Progress Report on Denver Snuffer

DenverSnufferPagesI apologize for the misleading title. This is not about Denver Snuffer. This is about my progress in reading and digesting what Denver Snuffer has written. If you’ll recall, about a month ago I ordered, received and wrote about Denver’s latest publications. I just finished reading volume one of Remembering the Covenant and want to share a few things I learned from that volume.

Remembering the Covenant is a reprint of Denver’s blog. Volume one covered approximately the first five months, from 1 February 2010 to 7 June 2010. It is about 435 printed pages. I took my time reading it because I had several other reading projects going on at the same time. I read each entry twice, highlighting with a different colored marker on each pass, pondering as I read.

This is still a solo project. Carol is not interested in what I am reading, although I do share a few quotes with her on occasion. She usually likes to point out that if the Lord wanted me to know what Denver had to say, the Brethren would have told us to read his books. Sigh. Carol’s not big on doctrine. The social aspects of the church are more important to her. We balance each other.

Careful, Ponderous and Solemn Thought

Many of the entries were familiar to me, having read them at one time or another on his blog. I was also impressed that a lot of content was shared here the first time in this volume and found full expression in his book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. It’s obvious the ideas found in PtHG were developed a long time before they were put together so powerfully in that controversial book.

My objective in the methodical and deep reading of Remembering the Covenant is obviously tied to my desire to obtain what Denver has written about in his first book, The Second Comforter. No, I have not yet obtained an audience with the Lord, but then, I’ve only been asking seriously for the last year or so. I started asking in earnest after my first reading of The Second Comforter.

Maybe my approach is all wrong, but what I’m trying to accomplish here is prove one way or another that a regular member of the church can have the same experience Denver Snuffer says we all can and should have – to receive a promise from the Lord of Eternal Life. And yes, that means a personal visit from the resurrected Lord, and to receive that promise from his own lips.

Why I Haven’t Received the Promise Yet

I found many helpful entries to explain why I haven’t had that sacred experience yet. One of them is found on page 261. You can read the entry on his blog dated 27 April 2010 - God is No Respecter of Persons. About halfway through the post he discusses what alienates us from the Lord. He makes an interesting point that it is not our sins per se, but the way we offend Christ.

Specifically he says, “He is offended when we are forgiven by Him, and then return to the same sin. This shows a lack of gratitude for His forgiveness.” Denver acknowledges that some struggle with addictions, compulsions and weaknesses for years, even decades. That’s me. He then offers what I found to be a sad commentary. It made me think that I must still have a long ways to go.

He writes, “When at last, because of age or infirmity, a troubling weakness is at last overcome, He will readily accept your repentance and let you move forward, clean, whole and forgiven.” This makes me sad because it causes me to feel that those who struggle with addiction will not be accepted by the Lord until the biological temptations of the body go away due to old age.”

I Sin Differently Than You

Perhaps you can help me out in my thinking here. Maybe some of you know what I am talking about. I’m going to be frank. They say confession is good for the soul. I’ve written about this before on my blog and got a lot of positive feedback from folks who said it helped them to be so open and honest about such a sensitive subject. You may think less of me after reading this.

Mental illness runs in my family. So does addiction. I’ll bet they go hand-in-hand. I recall a line used by President Uchtdorf in a recent General Conference address (April 2012). I believe he said it came from a bumper sticker. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” In my previous blog post on the subject I wrote I was exposed to Internet pornography in 1995.

However, that wasn’t my first exposure to pornography. It seems the adversary knew what my weakness was before I ever understood. I struggled with pornography from the time I was eight years old, long before the Internet. I find it interesting that this temptation came into my life right after I was baptized. It has been a constant battle with many ups and downs for nearly fifty years.

A Common but Serious Weakness

I have never confessed this in a public forum before. I am pleased to say that I am a recovered addict and have been clean for many years, but like an alcoholic, it can come back in a second. My state of mind is something about which I have to be constantly wary. I must always be careful about what I look at, what ads I see, what TV shows I watch, what web pages I visit.

This is not a secret from Carol. We have worked on this together over the years. I am amazed at how kind, patient, loving and accepting she has always been. This is an intimate part of our lives but human sexuality is a big part of the mortal experience so it has eternal ramifications. For me, the biggest part of this struggle has always been feelings of guilt and of disappointing the Lord.

The last time I tried to confess this sin to a bishop, I also tried to turn in my temple recommend. This was many years ago, early in my married life. He pushed the temple recommend back at me and said, “I want you to go to the temple more frequently and I want you to stop confessing this. This weakness is between you, your wife and the Lord. You work it out among yourselves.”

Broken Souls Are Loved by the Lord

I came away from reading Denver’s entry that God is No Respecter of Persons thinking that I will not be worthy or qualified for a visit from the Lord to obtain the promise of Eternal Life for many more years, probably just before I am ready to leave this life. Perhaps someone who struggles with an addiction is a special case, who can’t be trusted until they’re almost dead.

I found some consolation in reading his entry on Broken Souls on page 387 which can be found on his blog dated 25 May 2010. In it Denver describes his work with and love for those who find it difficult to associate with other members of the church because they struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression caused by addictions. I could immediately relate this to my life-long hurt.

He writes that he has close friends who struggle with addictions so haunting and so terrible a force in their lives that rising each day to face the coming fight takes greater courage than he could imagine. “They are acting in faith at every waking breath, as they fight against a foe that I do not comprehend and could not face.” Yep, that pretty much describes my daily walk in life.

Forgiveness for a Former Addict

Hope came as I read there, “I marveled at how very much these broken souls, these discouraged people … are the very ones with whom I feel the Lord’s presence and love as I have the honor of meeting and talking with them about the gospel. These are the ones He loves the most. These are the ones with whom he associated during His ministry. He associates there, still.” I like that.

I made a decision a long time ago to continue to follow the gospel path, to attend my meetings each week, to accept and faithfully serve in callings when asked, to attend the temple and to do all within my power to prove to the Lord that I loved Him and wanted His forgiveness. But I also accepted the fact that I would never really feel that I belonged, that I was not worthy of the Lord.

All this, because as a former addict, I did not feel I could be trusted. I could and would do all that we are supposed to do, including prayer and gospel study, but deep down, I knew my weakness and it terrified me that I was capable of such betrayal. I had known the Lord’s forgiveness early in my life, but my constant struggle over the years caused me to feel I had offended the Lord.

You Deserve Your Insecurities

On page 408, in the post entitled Developing Your Faith dated 30 May 2010, Denver writes, “Insecurities are a result of a lack of faith. You deserve them. You have not acquired knowledge yet. You have them as a gift, as a warning that you have not yet received what you need. Nor have you developed faith yet.” He then admonishes us to go and re-read Lectures on Faith Six.

Of course, that lecture is about offering sacrifice to obtain sufficient faith to be saved. In this lecture is found the famous quote that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” I have thought and pondered about this for at least twenty years. I have yet to figure out what more I can sacrifice.

According to Denver, it is my fears and insecurities that I must sacrifice. It is my lack of trust in myself that comes from years of being a former addict that I must sacrifice. I know the Lord has forgiven me. That’s a given. I have asked and know that He has forgiven me. There has never been a hesitation when I have asked for forgiveness. But does he trust me enough to visit me?

Timing for the Visit From the Lord

I suppose the real question is, “Do I trust myself enough to let the Lord visit me?” Of course, we do not set the timing of the Lord’s visit. So the mechanics of how this works puzzles me. Let’s say I finally figure out in my mind at last a way to give up that lack of trust that I put there so long ago as I began my recovery from my addiction. I give up the fear that I can’t be trusted.

Well, that’s nice. That is, it’s nice to be able to say to myself that the Lord trusts me, but unless I hear the Lord say it to me personally, perhaps it’s just self-deception. The Lord has commanded us to drop doubts and fears from our hearts. I am willing to do so. For non-addicts I assume it’s a simple thing. You simply say to yourself, “I trust myself that I will not participate in sin again.”

I’m sure I’m over-analyzing this and making it way more complicated than the Lord intended. The gospel is supposed to be so simple that even a child can understand it. We are supposed to become child-like in our trust and faith in the Lord. I know I can trust the Lord, but I am not certain I can trust myself, even after all these years. There simply are no guarantees, are there?

Invitation to Dialog

For any other Snuffer readers out there, what do you think? Am I going about this wrong? Denver reports on page 421 in “Be Still and Know That I Am God” (2 June 2010), “Study what I’ve written carefully and anyone will find it is all there. Several people have done so, and have received the promised results.” That’s nice to know. I believe Denver and am happy for them.

I’m still pondering the approach I need to take to accomplish this work that only I can do for myself. One approach is to hang onto the belief that because I am a former addict who has offended Christ by returning to my sins after having been forgiven, that I must wait patiently until my life is nearly over before the Lord will visit me to proclaim I have Eternal Life.

The other approach is to give up all doubts and fears left over from years of sin, trust the Lord implicitly that He is willing to come to me now and ask all the more sincerely for that blessing. Perhaps I have missed something in The Second Comforter and need to go back and re-read it yet one more time, asking the Lord to show me what steps I missed the first few times I read it.

Comments

Matthew said…
Tim, here are some thoughts that may or may not add anything. I don’t claim to have any superior knowledge or understanding, but feel a kinship to your journey as I became aware of Denver Snuffer’s writings via your blog, which I also had just discovered, in March last year.

1) First off, you have more courage than I do to publicly confess some of your deepest struggles. I just want to thank you for that. It helps put my own struggles in perspective, and I’m sure it will help others who read it.

2) You may be closer than you think. I recall John Pontius describing his own journey and it was just at that moment when he thought all was lost, and he prayed into the night and then experienced what sounds like baptism of fire, calling and election, direct words from Christ, and then a vision the following day (although I don’t think he experienced the Second Comforter at that point). The concern you have of having offended the Lord is perhaps an important step towards having a truly broken heart. Even though you have been clean for many years and forgiven, you still have to approach the Lord completely impoverished in your soul to truly turn everything over to Him. Your struggle for the greater blessings is working towards that end. It has to be a struggle, and one in which I think you eventually have to realize you can't really win, you will always be deficient, and that will help you turn it all over to the Lord.

3) There may be intermediate gifts, manifestations, etc. that you should seek first before the Second Comforter. This is, of course, between you and the Lord and he can let you know what you need to seek and when. I am currently seeking a vision of my future, and a greater measure of the gift of charity. These were things that through prayer I sensed were the next steps in my progression. I am still seeking the face of the Lord, but my personal understanding is that many miraculous things might happen in my life before that culminating event.

4) There have been many times when I’ve sensed that I need to spend less time reading and more time communing through prayer. If you have struggled with addictive behaviors, is it possible that your voracious reading habits are yet another compulsion? Perhaps an even more difficult one to find balance with, since a certain amount of gospel reading and study is essential and desirable. Anyway, this is just my personal experience that one day I’ll receive the impression from the Spirit to study more deeply Denver Snuffer’s writings, and then a couple of days later I’ll feel the need to read more slowly, be more ponderous, and give a higher priority to prayer and learning directly from the Spirit.

5) Is your wife averse to reading Pontius? I find his approach much gentler than Snuffer, yet it is ultimately encouraging the reader to seek similar things. I’ve recently gifted several copies of his first book to people who might be put off by Snuffer, and while that book may seem light in comparison to Snuffer, his second text, Triumph of Zion, goes further than Snuffer does on certain topics (e.g. seeking the gift of translation). To help persuade her, you could mention that President Hinckley supported Pontius’ first book when an Area Authority tried to condemn him for publishing it. Pontius is also really good at teaching that the Church is fulfilling its role, and it’s really up to us individually to build on that foundation and seek the greater blessings.
Ray said…
Tim, I disagree strongly in some ways with his approach, but I hope you obtain that which you seek.
DJ said…
I just want to say that I'm an addict and have struggled with addiction for over 25 years. I was inactive from the church for several years after my mission, thinking I wasn't worthy and felt very ashamed. Admittedly, I'm very weak and struggle with other things as well, but I make no excuses and blame nobody.

However, however,10 years ago I was in the Lord's presence and my shame was swept away as I was encompassed about by His indescribable love. He also blessed me with a sweet wife that was aware of these struggles before we were married and we've worked together on these things.

Now I'd love to say that I never struggled with addictions after that, but unfortunately, roughly 3 years after that experience, I began to struggle again with addiction. Despite all of that, within the last year, I've received very sacred promises from His own voice out of the heavens.

I have no answers as to how one such as I can be so blessed. I've stopped trying to figure that out and I've also stopped trying to tell the Lord that I know better than Him what gifts, or lack thereof I should be given. Although I continue to fight a difficult battle on a daily basis, He is my strength and His grace is sufficient for me, for all of us.

More than anything, I've wanted to help people feel the way He made me feel while in His presence 10 years ago, where I saw as I was seen. He lives and He's intimately involved in our lives and wants to be more than we realize. He has a wonderful sense of humor and wants us to sometimes not take ourselves so seriously. He's my King, my friend and my all. I long for the day when He comes to reign. I testify in His name that He can wipe away all our tears and blot out all our transgressions. And if he can forgive one who has struggled with temper, pride and addictions as I have, He can do that for anyone, according to His timetable and way. I leave you with the below scripture, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

50 And he said to the woman, Thyafaith hath saved thee; go in peace.
tmalonemcse said…
Thanks Ray. Denver is a controversial, even divisive individual in many ways. Although I've never met him, I'm sure he doesn't mean to be. Those who have met him assure me he is the nicest and most genuine individual you could meet, sincere and dedicated to doing what he says the Lord told him to do. I respect that.

It seems that people either love what he has to say or are very disturbed by his writings. I started out as being very bothered by what he has published but that's probably because I read his most controversial book first. I thought he was a troublemaker, an apostate, a wolf in sheep's clothing and a deceiver.

But I decided to read the rest of what he had written before I rejected it. I probably would not have read his books if I had not been asked by a friend what I thought about them, especially Passing the Heavenly Gift. All I seek is to know the Lord and to know my standing before Him. I'd like to know that before I die.
tmalonemcse said…
Thanks Matthew. All great ideas. Much appreciated. I've noticed an interesting thing about Carol when it comes to studying the gospel. If I take the lead and offer to read something to her, she is much more involved and amenable to what we are studying. But if I offer her a book or article to read on her own, she won't do it. She is an avid reader - of romance. She is also a writer so she spends all her spare time either reading romance novels or working on one of her own. She has eight manuscripts in various stages of completion and will probably e-publish at least one of them sometime within the next few months.

I like what you have to say about intermediate gifts. I guess I would call them intermediate spiritual goals. That's great advice. One of my short-range goals is to have a return in prayer to some of the feelings I used to have when I was preparing for my mission. I would study for hours, ponder what I had read and then pray specifically to understand it better so that I could teach it when the time came. Sometimes I would get this amazing feeling that I can only describe as being in tune, as if my soul, and especially my mind, was vibrating with something infinite and eternal. I have recently had a return of those feelings, absent for so many years. It's kind of like spiritual bio-feedback for me. I want to experience that more often.

I also like what you suggested about reading John's books with Carol. I have not done that. I have been wanting to re-read Following the Light of Christ. Like you say, he comes across more gentle than Snuffer. I have not read Triumph of Zion, even though I have it in my library. As far as my voracious reading habits, you nailed it. I spend every spare moment reading to keep my mind occupied. It's a habit I developed years ago. I think my recent episode with migraines a few months back that put me in the hospital may have been because I could not unwind - too much focus and concentration between work and study. My poor old brain was probably trying to tell me it needed quiet time to absorb everything I had been feeding it for so many years.

Thanks again for the ideas and feedback. I appreciate readers who take the time to offer suggestions.
tmalonemcse said…
Thanks for sharing DJ. I could relate. I had a sacred experience with the Lord when I was at Rick's College before my mission. I can't say that I saw anything because I didn't but I felt His presence and also felt my guilt and shame swept away. I have written about this in a couple of places on my blog, the first one here:

http://latterdaycommentary.com/2008/05/21/a-different-kind-of-religious-education/

I added more detail in a later blog post here:

http://latterdaycommentary.com/2010/01/30/lettertoareader/

I don't think I appreciated what the Lord had done for me on that occasion. I know I received a gift but I didn't realize how valuable it was until I lost it some time later. I missed the peace of mind, peace of conscience and the feeling of confidence in the presence of the Lord. I had to work hard to recover and never fully did.

I guess that's what my quest is now - to regain that sense of self-trust that I once had. I appreciate you sharing your comments about hearing the voice of the Lord and receiving promises. To me, that's what the gospel is all about and what I am seeking. The scripture you shared is very appropriate. Thanks.
Warren said…
Wow this is a heavy thread! I am going to have to reread this. There is a lot here and some good tidbits also.
Tim, I'm just a nobody, but I would just say take your time and give yourself a break. Don't be so hard on yourself. Always try your best ya, but don't fret if the desired results don't happen right away.

To be honest I never considered seeking the Lord in this life. Was never a thought I payed any attention to. Honestly, I'm not sure I would want that experience (at least where I am standing now)...the burden of that knowledge would release a legion of bad guys on me both real and spiritual...and well, I don't know if I am a soul that could withstand that sort of onslaught of attack.

I had a lady friend years ago share with my that her patriarchal blessing revealed that she would have her calling and election made sure in this life. I was stunned that she would make a claim to me and share such a thing. Even in a casual conversation, why would someone bring this up? Why would some one even lie about such a thing? I don't think she was lying, even as I don't think most members of the church really understand what this means.

I'm so concerned about just trying to get back in the church right now to be baptized...its been a struggle and downs and downs...very few ups. Some people don't realize how good they have it or where they are on the map. I am so envious that I can't even get to the baptized level because of my history and wrestle with the flesh. Its painful to the greatest degree. So I totally feel for people that struggle with stuff day to day.

I have been jealous a great deal of my life because I haven't had very many spiritual experiences. For many reasons. Life style, rebellion, anger, pride, sin...People are surprised that I don't get prompting or "feelings" that "everyone" gets. And thus being exd from the church, I don't have that constant gift of the holy spirit...However if it worked, I don't know if I would reconise it , as I am not familiar with it. So for me I had to settle on the, if i can make it to baptized level then that's cool...followed by if my only "gift of the spirit" is believing on someones words, than that has to do for now I guess.

I am currently writing my own biography and plan to print it up. I'm not looking for fame or fortune but if my story helps someone then that will be cool. I have shared a few bits with some people already and response has been good and encouraging. I don't have anything totally Earth shattering to say per se, other than my experiences. However I do have one original insight I think...lol...

awesome thread.
tmalonemcse said…
Hi again Warren. Thanks for the comment. You are right about the onslaught of a legion of bad guys. I have been dealing with those bad guys for the last few months big time, mainly because I have been trying to get my act together spiritually speaking, much like you are. We're in the same boat, you and I. We simply want to feel the approval of the Lord. We want someone important to tell us we're doing a good job. And of course who is more important than the Lord?

This life is tough. That's why your goal to get baptized again and get the Gift of the Holt Ghost is such a good one. We need the first comforter. I am grateful for the private dialog you and I have had. You have caused me to appreciate things that I take for granted - like the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You write well. God bless you in writing your biography. I know it will be appreciated, especially by those who love you. Everyone has a story to tell.
Matthew said…
Another good quote from upwardthought on the timing of receiving the Second Comforter: "When Jesus appeared to me, one of the things he said was something like 'why should this happen to you instead of anyone else?' There was absolutely no reason. I did not deserve it in any way. I had been praying and praying to know him, but he had no reason to reply. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we can't force him to come. It's not like he automatically appears to everyone who hits a certain degree of righteousness the second they do. I don't think it works like that. I think it is more that he appears to those who it is expedient to appear to: be they sinners or saints. Does that make sense? He doeth nothing save it be for the benefit of the world." http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2013/04/an-email-from-friend-about-making.html
Warren said…
Tim, Thanks for the nice words. That makes me smile, I would like to get a book to you and see what you think.

I think the writer above makes a good point that we shouldn't always take ourselves so serious. I have come to realize a little insight that is nearly always over looked...and cliche. WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE...then Mormons add the sub sentence, "after all we can do..." Its funny how ingrained this is, and that some LDS don't consider this is little basic principle....they run faster then they are able..

So we when I speak with someone and discuss this...I ask them to reflect on Grace. We are saved by Grace....period. There really isn't anything we can "do" per se other than obey the commandments....but people beat themselves up with the "being perfect complex." Its something that I have learned...but haven't put my finger on totally. Other then we are saved by that Grace....we are saved by His mercy. Not because WE save(d) ourselves, cause we can't. Its our childlike pride that gets us in trouble over and over again. From a young age we are told how big of a kid we are, but when life eventually happens we really learn we really aren't. The Lord said to be perfect like god, but he did say how long that would take, only that we be WORTHY, cause those are the ones that walk with him in white. There is a difference. So I would assume that if you have a temple reccomend then a person is doing pretty good and on their way...

I would also have you reflect on the OBE experiences that you have read. I have only read a few, but many of them have many things in common. I think if you look at them you would see, what we really get "graded" on in the end...its a simple concept but deep in its possibilities. I really dig that comment above from the bishop saying that comment to you, "Go to the temple more often, this is an issue between the Lord and your wife." Holy cats! I was struck hard with that! If the bishop was in the spirit on that wowzers......Dude, the Lord is way more merciful then we give him credit...even if we can't conquer this flesh right away...

I heard an analogy a few years back. I want to share it with you. You may have heard something similar in your reading the zillions of books you have. You're house would be one to want I would want to visit and marinate in your library of your books....at least you have some cool stuff to talk about other then Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and Hair-dos. Well at any rate, I think this story can illustrate in a small way we can understand how God loves us. Most of us have pets, a dog or a cat...we will use a cat in this example. I believe these animals were placed here for us and have not suffered the effects of the fall because some humans need to learn love. So these animals have a dark side or a side that we don't like, cats, for example are vicious stupid creatures. They will catch something and play with their prey, then eat part of it, and leave the aftermath on the porch for us to discover. They have this carnal nature about them that does this horrible and irritating thing, and we have to go pick up the mess...but we don't stop loving them do we? We don't stop being excited to see them when the jump up by us or when they greet us when we arrive home do we? No, we still embrace them the same time, every time. I think in this small way the Lord looks at us like this...I think we do a lot of stupid crap in our lives...we make multitudes of mistakes, we do foolish things, we sin. We are children (John 21:5) and the Lord has to come and clean up the mess, but for some reason his stubborn love covers all that messedupness to make us feel his love again, and he pets our head saying, "Good Boy!"

Sounds like you're doing pretty good to me...
Toni said…
Wow, DJ, that was awesome.

It makes me wonder how the Lord chooses who to visit, and why. His ways are certainly not our ways, nor His thoughts ours.
Toni said…
I've not seen Him outside of dreams but, like you, I *have* felt His presence in waking life.
Toni said…
Matthew, this is getting curiouser and curiouser. "Worthiness" is not a reason. "Not sinning" is not a reason. "Perfection" is not a reason. Position in the church is not a reason.

So, what is it that breaks through and prompts the Savior to part the veil and visit someone, to allow them to see and touch Him, to tell someone that they have Eternal Life, to prepare them to meet the Father?

Is it faith? Do these people mentioned in these comments have great faith, even though they may not recognize that they do?
Warren said…
Tim, You know I have mixed feelings or ideas about disclosing a meeting from the Lord...I think its too be a special witness and not something to blab around or cast your pearls before swine...but I suppose, if someone is lead to "share" then so be it. You know, I have the belief that the general priesthood have "seen" the Lord, but they don't really say as much, I hear them hint, but they don't boast about it as the scriptures do. In the Book of Mormon numerous times it mentions visits from angels, god, and translated people...but that "pattern" of witnessing doesn't seem to happen in this day.

P.s. if we also believe in "scripture patterns," wouldn't the current prophet, as in times of old, have to inscribe a record on golden plates? Just saying....
Matthew said…
Toni, there must be some complex equation that takes into account everything that occurred before your mortal life, assignments accepted for this life, your current progress, faith, etc. So ultimately, each individual's moment when Christ parts the veil is somewhat unique and tailored to their eternal progression. I doubt we could even come close parsing that equation, but one day we'll reach a perfect understanding.

One thing I find interesting is that those who have experienced it, still seem to be somewhat in the dark. Obviously, they have a gift that we all hope to obtain, but they still seem to be learning precept upon precept. It seems as though even though it is perhaps the greatest event in mortality, it is still just another doorway opening up to a pathway that leads to even more glorious blessings.
Eric said…
Tim might recall Denver's May 8, 2012 post.
Benjamin K said…
I recently read Denver Snuffer's first book after feeling drawn to it. I haven't read any of his other works, including anything from his blog. I tend to be quite skeptical of anything miraculous, and I think it might be wise to be skeptical of these things if they aren't happening to you personally. That being said, I felt spiritually invigorated and motivated by Snuffer's book. Whether or not he has actually seen Christ, it seems to me that his book outlines the proper preparations for such a visit. I don't see anything controversial in the book. It rings true to me. It resonates with me. It inspires me. Thus, I choose to accept Snuffer's story and I am now hoping to have a similar experience myself.

In his book, Snuffer says that Christ will appear in part because you KNOW that he exists, not in order to give you that knowledge. (I hope I'm remembering and paraphrasing him correctly on this point.) I wonder if something similar can be said about the visitation itself. That is, I wonder if we have to get the point where we KNOW in our hearts that Christ can appear to us, before He will ever do so. At this stage, I think my attitude is still such that I have a DESIRE to receive a visitation, and I have HOPE that it can happen, but I still WONDER if it can really happen to me. Perhaps a visitation won't come until I have ZERO doubt that it can happen TO ME. I think that will require a lot of faith and growing on my part. I think it might require me to be content with it NOT happening, because at that point, whether it happens or not will not change my perspective on whether or not it's possible. What do you think? I want to seek for it, but I want to be faithful enough that I'm not being impatient or secretly wondering if it's all true. Maybe finding that balance is necessary before a visit can occur. Sadly, it might take a while to find that balance.

(Sorry for the obnoxious use of caps in order to emphasize certain points!)
Rick said…
I think those who struggle longer might appreciate the experience more when it does happen. Abraham and Sarah waiting for Isaac; someone finally defeating an addiction; someone finally receiving health after being sick for a long period. The journey - line upon line - is important, not just the event.
[…] publically confessed that I have struggled with an addiction to pornography since I was eight years old. It was a habit […]
kenh said…
Good Will, that was simply beautiful! That really summed it up as well as any could. Total surrender to Christ sets us free. Free from fear. Free from doubt. Free from guilt and shame. Free from sin in our lives. And free to forgive ourselves and never look back. "Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am." (D&C 93:1) All of the requirements mentioned above Good Will has made clear. When we are tired of struggling and finally are willing to surrender totally to Christ, relying solely upon His merits and His perfect love and not ourselves He will come to us. He is knocking. May we open the door and receive Him into our lives completely.
tmalonemcse said…
I have been pondering this all day and will continue to do so for days to come. You, my friend, are a Godsend. If your write somewhere on a regular basis, I want to read it. Are you a blogger? Are you published? What you have shared above is not taught anywhere that I have found before and I have been looking for all my life. I'm sure you don't want to bring attention to yourself, but you are a rarity and I want to read more. Don't mean to embarrass you, but you got to the heart of the matter so succinctly that I've got to know more about how you have discovered and know these things so well. I have been studying this subject all my life - overcoming the flash - and have come nowhere close to what you have just described. Details?
Matthew said…
Echoing what Tim said. I would love to read more of your insights.
Good Will said…
By the way, in reading this thread, I wanted to comment on something DJ wrote:

"I’ve wanted to help people feel the way He made me feel while in His presence 10 years ago, where I saw as I was seen. He lives and He’s intimately involved in our lives and wants to be more than we realize. He has a wonderful sense of humor and wants us to sometimes not take ourselves so seriously. He’s my King, my friend and my all. I long for the day when He comes to reign. I testify in His name that He can wipe away all our tears and blot out all our transgressions. And if he can forgive one who has struggled with temper, pride and addictions as I have, He can do that for anyone, according to His timetable and way."

The Lord, indeed, has a wonderful sense of humor.

In another thread (somewhere else, I suppose) I wrote about His voice. His amazing voice! (I'm sure what I heard was "enhanced" by the power of the Spirit. I mean, the Lord doesn't speak "American" with a slight tinge of British accent, does He? But He does! By the power of the Spirit!

But the other quality of Him I noted, surprisingly, was His sense of humor. (It makes me cry even now just to think of it -- 30 years later!) Our Lord of Hosts, the Greatest of All, the Firstfruits of them who are and were and will be Sons of God, the Creator of all things -- He is kind and generous and very witty and genuinely humorous.

We have no truly "funny jokes" in the scriptures. He reveals those Himself. (I guess He doesn't want His "material" to get "stale"!) He made me laugh...before He made me cry.

Thank you for reminding me of that, DJ. I'd almost forgotten.
Matthew said…
Good Will, you said that "As for being a 'godsend', I was thinking the same thing about Log and Denver Snuffer! I have found their contributions to my understanding to be invaluable!"

Who is Log? I've seen comments by someone named Log on another blog, but I don't know anything else about him/her. If you put Log on equal invaluableness as Denver Snuffer, I'd love to know more about this mysterious person.
Good Will said…
I don't really know much about either Log or Denver Snuffer -- though I am aware that DS has written books. (I had the privilege recently of reading online part of the first chapter of one of those books. I knew I had to finish the whole thing! But I'm barely into July of 2010 on his blog!)

"Log" is a brother who posted several comments on one thread -- a very tight yet comprehensive scriptural analysis of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. I found his treatise to be positively spot-on, a breath of fresh air!

When was the last time you heard anyone in Church speak about the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost? It is as if the doctrine and practice don't exist! (That's because, for all intents and purposes in the Church, sadly, they don't.) I don't know much more about Log -- other than his name. We have corresponded a bit.

Each of us contributes his tiny piece to the puzzle. That's the nature of fellowship. I am grateful for this discourse. I, for one, have found a wealth of knowledge here sufficient to captivate my attention and energies for months and years to come. (I just pray I live long enough to put all of it into practice!) I've lost so much time! I feel like the man who just discovered he has been sitting on a field of diamonds for many years, unaware of what he has had beneath him. "So that's what those sparkly things are!"

Denver Snuffer and Log, by synchronously divine coincidence, helped me put the pieces together, unlocking a wealth of understanding in my heart and mind.

It is blazingly simple. (To think I wasted all those years arguing over scriptures, doctrine, history, evidence, etc., trying to prove this or that. I had the "proof" in my possession all along. I just didn't know it. And neither do most of the members of the Church, unfortunately. To share it with them, I will have to abandon all of my former tactics and, quite simply, become more like Christ.

Well...duh!

I feel rather sheepish now.

God still has surprises for us yet!
Matthew said…
Yeah, it is rare that anyone would talk about baptism of fire (or its many synonyms) in a way that fully impresses upon the mind how essential it is, what it truly feels like, and how to approach God in order to receive it. Never mind the Second Comforter, Calling and Election, entertaining angels, translation, etc., we're very rarely even discussing how to truly get into the "gate" by receiving the baptism of fire.

I'm trying to figure out how to discuss these things with other members, as I'd love to discuss these things in person with someone! I've gifted some books to family and friends, but have yet to have anyone respond to it in any significant way. I'm always expecting them to call me up the next day and say they couldn't put the book down. As you suggest, I guess I need to become more like Christ and then I guess I'll be better able to share and teach some of these principles (or at least better understand through the Spirit how I can help each person individually).
Vic said…
Matthew, I loved your comments about the intermediate gifts and manifestations. This goes along with the teachings about receiving line upon line, precept on precept, here a little and there a little. From what I've learned, even Christ didn't immediately commune with the Father face to face. This makes me think I need to study more about His 40 days in the wilderness and His transfiguration.

I would also agree with you that most of us could spend less time reading and more time communing. As I stated below, the Lord, through the Spirit, is our best teacher and we will profit by asking and receiving directly from Him moreso than from any book. Thank you for your thoughts.

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