A concern that I've had for quite sometime is the hyper-interest in prepping for a doomsday scenario by many good members of the Church. One reason for this heightened activity is due to a number of spurious pieces of literature (books) gaining traction as highly credible. What's most disturbing is that these books, and their authors, are often treated as more enlightened than the inspired council of Prophets and Apostles on the topics of emergency preparedness and the Second Coming.

One particular book written by a member of the Church, Julie Rowe, has caught the attention of the CES Department of the Church (those who oversee LDS Seminary and Institute programs) and because of its growing influence among these so-called "Prepper" Mormons (I believe), a need to make a bold statement about its credibility has become necessary. This caution has been issued to all seminary and institute personnel throughout the Church:

Publication Caution: A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil Additional Information: [August 31, 2015] In 2014, Spring Creek Book Company published A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil by Julie Rowe (see shaded box for Amazon’s description of the book). 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 experiences she shares are her own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect Church doctrine or they may distort Church doctrine.

Bottom line, the book "A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil" by Julie Rowe is considered by the Church "spurious materials in circulation" and likely should be avoided.

Source: Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Spurious Materials in Circulation

My hope in sharing this information is that members will be alerted to the interesting tactics among our own to market emergency preparedness items using the elements of having received greater light and/or that of fear. Rowe's book is not the only one circulating among members being given, for some, a higher status than the brethren. No one in the Church has greater access to revelation through the Spirit than another who maintains the keeping of same covenants. And no one, besides the Prophet of the Lord whom we sustain as a seer and revelator, and President of the Church, is authorized to receive revelation for the entire Church. Our safety remains in understanding the principle of revelation, not only personally but how this works in the Church.

I'd like to place before you an excellent presentation from the recent FAIR Mormon Conference on this topic, by Cassandra Hedelious (a personal friend) entitled: A house of order, a house of God: Recycled challenges to the legitimacy of the church. It's powerful and goes straight to the heart of the concerns I have mentioned in this post and a few others. Understanding the sensitivity of this topic (as do I) she begins her presentation with this introduction:

Apologetics is a very broad field and different topics can involve extremely different audiences. My topic today is a little delicate, because the audience I hope to reach is a certain group of members of the church, good and faithful and well-meaning members, who believe in God, believe in Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet, and have no problem with most of the doctrines and truth claims of the Restoration. You may now wonder why on earth I’m even up here. The unfortunate reality is that even for such a faithful person, there’s still the possibility of spiritual danger. One particular spiritual threat is gaining strength among some church members, particularly via the internet. What we’re seeing is a modern spin on an old song–that the church has lost its way, church leaders are not inspired or in favor with God, so God has raised up new leaders outside the church hierarchy whose visions and teachings are important for us to follow. It is likely you know someone who finds this narrative persuasive, or at least intriguing, even if you don’t know that they do. It is also possible that you and I have some seemingly harmless beliefs that can lead to this danger.

Please take the time to read the complete article and follow the prophet.

Update 9/27/15:

Mormon NewsroomChurch Responds to Inquiries About Preparedness

(September 26, 2015) In response to several news media inquiries, the Church recently issued the following statement:

The Church encourages our members to be spiritually and physically prepared for life's ups and downs. For many decades, Church leaders have counseled members that, where possible, they should gradually build a supply of food, water and financial resources to ensure they are self-reliant during disasters and the normal hardships that are part of life, including illness, injury or unemployment.

This teaching to be self-reliant has been accompanied by the counsel of Church leaders to avoid being caught up in extreme efforts to anticipate catastrophic events.

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.


Kathryn Skaggs
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