Mormonism is in Great Peril

MoroniOnTemple“I believe the form of Mormonism practiced by the LDS Church is in great peril at the moment. If the members do not fight to retain their religion it will continue to alter and degenerate into something very different that it was and it will fail in its purpose to bring again Zion.  If the members allow the trend to continue, the church may ‘succeed’ in the world, but it will not succeed in the mission of bringing Zion again.  Like happened in the Book of Mormon, it will require another off-shoot to repent and return.” (Italics mine)

Source: Monday, 27 Jan 2014

Mormons are a Submissive People

I confess I was a little taken aback when I read this quote from Denver on Monday morning. It shook me up a little bit. I was a bit sleepy when I read it, both figuratively and literally, but wide awake after I thought about what I was reading. It is so antithetical to the way I have always thought about the role of members in the LDS faith. We don’t call the shots. We are submissive. Some have derisively labeled us the “sheeple.” Ouch - hurts, but true for some folks (see my entry in the comments). Consider this with me.

A Few Questions About the Quote

I have highlighted the two phrases that struck me as out of place with the way LDS folks think. I’m specifically thinking of the temple covenants, especially the last of the five. Denver’s post brings up a few questions: 1) who has the right to define our religion? 2) Do you think common members have anything to say about how the church is run or what is taught in our church? 3) Is our religion Mormonism, Christianity (or both) or some other form of a more ancient religion?

We Covenant to Sustain the Leadership

4) In what ways could we or would we “fight to retain [our] religion?” 5) Who is changing it? 6) What power do members have to “allow” or not “allow” these changes Denver says are altering and degenerating our religion into something very different from what it was? 7) What does he mean by an “off-shoot?” 8) Does that refer to a new church? He’s already written a new church is not required and advised us to stay actively involved in the existing structure of the church.

Dissent is not Common in the LDS Church

I think that’s enough questions for now. Denver never ceases to surprise me. I always contribute these kinds of statements to the idea that he did not grow up a member of our faith. It was not ingrained in him from an early age that we do not question the leadership of the church about how it is run. That’s simply unheard of, isn’t it? This is not meant to be a criticism of the man, just an observation. Your every-day Mormon doesn’t think about “fighting” the Brethren.

Rarely do we Object to Changes

Despite the law of common consent, your typical Mormon does not think about “allowing” or “disallowing” anything done by the leaders of the church. It’s quite the contrary. If they tell us we’re going to change something like the three-hour block into a two-hour block there would be very few members who would object. I don’t know about you, but I love the new temple film. I had nothing to say about it. Nobody ever asked me if I felt it needed to be changed in any way.

We believe in Continuing Revelation

I want to keep this short. I just wanted to bring it to your attention and wondered what you might think about the idea of “fighting to retain our religion.” Yes, I’ve read Passing the Heavenly Gift several times. I know what he is referring to when he says the church or the religion has changed. Of course it has. I understand his point that what we practice today is dramatically removed from what was originally practiced in the days of Joseph and Brigham. Continuing revelation, right?


Please don't be offended by my use of the word "sheeple." I'm so used to reading it on LDS-related websites I visit, I forget some have never heard it or find it offensive. It is my personal opinion that *most* LDS members have strong testimonies of the principles taught by the Brethren. I do too. I love and sustain the fifteen men who lead this church. I pray for them, especially since we know several of them are not well, including Pres. Monson. I'm glad they have the job and not me.

However, I have seen, and I'm sure you have too, members who simply follow along with what everyone else is doing. In other words, for them the church is simply a social organization. They have not taken the time to study and pray about what we are asked to do by the Brethren. They have no personal witness for themselves that the Brethren are inspired in their directions to us. I know it's derogatory and apologize if my use of the word offends you. It just seemed to fit.
Shem said…
Does the church still offer ordinances performed by the proper authority?

I understand the temple ordinances have change but those ordinances have always changed from time to time, even Joseph Smith change them as he got more revelation.

What exactly does DS want LDS people to fight to retain?

Is this just more cryptic speak from DS? DS is a lawyer and knows how very cunningly leave room enough for a lot of speculation, it is intentional and it is meant to redirect your attention and energy on his message, even though he talks about going directly to Christ, but it seems DS wants people to go to Christ to discuss DS's cryptic words.

Is DS Christ's mouth piece? Does DS claim to hold proper authorized keys to be a mouth piece of Christ for those people him give DS their devoted attention? Why DS? It seems there are other people who want people's devoted attention as the Christ servant to listen to, here is another
D said…
I honestly do not understand how it is possible to sustain the brethren and accept Denver Snuffer. He increasingly rails against them.
Shem said…
Accept DS messages as Christ's truth and message to us? What are you meaning?
Shem, thanks for the link to Mormon Discussions. I honestly had not heard of this other guy. This is getting crazy, isn't it? He reminds me more of Jim Harmston than Denver Snuffer.

I like what you said about leaving room for speculation. I often have the same feeling with some of what he (Denver) has written. But I'll tell you this much: He does get me thinking and he does get me into the scriptures.

Thanks for sharing.
log said…
If DS speaks of himself, we should ignore him just as we should ignore anyone else who speaks of themselves. If DS is speaking what he is commanded to by God, we should listen, just as we should listen to anyone else who speaks what they are commanded to by God.

It seems that there is no point to saying "DS increasingly rails against the Brethren" unless you are implicitly claiming "DS is not speaking according to the commandments of God." Why not simply address the implicit subject - is DS a prophet and speaking as such, or is he not?

And what does it really mean to "sustain and support"? Do the words have meaning independent of our religious context, or do we in using the phrase have a meaning in mind which is not necessarily aligned with the dictionaries?

It seems to me these things bear solemn thought.
That's a great question. So far I haven't had a problem. I suppose it all depends on how you define the word "accept." in this case. To this day, I still accept the fifteen men at he head of he LDS Church as Prophets, Seers and Revelators. Seriously, I do love, sustain and pray for them.

Yet, at the same time, I accept Denver Snuffer as "a" prophet and "a" servant of the Lord. I do not see a conflict. So far, he has not claimed or proclaimed his keys - or at least, not of which I am aware. On the other hand, the fifteen do have keys and use them in the Lord's work.

I understand your point about "railing." Not sure if I see it that way. We have yet to see or hear the second half of his lecture circuit. I intend to attend at least one of the lectures in St. George. In some ways I feel like the people in Enoch's day who said in Moses 6:37-39:

"And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him. Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us. And it came to pass when they heard him, no man laid hands on him; for fear came on all them that heard him; for he walked with God."
Rodney said…
I was shocked at Shem's comparison of DS and that... um,... 'outrageously false prophet' type guy. Interesting reading in a total 'waste of time' sort of way. As yet; however, I'm not 'officially' a DS fan. Though I just got his book the 2nd Comforter and 50 pages in.

Back to the point: Without ever discussing this with anyone over 20 years ago, I believed the church would come to a crisis, and split (or something) just from:

3Nephi 16:10
"And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

"Gentiles" being the LDS church. For me it's never been a matter of if, but when. I don't think it must be the leadership (the 15) but the members themselves (which includes the top to the bottom I guess). Many non-GA's seem either ignorant on basic doctrines of Christ, or church admin to giving the prophet the status of a 'living god' and requiring 'blind obedience' of others in the most vicious ways.

IMO the church is "the" vessel. The 'elect' will be lead out of 'Babylon' at some point and I hope to be ready for that. Still, I think common consent is 'dead' already. All we can do is sustain leadership, but not worship them. But...if 'common consent' did live, there are whole groups who'd love to try and 'take' control from what I've read in blogs out there.

I have considered your very points with no answer but to continue in seeking Christ and be patient with my fellow members. God's hand is still present in the church from my own personal witness.

Also, DS's thoughts are not alien to me, but how he's saying it is really no different than screaming "someone call 911" in a crowd of people at an accident. Nobody responds. This is not meant to be funny or belittling but, honestly... what is 'anyone' supposed to do? I just feel it's in the Lords hands and if the 'more part' of members were 'awake' or, better, more Christ like, maybe... just maybe the conversation would be different. Here's to 'keeping the faith' brother.
ryder478 said…
Sorry, my comment "I was shocked at Shem’s comparison of DS and that… um,… ‘outrageously false prophet’ type guy. Interesting reading in a total ‘waste of time’ sort of way. " didn't quite come out like it sounded in my head.

Please turn it down a few notches.
jmhiatt said…
I have asked this question before on another thread and I have asked Denver on his blog and both times it was completely ignored. I will ask it again here in hopes that someone can answer.

As I understand it, Denver used the restored, LDS church vehicle – its rites and ordinances – to achieve an audience with Jesus Christ, and received of the fulness. If this is true, I assume then that the LDS church “vehicle” still retains the fulness, the keys associated, the opportunity to have this experience, etc.

Question: So, what exactly is the LDS church lacking, according to Denver?

He’s a living, breathing, walking testimony to the restored gospel. The irony here is off the charts!

I have much more to ask/say, but I’ll leave it at this for now
log said…
Does Snuffer claim the LDS Church lacks anything? If not, I can understand why he wouldn't respond to an inquiry which presumes he does.
Twig said…
I have not heard Snuffer say so but I have heard Snufferites say Monson is not a prophet, some have said they are willing to give their Temple Reccomemds and some are willing to be excommunicated.
log said…
It all depends on what one means by the word "prophet."

In any event, it is both unjust and unwise to judge a man by the words or behavior of others, as I am sure any Christian would agree Christ should not be judged by the Inquisition.

After all: Proverbs 18:13
13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
D said…
Yes, essentially what you said.
Anthem said…
a few other questions I have wondered about also, those people who have a testimony that the current LDS church no longer has proper priesthood keys( I have seen a few people who really do feel this testimony), where do they go for ordinances that require proper and authorized priesthood keys to perform baptisms, washing and anointings, endowments and sealings? Does DS offer such ordinances? Does he have a temple to do some of these ordinances?

If they feel DS and the LDS Church both do not have keys to do these ordinances where do they go?

I have heard people say that DS will wrest the keys from the LDS in the same way John the Baptist did in his day. DS has never said these things about himself that I am aware of. The Snufferites that I have seen I feel have cause DS great harm and I feel their radical devotion to DS was part of the reason DS was excommunicated.
Ty said…
Jim Harmston is offended by your accusation.
D said…
I don't know if railing is the right word but Denver seems to be increasingly in opposition to the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't have the capacity to source all of Denver's relevant statements at the present time but my interpretation of some of his statements is that the leaders of the LDS church are in apostasy. I guess what I'm trying to understand is how do those that accept Denver as having a legitimate message from Christ to us but also accept the LDS leaders are prophets, seers, and revelators understand Denver's message regarding those leaders.
D said…
What I meant by stating "DS increasingly rails against the Brethren" is "How can one accept both DS and the Brethren as having legitimate messages from God?". Some seem to indicate that a choice between the two is not necessary.

You are correct that in any event the implicit subject is the most important thing.
Ty said…
I have heard people say that DS will wrest the keys from the LDS in the same way John the Baptist did in his day. DS has never said these things about himself that I am aware of. The Snufferites that I have seen I feel have cause DS great harm and I feel their radical devotion to DS was part of the reason DS was excommunicated.

It wasn't anything Brian did in "Life of Brian" that got him crucified, he was crucified because all of his followers wanted him to be a messiah.

those people who have a testimony that the current LDS church no longer has proper priesthood keys( I have seen a few people who really do feel this testimony), where do they go for ordinances that require proper and authorized priesthood keys to perform baptisms, washing and anointings, endowments and sealings?

If someone is looking for another to perform ordinances, I bet this guy will be happy to perform them:
Anthem said…
Well he certainly fits the "wild man " description of a prophet so he must be one. I like how bold he is. I would like to see Thomas Monson be this bold.
Zen said…
That prophet is mild compared to Isaiah, that prophet had balls and he showed them to people, the guy stayed naked for three years.
Hermit said…
Where did Joseph Smith get the ordinances (yes, rhetorical)? Does heaven only reveal ordinances to one person at one time? Are those the only ordinances Heaven has to offer? In a person's path of growth and development, will all of us of necessity have to have the same "cookie-cutter" ordinances for our individual path? If ordinances were altered, would Heaven teach, restore, ordinances to one according to the desires of their heart?

Hopefully, I can say this right...and tie things together:

Jared, on the previous thread said, "I think you fail to understand the purpose of ordinances. Ordinances are not a magic wand. You still have to do the work."

As DS relates, the temple endowment, as we have it now is only an invitation to receive the real thing.

Anthem above said "where do they go for ordinances that require proper and authorized priesthood keys to perform baptisms, washing and anointings, endowments and sealings? Does DS offer such ordinances? Does he have a temple to do some of these ordinances?"

Isnt the whole message of the endowment the process by which we approach the veil here in mortality, via true messengers (Moroni 7) who are send to fulfill the covenants of the Father, thus being prepared to approach the veil, experiencing Christ through the veil, and being brought back into the presence of Father?

As noted above (DS ultimately achieving the desired goal, even with broken ordinances, broken priesthood, imperfect world, etc. etc.) ... are the altered and changed ordinances as we have them really that important in the process of fulfilling the purposes of the endowment? Meaning, isn't it Heaven, Father, Christ, and true messengers performing their work and their glory ... their marvelous work and a wonder?

Why would one seeking so earnestly to connect with Christ and Father, and Heaven (the experience that is Zion), be so concerned with connecting with man's "authority"?
Janet Owens said…
Tim what do you think of this statement by Joseph Fielding Smith in the RS and Priesthood manual. "I did not live in the days of our Savior; he has not come to me in person. I have not beheld him. His Father and he have not felt it necessary to grant me such a great blessing as this. But it is not necessary."
lala said…
not happy with the LDS church, no problem, there will be plenty to preach to you, just pick one or just go straight to Christ, nevermind all that trouble God went thur to set up the LDS church, just leave, you think your faith is strong to go straight to Christ? you can dismiss God's most complete church because prophecy is being fulfilled before your face..God did not see that coming . have faith enough to hold on to the God revealed established order of things?
Fred said…
Even Joseph Smith changed the ordinances. Change is the one constant thing.
Amazing, isn't it? Similar to President Hinckley's statement that the church is guided more by inspiration than by revelation. That's a lot different from what Joseph taught. Seems like something's missing. Last year we discussed that President Snow was the last prophet to publically say he had seen the Savior. We debated that one in the HP group because the source is his son and granddaughter, not direct.

They stopped giving the injunction to new apostles that "your ordination is not complete until the Lord places his hands upon your head" back in the late 1890's because so few apostles had such an experience. That doesn't mean they weren't good men, just that they were "especial" witnesses of Christ to all the world. That doesn't mean they have seen the Lord. But of course, neither have I, so I don't judge any prophet or apostle. I love them and sustain them, and appreciate their service.
Lala: Don't leave. This is a great church in which to serve. I love home teaching. I love to go to the temple. I love my ward and stake family. I'm grateful to share fellowship with the Saints in taking the Sacrament each week. The LDS Church has a mission to fulfill. It is authorized to preach the gospel, print scripture, collect tithing, build temples, and especially to administer ordinances - invitations to come unto Christ. I have no plans to leave this church. I need the sacrament and the temple and am eternally grateful to have them a part of my life.
Chad said…
What is the purpose of doing Temple work for the dead? Seems pointless if it dose not have any real power. I thought the power of godliness was manifest in the ordinances. Guess not.
Yes it is, Chad. I can't attend a convert or even a stake primary baptism without feeling a warm comforting feeling that it is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. I feel the same thing when we bless babies in Sacrament meeting and especially when the priest blesses the sacrament bread and water. The temple blesses me every time I go there with a sense of peace that is indescribable and lasts for days. The Church is authorized to perform these ordinances.

The power of Godliness is manifest through the ordinances. They are invitations to go and get the real thing, especially when we are ordained in the priesthood. Receiving power in the priesthood from the Lord is so different from receiving authority in the priesthood from other men that it doesn't even begin to compare. They are two separate and distinct things. Power in the priesthood cannot be passed from man to man.
Hi Mark. I can't speak for Denver. I'll just make this generalized statement in answer to your question, "what does the church lack?" by stating what it has: It has authority and a commission from Christ to preach the gospel in all the world. It has authority to print scripture, to collect tithing, to build temples, to administer ordinances of salvation. Section 65 states that it is the Kingdom of God on the earth. Perhaps it was at that time (1831) and perhaps it still is. You decide for yourself.

I think Denver's main point in PtHG was that priesthood power is not something that can be passed from one man to another. Authority to act in the church - yes, but priesthood power can only come directly from the Lord. I did not feel I received anything from God when I was ordained by my father to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I felt authorized to act in the church. I felt the same when ordained a High Priest. I feel I am part of a brotherhood of men. I love the brethren in my Quorum.

I do not yet feel I have yet received the fulfillment to those ordinations. I have not felt the Lord's hands laid upon my head. I feel I am still in training. I am still learning to be unselfish enough to merit that act of having my ordination confirmed. It requires a complete willingness to serve others with complete unselfishness. When the time comes and the Lord has thoroughly proven me, and messengers have prepared me, He will come and imbue me with the fullness of the priesthood.

The LDS Church cannot do that. Only Jesus Christ can do that.
Rick said…
I chuckled several times in reading your comment!

I remember Tim saying in a prior post that something was missing. You probably get to that state after years of experience. Years of heads down doing all that goes on in the church, living all the traditions. It takes awhile to readjust your mindset. Denver is one who gets you thinking, which is what we need to do.

We have lots of knowledge, but we don't understand. I answer is in plain sight, but we walk in darkness at noon day.

It is important to have our Calling and Election made sure, to receive the Second Comforter. It doesn't have to take long, but our "knowledge" gets in the way.
lala said…
Glad you had a laugh asshole
Hermit said…
lala -- I am pathetically imperfect and unimportant!! Where ever you are, where ever any of us are, it is humbling and comforting to know that Father is directing this work and not man. Your identity and relationship are with Him :)
Hermit said…
D - Could it be possible that both alternatives are true? Considering D&C 76, and the eternal possibilities that Father allows for and the destination of those various folks, certainly choices here in mortality would have to allow for those very different destinations. Meaning, would being true and faithful to the church, verses an individual being true and faith to the experience that Joseph was attempting to reveal, allow individuals to choose or create very different eternal realities?
Hermit said…
Jmhiatt, you said, “ As I understand it, Denver used the restored, LDS church vehicle – its rites and ordinances – to achieve an audience with Jesus Christ, and received of the fulness. If this is true, I assume then that the LDS church “vehicle” still retains the fulness, the keys associated, the opportunity to have this experience, etc.

Question: So, what exactly is the LDS church lacking, according to Denver?

I have never met DS, won’t even speak for his experience, but offer my experience. Heaven allows for the church, not the other way around. We can not expect to believe that the only experiences that DS has had are those provided by the church and performed weekly, or in the temple (or there would be a whole bunch more people writing “Conversing through the Veil” books).

Even in its broken condition (for now) the elements, keys, invitations or doors, are still visible, still present in the church. DS appears to believe that this door (recently opened in the passing of late patriarch smith or 4th generation) will again close if individuals do not fight to keep it open.

You will find in your own path, that following what is given in the scriptures and in the LDS endowment provides ample clues, ordinances, experiences to begin that step through the door. Once walking by faith, Heaven WILL take notice! With further light and knowledge to follow. As mentioned, Father allows for the church because of his love, not the other way around. Don’t be surprised by what is revealed, or whatever individualized experiences Father has for you in preparing you to return to his presence. It is His work, and few here can speak from experience. Even DS, only shares the experiences (and vague at that) which brought him to the veil. Just as a map is not the topography or terrain, a book can’t possible detail or share the experience.
Rick said…
I was responding to Hermit. Wow, I haven't even said that to anyone in the blogosphere, and I usually irritate people. I hope you can resolve your conflict. :)
Lynn Bernhard said…
Tim, I saw the same post and had a similar reaction. Perhaps fighting the brethren is not what Denver meant at all? Perhaps we must contend with greater earnestness against the power of the adversary in our daily walks?
If we as saints battled the forces of darkness with the same zeal we buy, read, and watch vampire stories, we might see Zion brought down from heaven. "Off shoot"? Happened before in the Book of Mormon? We sure are comfortable reading the stories of the saints being hunted by the King's men sent by the High Priests of Noah at the Waters of Mormon. Good thing it was them, not me. What would cause those saints to leave a corrupt church in the land of Lehi-Nephi and join with Alma? I guess when the chosen people seek to destroy the prophets it might be time align with the LORD and the "Church of Christ"? Interesting times we live in. Peace.
lemuel said…
Perhaps fighting the brethren is not what Denver meant at all?

It is definitely not our fight. If we jump into that fight, on either side, we will get beat up. Badly.
log said…
Here's another interesting point to ponder.

From our current manual -
I am grateful that the knowledge of God and his laws has been restored in our day and that we who are members of the Church know he is a personal being and not, as some sectarians have said, “a congeries [a disorderly collection] of laws floating like a fog in the universe.” I am grateful that we know he is our Father in heaven, the Father of our spirits, and that he ordained the laws whereby we can advance and progress until we become like him. And I am grateful that we know he is an infinite and eternal being who knows all things and has all power and whose progression consists not in gaining more knowledge or power, not in further perfecting his godly attributes, but in the increase and multiplying of his kingdoms.

The bolded is false, as per the First Presidency. See The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star volume 27 (21 October 1865) p. 660.

Here, we have the president of the Church, acting as president of the Church, teaching something which the First Presidency has before him determined was false doctrine; the "officially" false doctrine is officially taught today under the aegis of the Church - even though the First Presidency declaration concerning the matter has not been superceded, to my knowledge.

In neither case had they had the heavens opened unto them - neither one cites the source of their "knowledge" concerning the matter, so it is quite possible that neither one actually knew anything about what they were discussing - but one of them has to be correct (on that narrow topic, since this is a matter of the law of non-contradiction).

What should one make of that?
Hermit said…
Log, I know that this comment isn't exactly what you are looking for (I do have thoughts specifically about your comment), but reading from the pages that you linked the last part of it really jumped out at me, about the inability of the human family to find happiness based on traditions, but those who "obey the Gospel and receive the Holy Ghost" long to have children who grow up pure before God ... I guess this hit me so hard because my children are a huge reason I stepped in the direction that I stepped. I have always, always taught (so imperfectly) my children what my Holy Ghost has taught me, I have taught (imperfectly) my children about eternal identity and relationship, how to experience that there and then act on that here in mortality. The link talks about example...well, i guess there are some things, inconsistencies, error, whatever you want to call it, that I, for myself, could probably have lived a lifetime beLIEving. But I could never have kept up, experiencing what I was experiencing and then looking into the eyes of my children and repeating what "men" said was truth. Its one thing when its Elders Quorum or something, but, again, when you are looking into your own child's eyes--you can't help but say what lies deepest within you. What a powerful experience children are in helping the rubber to meet the road. No one mediates an individuals relationship with Father (to borrow a phrase, "he employeth no servant there"), and no child should ever feel that a mortal man does. Happiness? I long for the truth that is there, to be its fullness! Back to repenting :)
Hermit said…
Log ... how have you resolved the inconsistencies for yourself? What have you made of that quote / contradiction (and many others that your long studying must have come across)?
Karl said…
You are correct here, which is why I believe that John Pontius disagreed with DS approach. Why would someone blessed with the fullness of blessings take a critical stance towards leadership? PTHG is packed with historical analysis loaded with huge errors. I am praying that DS will someday realize the errors, and get back into the mainstrream where he can do a lot more good than where he is now. Apparently, even having a personal audience with Christ does not protect one from the danger of hubris, pride, vanity and foolishness. DS charges leadership with these problems; he should look in the mirror, because in my opinion he is full of it himself.
log said…
"There will be many willing to preach to you the philosophies of men mingled with scripture."
log said…
You are begging the question. The question you have assumed the answer to is "Is DS a prophet speaking as directed, or is he speaking according to his own opinions or beliefs?" You have assumed he is speaking according to his own opinions or beliefs.

But that is precisely the point at issue.

You would do better to first establish DS is not a prophet speaking as directed by God, and then call him to repentance. Declaring him to be in error, calling him to repentance, and condemning him without first establishing he is on his own errand is itself arrogant, prideful, vain, and foolish.
Hermit said…
touche! nice :)
Karl said…
Please bear in mind that we have all only heard DS testimony about his excommunication. It is a fact that he was summonded to answer charges to the High Council, with the standard procedure being that he was to appear by himself. He insisted on trying to bring his children into the proceedings. I lost a lot of respect for him when he, like a petulant child, refused to go in if his SP wouldn't allow all his family in too. If I were unjustly charged with apostasy I would fight like crazy to defend my position, if nothing else to set up a grounds for appeal. I do not agree with excommunicating people for what they believe, or even teach, as opposed to what they do. However, he set the stage by his actions.
Hermit said…
jmhiatt -- after reading Karl's comment, I felt I needed to clarify my comment. Yes, I believe all those things are currently visible in the church, as it is. But I do not believe that those things alone, or the common perception of what members do with those things will allow individuals the destination they believe they are receiving. Yes, there are keys (they are within you--what do you do with a key?) and yes, there are ordinances ... consider the temple. But what are YOU doing with them, HERE, NOW, in THIS mortality? Are the ordinances preparing (changing you, changing behavior, transforming you, changing your perceptions, changing your life, your path) you to receive HIM? Is the act of performing the ordinances cleansing your temple, creating an intimacy between you and Christ?

Its not so much that the church currently "lacks" something, because what is needed is still there, for now. Its the church's perception of what is there and what they are NOT doing with it.

Ask Father what he would have you do with those ordinances--this is His work, and you belong to Him? I'll leave it at that ...

@ Karl, my gut (and a few experiences) tell me Pontius and DS did disagree. Then again their claimed experiences are very different, and that is ok :) In a perfect world, where everyone gets trophies, Pontius was able to help many people come closer to Christ and remain faithful to the brethren :)

You said, "Why would someone blessed with the fullness of blessings take a critical stance towards leadership?" I don't believe that embracing and declaring truth is taking a critical stance of the brethren. Unless the brethren having stepped away from truth and in having a mirror put up to their awful condition have taken offense. Hopefully i'm wrong. Maybe there is no reason for offense, and they are justified in booting DS, as they are all prophets, seers and revelators and truly do hold all the keys they claim. Then again, why would some crazy heretic (and a lawyer at that) who has been cast out even matter anyway?
Lynne McKinley said…
Back to Denver Snuffer's orginal quote, which reminds me of one from B.H. Roberts' in the Improvement Era, 1906:
" Not a thousandth part of that which Joseph Smith revealed to the Church has yet been unfolded, either to the Church or to the world. The work of the expounder has scarcely begun. The Prophet planted by teaching the germ-truths of the great dispensation of the fulness of times. The watering and weeding is going on, and God is giving the increase, and will give it more abundantly in the future as more intelligent discipleship shall obtain. The disciples of "Mormonism", growing more discontented with the necessarily primitive methods which have hitherto prevailed in sustaining the doctrine, will take yet profounder and broader views of the great doctrines committed to the church; and departing from mere repetition, will cast them in new formulas; cooperating in the works of the Spirit, until they help to give to the truths received a more forceful expression, and carry it beyond the earlier and cruder stages of its development."
wanderer said…
I will not take a position on Denver Snuffer. I do not even know how I found his blog the first time (several years ago). I found this blog and others after reading his. I was completely non biased on everything he wrote. Never having heard anyone mention him or his writings.
I, like most here, could talk for days about questions he has raised. In this comment I will mention one thought that I have regarding his stance on leadership.

From my reading and understanding Denver's main issue with leadership is this: We as members and leadership lost the "fullness of the Gospel"(Nauvoo). The leadership is (rightfully so) acting as stewards of the CoJCoLDS. The problem is that our(members) interpretation and the representation(leaders) of what that constitutes is flawed (due to not being forthright) therefore creating stumbling blocks. This is not due to evil men deliberately leading man astray(leadership), quite likely the contrary, any more than it is man (members) abdicating there responsibility of searching the scriptures and coming to a knowledge of understanding.

Tim, if you have addressed the condemnation of the church would you please post the link?
Hermit said…
Amen! I'm not in the position you are specific to living or being a little closer to the situation, but I look at a man's fruit, or the fruit that is produced in my own life, and that is enough for me. And while I do not personally know Denver, at one point, I was a little closer to some activities on the Wasatch front than maybe others, and concur with your summary.

In addition, I experienced my own (on a much, much smaller scale) series of moments with LDS leadership. I do know there there are many good individuals in the church, those who are called as bishops or whatever, and are asked to do things that according to their own honest lives, they just don't understand, or find it very, very difficult to reconcile. The testimony of my bishop certainly assisted me, as I was encouraged to follow Christ. I do not attend Denver's talks, but it is NOT for the reason someone might quickly jump to. Each one of us has our own path. If nothing else, your comment suggests people just don't ever have all the facts. And does it matter? How many individuals are out there really trying to help connect other's directly to Father, to heaven? To bring about the actual experience that is Zion?

In the end, the drama that is Denver Snuffer, will mean nothing compared to what was restored (he will not be the only one), and the change that was allowed, specific to those who took those seeds, planted them and the experiences they had as a result. I think, a person can't read his books without being forever changed, one way or the other, and maybe that is exactly the way it is supposed to be.
Rodney said…
Elias Returns,

I've read DS's story on his website and I've started the second comforter, but I can't say I'm a fan just yet, but certainly I'm not against him. I'd love to hear him speak because I get a better 'feel' in person. I've read your testimony too and because of an experience I've had... I believe you because I recognize certain 'signs' in what you said. I'm not much of a scriptorian, or church historian or educated beyond common sense kind of a person. Rather, I'm ignorant in a lot of things. It made a big difference to me finding Tim's blog here, and I hold his thoughts in high esteem. Actually, his is the only blog I really read without putting up filters or barriers... but DS? I'm just not sure right now. But if you don't mind... let me ask my question of you. (I've been wondering if I'd ever get a chance to ever chat)

I've been waiting for many years for something to happen in the church... a split? or whatever. I've recently (last several months) read blogs or statements by some members like "Because I am Watching" and DS now who has talked about... shall I dare call it the "apostasy" of the church,... or rather it's leaders? I don't have a problem with this thought. My question deals more with... What are we to do? What's out there to move to? I nearly left the church because I saw it as the church of man, sorry... my way of saying it. But as I waited outside the Bishops office to 'make the cut" I prayed and said I was leaving the church. The spirit responded "you can do that if you want, but there are things you have not considered if you do." So I went home.

So,... What good does it do for me to hear, "If the members do not fight to retain their religion it will continue to alter and degenerate into something very different..."? Fight? Fight how? Fight what? or who exactly? The church belongs to the corporation. I nor, do I believe, any one of us has a 'legal' foot to stand on, except what?, start another?

On my mission I heard a man bear his testimony that he would stay with the church till he finds something better. That blew my mind. Now here I am. I'm looking for that further light and knowledge, that 'something better'. Perhaps even Isaiah's (Avraham Galeadi) Jehovah's messenger to follow. Until then, I accept that this is the church He wants me to remain with, and I've seen His hand still in it.

I read your belief that DS is a prophet. I think there are many more being prepared to declare His message to repent and come to Christ. Some are getting that direct from the spirit,... I know because I heard it and follow like a drunkard. My way of saying "imperfectly" with a rather slow forward momentum... and 'keeping the faith' (in God and directions of His spirit).

I hope this makes sense, I'm not that good of a writer with incomplete thoughts and all.

So then... your thoughts?
Ryan said…
I think this sub-thread we've spawned is very interesting and I think it's a very important one. I think there is a great deal that rests on figuring out the answers to these questions. Elias Returns, thanks for giving that summary of events leading up to the excommunication. And Rodney, I think you're asking the right questions. I don't know the answers - I'm seeking them too.

To inform this topic, I think the following is useful and important (taken from

DS said: "I kept all my covenants with both the Lord and the church. I would never have broken my covenants with the church. But the church has broken them. That will not change what covenants I have with the Lord. They will remain unbroken.

"Sometime after Joseph's death, there was one covenant the church changed. Instead of consecrating everything for the building up of Zion, the covenant was reworked to consecrate everything to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the establishment of Zion. That reworking of the covenant means that if the church doesn't do it, then someone who honors the covenant with the church cannot. Or, alternatively, it means that when the church neglects to build Zion, then the church has broken the covenant and that relieves the other party of their obligation to consecrate to the church. I took the first view. I would not depart from that covenant, even though I've had more than one conversation with the Lord about it. Now I find the church has broken the covenant, relieved me of any further need to involve them in the matter, and allowed me to pursue this as a matter of faith. The irony of that is they broke the covenant on the day I was traveling to Boise to begin a year-long series of talks about Zion. I see the hand of God in that."

I still have my covenant with the church and I feel an obligation to keep it for now, until it's revealed to me by heavenly encounter that the church has not lived up to its covenant to build up Zion in precept and practice. I personally don't think the precepts of the church and its emphasis on the 'keys' of its leaders and its constant urging of the membership toward diligence in hearing and hearkening to the teachings of priesthood leaders are having the effect of establishing Zion.

The standard is given in 2 Nephi 26: "[The Lord] commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

"...the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish."

I feel the trend is (with gathering momentum) in the direction of priestcrafts, the antithesis of Zion. We can begin the work of establishing Zion privately within our own homes. We can reject the trend of the church. I think we should beware of the leaven of the church. We should observe our covenants, but not for the sake of the church, meaning the organization of the church. We should hear the Lord and begin the work of establishing Zion first privately in our own homes and then in our wards, insofar as we can, and then more broadly if we're even able to get to that point. Our doctrine and precepts, our rod, should be the Sermon on the Mount and the direct whisperings (first) and then voice (later) and presence (finally) of the Lord.
Lynn Bernhard said…
Rodney, my brother asked me the same question "What are we to do?" I said to him by the the Holy Spirit, the correct question is "What am I to do?" Salvation is personal and Christ centric. Brother Denver pointed this out, I have studied this claim and agree with the scriptures. Nephi never held a temple recommend that I am aware of. I must repent, I must put on the alter whatever the LORD wants, I must strictly obey the Holy Ghost after entering in the way. Nephi 32:5-6. Memorize it, love it, live it. The LDS church has a commission from the LORD through Brother Joseph. The commission remains intact until ordinances and the covenantal naure of them are done away with by the decrees of the various councils of the church. Then we ask once again "GOD, what am I to do?" GOD will answer. Exciting times to be alive. Times of living borrowed light are over for me. GOD bless. lb
Lynne McKinley, Orem, Utah said…
I had never heard of Denver Snuffer until a few days after he was excommunicated. I was curious about it, so I did some digging. I read his blog posts all the way back to the beginning. I ordered all of his books based on the change in attitude and unfolding love and forgiveness I was feeling, and my overwhelming desire to repent. When I was down sick with the flu I was able to read everything he has written (looking for the flaw, or the "agenda" which I never found). His writing builds sequentially and exponentially. Tim just throws out a controversial quote above which causes an uproar among people who have not taken the time to read the body of work Denver has provided, but take high offense and want to weigh in with their opinions of what he did or didn't say, did or didn't mean. Denver Snuffer is a trial attorney, so of course he builds each "case" for each point he makes with ample evidences and proofs, always from scripture as the primary source, with secondary citations following an easily accessible credible source such as church leaders. To provide a quote like the one which started this conversation, which is in essence a summary statement after a massive body of evidences and proofs to support it, without encouraging blog readers to go back and get the whole picture of the proceedings is bound to inflame and divide. It's like having the jury come into the courtroom right at the end to hear the summary statement without having attended the trial itself, or hearing anything the witnesses had to say, and then being expected to render a fair and impartial judgment. Not possible. I work in family law. There is always a petitioner, and always a defendant. Having now read all of Denver Snuffer's writings to date, and having heard him speak in person several times; seeing a wide angle view of the point he is trying to make, I consider him the Attorney for The Petitioner, who is Jesus Christ, pleading with us to repent, return, and come directly to Him to be healed and strengthened for what is coming upon us in the very near future. I, too, testify that I know Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. is a prophet and servant of the Lord, and sincerely appreciate your brave public comments in this regard. Perhaps the time will come when you will have the courage to use your real name.
Lynne McKinley, Orem, Utah said…
Clarification - always a Petitioner and always a Respondent in Family Law. The petitioner (Jesus Christ) pleads for something, the respondent (we, us) must respond.
Rodney said…
Thanks for the feed back Ryan and Lynn Bernhard. I've been pondering the chaos resulting from paradygm shifts that I've been experiencing for over a year now. This morning was no different, considering the 'thrust' of the conversation here.

I walk after breakfast and lunch every work day (6 days a week) and spend that time in conversational prayer. It happens that I have read many of DS's blog postings, but I've never felt a need to pray if DS saw the Lord or was even "a" prophet; regardless, I've never had any issues with what he has stated (so far). A few things I have felt were even noteworthy.

This mornings walk had me pondering His purpose in bringing me to this desert (Middle East), away from friends and family, and realizing His project in bringing me closer to Him, I turned to the things brought up in many of the responses of this blog post. Particularly with Lynn Bernhard's answer suggesting (that I ask instead) “GOD, what am I to do?”. In tossing this up for consideration I also stated to Father that some (you know who you are) even consider Denver Snuffer "a" prophet. Note that I did not ask if DS was a prophet, nor was it in my mind to even bring this question up. It was the Lord than interjected a response. "He is". I pondered that for about a hundred yards then asked if it was Him that said that. Then... "Yes it was I". I pondered that for another hundred yards. I then restated what I 'thought' I heard Him saying and asked that He confirm it. To this question He said, "Yes, he is a prophet with a narrow scope of responsibility". I pondered that for nearly half a mile, realizing that my paradygm has caught up with things I have known for some time. Lynn Bernhhard's words then came to mind... "Exciting times to be alive". Well,... I guess. I now ponder just what this might mean, it doesn't change the near path I'm on but gives some shape to the possible future, if... only a little.

With 'Isaiah Decoded', 'The Apocalyptic Commentary of Isaiah', 'Conquering Spiritual Evil ' and ' The Second Comforter' on my reading desk right now, I guess it's time for 'Passing the Heavenly Gift' too. I'll just have to catch up.

Tim,.. thanks for this post, but I'm good with books for a while.
Ryan said…
Hi Rodney - I've benefited a great deal from reading this comment. Thank you very much for sharing your experience. It gives me a great deal to think about.
jmhiatt said…
log, this is from Denver's blog dated August 26, 2013:

"With the recent passing of Eldred G. Smith, we have a milestone representing the end of those required generational passings. Now is the first time it is possible for the Lord to recommence the restoration. But it won't commence again without us knowing what we lack. Conceit and arrogance will never redeem us from our fallen state. But contrition and repentance might. Passing the Heavenly Gift is intended to inspire those who are downfallen in their faith, and to help those who are prepared to hear it, that we (all of us, including me) are in a fallen state from which we must awake and arise."
jmhiatt said…

Thanks for the reply. If this is what Denver is saying, it is actually painfully obvious. I think most priesthood holders, who are honest anyway, really know that their faith is weak to move the heavens. We have administrative authority, but lack true priesthood authority from God - like Nephi. That should not be too tough to sell.
jmhiatt said…
Hermit, I appreciate your response. I am taking to heart your comments. I am trying to bring these symbols in my life to have REAL, tangible experiences - to gain REAL knowledge.

I thought this line is particularly true and pertinent, "Its the church’s perception of what is there and what they are NOT doing with it." This is what in the Book of Mormon is referred to as "dwindling in unbelief." We feel that these things are not to be done in our day and age. We feel that all of this can happen in when we die, in the spirit world. In our view, everything magically happens over there on that side. I do see this as a paradigm shift we need to change. Like you, Denver, and others are saying, I hope it is not too late. Let's do the best we can to get the word out - with the Spirit.

Popular posts from this blog

Facebook Discussion Group for Latter-day Commentary

What to Expect When You’re Excommunicated

Do This in Remembrance of Me