A New Prophet in Town

ProphetJosephSmithThe Thesis of this Short Blog Post

This is a small Mormon-based blog read by few people. I don’t think I appear on anyone’s list of recommended LDS blogs any more. That probably started when I went public with book reviews of the now-excommunicated Denver Snuffer. In this post, I would like us to consider for just a moment the possibility that the Lord could send a messenger or servant to the LDS people who did NOT come from the rank and file of the General Authorities or the Quorum of the Twelve. It has happened in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Isn’t it possible it could happen in our day?

A Small Diversion for My Aching Head

Friday night Carol and I went to see Catching Fire, the latest episode of the Hunger Games series. It was a welcome distraction from a difficult week at work, and a sort of celebration for me for having completed 712 hours of advanced technical training over the past nine months. For those who follow my blog, you’ll remember it was also some nine months ago I had what I considered a couple of undesirable existential experiences that drove me to the ER for treatment. I still suffer continual headaches but have made recent progress in other, more important areas. I’ve shared details in previous posts. Email me if you want to know more and can’t find it.

A Surprising Whispering of the Spirit

At the end of the movie I was surprised to hear the spirit whisper something to me I was not expecting. It had nothing to do with the movie, but rather was an answer to questions I carry in my heart. I don’t have doubts about the church – never had. But I always have questions – still do. In my interpretation, I heard, “You are to be an observer and a witness. You were not sent here to manage or control anything.” I was astonished because it answered a long-standing prayer about my mission in life. I was also surprised because that seemed like an unusual time and place to receive inspiration or revelation. Perhaps it’s because my mind was disengaged. My spirit soared as I considered the implications of what I had just heard or rather felt in my heart.

Witnessing the Fulfillment of Prophecy

I started this blog some six years ago with the intention of sharing personal commentary of things coming to pass in my day that could possibly be based on scriptural prophecy, such as the surprising news today that the United States has made a deal with Iran to admit them into the nuclear weapons club. In my mind, this pulls the trigger of Israel’s attack on that country, and the response by the rest of the world, including the United States, in uniting against Israel in what will ultimately be WW III. I now consider myself more of an interpreter of current events that are LDS related, specifically about what is happening among church members. I do this mainly by writing reviews of books that deal with topics recommended to me by some church members.

Questioning the Traditional Narrative

In January of 2012 I was introduced to the writings of one now persona non-grata among our LDS writers, a man recently excommunicated for writing a book of doctrinal analysis that also happens to contain a lot of LDS history, told from historic and scriptural sources. Passing the Heavenly Gift was not written by collecting and combining anti-Mormon stories circulating out there. Denver Snuffer, an attorney by trade, questioned the traditional narrative of how we have taught ourselves what happened to the LDS Church at the end of the Nauvoo period in 1844. Denver Snuffer is also the author of the widely-recommended book, The Second Comforter.

Cursings Instead of Blessings

I wonder why nobody has commented on Denver’s latest blog post yet, also published this last Friday. Perhaps I’ve missed where it was shared among all the Mormon blogs out there. If so, someone kindly point me to the source. I’ve been pondering it for three days. I even re-read the scriptures regarding this post with Carol on Friday night. Before we had completed reading the passage, she said, “Well, of course that’s right. I taught the D&C in Seminary and remember this well.” I am referring of course to the verses in Section 124 where the Lord promised “Cursings Instead of Blessings” if the Nauvoo Temple was not completed within the designated time.

Pondering in the Temple

I went to the temple yesterday specifically to ponder what I felt in my heart on Friday night. Yep, I heard it right. The feeling remained the same. What Denver wrote in that post deserves our serious consideration. As Carol said to me, “Everyone knows the saints were cursed for not completing the temple like they were supposed to. They had too many other building projects going on.” We discussed their having to leave Nauvoo in the dead of winter, crossing over the frozen Mississippi River, a miracle of sorts, although not as uncommon as I once thought. We talked about the difficulties and hardships of crossing the plains. Carol served her mission in Independence, Missouri. She knows what winter is like in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. Brrr…

This Post Qualifies as Sunday Worship

It is Sunday morning as I write this. I hope somehow to get this post published by the end of the day. Our Sundays have become too full with the addition of ward and stake choir practices both before and after our regular block of meetings. It takes a lot of energy for me to memorize and harmonize Christmas choral numbers even though we have both been doing it for years. When we’re done with choir practice, Carol wants to sit and vegetate in front of the TV. ‘Tis the season for Christmas shows. Since I can’t get this off my mind, I’ve asked the Lord to help me get this published tonight. I’m taking a vacation next week to catch up with the ton of private emails from readers. I hope to publish this tonight for subscribers to read Monday morning.

Thesis Revisited for Clarification

I want to state it again and ask you to ponder it seriously. Is it possible the Lord could or might call a man to deliver a message to the general population of the church? We know that flies in the face of D&C 28:5-7. It also goes contrary to the standard narrative (now mantra) taught in this church that any message from God to his people will come from the prophet and only from the prophet. Today, this of course refers to Thomas S. Monson, the man we (and I) sustain as the president of the church. We have also given the fifteen men who lead this church the title of “prophet, seer and revelator.” I also sustain these men as leaders in our church. But could there possibly be other men, not among these fifteen, sent by the Lord with a message that the Lord wants his people to hear and understand? It’s unthinkable, isn’t it? It would be too confusing.

Kingdom of God on the Earth

Thus, as I have written before, the church was right in following established procedure of having Denver Snuffer excommunicated or barred from membership in the organization of the church. It has happened many times before and will happen many times again before the days of the LDS church as an established organization are over. Wait, did I just imply that the LDS Church as we know it today could possibly be dissolved or disorganized when the Lord returns? Haven’t I used that phrase all my life in teaching classes, speaking from the pulpit, in private and public prayer? I have. Isn’t the LDS Church the Kingdom of God on the Earth today? Aren’t we Zion? You mean this church we belong to will no longer be needed when the Lord comes? Poppycock!

Be Careful What You Write in This Church

I brought this up once before and was severely castigated by a former colleague on the High Council, now a Stake President at BYU Idaho. As he wrote in response to my Aug 19 post in a comment left on Facebook on Aug 21: “The statement that the LDS Church will not be on the earth when the Savior comes is a provocative statement and not true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and is awaiting the kingdom of heaven to arrive where they will be united (See all of D&C 65). The Lord’s Church is the way wherein Israel and Gentiles are brought to a fullness and to fully come unto Christ.” And my response:

We Have Changed What We Teach These Days

“…you'll have to forgive me. I'm an old guy. I grew up in an era where High Council speakers would shoot from the hip (not read prepared talks). I always loved listening to High Council speakers, especially those who took it seriously to prepare. I can't tell you how many times I heard that statement growing up in the old Covina Stake, that ‘someday, there will be no more LDS church. We won't need it. The Lord will run things without this institution we have built up over the years (that's paraphrasing).’ The closest thing I could find to back this up is this quote from Daniel Peterson: ‘The church today, as has often been noted, is simply the essential but temporary scaffolding that surrounds an eternal family-priesthood structure in the process of construction; until that construction is complete at some point in the postmortal future, priesthood is mediated through and associated with the church.’ I think Brother Peterson and I see priesthood similarly. The church needs the priesthood, not the other way around.

The Church is Just a Temporary Scaffolding

“I even seem to recall either Elder Packer or Elder Perry talking about the church being the temporary scaffolding that won't be needed when the Lord comes because the priesthood will run things - everything - in that there would no longer be a need for the LDS institution as we know it today. Not trying to argue with you. I do appreciate your comments and getting me to read section 65 again. Thanks for leading me to the scriptures. PS - No response necessary. I know you're a busy man.” Adding to that Facebook comment: I feel stronger today than I did back in August that the LDS Church is a temporary institution, and was NOT what the Lord intended to be the conclusion of what he tried to accomplish through Joseph Smith. What the Lord wanted to reveal to the Saints was never revealed. It had everything to do with the Nauvoo Temple not being completed and therefore, the church going into exile, disorganized and cursed by the Lord.

Love and Devotion in the LDS Church

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love this church. It has blessed my life. I have tried to be as submissive as I could from the day the Lord told me at age 17 the following: “Joseph could not teach the people everything because they would not receive nor could it be taught outside the temple.” That’s almost a direct quote from personal revelation recorded in my journal. I’ve written about this before as part of my testimony in the early part of this blog. I have been blessed by choosing to serve a mission, seeking and receiving revelation as to who to marry in the temple, accepting every calling ever issued and even by singing in the choir when practices consume so much from me besides time. I love to teach, I love to preach. I love to take the sacrament and I love the temple. As I’ve said so many times before, if asked by my leaders, I would delete this blog without a second thought. I’m more interested in keeping covenants.

Only Christ Can Provide Certain Things

I’ll conclude with this: I’m missing something I cannot receive from this church and so are most of you. I feel like my friend the Stake President mocked me when he asked: “…if you're saying you aren't being fulfilled at church, or by the standard works, where else are you looking to be fulfilled? Is Denver Snuffer going to tell you something more powerful than President Monson? Is Max Skousen going to reveal something more relevant than Abinadi? It would be like a thirsty man leaving the safety of the oasis to go seek water in the desert wastes. So again, my question is, what can Denver teach me that the Savior cannot?” I answered him there but I’ll also answer here. I want the world to know why I think the Lord has sent us a legitimate prophet in the form of Denver Snuffer. I know that is a blasphemous claim to some. Please try to understand.

Church is Filled With Men Who Love God

I have loved every Bishop with whom I’ve served as counselors or clerks over the past twenty-five years – a dozen. I have loved every Stake President who presided over me, inspired me, led me, helped me learn how to administer so well, and some even how to minister better. My bishop asked me to come in to talk recently. I’ve never had a bishop do that. He said the Lord told him to do so. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don’t know why the Lord prompted me to have you see me, but I feel impressed he wants me to tell you that you are loved. We talked for almost two hours about what it’s like to raise a son who is both a genius and is afflicted with mental and drug issues. I did a lot of crying in that first meeting. I could not help myself. But I never got around to what I really wanted to talk about. The spirit didn’t prompt me to do so.

Called In To Speak With The Bishop

We met a second time about a month later. This was within the last week. Once again I hoped the spirit would prompt me to bring up the real issues that were troubling me. We had a visit that I would describe as two servants of the Lord talking about what it’s like to stay on the path while serving in this church. He taught me from the scriptures. I went home and shared them with my wife that evening in our scripture study. They are found in Ether 12:27 about why God gives men weaknesses – so they can be humble. The other was in 2nd Nephi 9:28-30. He emphasized verse thirty where Nephi has Jacob teach us the importance of having our hearts set in the right place. I wanted so much to talk about specific steps one must follow to be taught by angels or have the Lord visit me in my home as my patriarchal blessing promises me I shall be. But again, I felt constrained by the spirit to not bring the matter up. I have asked myself why that would be so.

The Church No Longer Teaches Detailed Steps

I feel better about it now. As I write this section, it is after church. The assigned teacher for our High Priest’s group did not show up. The group leader was out of town. The First Assistant asked, “Has anyone read the assigned talks from General Conference we were asked to discuss?” A good worthy brother volunteered and led the most inspiring discussion of the Redemption of Jesus Christ and the desire of the Savior to forgive. You’ll find both in the April 2013 General Conference addresses. During the discussion someone mentioned the idea of a checklist of things we need to accomplish before we die. He even mentioned “that some people feel you must have your calling and election sure, but we’re not supposed to talk about that.” I felt I just had to add a few comments and spoke for nearly five minutes about the idea that not only can we receive the Second Comforter, but that we were commanded to do so by Joseph just before he died in 1844.

Discussing The Second Comforter in Church

Nobody was aghast. Nobody complained. Nobody said, “I’m going to tell on you for talking about something that is forbidden.” To the contrary, I felt the rapt attention of all twenty or so High Priests in the room, nodding their heads in agreement, saying, “That’s right,” and adding their comments that, to me, seemed to be in agreement to my words spoken with passion, “I don’t know why we hear we’re not supposed to talk about receiving the Second Comforter. I shared my witness of seeing the Savior in the Garden and then explaining in my own words what really happened that night that to me, answers the question, “How is it done?” asked by Enos. I ended by asking, “Why do we feel in this church that we can’t talk about receiving the Savior? Why don’t we teach each other how it is done, step by step? Of course I didn’t mention Denver Snuffer but I basically taught them a combination of Denver’s witness from Come, Let us Adore Him from memory, as well as my own witness. Was that wrong? No. The Spirit had prompted it.

Back to the Thesis for a Conclusion

Why did the Church excommunicate Denver Snuffer? He was cut off for publishing Passing the Heavenly Gift and for conducting the lecture tour in which he is now engaged and which he is almost halfway through. A convert to our faith, who claims to have done as we were taught by Joseph Smith – he received the Lord in person - has been expelled from our association solely for delivering a message he claims he was commanded to deliver. I believe the Lord has sent us a legitimate prophet or messenger with a specific message and as an authorized representative of the Lord. After nearly two years of reading his many works, pondering his words and praying numerous times, I want to go on public record – hardly anybody reads my blog anyway – that Denver Snuffer is a servant of the Lord, doing what the Lord told him to do. I have asked this of the Lord too many times to count. I knew it the first day I read PtHG and it has not changed even though the man has been separated from our association by force. I am not saying the fifteen men we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators are not authorized by the Lord to lead our church.

A Final Thought

What I am saying is we need to open our minds to the possibility that the Lord could and has sent a messenger, another authorized servant, a prophet with a message that we should consider, and to which we should give heed. I know the man is not perfect, but I do know he was asked by the Lord to teach what he has taught – at his own considerable personal expense – and that the Lord will bless him for being obedient, in spite of being cut off by the institution of the LDS Church. I am not the only one who feels this way. There are many who have received their own witness. I may be one of the most vocal and the most visible due a simple fluke of how search engines work. I feel like Joseph Smith when he said, “I had seen a vision, I knew it and God knew it. How could I deny it?” (paraphrasing) You can tell me I’m deluded, that I’ve been deceived – join the crowd – but that will not change the fact that the Lord has told me over and over that the man cut off by our church for apostasy was simply doing what he was asked to do by a kind and loving Savior. I am like Brigham Young. I studied this for nearly two years. The witness only grows stronger.

Invitation to Dialog – Open to Discussion

I know many of you disagree. I have written about this over twenty times. It started out as a simple book review. Until today, I don’t think I have ever come out and directly expressed my feelings that Denver Snuffer’s books and lectures were inspired by and accepted by the Lord. In other words, why excommunicate a man for doing what he felt the Lord told him to do? I did not find the books to be a trial to my faith, although I know others differ with my opinion. I don’t feel this is a competition between Thomas Monson and Denver Snuffer. What I know about keys is that they give the one who holds them permission to perform a specific assignment. I have no problem answering the question: “Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?” The answer is yes. But I cannot deny when the spirit tells me the Lord gave Denver Snuffer an assignment that he is doing his best to fulfill. I simply do not see any conflict. What do you think?


Donald said…
Thank you for your blog. I have the same feelings and promptings as you do about Denver. I also support and sustain President Monson.

I have been edified and strengthened by what Denver is sharing.....and I too believe he has been given this assignment by Him. Asking me to repent and turn to The Lord has brought me closer to The Lord. For that I am grateful.

I've yet to find anyone here in Provo (other than my wife) who I can freely discuss these things....so please carry on with your blog.
Tim Oaks said…
Denver Snuffer's books have not been a trial to my faith but what the church did to him sure has. Not my faith in Christ but my faith that the top leaders in SLC are what they claim to be.
Tim Oaks
Setting aside any discussion of Denver, whether the Lord could or would give someone outside of a leadership position a message to deliver unto His church should be a completely settled question once we've read the Book of Mormon.

Regardless of whether His people were being led by depraved, wicked leaders (who, even so, were still the legal successors in the priesthood) or whether His people were being led by a prophet so righteous and trusted that He had given him power to control the elements, the Lord gave other men, otherwise unknown and uncredentialed, a commission to deliver a message of repentance unto the Nephites.

Placed on a continuum the personal behavior and worthiness of King Noah and Nephi son of Helaman would be at nearly opposite extremes, yet in both cases the Lord commissioned Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite to both deliver an authorized, authoritative message of repentance to the people at large.

I conclude, therefore, that the Lord has in the past and could yet still in the future give someone a commission to deliver an authorized message irrespective of the righteousness of the leaders of the Church.
Tom Irvine said…
I still do not take a position on Denver. But I consider the House of Israel to be God's kingdom on this Earth. I see the LDS Church as an appendage to the House of Israel and not vice-versa. (See 3 Nephi 30:1-2). Our tribal lineage is eternal.
Rick said…
Hi Tim. I have some questions.
What is the message The Lord wants us to hear with PTHG?
- That the fullness of the Priesthood was not restored?
- That the church has been cursed for 167 years? (1846 to 2013)

What are we to do about it? You can see how TO feels about it above.

What are you going to do about it?
CCM: Thank you for the thoughtful response. I know it takes time to leave a well-thought out comment, or at least one that comes across as intelligent and makes me ponder the things you have shared. I like what you said about becoming a kinder and gentler people as a result of our studies, no matter the source - the scriptures or commentaries. I have also seen what might be called 'militant' positions or weird beliefs on some of the secret discussion groups. Yet I have also seen and read amazing things in those groups that I would have missed because of perspective, a word you used so elegantly in your comment.

I may have mentioned this before, but it makes sense to repeat it here. I need teachers. I need mentors. I need good people who have taken the time to read, study, ponder and pray about the scriptures. I need their commentaries in order to get me to see so many things I don't see the first time I read the scriptures. I'll use Denver's latest post as an example. I have never thought of all the questions he raised about the lack of evidence of the promises in D&C 124 being fulfilled. I don't even recall seeing the exodus, Winter Quarters and the Westward Trek as cursings instead of blessings. To me, they were just a part of our history - the standard narrative I was taught growing up in church.

What is the fullness of the priesthood referred to in D&C 124:28? Why would the Lord say that something was lost and needed to be restored as late as 1841? What did the Lord take away as indicated in that verse? Why didn't the people build the Temple in the 3 1/2 years from 1841 to 1844? They were able to build so many other buildings. What were the follies and abominations the Lord referred to in 124:48? I have read those verses all my life, heard them taught in seminary and institute, taught them myself in Gospel Doctrine and in seminary. Yet I never asked these questions before. Why? Because they weren't in the official curriculum. With just a few questions Denver has caused me to think harder, dig deeper and search like never before. Is that so bad?

That to me is what a prophet does. We are all prophets. Anyone with the testimony of Christ is a prophet. I thought I was as knowledgeable in the history and doctrine of this church as anyone else with whom I've served all these years. I don't regret the time spent in Bishopric, PEC, ward council and high council meetings. I regret focusing so much on administration and being taught to do so was the most important thing I could do to show my love for the Lord. I feel like I have missed out on something extremely important. That's why I am so grateful for Denver Snuffer's writings coming into my life. I was starving in some ways. I put my own spiritual nourishment on the back burner. Now I'm trying to catch up. I find Denver's writings are helping me in my quest to find the Savior and to do whatever it is I came to this earth to do.

Thanks again for reading my post and for your thoughtful comment.
Roy said…
@ Michael A. Cleverly - You, my friend, have hit the nail directly on the head and driven it deeply into the target. Thank you, brother!
It has long been my belief that a time of reckoning will come for the church, even before the Last Days and the Second Coming. The church and its members need to reorient themselves from time to time. It has always been so; it will always be so. Hence the need for restorations or dispensations of the gospel from time to time. This may be (and I emphasize "may") the beginning of one such correction. Heber C. Kimball said it best when he wrote: "A test, a test, a test is coming." I suspect this to be so because of my own research which has uncovered what I call the "temporal" side of the gospel, that part that deals with cosmology: stars, planets, suns, moons, etc. This side of the gospel came later in the restoration, during the Nauvoo period, primarily, with the restoration of temple symbolism, ordinances and ritual. This aspect of the gospel had been absent for nearly two millennia, until Joseph Smith resurrected it.

As you know, Tim, I have great respect for your intellect and your insights. I, for one, will be following your odyssey with keen interest for its own sake as well as for yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you venture forth.

One quick question: How does it feel to shimmy out on that limb? Can you more clearly see what I've been dealing with all these years?

God bless you, my Friend.
Tom Irvine said…
I cringe when anyone says that the fullness of the gospel or priesthood has been restored. The truth is that the restoration is a work-in-progress. Among other points... We do not have the lost manuscript, the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, or the records of the other lost sheep that the resurrected Christ visited. We are living the law of tithing instead of the united order. The sons of Levi have not come forth to again offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. Aside from Ephraim and Manasseh, the tribes of Israel including Judah are under-represented in our membership. The great New and Old Jerusalem temples have not been built yet. The continuation of the restoration depends both on the Lord's timing and on our faith and obedience.
Annalea said…
What do I think? I think you're right.

I also feel a deep sadness at the current organization's predilection to automatically dismiss any truth that doesn't come from the Church Office Building, and to accept as truth equal to Joseph's revelations any policies or procedures that issue from the same.

And I think the scaffolding of the current church organization has grown up in the way that it has due to the weakness and shortcomings of the members. For example, Visiting and Home teaching exist because we don't take care of one another. When Christ comes and finishes preparing His people to be presented to the Father, this mortal, temporal, flawed organization will no longer be necessary. The idea that the church, as it is, is the Kingdom of God seems so strange to me . . . we didn't ever even come close to establishing Zion, the pure in heart, those who have received the mind and will of God and live it. I know far too many people who operate in powerful spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to believe that membership in the LDS church demarcates the Body of Christ from the unsaved hordes. In reality, most LDS folks haven't even the faintest idea of the power that lies waiting for them to tap into when they kneel down and say "Heavenly Father . . ." I love this quote from Annie Dillard:

"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return." (http://dcmblackbird.blogspot.com/2013/11/on-whole-i-do-not-find-christians.html)

A test, a test, a test is coming, indeed.
Roy said…
Hi Brother Tim: I've been following your blog for perhaps 6 months now and have never posted a comment until now (and @ Michael A. Cleverly above). I thank you for opening yourself up and sharing very private experiences that help someone like me discern whether or not your "fruit" is good or evil (Matt. 7: 15-20). You, my friend, are rare - meaning your spiritual maturity is such that you have lost fear in what man can do to you for speaking your heart. I respect you and encourage you to stay-the-course.

I am nearing 52 years of age; I have spent 40+ active years in the Mormon faith, served a FT mission, temple marriage (30 years and going strong), bishopric, high counsel; I followed the narrative and never found reason to dig deeper; I was perfectly content with it all.

About 4 years ago, something changed in me; it started with remembering a pivotal experience 25 years ago of working with a wonderful man, a black man, who became a role-model to me of what I hoped I might become. I am thoroughly ashamed to say this very moment that I (a white man) was his boss; it should have been the other way around. I recognized in him the attributes I hoped to acquire, never questioning why the company would make a 25 year old "punk" the manager over this amazing 50 year old faithful Christian, Husband/Father and Army Veteran. I never conceived then it could be "racism"; but it was ... and is.

This was the genesis of my finding the false narrative and doctrines in Mormondom (Curse-of-Cain and Lesser-Valiant - fooey!!!). The disturbing "white-washing" of history is easy to find with the aid of the internet. How long, I wondered, before my adult children find out about this fooey? However, in this process of pealing the onion, I also found the writings of Denver Snuffer; I read PTHG first, not knowing about the other seven books. I have since shared it and all seven of Denver's writings with my Family and anyone struggling with their faith. I am a witness that Brother Snuffer's writings can heal broken hearts, including mine. I now "feast on the Word of God" more faithfully than ever before, my prayers were never as sincere as now, my Savior is my Friend and although I haven't seen His face (D&C 67:10, D&C 93:1) I am living with the expectation of the possibility.

Some "marvelous work" is happening, the scales are falling from many eyes, perhaps many are being prepared to serve as a "witness", as you described of yourself. I am grateful to you and several other Bloggers and Authors for speaking your hearts.
rick taylor said…
there are many people who would converse with you in Provo , i have read all of denvers books i find most of what he says very inlightening ,I follow the prophet and I follow the spirit and i have learned much , because i do.
SteveF said…
Tim and others, I am confused how you could come to the conclusion that the Church is temporary and will no longer be needed at some future time on earth. What are you referring to?

To me what we refer to today when we say the LDS Church is the organization of Priesthood gov't. As Joseph Smith said - where the keys are there is the Kingdom. The only way to eliminate the Church as I see it would be to eliminate all Priesthood keys/authority. Zion is the result of the Kingdom of God, and cannot exist independent of the Kingdom. For example, Zion will do the work of God, and will be rightfully authorized by God to perform ordinances of salvation and all other work belonging to the Kingdom of God, and therefore cannot not exist independent of Priesthood keys. What could you possibly mean by asserting that this will no longer be necessary?
SteveF said…
Second set of questions relating to keys/authority, on the topic of a prophet being raised outside the Church:

1) Do you believe that a prophet of God must be authorized by God, i.e. hold Priesthood keys?
2) If not, by what authority does he act?
3) If so, do you think that God will give Priesthood keys/authority to another (i.e. set up another Kingdom) outside of an already established authorized Kingdom, accepted by God, in the same time and location (i.e. they will cross paths), if that first Kingdom holds all the keys of the Priesthood that can be held on earth, and has not been rejected by Him first?
4) And furthermore, if such a thing were even possible, do you think that these two separate/independent Priesthood lines (both theoretically recognized and approved of by God) could be working against each other? that the one holding all Priesthood keys that can be held in mortality would not recognize the other's authority, actually go so far as to strip that other person's authority/keys in their Kingdom, and yet both would still be accepted by God?
SteveF said…
I could guess how you misinterpret the scriptures to mean the things you've said, but I know them to be false at any rate. That isn't very relevant however to the question I'm posing, since even if the LDS Church was destroyed and a new church and kingdom given to the posterity of Lehi, there will still be a true Church or organized Priesthood keys and authority among God's chosen people in Zion. My question was how can one believe that Zion will exist on earth independent of a Church and authorized Kingdom of God on earth? Since that is not your suggested framework, I'm interested in hearing only from those who believe this.
SteveF said…
Interesting interpretations of scripture; I simply disagree though (probably no surprise at this point after our many conversations) and I am content to let you believe as you may on this matter. However, I'm interested in hearing answers to the specific questions I've asked from those who definitively accept Denver Snuffer as a prophet of God. (Last I remember, you didn't believe one way or the other.)
log said…
I could guess how you misinterpret the scriptures to mean the things you’ve said, but I know them to be false at any rate.

I offer you an opportunity to demonstrate the misinterpretation - remember, we, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are identified with the Gentiles (D&C 109:60). I await your full explication.
log said…
I know you simply disagree - and are without public grounds for disagreement. I hazard to guess that is an aggravating situation to find oneself in.

I will suggest some answers, as if they couldn't be gleaned from my linked-to post.

1. Yes.

3. Probably not.

4. Probably not.

It would be very good to find out if the husbandmen have all the authority they claim, before denouncing the servants sent to bring fruit back to the Lord, though, wouldn't it?
log said…
I believe Snuffer - I simply don't have revelation on the subject at the present time.
SteveF, I’d like to take a crack at it. This is just off the top of my head.

1. Yes, I believe a prophet of God must be authorized of God to act in his behalf. In generalities, we call that priesthood, not keys. Keys are rights or authority to complete specific assignments.

2. Not sure the question is relevant given my answer to #1 – A prophet acts under the same authority as you or I – by virtue of the priesthood. However, you’ve got to define priesthood. Are we talking about the priesthood given by the laying on of hands from God, or are you talking about the priesthood we have organized in our church? In my mind, they are two different things. The church depends on the priesthood, not the other way around.

3. Now that’s an interesting question. As you word it - no. I do not believe God would set up two separately authorized kingdoms. Nor has he in the past as far as I know. I’m thinking back to Old Testament times, racking my brain about the patriarchal priesthood and then about the Holy priesthood after the order of the Son of God, of which the Aaronic priesthood is an appendage. I’m still trying to figure this out in my own mind so I welcome your input. Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out.

4. No. In my opinion, keys are given by the Lord, they cannot be removed by the voice / decree / command of another prophet. As you can tell by what I have written on this post, I now believe there can be more than one prophet on the earth at a time. Duh! We have fifteen in our church. However, I do not believe Denver Snuffer’s excommunication changed or invalidated his priesthood or authority, nor removed the keys he had received from the voice of the Lord. Yes, I’ve gone out on a limb and never written or believed like this before. Yes, I still sustain President Monson as the only one on the earth authorized to exercise all the keys he possesses by virtue of succession in the presidency, which is a whole ‘nuther subject.

Teach me. Tell me what I need to believe. And state your authority – member or church employee?
SteveF, as I told my Stake President friend, I'm only repeating what I heard growing up that the church would no longer exist as a separate entity once the Lord returns. I quoted one source but Daniel Petersen is nobody as far as the church is concerned. I'm thinking of the meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman in which all keys are returned to the Lord, right? I think my Stake President friend Ross Barron is right - he's CES after all and knows his stuff. The question is: Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Kingdom of God on the earth today. It's got to be, right? It is being prepared as a bridegroom to be given to the Lord when he comes with the City of Enoch - the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Did I answer your question? It's just from the top of my head without looking for any quotes. I can't imagine why I would have heard that growing up unless it was erroneous and has since been corrected.
"For there shall arise false ... prophets" said…
" In this post, I would like us to consider for just a moment the possibility that the Lord could send a messenger or servant to the LDS people who did NOT come from the rank and file of the General Authorities or the Quorum of the Twelve. It has happened in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Isn’t it possible it could happen in our day?"


In answer to your question, yes. Of course the Lord could send a messenger to the LDS people that does not come from the rank and file of the general authorities.

However, there is another question that you should be asking but never do.

It goes something like this-

Is it possible that the Lord would allow a false prophet to enter into the church whose teachings are so close to the truth that they can deceive, if possible, even the very elect?

That fact that you have promoted Snuffer 20 times and have never really provided a critical review and asked the really hard questions, almost makes you appear to be a shill for Snuffer.

Why don't you ask the really tough questions?

Why is it that you appear to be so infatuated with a romantic concept of a Samuel the Laminate narrative that you have rendered yourself incapable of thinking critically and avoiding deception?

There have been several excellent critical reviews of PTHG.

One that comes to mind was done by an LDS apologist. Another from a fringe heretic. Despite the fact that both perspectives are quite different, both have clearly demonstrated huge inconsistencies and doctrinal problems with some of the content contained in PTHG. A book that Snuffer claims has no inaccuracies in it

How is it that you are oblivious to the evidence put before you?

Are you just shilling for Denver or are you truly sober about the warning that Christ gives us in Matthew 24?

What is your motivation for continually providing a one sided review of Denver Snuffer.

It seems to me that you should be reticent about repetitiously promoting someone like this with such a naive, one sided view, instead of providing a balanced review and discussing some of the very disturbing things that Denver teaches.
SteveF said…
I'm just trying to understand what you mean in your current paradigm. In my own, where the Priesthood (authority) is found on earth, there also will be the Church. I would equate the LDS Church with the Kingdom of God right now since I know for myself that the Church possesses the full keys of the Kingdom that mortals can possess on earth, although I do think there are functions and branches more encompassing than that are currently operating (such as the political arm of the Kingdom of God) that while the keys and authority are here, will still need to be more fully established. So in a sense I think the Church has still not given birth to the full Kingdom of God that will be established as we reach Zion. Yet the church (although some of its organization may change / continue to develop over time) will still exist as a part and portion of that full Kingdom with the keys we hold now still standing at its head.
SteveF said…
Log, I agree with your answers here. Where we disagree, I have found that for whatever reason our conversations tend to move toward contention, and so I feel it would be better for us and those who might view our conversations that we simply be fine with our disagreements rather than attempt to point out flaws in each others positions. I don't find anything inherently wrong in such a conversation when there remains respectful dialogue, but for me I have decided in our case I just don't want to go down that road anymore. Hope you understand. I feel comfortable with my thoughts, not aggravated, and believe there are public grounds for my disagreements, but I'm just not interested in pointed them out for the sake of greater peace and charity. So as to your other comment, I respectfully decline the offer.
RDorius said…
Consider Numbers 11:29 - "would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" I don't have a problem with this, or your conclusions about Snuffer.

A prophet is one who receives inspiration and revelation from the Lord and then does what the Lord asks him to do. We are all allowed to go directly to the Lord and receive answers, revelations if you will. Usually for ourselves and our family, but every now and again a "Samuel the Lamanite" may be needed to cry repentance or at least bring to the fore front things that have been forgotten. I think that is what Snuffer has done - brought to the fore front things that have been forgotten.

I sustain the leadership of the church. There's is a difficult job just trying to keep us on the track "home". We are (or were) encouraged by the writings of Joseph Smith, the scriptures, and many of the general authorities to seek, knock, ask. However, you have to be willing to listen and hear what the Lord is answering, not just assume you know and not truly hear what He says.

Thanks Tim, for all of your stories and comments. Thanks for your boldness in declaring what your witness is. Thanks for your trepidation but putting your opinion out there anyway. R2
SteveF said…
Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I posed them just to try and elicit more thought on the matter, points that seem to be helpful to me in my own understanding. I am just a regular member like you. I live south of Provo, not actually all that far from the Confetti bookstore. I'm a serial entrepreneur by trade and have never worked for the Church. My current callings are SS teacher and scout leader, so I certainly have no authority over you in telling you what you need to / should believe. Just a member trying to be helpful in what I think may be helpful based on my own paradigm and understanding.

I don't think any mortal has it all figured out, but studying, pondering, and praying about the doctrine of the Priesthood specifically, has been my greatest passion/hobby for the last 4-5 years, so if your interested I would be open to having a more private discussion by email that we might share some insights--although it sounds like you have quite a bit on your plate right now on that front, so I understand if you feel such a thing is not the best thing for you right now.

Just briefly, I think the way we use keys in the church has changed over time. Here, I am trying to use it the way I understand its primary usage in the D&C, where Priesthood keys is synonymous with Priesthood authority. Joseph F. Smith changed the way / wording we use to ordain men to the Priesthood, which I think has led to some of these definition changes, but in the end it's all semantics I suppose, so I agree with you, laying out definitions upfront will be very helpful if not crucial in a conversation like this.
log said…
I ... believe there are public grounds for my disagreements, but I’m just not interested in pointed them out....

As you wish. For me, the issue was settled once our scriptural identification with "the Gentiles" was pointed out (D&C 109:60). With that in hand, everything else follows, like having the right key in a locked door. Without that piece, nothing follows, and the Book of Mormon becomes mysteriously preoccupied with describing and warning a people who are unaware of the descriptions and warnings. Yay for being the chosen ones, I guess. Too bad for those poor suckers who find our eager missionaries unpersuasive.

Given the follies and foibles of the Gentiles so abundantly made mention of throughout the Book of Mormon, accepting this scriptural identification explains why we don't live in Zion, why the Church is presently incapable of building Zion, and predicts that we won't build Zion. It also explains why miracles have almost completely ceased, literal visitations of angels are unheard of, and why the Lord ceased speaking to the body of the Church in his voice after January 7, 1847.

Rejecting this identification leaves it very much a mystery why these things are so - indeed, it is an inexplicable mystery.
Rick said…
Log, SteveF, Tim, Anthony.

I think it is good to add Nephi's remarks when talking about the Gentiles, 2 Nephi 30.


We should not think we are more righteous than the gentiles. (v 1)
If we are not righteous, we will also perish. (v 1)
Not all the Gentiles will be destroyed. (v 1)

We become the covenant people when we repent and believe in Christ (repenting suggesting being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost, see 2 Nephi 31).

So there is a difference when you become a covenant person and are righteous!

Who are the remnant? (v 4) If they are part of Central and South America, that is the strongest growth area of the church. If they are the American Indians, then this is yet to happen.

The Jews will also come to know Christ.

Some perishing, a great division among the people (v 10). The wicked will be destroyed but He will spare His People.

Then the millennium.
Ramona Gordy said…
Hi Tim
I have written to you before. I am a convert ( I hate labels, but that's what it is) and I have been a member of the LDS church for about 6 years. My missionary's informed me that I was a "Golden" investigator, whatever that means.

So I joined the Church because I wanted the truth. In the church's I grew up in and attended throughout my life, I had never heard of the "priesthood", or that the Father, and the Son have "tangible bodies" and not some "Oz like Spirit" hiding behind a curtain.

So I was elated about that. In the churches I had previously attended I was not taught about the atonement and how because of it, all men are saved, and if we "come unto Christ", and be saved, we may one day "see him as he really is; Awesome". I was taught that only a select few would ever get to meet the Savior, and if we weren't "raptured up" in that last day, we would know it too. I had always felt, I wouldn't be in that group. Can you imagine your whole life going to church and believing, only to find out that it was a waste of time, only "certain people" would go to heaven while the rest of us would go the "hell".

I suppose that I joined this Church because like Joseph Smith I had been to various churches and they left me cold and feeling hopeless. I joined the Church because I believe with all of my heart that God is God, and Jesus is our Savior and one day He will come back for us.

All of these other wonderful things that I am learning and have participated in, such as receiving my endowment, being sealed to my husband, callings, etc are really great too.But at the end of the day, I am still holding on to my simple and fervent belief in God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.

I read Denver Snuffers blog and two books, "Beloved Enos" and a book about 16 verses in the Book of Mormon.Concerning his blog, I was at first offended, and then fascinated and then a little depressed.
I thought, why is this guy saying these things, These things are not what I am being taught. Am I being lied to? I thought wow, if this Church isn't true, then what a waste of time, and the joke is on me. So I prayed to know what the Fathers will was for ME and me alone. I was comforted to know that a plan is in the works for all of us individually, and then also collectively as members of this Church. The message to me was to continue to "hold on" to that iron rod, study and study more. Pray and build up my faith, and most of all, it isn't that Denver Snuffer is all wrong or all right. But what he is saying is not about me, or my relationship with God, and everything will work itself out and all things will be revealed in due time.
So, I will stay a member of this Church, regardless of its history, I love it and sustain it's leaders. I will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of "doctrine" that comes around.

PS: I was really impressed with the late John Pointius book "Visions of Glory". I found the scenario of the "Spencer's dream of gathering Zion to be more plausible and like something that would play out.
Matthew said…
Matthew said…
I'll leave my witness as well. I have read and continue to read Denver Snuffer. He is a true servant of God. The Spirit has born witness to my soul countless times. After almost two years of reading his texts I can't claim to understand that he is teaching (and implying), but I believe he is an important servant at this moment in time. The Spirit has also born witness to me that the LDS Church still belongs to Christ, and it still had a great and important function.

If you don't believe that the Lord could use both an "apostate" and the LDS Church to accomplish His work, the following scripture comes to mind:

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Hi Ramona,

Thank you for your wonderful comment. I loved that you shared how you prayed about what you had read and even shared the answer. Denver has always said his book PtHG is not for everyone. It obviously offended the Brethren, who excommunicated him for it. I suppose the same could be said for his other books and his blog. I happen to be one of those to which his writing appeals and has made me feel good about my decision to remain as faithful and true to this Church as I know how - especially to love and serve the members of my ward and stake. I am so glad to know God tells some people they don't need Denver to help point them to Christ. By your writing, I am convinced you already know the Savior. God bless you and thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comment Matthew. I feel the same. I don't claim to understand half of what Denver is sharing in his lecture series, but when I pray about it, the spirit whispers to keep reading and to keep looking up those scriptures for myself. I've said it many times. I need a study guide to get me motivated and into the scriptures daily.

For me, right now, that study guide is what I'm finding in Denver's lectures. I guess I'm not a very good fit for your 'typical Mormon,' who only needs the Ensign magazine to supplement their scripture reading. I continue to find amazing things in what he is sharing in his lectures.
"For there shall arise false ... prophets" said…

You don't anger me or threaten me.

You concern me.

It seems that you don't really understand the gospel or the doctrines of the kingdom well enough to be testifying of the truthfulness of what Denver is saying and it just seems like you are putting yourself in a questionable position.

Wouldn't you feel bad if it turns out that Denver is a false prophet?

If that happens, will you feel badly that you spent so much time and effort pointing people in his direction?

Why have you made such an emotional investment in promoting him?
SteveF said…
"It seems that you don’t really understand the gospel or the doctrines of the kingdom well enough to be testifying of the truthfulness of what Denver is saying"

This sits wrong with me. You may be concerned, but this comes across extremely harsh and doesn't seem to be born of genuine love. Maybe you should outline some specific concerns, linking to references on some of this evidence that may be getting overlooked. This wholesale condemnation of a man for expressing his heart seems very wrong to me. Unless Tim's Priesthood leader tells him to stop publicly saying xyz, I think Tim has every right to express belief in any false or true principle that he wants to when he is only trying to be true to his heart.
Tom Irvine said…
Mark 9

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
Now we’re talking. Great questions! Why indeed? You bet I know this blog post could get me into trouble with my leaders. I’m prepared for that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If either my bishop or Stake President tell me to stop blogging, I’ll do it. If they tell me to delete my blog or my Facebook account or my Google Plus account or whatever other social media I use, it will be done without a second thought. Why? I love my Bishop and Stake President and don’t want to get them in trouble. I don’t think they would do that unless someone from Salt Lake asked them to talk to me about my writings.

Look, all I’m saying is that I have read just about everything Denver Snuffer has written and published or that Doug recorded for him. Denver has already been labeled a false prophet by the Brethren. He has been excommunicated. What greater evidence should we look for to determine if he is a false prophet? Has he asked us to follow him? No. Has he asked us to leave the church? No. Has he asked for our money? No, he implores us to be obedient and pay our tithing to the church. I gratefully do so. I do not feel I have wasted my time. I feel I have done what I have felt led to do by the spirit of the Lord. How many more prayers can I offer before I offend the Lord in asking if I am following the right path?

As to the last question, you are inspired of God in asking it. I thank you. A man has to stand for something in his life. I have chosen to take a stand and declare what I have declared, that Denver Snuffer is a prophet. He is an authorized servant of Jesus Christ. He is not trying to take over the Church and he is not trying to take people away from the Church. He is simply asking us to give heed to the message he says the Savior has asked him to deliver. I can do that and remain faithful to my temple covenants, because to me, giving heed to Denver’s words means to simply listen, ponder and pray. Is that so wrong? Anybody can do that. And some will get different answers. Some do not need to hear what Denver is sharing. I do.

Do you want to continue? I don’t know how much clearer I can be. I know what I am doing. I know the risk I am taking. I do not want to be rebellious to the promptings of the spirit as I once was in my youth. I want to be true to what I feel the Lord wants me to do. Yes, it is a major investment of my time to write these blog posts. I can’t tell you why I am doing it other than the Lord is inviting me to participate in something I don’t yet understand. I can’t share what that is because I don’t know. It has not been revealed to me. I am acting on faith. Yes, you and I both know I could be deceived, along with a whole bunch of other people who feel as I do. I thank you for your concern. Delete me from your list of friends. Remove me from your subscription list. Do what you feel is right. I thank you for your loving concern. God bless you my friend.
Mark said…

Again, what a wonderful blog. I do enjoy coming here from time to time to see what you are up to.

I still have not yet read Denver. I have read some of his blog. I intend on reading his material. I just haven't been in a hurry.

I did read his latest blog entry regarding "Blessings and Cursings." Very interesting, indeed.

I have had this question for a while regarding Denver, now I have it more than ever.
Question: If the church does not have the fulness of the priesthood, then why have individual church members gone through the steps of the priesthood ordinances and rites and then consequently have had an experience of the endowment of charity, seen the Savior - received the second comforter, etc.? I do believe that this has happened since 1841 and that it continues today. Even Denver himself testifies of this, as it happened to him, correct?

So what is the ramification of his teaching? What are we to do with this knowledge? Is his message just to bring it to light and to continue to seek this experience through the priesthood ordinances and rites? If you can receive it, then what are we missing? What would it look like to have received the fulness of the priesthood in Nauvoo? Has he discussed this? It seems like an obvious question.
SteveF said…
No, I did mean what I said. I have read both if your referring to the onewhoiswatching and Gregory Smith reviews. And in a previous conversation about Denver on this blog I've linked to both part 1 and 2 of the Gregory Smith review (and mentioned that I agree with just about everything Br. Smith pointed out as you can also see in my comments to Br. Smith on the mormoninterpreter posts of the review). The OWIW review has its own major flaws, imo.

You can see the huge conversation in the comment section here: http://latterdaycommentary.com/2013/09/23/arguments-against-denver-snuffer/#comments , or several other comments on previous Denver Snuffer posts well before his excommunication, where I have shared my testimony and revelation that I have known Denver has been taken by false spirit is his doctrine.

So my issue is certainly not your characterization of Denver, but rather your approach to Tim.

I agree with you that Denver's recent posts show a man who is planning something, a man filled with hubris believing the work he is involved in and was excommunicated for will be very significant to restoration, whatever he means by that. He is following the path of many apostates before him, and there will be many others that come after him. Time will bear this testimony out, but it is always sad for those who fall prey to deception in the process, and if too deeply will find their lives on the brink of ruin. I hope there will not be many that fall.
SteveF said…
btw, I still have major issues with the way you are responding to Tim. Your concern comes across more like judgement, and certainly not gentle persuasion. It's a shame, imo, to present some interesting and potentially useful information in such a way. If you believe Tim is acting in ignorance in one way or another, then all the more reason to teach and not chastise. The condemnation of man is turning from light when it is clearly before them, but if it is obscure and that light is not clear or yet understood, they are not under the law and through the atonement and grace of Christ there remains no condemnation.
Lizzie Nelson said…
Adrian, loved your comments.
Lizzie Nelson said…
Great comments Adrian. I loved them.
Rick said…
Look at these great comments, showing how you sustain our leaders:

“But they come from outside the apostate hierarchy.”

“He has the right to lead the corporation he owns “

” President Monson is a good man, and sincere. But what has he revealed? Where are his prophecies? Where are his visions?”

“It’s an utterly preposterous attempt by idolators to defend their idols.”

“If President Monson cannot see this, does not heed the signs of the times, will not cry repentance, and continues to enjoy rock star status while feeding the flock on stories about his own greatness, I fear greatly for most of the church.”

“But I’ve had my fill with bread.”

“Denver’s fruits are delicious.”

‘I do not suppose to guess the things the Lord reveals to President Monson. But I do wonder what the prophet asks the Lord to reveal to him.”

“If the prophet is not crying repentance long and loud, he is not a prophet. Period.”

Actually, you are preaching elitism. You have your prophet now, the few of you.

I wish you would stop proclaiming your sustaining of leaders because your comments show just the opposite.

You are kidding yourselves.
Nathan said…
I want to restate something Denver Snuffer has repeated in nearly every lecture and in his writings- this is not about him. It is the message- the doctrine. I don't have to stand up in Church and declare that DS is a prophet. I need to learn doctrine and become a prophet- then teach what the Lord would have me teach locally. I need not ever mention DS- in fact, he stated that his hope is that we never would mention his name. Come unto Christ. Receive your commission from Him then go and do as He instructs
Amen Nathan. And Rick, you make good points. Here's a link to some good articles on lds.org about what it means to sustain our leaders: http://www.lds.org/search?lang=eng&query=sustain

I had hoped my main point in the post would be this: Just as we listen to counsel from our General Authorities and "seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith." (D&C 88:118), there are other good sources of knowledge available to us besides THE Prophet and Apostles.

More specifically, as Nathan points out and we can read in Numbers 11:29: "And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" When a man speaks inspired words in the name of the Lord, or in this case specifically indicates the Lord has commanded him to deliver a message, we call him a prophet.

The big decision we must make in our own minds is if we can accept a secondary source of inspired direction as coming from God, especially if what he teaches does not fit our standard interpretation of scriptures. There is no doubt parts of the message being delivered by Denver Snuffer contradict what I have been taught growing up in this church.

It seems almost daily I am clarifying somewhere in my comments that I sustain the Brethren. I pray for them. I seek to do my duty as a member of this institution / church to which I belong and for which I am and will always be grateful. But I just can't deny the promptings of the spirit any more that tell me the message I'm hearing from Denver is what I need to hear and focus on right now in my life. I still need to learn it better.

That's why I appreciate the transcriptions of the lectures. I read lecture number five again last night. I love learning about the priesthood. There is no doubt he has added to my knowledge of what I already knew about priesthood and has encouraged me to seek for more through prayer and additional study. Again, Denver is NOT asking me to stop listening to the men I sustain as prophets and apostles.

He is simply offering a message that he has not yet delivered completely. I look forward to hearing the rest of it and considering it all together. Then I'm going to ask myself, as I do now, why would the Lord give this message to Denver and not to President Monson? Does Denver have a "key" (authority and permission) to deliver this message in the name of the Lord and where did he get that key? Certainty not from the LDS Church, of which he is no longer a member.

So again, Amen to Nathan's point: let us focus on the message. Let us consider it, read it, ponder it, listen to it, pray about it, ask ourselves what the Lord wants us to do about it and make sure we are not being deceived. Let us test it in prayer and by comparing it to the scriptures. Where we find differences between Denver's interpretations and the standard narrative let us ask ourselves why and get an answer.

Above all, let us receive the Lord for ourselves as we have been invited to do. That is the message and that is what I am focusing on. What must I do to have the heavens opened to me and to be taught by angels? What must I change about my beliefs or my conduct that is holding the angels back from inviting me to become a part of the church of the Firstborn? Elitist group? I suppose so, Rick. But only by our own choice. We decide if we will do all that we're asked to do by the promptings of the spirit to receive the promise for ourselves.
Tom Irvine said…
And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.

1 Nephi 10:22
SteveF said…
Rick, I appreciate your faithfulness throughout all of this, and your ability to discern good from bad fruit. For those who can see, the fruits of Denver are clear: division, anger, elitism, and doubt in those who are the true mouthpieces of the Lord on the earth. In sum, it is the spirit of apostasy wrapped in sophistry that will appeal to those with itching ears who wish to have their egos stroked in a spirit of elitism and cover their pride and vain ambitions by joining in group self-deception. And then there is the unfortunate minority who are simply deceived out of ignorance in the whole process. For those who are in this group and pure in heart, I believe the Lord will guide them slowly and surely, through continual study and prayer so that the day will come that they will see their deception, and will not be fully led away into destruction like unto the greater part who are deceived because of their pride.

I lament that Joseph Smith spoke truth when he said, "for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes."

How long will God's people continue to repeat history and reject His authorized mouthpieces? I suppose it must still be a while longer as the bad fruit bearing gentiles of the Church will continue to be broken off the tree, while those who remain faithful will be purged of their gentile blood and will be numbered among Israel, as Israel is gathered and grafted in from the last unto the first growing in strength in balance with the ever increasing strength of the roots, until that day when God's vineyard shall be fully purged. And yes while these branches, the tares, shall be cut off, bundled, and burned, the tree and Church will remain as the righteous become one people under the organization of the Priesthood, even the Kingdom of God.

I have born ample and pure testimony here over the last year, and it is my hope that it has not fallen entirely on deaf ears. Put away pride, put away vanity, and put away ignorance, all of which may take time, and if you do these things and pray you will know of yourself that I have spoken truth here. It seems that the wicked are gathering here in ever increasing numbers, and so I fear it is soon that I must withdraw entirely. Please, for anyone who will hear it, do not lose faith in the Church or the Brethren, for they are Christ's. God has chosen from among the weak things of the world to lead His cause, do not let these weaknesses become a stumbling block from faith. The truth will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, for the Church and the fullness of keys of the Kingdom restored to it are the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and this is the last time the Lord and His servants have come to work in the vineyard. Join the cause, come in the unity of the faith, even in its weakness, and labor with your diligence and might, and you shall in nowise lose your reward for you will be laying up for yourself treasures in heaven, for in this very manner we shall find strength--on the tree, connected to the vine, not off of it. Those who divide themselves and follow after branches who have been cut off from the tree, tossed to and fro by the winds of outside doctrine, will find themselves withering until they too shall be cut off from the tree that gives them life. Let it not be you, and join the Saints in their weakness, for they shall confound the wise, and the day will come that they will become strong as Zion will be redeemed, bearing natural fruit as a unified and great whole, while the broken branches shall be burned.
Roy said…
@ SteveF - So when the "young and tender branches ... from the nether parts of the vineyard ... " come to be grafted into the Mother tree, aren't they who teach, gather, and lead them categorically "Prophets", even though they come from outside the restored Church (as you say "authorized mouthpiece")?

"I have born ample and pure testimony here over the last year, and it is my hope that it has not fallen entirely on deaf ears. Put away pride, put away vanity, and put away ignorance, all of which may take time, and if you do these things and pray you will know of yourself that I have spoken truth here".

Brother Steve, you sound like Samuel-the-Lamanite yourself.
rockwaterman1 said…
Tim, thanks for another great post!

I believe there's no question that Denver Snuffer is a prophet. Most of us are a bit hesitant to use that label, because we have been conditioned in the church to believe a prophet must at the same time be the leader of the church -even though that is not the definition of a prophet. A prophet, as you so aptly described the role, is simply someone God has assigned to deliver a message. It's usually a corrective message, which is why prophets are known as calling the people to repentance. He is sent to correct errors, often errors held through tradition and ignorance. Denver Snuffer points out places where we as a people have come to believe certain things as true which contradict previous revelations from God. He therefore fits the definition of prophet. He is not out to usurp.

Sadly, most Mormons put their guard up when they hear anyone other than the president of the Church described as a "prophet" because the assumption is such a man intends to start his own church or develop his own following or something. It's almost laughable to hear some folks accuse Snuffer of desiring any such thing. Those people betray their ignorance of the message.

It's beyond me why some folks get all het up about this Denver Snuffer guy and warn others away from him. Church members attend presentations about the history and theology of Mormonism at "Know Your Religion" without ever worrying that the speaker has nefarious goals. I say why not give this guy a listen? If his message doesn't ring true for you, move on.

As for me, I think he has something to teach me. I won't put up with others warning me away from anyone. I don't need those with office and titles and station within the Church to tell me who I should not listen to. I'm an adult; I can judge whether a thing is true or not for myself, thank you.
Matthew said…
SteveF, God bless you for your faithfulness. I respectfully disagree that DS' fruits are division, anger, elitism, and doubt, any more than the teachings of other prophets (Nephi, Joseph Smith, and even Christ) caused similar tensions. The real fruits of DS can only be witnessed by those who have applied the doctrines and scriptures he has highlighted. In my case, and without any doubt, I have felt the Spirit burn more consistently and brightly in my life. I have understood more fully what it means to be baptized with fire, converted, etc., and to a degree last year I felt that change occur and it continues to unfold as I understand more and more the things of the spirit. I sense there is still much more, so while I seek for even greater light, I hope I do not fall into the trap of having itching ears. I hope that I am merely seeking greater light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord. I feel a nearness to Christ that I didn't know was possible, and the veil is thinning. These are great blessings. These are significant fruits. If this makes me an elitist, then all Mormons should be elitists.

I testify that God's hand is moving in miraculous ways both within and without the Church. None of us can fully comprehend the great scope of His work to redeem His children. We should all prepare ourselves to receive the "hundred fold more" that JS claimed he withheld from the Saints because they were not prepared to receive them. We should not let any man, institution, or earthly thinking limit what miracles God will work in each of us individually. I hope that you can feel the Spirit of what I am stating, as I testify that I wrote this with the Spirit burning within me.
Adrian said…
Hi Rick,

It's worth considering what it means to "sustain leaders." I pray for President Monson. I sustain his right to preside, direct the church, set policy, administer the kingdom, direct the ordinances, and preach the gospel. I assume you do too.

By pointing out the fact that he does not issue prophecy or give revelation, that does not imply I do not sustain his right to do so. Is pointing out mere facts inappropriate?

After the loss of Moses, Aaron presided, but without the fullness the Lord wanted to give Israel. Was this an apostate hierarchy? But still put there and sustained by God (at least when righteous)?

"Rock Star" was the fawning term used by my Gospel Doctrine teacher last week to describe President Monson. EVERY conference talk from President Monson includes at least one story about himself. His latest book is a collection of his favorite stories about himself. We stand in silence when he enters the room. We all testify that we know with every fiber of our being that our leaders are prophets, seers, revelators, without a shred of evidence that they are.

We treat our leaders with adoration to the point of idolatry.

Do you have faith in President Monson? Should I?

Because, last I checked, we are to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and cursed is he that puts his trust in man and makes flesh his arm. No man can save you. No man belongs between you and the Lord. Not Joseph Smith, not Thomas Monson. Nobody.

Part of sustaining our leaders is recognizing their appropriate responsibilities and place before the Lord. Putting them in a place where they do not belong, do not claim to be, and not authorized by the Lord does them a great disservice. Truly sustaining the leaders means not placing upon them burdens that are not theirs to bear.
SteveF: I am impressed with your ability to write with passion and persuasion, using phrases I have heard from the pulpit all my life. I find myself nodding my head in agreement with so many things you write. I love the prophet Joseph Smith, at least as much as I can after a lifetime of study, but I find I have learned more about him in the past two years by following sources to which I have been directed by a good teacher from an unexpected source, referring of course to Denver Snuffer.

We have a lot of good teachers in this church and good writers too. I hope what you write about the wicked gathering here on my blog in greater numbers is not something you really believe. To me, a wicked person is one who goes about trying to destroy faith in Jesus Christ. Alma the Younger described himself that way before his conversion. I do not find that sense of wickedness when I read the messages to which Denver points me, or which he delivers in his lectures.

I admire your zeal. I do not think we have dissimilar goals: to come unto Christ and to prepare ourselves to enter into his presence, an event I hope will come to pass while I am yet in mortality. May I say how much I appreciate your contributions here. You add so much. Please know I'm being sincere. We would be foolish not to listen to wise counsel and you have indeed provided much. Thank you. I do not doubt your devotion and your desire to do the will of the Lord.

Please know that I do not reject President Thomas S. Monson nor any of the fifteen Brethren I sustain as prophets, seers and revelators in this church. I know these are good men. I have sat at their feet so many times and have been spiritually nourished. I love the members of the First Presidency, Elder Packer, Elder Perry, Elder Oaks, Elder Holland and on down through the quorum: Elder Bednar, Elder Scott, Elder Cook. My sister has been secretary to Elder Cook and is now secretary to Elder Perry. Seriously. I love these great brethren. They are servants of the Lord. I know they love the lord and follow Him.

All I'm saying is I have also been led to truth through the writings of Denver Snuffer. I find him to be a man inspired of God and when he speaks I hear a prophet's message - repent and come unto Christ. He does not ask us to leave the church. He does not ask us to follow him. We have all seen splinter groups before. It is obvious they were not authorized by the Lord to do what they did, start a church, receive tithing, publish scripture, or any of the other things included in the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Don't put Denver Snuffer in the same category as Jim Harmston or Warren Jeffs.

God bless you my friend. Thanks for your uplifting comments. You are obviously a man who loves the Lord. I appreciate your comments here.
log said…
Jeremiah 17:5
5 ¶Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

2 Nephi 18:20
20 To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Rick said…
I do have faith that President Monson is chosen of Christ to lead his Church. I do have faith in his calling as an apostle. I do have faith that he receives revelation for the Church. I don't have faith that Denver does.

I am grateful for all the pioneers who gave everything they had to gather in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Mountain West, and around the world today. I respect them for leaving a legacy that would help me in my life.

I'm thankful for the temples that have been and are being built. I'm grateful that I have had the opportunity to receive eternal ordinances and make eternal covenants that I hope will allow me to return to my Father in Heaven. And not just me, my family and loved ones, and friends and all those who choose likewise.

You and others can choose to denigrate our leaders, both living and past. I will not. They have been a blessing in my life.

If only Christ hadn't built his church on apostles, right?

And since we like to sling scriptures around here, I will sling it right back at you.

Who is trusting in the arm of Denver's flesh?
Tom Irvine said…
I know from personal experience that division, anger and elitism can go both ways. I have been called "unfaithful to brethren" on many occasions. Both sides need to avoid hypocrisy and self-righteousness.
log said…
I disbelieve that a man who makes false accusations and indulges in the spirit of contention, unto the slandering of others, is on the Lord's errand.

I disbelieve such a man has received the Holy Ghost, for such fruit cometh not from charity.

I disbelieve any man who says his own testimony is pure, and protests the purity of his own motives.

I disbelieve a man who attempts to use his purported revelations as a tool of manipulation upon others.

And I disbelieve anyone who preaches faith on men, for such are at variance with the Holy Prophets.

Jeremiah 17:5
5 ¶Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
2 Nephi 18:20
20 To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.

I commend Ezekiel 14 to whomsoever should read this.
SteveF said…
The young and tender branches were scattered and planted withersoever the Lord would in the world, the last group specifically mentioned in Jacob 5, planted on good ground, is that which became the Nephites and the Lamanites. Each of these scattered branches bore good fruit for their respective seasons, but after a time the day came that all of these became corrupt and bore evil fruit. Yet the Lord would remember the covenants He made with His people, and make way to preserve these natural branches that they would be gathered back into their mother tree. It was/is to be through an ensign to the nations, even the restoration of the keys of the Kingdom, and specifically the Keys restored through Moses in Kirtland that Israel might be grafted back into their mother roots. So to specifically answer your question--the prophets who are and yet will lead this gathering will hold these keys restored by Moses which are found in the Church, and will therefore come from within the Church.

Just a side note to your last comment: If a member can be like unto a Samuel-the-Lamanite, in the sense that God would that all His people would be prophets or filled with the spirit of prophecy, you may be able to detect them from false prophets because they will act in their sphere of authority, and will testify and lead others to those who hold the keys of God on earth in and over the Kingdom in that time and place. Thus you see Samuel had the people go to Nephi, who held the fullness of the Priesthood. Samuel did not testify that Nephi did not hold the fullness of the Priesthood, contrary to the truth. I am confident that Samuel trusted, and likely even testified, that Nephi was leading God’s people toward God.
Joy L. said…
Amen, amen, and AMEN Adrian! I agree with everything you said. I'll be copying your post in my personal files.
SteveF said…
I responded to this jointly with Tim's comment, but just wanted to add that I particularly appreciated your testimony in your last paragraph. Thanks.
I love these. They are great questions. You could write the Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual. I’ve just got to answer them to see how I do. Thanks so much for asking them.

-Do you find yourself doubting that the Church holds the fullness of the Priesthood? Or do you have faith that all the keys of the Kingdom are with us today?

We have to define 1) fullness of the priesthood and 2) Keys of the Kingdom. I think this is where I am weak in understanding what these terms mean. Teach me. I believe the church is authorized to perform ordinances, receive tithing, preach the gospel, build temples, and do all things the Lord has asked of those who I sustain as Apostles, Seers and Revelators in this great church.

-Do you find yourself feeling closer to the body of the Saints as whole? Or do you feel more separated from them, and consciously or subconsciously look down upon them in their weakness? Tempted to condemn those who may still be young in the faith?

I love being with the members of my ward and stake. I see them as like me, struggling to live the gospel, wanting to know more about the Savior, and coming to church to worship Him. My desire is to nurture those who are young in the faith, and not hinder them while encouraging them – and myself – to deepen faith in Jesus Christ by studying the doctrines he has revealed.

-Do you feel yourself desiring to be a more active participant in your local ward, to lift those immediately around you? Or do you feel yourself rather withdrawing, becoming a little more reclusive in favor of rather engaging more in hidden chambers or forums?

Same answer as above. I love to participate in my ward and stake activities. Sundays are my favorite days. I want to do better as a home teacher and in studying the gospel each day. I love to hear testimonies from new members. I love to attend baptisms. I love to sit with the Saints in Gospel Doctrine Class or in my High Priest’s group each Sunday.

I am grateful for my calling and appreciate being able to meet with the Stake Presidency each month to give an accounting of the finances of the stake. I am blessed by being able to serve and associate with good men. I have asked them each why they are willing to spend so much of their time in meetings and interviews. They have replied, “For the same reason you serve. We love the Lord and want to please him.”

-When the brethren speak, particularly in conference, do you feel more inspiration in their words, and a deeper understanding of them and what the Lord would have you do? Or do you find yourself being more apathetic to the words of the brethren; that they seem to be getting less significant to you, that more and more they seem to be carrying little to no more weight than the next individual claiming inspiration? And possibly even feeling superior to some of the things they say?

I love the General Authorities and especially the fifteen men who lead this church. I sustain them with all my heart. I pray for them to be able to fulfill their heavy burdens and responsibilities. I love participating in General Conference. We try not to miss any session. I’m so grateful for new technology that allows us to view it on the Internet – and now my wife can view the Priesthood session as well. These men – and women – called to preside and teach us are inspired. I am glad they have accepted their callings and assignments and strive to build us up each Conference.
Hey Log, you might want to take a look at your website: JustAndTrue.com. My anti-virus popped up and blocked a couple of viruses: Exploit Blackhat SEO type 1720. Just letting you know.
Rick said…
Adrian, you get -10 points for being condescending.

I'm glad you and others get superior messages from Denver.

I see the fruits of Denver's message when I see your comments, and others, denigrating the apostles (which you say is just obvious) and proclaiming Denver's prophet-ship.

By the way, has he ever claimed such (please provide the place if he has) or are you just determining so?

Elder McConkie wrote about seeking the face of Jesus a couple of decades ago, so this isn't something new.

If the followers of Denver would talk about the superior message he has, and why it is superior, and not denigrate, degrade, complain about Church leaders while at the same time proclaiming sustaining the brethren, maybe I would pay attention to you.

This is the issue I have with you and Denver. In all 5 of his latest speeches, he runs down church leaders in one form or another. Also on his blog, but you say don't pay attention to that??? Isn't this an indication of fruit?

You do the same in your comments.

Maybe you or Log can reference the scripture where you say Jesus said to test Denver? If you are referring to "by their fruit you shall know them", I am saying there is a problem with his fruit.

SteveF has seen the same thing I have. If you think Denver is the hottest thing going, proceed.

By the way, I find Larry Barkdull's writings some of the best I have ever read. You should read his "Pillars of Zion".

I have another issue with you and Denver, you seem to be stuck in the 1800's. Do you consider Joseph Smith the only person worth quoting? Have you ever quoted something from President Monson? or any of the other Prophets since Joseph?

Of is one of the messages of Denver is that the Prophets since Joseph aren't real?

And who is cursed that you are talking about?
log said…
I'll let the proprietor know, and de-link. Thanks.
Michael A. Cleverly said…

Although I believe Denver believes his doctrine, chief among the lies he promotes is that the Fullness of the Priesthood was not restored (or re-restored) and passed on to the Church previous to Joseph Smith’s death

I would like to understand your view better. (As Tim said, "teach me".)

Given D&C 124:28 (which Denver makes a lot of hay out of):

For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.

Which of the following is the true (i.e., correct view) as to the lack of the fullness on (at least) January 19, 1841?

The fullness of the priesthood had been restored [at some point] in this dispensation prior to January 19, 1841, but had been taken away [at some later point for some reason] and needed to be re-restored
The fullness of the priesthood had been lost prior to this dispensation [i.e., during the great apostasy] and, as of January 19, 1841, had not yet been restored again in this dispensation but still needed to be

I have yet to come to a firm conclusion as to which situation I believe is the correct antecedent to this verse, and so would appreciate your input.
SteveF said…
Tim and Michael,

Those are good points of discussion and very related. I don't have time to get to this tonight since I don't think a quick answer will be sufficient, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm planning on getting back to this when I am able.
Adrian said…
Hi Rick,

I'm so sorry if I come across as condescending. That is not my intent, and I sincerely apologize if you have found my comments so. I'll stop commenting because it's clear I'm not doing a very good job of representing what I'm trying to share.

I'm perfectly glad to honor your beliefs and your right to believe them, and hope you will do the same for me. It's clear neither of us will convince the other, so I'm glad to consider you my brother in the gospel on a quest to find heaven. I hope you'll consider me likewise.

Above that, I hope you and I will one day meet in Zion and have a good laugh about our disagreement.

Thank you for the suggestion about Pillars of Zion. I have looked at it briefly before and may do so more fully.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. May God bless you and your family now and always.
Adrian said…

I just want to tell you how much I admire you for standing up and proclaiming what you have. It takes courage to make such public pronouncements of something so deeply personal, and I find inspiration in your courage.

No doubt you will take your share of arrows for doing so, but I believe you are correct. Therefore, whatever it costs you is irrelevant. As you correctly point out, this is a matter between you and the Lord. I know you will stay true to Him.

I add my witness to yours that Snuffer has been commissioned by Jesus Christ to do what he is doing and say what he is saying. That makes him a prophet.

I hesitated using the prophet label for Denver for a long time, partly because he doesn't use it for himself, and partly because it is such a divisive term in Mormonism. (There can be only one. Or 15.) So I most generally said things like, "Denver Snuffer knows Jesus Christ personally and has been commissioned by him to deliver a message of repentance."

Of course, when I tried that approach, the first question asked would be, "Are you saying he's a prophet?" So I think I probably should have said that from the start.

Anyway, to you I say, well put! Great post! And God bless you!

To those who feel differently, I think it's safe to say that IF Denver Snuffer is a false prophet, time will make that apparent to us all. Thank you for your loving concern. May we all seek the Lord through whatever means we can.
Thanks Adrian. As to your last comment, it's the best. That's exactly what Carol says to me, "time will reveal if Denver is a false prophet." She's content to let me study his stuff, buy the books and tapes, print all the transcripts of the lectures, spend hours and hours reading what he writes, looking up the scriptures and then sharing what I've learned here. We each are seeking the Lord - to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to be like Him. God bless us at this time of Thanksgiving.
Tom Irvine said…
Gamaliel on the trial of Peter and the Apostles before a council, from Acts 5….

38) And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39) But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.


And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.

Moroni 10:8
Matthew said…
SteveF said regarding D&C 124:28 "Tim and Michael, Those are good points of discussion and very related. I don’t have time to get to this tonight since I don’t think a quick answer will be sufficient, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m planning on getting back to this when I am able."

Count me in! I don't have much time to continue posting, but I will definitely continue reading. I did look up Gregory Smith's rebuttal on this particular point (see Claim #7) and am pondering his reasoning.
Rick said…
To all you famous blogsters, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! God loves all his children, and we volunteered for the adventure we are in.

I have learned many things with ya'll, am still learning, and look forward to what 2014 will bring. I hope several if not many receive that desire that moves us forward.
For those who are interested, here are links to the reviews of Passing the Heavenly Gift:

Amazon (32 Reviews): http://www.amazon.com/Passing-Heavenly-Gift-Denver-Snuffer/dp/0615528961

Goodreads: (11 Reviews including mine): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12547236-passing-the-heavenly-gift


Here are the links to the two rebuttals so far:

From Gregory Smith / Mormon Interpreter, part one (68 pages in PDF format):


By the way, I was immediately put off by the first line of the rebuttal. Here it is: "Snuffer claims that Joseph Smith was an inspired prophet, but Joseph’s commands and revelations were not heeded adequately. As a result, Joseph was betrayed by Church members and murdered prior to the completion of the Nauvoo Temple."

As far as I know, that's factual history I was taught growing up. In other words, it's not a "Snuffer claim." It's a fact from official LDS CES curriculum. Am I wrong? Maybe it's just me, but I was always taught a good rebuttal should start with facts agreed upon by both sides. What he quoted was factual but the use of "Snuffer claims" makes it appear that it is not. Sorry, Gregory, you lost my confidence right away for everything that followed.

part two (80 pages in PDF format):


Available in all kinds of formats: Kindle, PDF, audio


And the other rebuttal from One Who Is Watching:

a 52-page pdf with parts one and two is here:


Part three (not so long):


A better link with all three parts in one PDF:


I promised I would look at them. Thought it might be helpful to have the links in one place.
Diego: A little friendly advice: 1) DON'T USE ALL CAPS. It's commonly considered to be rude and the same as shouting. 2) Your advice to not read books goes contrary to this statement from the Lord in D&C 88:118 - "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

3) Starting a comment by condemning others is not a good idea. 4) The Brethren have encouraged us to be actively involved in the Internet, to be "engaged in the conversation." 5) President Thomas S. Monson is NOT the only prophet on the earth today. We sustain fifteen of them every year. 6) D&C 131:6 - "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance."

7) D&C 130:18-19 Your advice to not follow blogs is contrary to accepted doctrine. "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."

8) Num 11:29 - "And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets." 9) Rev 19:10 - Anybody with a testimony of Jesus is a prophet: "...the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 10) You're probably a better man than I to think things are as simple as you say. Your expression of love is appreciated. Thank you and God bless.
Richard said…
I believe the answer to the Denver Snuffer question is found in the October, 2010 Conference address by Elder Dallin H Oaks: "Two Lines of Communication." I make that observation because at that time I had a special reason to inquire of The Lord concerning Brother Snuffer and through very unique circumstances I was led by the Spirit to this message from Elder Oaks. I love Brother Snuffer but there is considerable irony in the resulting "fullness" that he was able to receive given the "deficiencies" of the kingdom that he claims to now exist. If we spend our lives trying to be a "second comforter" through charitable acts of service the day will come for us to enter comfortably into His presence without the apprehension of not having been properly instructed. The same gospel invitation extended to Brother Snuffer allowing him that privilege extends to all of us: "Come follow Me."
Matthew said…
Thank you, Always Pondering. I relate to a lot of what you state above. You put everything into nice perspective.
Matthew said…
I came across this testimony this morning: http://thesecondcomforter.com/

I felt the spirit burn within me as I read it. It actually distills down to a simpler form the basics of what DS is attempting to teach. If you don't care for DS' style of presentation or personality, you don't really need him anyway as we live in latter days when many will know the Lord. He is simply a messenger. I believe he is divinely charged, but I don't believe him to be perfect in everything he does or states. The fruits of his message are contained in this testimony.
Tom Irvine said…
Moroni 7

[16] For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
Thanks Matthew. And don't forget Rob Smith's "My Witness" on Upward thought:


I am aware of at least half a dozen people, some who have written me personally to share their stories, asking me to keep it private, others who are fairly open on one or the other of the two Snuffer discussion groups who have said the same thing: They have seen the Savior.

The message is the important thing, not the messenger. Denver just happens to be one who has, according to his own words, received the assignment from the Lord to be a public witness, or more to the point, to remind us of this very basic doctrine, that we must complete the process of coming onto Christ in this life and receive him as taught by the prophet Joseph in his last few public addresses.

A personal note (and please don't call me sexist for this): Although the invitation is open to both men and women, it is more intended for men. As Carol constantly reminds me, there is nothing wrong with enduring to the end in faith without having a personal visit from the Master. She's right. Or is she? Seems like a great discussion for another post.
log said…
And so the full foundation was laid before Joseph Smith died. He truly succeeded in his mission in restoring all necessary keys, ordinances, and ordinations necessary that in this last time the dispensation of the fullness of times that all things might be gathered together in one in Christ and that Israel and the wheat might be gathered, and Zion be redeemed in due time. The full authority of the Priesthood – the full keys of the Kingdom and Fullness of the Priesthood are here in the LDS Church.

Apparently, not.

Doctrine and Covenants 124:28
28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.

The Lord did not come.
robf said…
The following gives me pause as I consider Denver Snuffer:

"To the Officers and Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"From the days of Hiram Page (D&C 28), at different periods there have been manifestations from delusive spirits to members of the Church. Sometimes these have come to men and women who because of transgression become easy prey to the Arch-Deceiver. At other times people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are 'the very elect' (Matt. 24:24), find it difficult to discern the essential difference. Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently 'an angel of light.'(2 Cor. 11:14)

"When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration conveys something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also, they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head. All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable. In secular as well as spiritual affairs, Saints may receive Divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to Church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense. No person has the right to induce his fellow members of the Church to engage in speculations or take stock in ventures of any kind on the specious claim of Divine revelation or vision or dream, especially when it is in opposition to the voice of recognized authority, local or general. The Lord's Church 'is a house of order.'(D&C 132:8) It is not governed by individual gifts or manifestations, but by the order and power of the Holy Priesthood as sustained by the voice and vote of the Church in its appointed conferences.

"The history of the Church records many pretended revelations by impostors or zealots who believed in the manifestations they sought to lead other persons to accept, and in every instance, disappointment, sorrow and disaster have resulted therefrom. Financial loss and sometimes utter ruin have followed. We feel it our duty to warn the Latter-day Saints against fake mining schemes which have no warrant for success beyond the professed spiritual manifestations of their projectors and the influence gained over the excited minds of their victims. We caution the Saints against investing money or property in shares of stock which bring no profit to anyone but those who issue and trade in them. Financial schemes to make money for the alleged purpose of 'redeeming Zion' or providing means for the 'salvation of the dead' or other seemingly worthy objects, should not deceive anyone acquainted with the order of the Church, and will result only in waste of time and labor, which might be devoted now to doing something tangible and worthy and of record on earth and in heaven." (Messages of the First Presidency, compiled by James R. Clark [Bookcraft, 1970], Vol. 4, pp. 285-86.)
robf said…
I am also pondering these words from Elder Packer:

"Avoid like a plague those who claim that some great spiritual experience authorizes them to challenge the constituted priesthood authority in the Church"

Does Denver Snuffer fall in that category?

(lots of other relevant comments in his old classic talk here: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord)
log said…
That last statement, by the by, that the tabernacle would pass over to another people and we lose the blessing, dovetails again with the last teachings of Joseph Smith as to where the mountain of the Lord's house would be.

President J Smith arose and said it is impossible to continue the subject that I spoke upon yesterday in
Consequence of the weekness of my lungs. Yet I have a proclamation to make to the Elders you know
the Lord has led the Church untill the present time I have now a great proclamation for the Elders to
teach the Church hereafter which is in relation to Zion, The whole of North and South America is Zion,
the mountain of the Lords House is in the Centre of North & South America, when the House is done,
Baptism font erectd and finished & the worthy are washed, anointed, endowed & ordained Kings &
priests, which must be done in this life, when the place is prepared you must go through all the
ordinances of the house of the Lord so that you who have any dead friends must go through all the
ordinances for them the same as for yourselves; then the Elders are to go through all America & build
up Churches untill all Zion is built up, but not to commence to do this untill the Temple is built up here
and the Elders endowed then go forth & accomplish the work & build up stakes in all North and South
America, Their will be some place ordained for the redeeming of the dead I think this place will be the
one, so their will be gathering fast enough here. President Smith lungs failed him and he appointed
Elder G. J. Adams to occupy the time during the foornoon He however remarked that his proclamation
just made was the greatest ever made as all could not come here; but it was necessary that enough
should come to build up the temple & get an endowment so that the work could spread abroad. - WJS, p. 282

The temple referred to is Nauvoo, which was never completed, as a matter of historical record.

Central America is where the mountain of the Lord's house shall be - where New Jerusalem shall be built - which, not coincidentally, happens to be the one place on earth which fulfills the textual requirements of the Book of Mormon for the lands of the Nephites.

Thus, this.

3 Nephi 20:22
22 And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.

Joseph's sermon had multiple witnesses.

Prest. J. Smith said he must give up the subject of yesterday.
Made a proclamation.—I have another great and grand Revelation—great discussion where Zion is.—
The whole America is Zion that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lords house shall be. about the
central part of N. & South America.—
soon as the Temple is finished.—Lord hath ordained where these last & most important ordinances must
be in a house.—provided for the purpose.—when we can get a house built first there is the place.—Bap.
washed. anointed, sealed &c for the dead the same as for themselves.—
from henceforth the elders shall build churches where ever the people receive the gospel sufficient. then
build stakes to this place. I verily believe that God will establish this place for the salvation of the dead.
—those who want to save their dead can come hither. those who do not wish to come hither to live can
bring their families and attend the ordinances and return. - WJS, p. 282

D&C 93
24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;

25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.
log said…
I don't think he does. If Snuffer were to attempt to start a church, or teach rebellion against the Brethren, that would be another thing.
Great stuff. Thank you Rob. Can't tell you how much I appreciate you sharing these warnings. I totally agree with the spirit I felt as I read them: "The Lord's church is guided by revelation that will come through the head of the church. I seem to recall the fake mining scheme warning had to do with The Relief Mine: http://www.reliefmine.com/

We are a gullible people. We want to believe things are sometimes just too good to be true. Thank God we can study, pray and come to our own conclusions. This is good counsel for church members. I am glad Denver has not asked us to go to the mountains to gather in a Zion movement. We've got too many who have tried that in the past.
Log: Wow! I am sorry now I was so busy I did not participate in that 687-comment discussion on "Arguments Against Denver Snuffer from last month." Thanks you sharing that with us. I know the Gentiles (us) will lose something in this church in the last days - it's prophesied. We also know the Lamanites will indeed be the ones to build the temple complex for Zion - also prophesied. You've got me excited about looking those prophecies up again to understand better when the days of the Gentiles will end. I suspect those days are just about over.
Thank you SteveF. I know that was a lot of work. I have read it and am comparing it what I have been reading about keys in the Snuffer books, as well as remembering the occasional institute lessons on the subject. When I served on the High Council I had a Stake President who believed in teaching doctrine and NOT just administering the church. He is currently a mission President in Mexico - Robert C. Reeves. I loved attending his High Council meetings even if they did tend to get a little long. I remember him specifically teaching us about keys on day.

Until I read otherwise in some of Denver's writings, what I learned that day had served me well. I have since learned there are other keys that (oh, boy this is going to get me into trouble), are NOT held by the prophets in the church - the keys of resurrection comes to mind. Also, the key to seal up the elements. But someone / anyone can argue with me otherwise on that one. Anyway, thank you for teaching me. I very much appreciate your taking the time. I continue to study the subjects of what really constitutes the "fullness of the priesthood." I just don't think it can come without receiving it directly from the Savior.
robf said…
Is that the criterion for judging "challenge"? Or what constitutes "rebellion against the Brethren"?

Denver's excommunication seems to have been based on failure to head counsel (to cease publishing and speaking as directed) rather than on the words that he was saying. Was that rebellion on his part? His recent blog posts and talks seem to be increasingly casting himself as a true messenger, and while he seems to be very careful with his words, he is at least strongly implying that the Brethren (or if not them, who?) are "Enemies in Control of the Vineyard". When I read his appeal letter, it is hard for me to see humility and willingness to follow the Brethren--I wonder if it isn't more of a line drawn in the sand to perhaps condemn the First Presidency by "affording" them the "opportunity to bear responsibility" for casting him (supposedly a true messenger) out.

I hesitate in engaging this conversation in part because I do not want to make Denver an offender for a word. Since I don't know him personally, I can only do as he has asked, and take him at his word. And those words seem to be a reflect a mixture of truth and defiance. He also seems to be increasingly banging out, if not just a single note ("fullness is lost"), at most a limited sequence of chords, on his gospel piano.

Ironically, much (practically all?) of what he has taught in the past about developing a relationship with Christ and following the Spirit is true--and can also be readily found in the recent teachings of modern church leaders. That isn't what got him in trouble, though it does seem to be what keeps most of his defenders on his side while he becomes increasingly strident with his subsequent message about the loss of authority among the leaders of the Gentile church.
log said…
Denver’s excommunication seems to have been based on failure to head counsel (to cease publishing and speaking as directed) rather than on the words that he was saying.

No, his excommunication was transparently over doctrinal issues stemming from PTHG, although it is also clear the SCMC had been complaining against him before that, too. It is forbidden to try men for doctrine, because of the clear teachings of Joseph Smith on the matter.

"I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine." (DHC 5: 340.)

Therefore, they transmogrified the charge into one of apostasy, which is, in our modern church, effectively "failing to do all things whatsoever you are commanded by your immediate priesthood leaders," by simply commanding him to be silent, without refuting him, without persuasion nor correcting him in love, meekness, kindness, and so forth, with pure knowledge.

If you think that is compatible with D&C 121... well. I'm not sure there can be much discussion on the issue.

The husbandmen have ever resented the servants sent from the presence of God; if Snuffer is a true messenger, then the Brethren are playing their prophesied role. See JST Matthew 21.

Of course, if Snuffer is false, no conclusion may be drawn.
log said…

If you read throughout the Book of Mormon concerning the reception given the gospel by the Gentiles, you will see it is almost always a two-pronged prophecy. In one prong, the Gentiles accept the gospel and build Zion - in the other prong, they reject the fulness which is given to the remnant of Jacob (in context, the remnant of Lehi's seed) who build Zion (New Jerusalem) assisted by as many of the Gentiles as will repent.

But to see what our future holds, you need only read JST Matthew 21. It does not fit the "inevitable triumph of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" paradigm, but rather the second prong of the prophecies concerning the Gentiles.

I tried to make some sense out of it here.

Of course, no man's opinion is worth a straw.
SteveF said…
Thanks, Tim, I really hope it helps in your searches. And I don't think what you said should get you in trouble, the keys of the resurrection and some keys belonging to the elements (such as creating worlds) are definitely not held by the prophets. Brigham Young explained as much, and explained such keys (like those belonging to the resurrection, or aspects of creation, etc.) are not given to men while in mortality. I'm sure there are many keys that we cannot even begin to imagine that can and hopefully will be given to us in the hereafter. These as I understand them, however, do not belong to the fullness of the priesthood or authority that can be given to man in mortality. So I believe there is no contradiction in what we are saying.

I agree with you that there are things to be received that can only be obtained through the Savior. Yet fitting that concept into what I have proposed, these things wouldn't be properly considered additional keys or authority, but perhaps understanding and power to more fully utilize or exercise powers (like causing a famine, moving a mountain, etc. for example) belonging to the authority already given by an authorized minister (just as Abraham received the fullness of the priesthood, or last law under the hands of Melchizedek, as quoted above - yet that authority does not mean all power associated with that authority has been given.) Ordinances / ordinations require authority, but there are other functions of the Priesthood (healings, casting out devils, blessings, manipulating elements, etc.) that require personal power in the Priesthood usually in addition to authority.

To be clear, I just wanted to add these clarifications not as counter-points to what you have said, but only because I feel like what you are saying is basically right, and may well be fully compatible with what I have presented.

Thanks again, and may God bless all of us in our search for further light and knowledge!
Rick said…
Hi Log, I'm somewhat confused by what it means that we don't have the fulness of the priesthood. Let me ask some questions to help clarify my confusion and maybe you can help by answering them.

Are the prophets since Joseph Smith not real prophets, since the fulness of the priesthood was not received?

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have the priesthood, authority to do baptisms and confirmations that are valid?

Are the Church's temples valid?

Are the ordinances that people receive in the temples valid?

If a man and woman are sealed in the temple, is it valid? What does it mean?

Are members of the Church any different than any other person/religion now in the world? We do have the Book of Mormon, we do believe Joseph Smith was/is a prophet, is that the only difference?

Are we going to perish because they didn't finish the Nauvoo Temple and receive the fulness?

Has there been any value in the church for the last 167 years?

log said…
I've been thinking about your question about the validity of the temples.

This comes to mind.

D&C 97
15 And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;

16 Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God.

17 But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples.

Judge for yourself what this thing meaneth.
Matthew said…
Well stated. I hope to one day reach the same amount of peace and wisdom that you have with these things. I believe very similarly and often feel the same balance, but sometimes I get tossed to and fro by both sides of the discussion (although I always seem to come to the same conclusion you reach above). I'm probably ready for another period of disconnecting from these dialogues and immersing myself more fully in seeking my own "promise of exaltation directly from the Lord through a face to face, one on one encounter."
Adrian said…
Well put Jim. Amen and Amen.
log said…
Thus, ordinances and ordinations here on earth ARE the real thing, for they are recognized both on earth AND in heaven, and it would be unnecessary repetition to have to re-perform them in heaven.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The ordinances of the temple which have been changed are either unnecessary, because they are alterable, or they are invalid, because they have been altered. Either way, the uncontested fact of their alteration from the beginning is sufficient proof that they are not the real thing.

Therefore, if there are ordinances of the Lord's house necessary for salvation, they must be administered by angels, or in the Lord's house in heaven.

This narrow point cannot be refuted on the available evidence, even if it, like all things, can be denied - but a simple denial is worthless as a refutation.
Jim, thank you for your comments. I know it took courage to share them. May I add a few notes?

I took a vacation from work this week specifically to put aside all my worldly duties. I had decided I wanted to read Denver’s two books about the Savior once again. As I write this, I am finishing the chapter on the resurrection in “Come, Let Us Adore Him.” Although this is the third time I have read this book, I am amazed at how open Denver was in giving us dates of when He saw the things he saw – the suffering of Christ in the garden, His crucifixion upon the cross and his resurrection.

He adds detail that go beyond what I saw in my vision of what happened in the garden so many years ago and to which I linked in this blog post. Denver’s discussion of the waves of suffering in the garden and how they came in pairs was a new doctrine to me the first time I read it. I have since come to know for myself of the truthfulness of that witness. Denver has added to my knowledge of the Savior by writing and publishing his books. I am grateful for his witness that adds to my love of the Savior.

I also took some time to read parts of the rebuttals to PtHG as I was challenged to do so by the anonymous commenter on this post. I was neither impressed nor convinced by these rebuttals. They did not bring the spirit of worship into my heart that I have felt as I have re-read, once again, Denver’s published witness of the Savior as found in his books. After each of the waves of suffering passed over, the Savior regained his peace. I feel the same way. Each time I publish one of these posts about the message Denver has delivered, I go through some agony as individual emails and some public comments condemn me for advocating we listen to or read the messages of this man.

But I am at peace this weekend and will continue to write as I feel prompted by the spirit of the lord. I have been contemplating a post to respond to my wife’s main point as we discuss Denver’s message: Why is it necessary for us to seek to receive a personal visit from the Savior while in this mortal life? Can’t we just endure to the end and be saved? Of course the answer is yes, but is there something more to Denver’s message and invitation to receive and embrace the Christ while yet in the flesh? There is. I hope to publish it on Monday, my last day before returning to my worldly duties – helping my coworkers refrain from swearing at their computers as they are wont to do from time to time.

God bless you Jim and thank you for publicly sharing your comments. I know how much it means for you to make them in a public forum. I meet with my stake presidency tomorrow morning as part of my monthly duties in serving in this church, grateful for the opportunity to do so. They are each my friends on Facebook and receive the same notice as all my other friends there each time I publish a new post. I do not know if they read them. They have not asked me once about anything I have written in the time I have served as the stake financial clerk. I hope these posts do someone some good. So far, the jury is out as I get about as many comments on Facebook castigating me for daring to suggest some of the things I have about Denver’s message.

log said…
And it is vain to lay claim to the Melchizedek priesthood without bearing the fruits thereof.

18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

Let him with ears to hear, hear.
SteveF said…
Log, it never ceases to amaze me how much you can read and quote the scriptures and yet still understand so little. It's honestly sad. But if you wish to deny the teachings of our leaders including Joseph Smith, but especially from Brigham Young to today about the importance and necessity of the ordinances/ordinations beyond baptism administered through the church, and box yourself in with logic built on faulty premises damning yourself from understanding truth, that is your prerogative - and I will leave you to your wicked state, but know that you will be responsible for your words and those who might be swayed from understanding truth because of them.
barker said…
Wow. Just. Wow.

Let him with ears to hear, hear.
log said…
I'm sorry, Steve. This is publicly available stuff. The logic, to those who have eyes to see, and minds which work, is incontrovertible.

I don't blame you for wishing things were different - but they are what they are.

When, therefore, you receive the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, have the heavens open unto you, commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus, then please return and tell me that I've got it wrong.

For every idle word a man shall speak, he shall give an account thereof in the day of judgement.
SteveF said…
Sorry, Log, not only is your logic deeply flawed--for all ordinances performed in mortality in all of history (save maybe one perfect form for each) could be rejected on the same principle, depending on what level of technical scrutiny you wish to self-impose on them to fit a presupposed definition for "changed"--but it also contradicts the teachings of our living prophets and the position of all of our leaders who have held the keys to declare doctrine in this dispensation from the beginning until today. What good is my testimony if you will reject theirs? Even so I know of myself that my words are true, for the Lord has made these things manifest unto me through his Holy Spirit, even through revelation and experiences that are not given to me to reveal. And not only this, but I also know by revelation that the words of our prophets are true concerning the keys and authority held by the Church, and the necessity of the ordinances beyond baptism administered by and only through the LDS Church in our day by these same authority and keys, for the salvation and exaltation of man. There are no wishes involved, for I know for myself that these things are true. And if you continue teach against them, it will only be at your own peril. May God bless those who are seeking with pure intent, for I know if they study these things out and pray, they will know also come to know the truth of these things in time. My prayers are with all here, God bless according to His mercy and righteousness.
Adrian said…
I think it's useful to remember that all the priesthood ordinances we perform on earth in their current form are only invitations. They are ALL conditional.

Baptism doesn't wash your sins down the drain of the font. Rather, baptism is an invitation to receive a remission of sins. (Moroni 8:11, Moses 6:60, Mosiah 18:10)

Confirmation is an invitation to "receive the Holy Ghost." It does not "give" the Holy Ghost (like the apostles were able to do in the new testament Acts 8:17-18) but rather it issues the invitation and it is up to the individual to accept the invitation and receive the Holy Ghost for themselves.

The endowment plainly tells us that washing and anointing are only conditional invitations, and that if we are true and faithful, the day will come when we are chosen, called up and anointed, whereas now we are only anointed "to become such." You'll recall that the realization of these blessings is dependent upon faithfulness.

The remainder of the endowment presents a symbolic journey back to God's presence. It is not the actual presence of God, but rather it is an invitation to take the actual journey in this life. (I don't recall Adam and eve dying in the endowment--it is for mortality.) Indeed, Adam did return to God's presence while in the flesh (D&C 107:54), and we are invited to do likewise.

Similarly, the sealing of husband and wife is conditional until it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. (D&C 132:7) In fact, ALL ordinances are conditional until sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Regardless of priesthood, regardless of authority, regardless of keys. This is what the scriptures say. It's not a matter of opinion.

I think it's useful to keep the above in mind while discussing the topic of priesthood authority, priesthood power and ordinances. Remember, President Packer taught that the authority of the priesthood and the power of the priesthood are two very different things. Authority without power is useless.
SteveF said…
Adrian, thanks for your input. If you see my comment @ November 30, 2013 at 9:30 am, I think you will see that I agree with several things you are saying, including a major difference between authority and power, and that ordinances are indeed conditional.

I would disagree with them being called only invitations however, depending on how you define that. For as Joseph Smith said, ordinances are also signs, and they are signs that are recognized in heaven when done by the proper authority. But I agree that once the sign has been received, the blessings associated with that ordinance are conditioned on worthiness of the individual and fulfilling the laws particular to that sign.

I also agree that ordinances are often symbols of blessings associated with receiving them and abiding by the necessary conditions (baptism in water symbolizing sins being washed away, endowments symbolizing returning to the presence of God, etc.), but they are not only symbols, and not a hollow ordinance devoid of anything "real" until some future heavenly "real" ordinance--the ordinance is in fact the "real" ordinance that is recognized in heaven when done under the proper authority, and the blessings of heaven connected with that ordinance will flow by abiding by the conditions of that ordinance.

So I agree with you and President Packer that authority and power are two different things. But I wouldn't go so far as to call authority useless without power. It will never save a man to have mere authority, but even devoid of power an individual is for the time being a recognized minister who can legally officiate in ordinances that will be recognized both on earth and in heaven. Still quite an honor that I would call more than useless. But I agree that he must obtain power, or the blessings associated with his ordination, if he is to fulfill the oaths and covenants necessary to obtain a fuller salvation or exaltation.
SteveF said…
Log, you have no good grounds for assuming I have not received those blessings. It may well be that I am doing that very thing. Nevertheless, it is not given to the wicked to know such things as have been given me, at least not at this time.

You're right, this is not hard stuff, and yet you cling to your faulty interpretations with what appears to be without even considering the understanding I have given that disproves it, even on logical grounds, although I have not delved greatly into this aspect since the wisdom of man is ultimately foolishness as your "logic" attests to.

How long will you kick against the pricks? I'll leave that for you to decide. At this time, I will no longer entertain your conversation, it is clear that no good will come from it. I can only hope the day will come that you will open your heart and repent. But I leave these things to God.
log said…
Log, you have no good grounds for assuming I have not received those blessings. It may well be that I am doing that very thing. Nevertheless, it is not given to the wicked to know such things as have been given me, at least not at this time.

Ah, but I do have good grounds for disbelieving you, should you claim such. God does not deal in false accusations. You, on the other hand, do.
SteveF said…
There are many who seek to make teachers of truth an offender for a word, and there are also many who try to use scriptures as well to disprove teachers of truth; Log, you are not the first, and I'm assuming not the last.
log said…
Inasmuch as you bear bitter fruit, such as false accusations, I can distinguish between you and teachers of truth.
SteveF said…
Well, I suppose we can leave that for each person to judge for themselves.
log said…
I think that is, and always has been, the only way to proceed. All must judge for themselves, in the light of Christ, and shall be judged of God by the standard they apply to others.

Moroni 7
10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.

11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
Rick said…
Hi Log! Knowing that the gentiles will perish, or be destroyed, and we are identified with the gentiles, I find this scripture from Nephi to be clarifying:
2 Nephi 30:
1 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.

2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

- Not all Gentiles are utterly destroyed.
- If Gentiles repent, they become the covenant people of the Lord.
- The remnant also need to keep the commandments or they will perish.
- The Jews must also repent or they will be cast off.

To me this means, whether we are Gentile, Remnant, or Jew, we become the Covenant people when we repent and keep the commandments.

I think this gives hope for the tribulations and catastrophes that will occur.

I think it is also consistent with the parables of the Ten Virgins and the Goats and Sheep.

Do you agree?
log said…
Yes. I absolutely do agree. That is why I teach repentance at every legitimate opportunity.
Rick said…
Thanks Log for those links, I hope others take the time to read them.

I'm finding The Book of Mormon much deeper, I think many items are right in front of us yet we don't see them.

Walking in blindness at noon day.

I am interested in knowing more about you, if you would. Rewci@yahoo.com.
log said…
What do you want to know, excepting personally identifying information?
Candice Z. said…
Respectfully, brother - holding an individual "prophet" responsible for those who become fanatics might be comparable to holding Jesus responsible for say...the Westboro Baptist Church. Just sayin'. ;)
Candice Z. said…
By that standard, we might conclude that King Lamoni had no business falling to the ground, then waking up having seen his Redeemer. Granted, Ammon probably gave him a pretty serious overview.

Or that a 12 year old boy read a scripture then headed into the woods...well you get the idea.

I find it surprising that someone would presume to limit the truth available through the Holy Ghost in such a manner.

I mean, go ahead and feel differently, but wow, really?
Rick said…
Log, you have a strong knowledge of the scriptures, and deeper understanding also.

What lead you to this?
Candice Z. said…
I'll add my witness of the truthfulness of the messages I have received from God, through the words written by His servant, Denver Snuffer. The Lord has told me that the man is his servant, on more than one occasion. I agree that he is a prophet. I am no follower of anyone but Christ, but I know when to hearken to words that point me to Him.

With our current LDS cultural tendency to idolize the men we call prophets who are connected with church offices, I am not surprised that my statement is misunderstood. I can and do respect and sustain my leaders in their positions as they attempt administer the massive structure of this church. That doesn't mean that I believe they are without fault and cannot err. I also don't think that means we can't acknowledge error as responsible members of the church.

Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years with the lesser law but still remained the Lord's people. I'll stand up and accept the consequences of my witness of what I've heard and read. I wouldn't leave willingly, but if I were to be cast out for what the Spirit taught me, then so be it.

I am happy to hear the message of anyone who is calling me to repent and come unto CHRIST, because I think it's a sure thing that I need to. And that is the most fundamental message of everything Denver Snuffer ever had to say. Isn't that what prophets are supposed to do?

Isn't there a scripture about that somewhere? ;)
Rick said…
I don't know Candice, do you read the conference talks?

This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:

You and your buddies can denigrate our leaders, but I don't think that is what Christ would do.
log said…
My life's story would take too long, and would in a certain sense be misleading, but the core of it is this - when I heard the Sermon on the Mount, preached with power into my heart, I knew it was the true path to happiness. While walking strictly according to those teachings, I learned the doctrine of repentance by casting off my sins with all my heart and making my eye single to the glory of God. I learned the doctrine of sanctification by calling upon the name of the Lord and begging in mighty prayer for forgiveness, and to receive the Holy Spirit, until I was sanctified, filled with fire, light, love, and indescribable joy, and communed with God.

The scriptures become more meaningful to us as we experience what they are talking about, as well as when they are opened to us by the power of the Spirit.
Rick said…
Thanks for sharing Log. This helps me!
Candice Z. said…
There's a difference between acknowledging error in an effort to constructively "right the ship," and speaking in denigrating and accusatory terms, seeking to tear down and destroy. What kind of tone do you hear in your own words as you refer to "me and my buddies?" I call upon you to evaluate the feelings in your heart as you react, and determine whether you can speak that way and feel full of light and love. That is the measure of whether the Spirit confirms the truth of what any one of us has to say. Best to you, Rick.
Rick said…
I apologize for offending you Candice. You are excited to share your witness. Others are also excited to hear your witness.

Denver's work stands on its own, and it is certainly the case that many have benefitted by his books and talks.
jonnylingo said…
I've also studied every written/spoken word from Brother Snuffer. His book "The Second Comforter" helped me re-focus my life on coming to the savior. It showed me the possibilities that the gospel offers. Each one of his books have influenced me to turn to the scriptures and study things out for more self.

PTHG helped me come to terms with many of the mistakes that have happened in LDS past. It has helped me understand why things are the way they are in the Church.

I've attended the Elijah talk, Temple Talk, and the Centerville talk.This man is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He speaks as one having authority and not as the scribes, scholars, or business men. There is a huge difference in the feeling of the spirit, when a man who "knows" Christ bears his testimony plainly and then invites you to repent and come to know the Lord.

However this work is not about Denver Snuffer. He is not attempting to have others look to him as a leader or prophet. The Lord has given him a message to warn others to repent and connect to Heaven. That's what is so incredible. A man who claims he has talked with God face to face, claims you and I can do the same! Let us all be careful how we judge this matter, lest we judge it incorrectly. If God truly has commissioned this message then we will be accountable for not receiving it.

God works in patterns. Many servants have been called who lacked priestly credentials. God has spoken to me and told me that Denver Snuffer is honest in what he is saying. I can test his witness because he has declared it.
A said…
I beg to differ on visitations from angels. I think they exists more than you know. The problem is, you're considered a whacko if you claim to have been visited. Sad but true.
A said…

This really has nothing to do with your post except the "overcoming pornography". I have some people very close to me that could really use some encouragement and know that it is possible. Would it be possible to e-mail you with some questions?
Adrian said…
Hi A,

Sure, I'd be glad to help if I can. Tim, is there a way you can give A my email address without me posting it here?
Ryder said…
I've only recently heard of DS, that he has seen Christ. I rejected that out of hand then, but today I was googling something else and found a link with one of your blogs. I read another, then this one.

I know so very little about DS but what I have read today resonates with me, and until now, I have felt alone in not being comfortable in 'enduring to the end' (would that be a status quo thing?) as if I have what I need already. I need more and I want to know... my Redeemer. I never knew there are other members out there who are really, earnestly seeking Him. While I haven't seen Him, I had an experience I would equate to Lehi's dream where he tasted of the fruit,... the love of God. I was changed by it but can't find the words to even begin to share it. It bares my soul to Him and I have the,... ah,... experiential knowledge?,... I guess, of His love for all of us. You just can't know His love for yourself without also knowing it for everyone else. That's my experience,... my most precious gift.

I have fought my demons regarding church history and file leaders (I'll just leave it at that). In short, as I've said, what I've read resonates with me, and this church is my path, divinely set for His reason alone, and I wait for the rift or whatever it is that's coming,... funny,... I never knew anyone else thought that. But it is about coming to Christ.

I get that we're all prophets, and that the Lord does send messages through us in spite of restrictions members put on their God. I don't know about DS, but I'm contemplating one of his books now.

Roy said…
Hi Ryder,

Try "Come Let Us Adore Him" by Denver Snuffer, it is very appropriate to read any time; but especially the Christmas season.
Suzanne Alexander said…
Thank you, CCM. I completely agree with you. I am a convert of many years; however, I grew up never having known a Latter-day Saint, and, not having been reared in a healthy god-fearing environment. Yes, I was self-sufficient in many ways, but I was so lacking, wanting and needing in many ways. I was a person who desperately needed that scaffolding.

You see, when I was baptized I so wanted to be like everyone else, or at least, what I perceived everyone else to be. I felt a power, a love, a connectedness that I did not have in my formative years. Indeed, my early years in the Church were like formative years. I was starving for the information found in the scriptures, and I sensed more than knew how life changing that information was. This made me very vulnerable.

A well-meaning sister in the gospel gave me a book (I will not give the title) to read, for which I was not ready, neither spiritually nor emotionally. In retrospect, I see that I took the information, thinking it would make me like everyone else in the Church, and began wresting to consume it upon my own desires. I let go of the rod and went into other paths. For a while, my life was dark and brooding, but I still yearned to know the Savior. Needless to say, it took me a while to figure it out.

My relationship with the Savior is very personal, as it should be for each of us, even if we are married. I cannot be saved on the merits of what relationship my husband has established with the Lord. I have to sort through the debris of my own sins and guilt to establish that relationship, and the scaffolding keeps me securely in place until I find the next step. Denver Snuffer is a brilliant man who has been blessed with an understanding that takes others years, and perhaps not in this lifetime, to get their minds around. What he knows should never have been for public consumption because the journey is so very personal and we all need to figure it out for ourselves. Otherwise the relationship is not with the Savior but with the purveyor of information such as Dennis Snuffer.

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