher early in December 2013, I learned that over eighty thousand copies had already been sold, and it is possible that the total exceeded one hundred thousand copies by Christmas. It appears to be a sensation.” It’s interesting to note that the apologetic site FairMormon began sounding alarm bells about Visions of Glory as early as May 2013.
 The Church was NOT happy when journalists reported that the media statement was meant to alleviate doomsday fears in church members. Church Newsroom staff later reported on September 29, 2015, “This misinterpretation by the Associated Press that the statement was to reassure members rather than to correct misinformation from the news media (see text of statement) resulted in many inaccurate headlines…” To be honest, I’m still trying to understand why the Church was so adamant about this distinction.
 As of May 26, 2019, Julie still says the Wasatch Front earthquake is “imminent.” See Episode #77 – Unrighteous Dominion at 53:17.
 It’s interesting to see the reaction of energy healers to the Church’s statement. Basically, they argue their practices are not in conflict with that statement or the Church in general. You can read Tammy Ward’s response (the subject of the 2016 news article) here. Dr. Bradley Nelson’s response (inventor of the Emotion Code) is here. His angle is a little different than Ward’s. Where she argues it’s always wise to use caution with health practices in general, he boldly says that “anyone in the healing profession that makes a promise of healing, miraculous or otherwise, is foolish.” He further states, “From the point of view of Western medicine, alternative medicine may be suspect, but there are healing practices that are so ethically and legally questionable in Western medicine that I am left to speculate what Elder Ballard was actually referring to.” So… yeah.
 Proponents of this theory tend to like the 2011 compilation Teachings of the Doctrine of Eternal Lives. This teaching was referenced in a 2017 MormonLeaks document where a member of a stake presidency reports to higher authorities on the actions of several members of his stake who he believes are in a state of apostasy. Those members were also into energy healing and end times visions, among many other things.
 You think I’m joking? Listen in at 43:33.
 Big thanks to commenter Rockwell who alerted me to Julie’s excommunication.