Refuting the errors of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland hoax

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Church warns against “energy healing”

For years Rodney Meldrum and the FIRM Foundation he operates have promoted so-called “energy healing.” Here are just a few examples:

This advertisement was in the PDF program for Meldrum’s April 2017 Book of Mormon Expo:

FIRM Foundation Book of Mormon Expo, April 2017, energy healing, page 14

Tamara Laing, whose book was promoted in that advertisement, gave presentations at Meldrum’s Book of Mormon Expo in April 2019 (PDF program, video clip) and in September 2020 (speaker biography). In this video presentation, Laing purports to answer questions like “Do prophets speak about life force energy?” and “Are auras and chakras in the Bible?” (1:06).

Other FIRM Foundation expos have featured Angie Christensen, a “certified neurofeedback and energy healer” (April 2017 PDF program). Meldrum’s podcast recently featured Lori Bean Henderson, a “certified energy healing practitioner and nutrition specialist” (December 2020). The FAQ for the Joseph Smith Foundation, which is closely connected to Meldrum, includes an answer to the question “What have LDS Church [sic] leaders taught concerning Christ-centered energy healing?” [Please see Anneʼs comment, below, clarifying this. — Peter]

Like most of the activities connected to Rod Meldrum, energy healing is big business. KUTV Salt Lake City reported in 2016 that Latter-day Saint practitioners of “energy healing” charge as much as $90 per hour. In their report, KUTV quoted Church spokesman Eric Hawkins, who said, “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.”

Yesterday (December 18, 2020), Church leaders came out more explictly and forcefully against “energy healing.” The General Handbook published by the Church that gives guidance to leaders and members now includes the following under the section “Medical and Health Policies”:
Members should not use or promote medical or health practices that are ethically, spiritually, or legally questionable. Those who have health problems should consult with competent medical professionals who are licensed in the areas where they practice.

In addition to seeking competent medical help, members of the Church are encouraged to follow the scriptural injunction in James 5:14 to “call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” Priesthood blessings of healing are given by those who hold the necessary priesthood office. They are given when requested and at no charge (see 18.13).

Church members are discouraged from seeking miraculous or supernatural healing from an individual or group that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of prayer and properly performed priesthood blessings. These practices are often referred to as “energy healing.” Other names are also used. Such promises for healing are often given in exchange for money.

(“Medical and Health Care,” 38.7.8)
The Church’s December 18th news release about the updated manual also mentioned this policy.

This is yet another example of how the Heartland movement is at odds with established doctrine and policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rodney Meldrum and other Heartlanders promote fringe theories of questionable legitimacy that also happen to be quite profitable. This is not surprising, for Heartlanderism is, at its core, a moneymaking operation that preys on gullible and uninformed Latter-day Saints.

—Peter Pan


  1. I think this other updated section is applicable to the Heartlander movement, as well:

    Seeking Information from Reliable Sources

    "In today’s world, information is easy to access and share. This can be a great blessing for those seeking to be educated and informed. However, many sources of information are unreliable and do not edify. Some sources seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories (see 3 Nephi 11:30; Mosiah 2:32). Therefore, it is important that Church members be wise as they seek truth.

    "Members of the Church should seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information. They should avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook."

  2. I had read through about chapter 10 before the most recent update. I then read chapter 5 which was updated, and then the last 18 chapters. I had not realized the words against energy healing were new.

  3. I've seen energy workers at different expos but I know the Joseph Smith Foundation has been fighting energy work for years. They supported the expose pages and the publicity that led to the Church's statement back in 2016. They have taken a lot of heat for opposing energy work but I was glad someone was speaking up!

    1. Thank you for clarifying that, Anne. The Joseph Smith Foundation web page I linked above is unclear as to their stance on the matter; calling it “Christ-centered energy healing” seems to imply they support it. Iʼm grateful that you were able to provide some insight on their position.

  4. Stumbled onto this browsing for something else and I am baffled at what I’m seeing! All matter is energy and energy work is a God sent for the many helped by it. You also criticize my friend Rod and FIRM foundation? This is the promised land, captain Moroni and his men toiled here, Christ visited the Nephites here. I know that to be true. You are wasting your time railing against truth and goodness. Makes me sad for you.

    1. Ralph,

      I’m sorry to tell you that you have been deceived. “Energy work” is a fraud. It has never been taught by leaders of the Church, and they have recently warned the Saints against it in the General Handbook.

      I criticize Rod Meldrum and the FIRM Foundation because they have helped to spread these false teachings among the Saints—and made a lot of money doing so along the way.

      The teachings of the “Heartland” movement are based on sloppy research and fake artifacts, mixed in with misplaced patriotic fervor and used-car sales techniques. I encourage you to flee from it.



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