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?

151 comments
Ryder
Ryder

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. Regards

jonnylingo
jonnylingo

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.

Candice Z.
Candice Z.

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? ;)

log
log

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” This isn't hard stuff, Steve. Modus ponens and modus tollens are straightforward, as is the history and the words involved. alter AL'TER, v.t. [L. alter, another. See Alien.] 1. To make some change in; to make different in some particular; to vary in some degree, without an entire change. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips. Ps. 89. 2. To change entirely or materially; as, to alter an opinion. In general, to alter is to change partially; to change is more generally to substitute one thing for another, or to make a material difference in a thing. AL'TER, v.i. To become, in some respects, different; to vary; as, the weather alters almost daily. The law which altereth not. Dan 4. change CHANGE, v.t. 1. To cause to turn or pass from one state to another; to alter, or make different; to vary in external form, or in essence; as, to change the color or shape of a thing; to change the countenance; to change the heart or life. 2. To put one thing in the place of another; to shift; as, to change the clothes Be clean and change your garments. Gen. 35. 3. To quit one thing or state for another; followed by for; as, persons educated in a particular religion do not readily change it for another. 4. To give and take reciprocally; as, will you change conditions with me? 5. To barter; to exchange goods; as, to change a coach for a chariot. 6. To quit, as one place for another; as, to change lodgings. 7. To give one kind of money for another; to alter the form or kind of money, by receiving the value in a different kind, as to change bank notes for silver; or to give pieces of a larger denomination for an equivalent in pieces of smaller denomination, as to change an eagle for dollars, or a sovereign for sixpences, or to change a dollar into cents; or on the other hand, to change dollars for or into eagles, giving money of smaller denomination for larger. 8. To become acid or tainted; to turn from a natural state of sweetness and purity; as, the wine is changed; thunder and lightning are said to change milk. To change a horse, or to change hand, is to turn or bear the horses head from one hand to the other, from the left to the right, or from the right to the left. CHANGE, v.i. 1. To be altered; to undergo variation; as, men sometimes change for the better, often for the worse. I am Jehovah; I change not. Mal. 3. 2. To pass the sun, as the moon in its orbit; as, the moon will change the 14th of this month. And, let us remember again the explicit teachings of Joseph. "Ordinances were instituted in heaven before the foundation of the world of in the priesthood, for the salvation of man. not be altered. not to be changed. all must be saved upon the same principle." - WJS, p. 179 "where there is no change of priesthood there is no change of ordinances says Paul. If god has not changed the ordinances & priesthood, howl ye sectarians, if he has where has he revealed it. have ye turned revelators? then why deny it?" - WJS, p. 179, emphasis added "[T]he ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed, otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing." - WJS, p. 47 "And again, God purposed in himself that there should not be an eternal fulness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one and that all things whatsoever that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations unto the same fulness and eternal glory should be in Christ Jesus, therefore he set the ordinances to be the same for Ever and ever and set Adam to watch over them to reveal them from heaven to man or to send Angels to reveal them" - WJS, p. 46 "If there is no change of ordinances there is no change of Priesthood. Wherever the ordinances of the Gospel are administered there is the priesthood." - WJS, p.20 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. It contradicts any who contradict Joseph, the scriptures, history, and logic, I will agree. 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. Then you are not bearing testimony, but making a dogmatic declaration. There is a distinct difference: testimony is the recounting of the firsthand experiences of a witness, that the audience may judge whether conclusions are warranted by the experiences claimed. What you have proffered here does not suffice to function as testimony. 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. As the spirit of prophecy doesn't lie, then either you are right, or Joseph, scripture, history, and logic are right; there is no middle ground. And if you continue teach against them, it will only be at your own peril. As I mentioned, this is publicly available stuff, the logic is sound, and you are giving, once again, a perfectly worthless response in the face of it. I repeat: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.

SteveF
SteveF

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.

SteveF
SteveF

Part of this conversation reminds me of another I had at timesandseasons earlier this year discussing ordinances and the relationship between power and authority in the Priesthood. So I’ll share a few things that came up there. In the LDS Church we hold keys restored and given to man from heaven through angelic ministry, even the keys the Kingdom, and thus authority exercised in the Church is not so limited as to be merely authority exercised in some earthly corporate body. To suggest such a thing is missing almost the entire significance of angels restoring these keys to man once again on earth. It is so much more than earthly authority, it is legal administration recognized both on earth and in heaven, and recognized by heaven thus effects the economy of heaven. For this is the very purpose of the keys, that whatsoever is bound here on earth will be bound in heaven, or whatsoever is recognized here on earth will be recognized in heaven (aka. Those ordinances, ordinations, etc. recorded here on earth by this authority, are also recorded and recognized in heaven.) 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. Joseph said that once the keys are restored to man on earth, and there are authorized mortal administrators available, heavenly beings would no longer interfere. I understand that to mean that once the keys are here and available on earth, all ordinances and ordinations will be given through mortal ministers bearing the appropriate keys found in God’s Kingdom on earth. It will then be through righteously abiding by the conditions of those ordinances and ordinations that people will obtain the blessings of heaven made possible through them. As I understand Joseph Smith’s explanation - ordinances and ordinations are signs placed on individuals, which when given by the proper authority are recognized by heaven. Therefore, with this sign, if an individual lives up to the terms or conditions rightfully belonging to that sign (usually covenants), they will receive the associated blessings from heaven (all blessings tending to spiritual knowledge or power in some capacity or other). It is through obedience to the laws belonging to these heaven-authorized rituals and ordinations that individuals have further access to the blessings of the atonement / the blessings of heaven (and personal power in the Priesthood in the case of ordinations) whereby they might obtain greater spiritual knowledge than they could without them to be enabled to abide by a higher law in the hereafter. “God has set many signs on the earth, as well as in the heavens; for instance, the oak of the forest, the fruit of the tree, the herb of the field—all bear a sign that seed hath been planted there; for it is a decree of the Lord that every tree, plant, and herb bearing seed should bring forth of its kind, and cannot come forth after any other law or principle. Upon the same principle do I contend that baptism is a sign ordained of God, for the believer in Christ to take upon himself in order to enter into the kingdom of God, ‘for except ye are born of water and of the Spirit ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God,’ said the Savior. It is a sign and a commandment which God has set for man to enter into His kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain; for God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works as accepted, for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory; and God has decreed that all who will not obey His voice shall not escape the damnation of hell. What is the damnation of hell? To go with that society who have not obeyed His commands. Baptism is a sign to God, to angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God, and there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for man to come to Him to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and any other course is in vain; then you have the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:554–55) “What if we should attempt to get the gift of the Holy Ghost through any other means except the signs or way which God hath appointed—would we obtain it? Certainly not; all other means would fail. The Lord says do so and so, and I will bless you. There are certain key words and signs belonging to the Priesthood which must be observed in order to obtain the blessing. The sign [taught by] Peter was to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, with the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost; and in no other way is the gift of the Holy Ghost obtained. There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. Until he obeyed these ordinances and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, according to the order of God, he could not have healed the sick or commanded an evil spirit to come out of a man, and it obey him; for the spirits might say unto him, as they did to the sons of Sceva: ‘Paul we know and Jesus we know, but who are ye?’ ” (History of the Church, 4:555; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Mar. 20, 1842) Since temple rituals have been mentioned specifically, my opinion concerning the endowment is that the washing and anointing given under the authority of the Priesthood is that which puts the sign of that ordinance upon us, by which obedience to the eternal conditions associated with that sign brings forth the blessings and power of the endowment. And since one of the grand purposes of the endowment ordinance is to aid us in obtaining intelligence or power, I find it both genius and heaven-revealed to in addition give us a presentation thereafter that outlines a symbolic pattern of asking and receiving through which we can obtain that revelation, and furthermore gives us a symbolic pattern of truth that we might draw on to obtain this revelation, that we might in time have power to overcome all things. That Joseph Smith was able to adapt portions of the masonic rites to really portray these heavenly truths to me is nothing short of miraculous and due to pure revelation from God. And that Brigham Young, and in more minor ways subsequent prophets, have been able to more perfectly organize these things is evidence of continued revelation and inspiration from the Lord. If we are worthy, these things will bless our lives and aid us in fulfilling the purposes and obtaining the blessings of the endowment. All ordinances and ordination will likewise open up the blessings of heaven as we abide by the laws associated with them.

Jim O'Rullian
Jim O'Rullian

Tim, I hope you don’t mind me making a comment or two publicly on your blog. Although I have followed you and your readers from almost the beginning, this is my first post because I’m a big believer in privacy and am somewhat old fashioned in that regard. I simply felt it was time to step forward and speak openly about a few things. Like you, church history and doctrine have been a passion for me over the years. This has inevitably led me to argue for and against the validity of the church’s claims with both enemies and friends using scripture and historical quotes. In doing so I have encountered a great many truths that have been hard to swallow and also some that have been a complete delight to incorporate into my own belief system. Through it all, I feel I have developed a keen sense of how to recognize a true message and messenger from a false one. Without any purported authority, I would like to give you and your readers what my take is on Denver Snuffer and the message he bears. When I initially came across Denver’s first book in 2008, The Second Comforter, I was immediately struck by his fearlessness in taking on a topic that most believe is either off limits or not meant for the lay member of the church. With a fair amount of skepticism, I decided to reserve judgment on the matter until I felt I had made an exhaustive study of him and his work. Therefore, I have since read every book he has published (some several times), every thesis/paper he has posted, every blog entry and have attended all but one of his public addresses. I have not always agreed with the things he has said. Some things simply come across to me as his opinion while others things resonate deep inside my soul. Interestingly, the things that come to me with the most force while reading his work are those which pertain to doctrine. I get a sense of familiarity with the material that I can’t quite explain. I have then taken those feelings to the Lord in an attempt to sort them out. I am now finally at a place where I think I can pronounce my assessment of the man Denver Snuffer and his work. No fluff. As plain as I can say it. The message Mr. Snuffer bears is the word of God directly from His bosom. While intended for the world to hear, it is primarily meant for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who already have a foundation of restored truth and authority and want to move on to the promised blessings of our time foretold in scripture and through the prophet Joseph Smith that have largely faded into obscurity and legend since his martyrdom. The message does not tear down one’s faith, but rather builds upon it bringing the person to the realization that he/she alone is responsible for obtaining their own promise of exaltation directly from the Lord through a face to face, one on one encounter. While fully understood and taught by the Prophet Joseph, this doctrine has been largely ignored and lost upon the minds of the Latter-Day Saints since the glorious first years of the opening of this dispensation. It is to this doctrine that we must return and embrace if we are to move from where we are now to a society of one heart and one mind where the Lord can come and make his abode and rest His head. I believe Mr. Snuffer’s message has no bearing to those who are unwilling to internalize the full import of the material and who can only dwell on the person delivering it. As long as the focus in the mind of the reader remains on the author and not his words, the power of the work is limited and lifeless. Therefore, any honest attempt to verify the truth of the matter needs to be accompanied with the premise of anonymous authorship using the scriptures as the reckoning tool and personal revelation as the proof of knowledge gained. It is my opinion that Denver Snuffer’s claims of having conversed with the Father and the Son face to face and reasoning with them as one man reasons with another is true and accurate. I do not presume that he is entitled to anything more or less than any other person living on earth. I also do not presume that his experience somehow elevates him to usurp authority over the general authorities of the church we have sustained to lead and guide. Conversely, I believe Denver himself yet considers himself subject to their council and guidance. In my view, Denver’s excommunication was justified by the established policies of the church which have been employed for decades. However, I do not believe it was necessarily the right thing to do before God and may yet prove to be a lost opportunity for the Church in general. Finally, I do not feel that my beliefs somehow disqualify me from serving faithfully in the church and in the temple. Listening and reacting to truth from one source does not preclude me from doing so from another. I will continue to read what Denver has to say and apply the same prudence that I always have with spiritual matters relying on the Holy Ghost to provide me with the truth of all things. I do not need any man, prophets included, to obtain that which I seek.

Tim Malone, MCSE
Tim Malone, MCSE

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.

log
log

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
log

Because I am aware that if I leave this in a link, it may not be read, therefore I bring it out here. If the fullness of the priesthood is related to the endowments, then there are problems that must be addressed. My argument takes this form. IF temple ordinances are necessary for salvation THEN those ordinances cannot be changed or altered. (Joseph Smith) IF ordinances necessary for salvation are changed or altered THEN those ordinances are invalid. (Isaiah 24:5, D&C 132:8-11) Temple ordinances have been changed and altered. (historical fact) Therefore, those temple ordinances are not necessary for salvation OR necessary temple ordinances are invalid. The same problem arises if the endowments are necessary for the fullness of the priesthood. It is my opinion that Brigham was not lying when he said Joseph Smith instructed him to systematize the ordinances, indicating that Joseph knew that what he was giving was not the real thing. After all, Joseph consistently taught that saving ordinances cannot be changed, and cannot be altered. A sample of his teachings on this point. If there is no change of ordinances there is no change of Priesthood. Wherever the ordinances of the Gospel are administered there is the priesthood. - WJS, p.20 Now the purpose in himself in the winding up scene of the last dispensation is, that all things pertaining to that dispensation should be conducted precisely in accordance with the preceeding dispensations. And again, God purposed in himself that there should not be an eternal fulness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one and that all things whatsoever that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations unto the same fulness and eternal glory should be in Christ Jesus, therefore he set the ordinances to be the same for Ever and ever and set Adam to watch over them to reveal them from heaven to man or to send Angels to reveal them Heb 1 Chap. 16 verse. - WJS, p. 46 The power, glory, and blessings of the priesthood could not continue with those who received ordination only as their righteousness continued, for Cain also being authorized to offer sacrifice but not offering it in righteousness, therefore he was cursed. It signifies then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed, otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing. - WJS, p. 47 O. Jerusalem. &c. whence are in the curse of Allmighty God that was to be poured out upon the heads of the Jews? That they would not be gathered. because they would not let Christ gather them. It was the design in the Councils of heaven before the world was that the principle & law of that priesthood was predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did every thing possible to gather the people & they would not be gathered and he poured out curses upon them Ordinances were instituted in heaven before the foundation of the world of in the priesthood, for the salvation of man. not be altered. not to be changed. all must be saved upon the same principle. - WJS, p. 179 where there is no change of priesthood there is no change of ordinances says Paul. If god has not changed the ordinances & priesthood, howl ye sectarians, if he has where has he revealed it. have ye turned revelators? then why deny it? - WJS, p. 179, emphasis added This dovetails with the fact that the Lord did not come and restore the fullness of the priesthood, which He said could only take place in a completed temple. Because of that, this statement of Joseph's takes on an ominous meaning. Baptism for the dead, God decreed before the foundation of the world that that ordinance should be administered in a house prepared for that purpose. If a man gets the fulness of God he has to get [it] in the same way that Jesus Christ obtain it & that was by keeping all the ordinances of the house of the Lord. Men will say I will never forsake you but will stand by you at all times but the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are prepared, They will be the first to stone you & put you to death. It was the same principle that Crusified the Lord Jesus Christ. - WJS, p. 181 Keeping the ordinances of course requires one obtain them. Speaking of Nauvoo, Joseph said this. But to the text why gather the people together in this place For the same purpose that Jesus wanted to gather the Jews, to receive the ordinances the blessings & the glories that God has in store for his Saints. And I would now ask this assembly and all the Saints if they will now build this house & receive the ordinances & Blessings which God has in store for you, or will you not build unto the Lord this house & let him pass by & bestow these blessings upon another I pause for a reply - WJS, p. 181 We know which one the Saints chose. There were multiple witnesses to this sermon. He beautifully and in a most powerful manner, illustrated the necessity of the gathering and the building of the Temple that those ordinances may be administered which are necessary preparations for the world to come: he exhorted the people in impressive terms to be diligent—to be up and doing lest the tabernacle pass over to another people and we lose the blessing. - WJS, p. 182 Again, the Lord did not come, and what Joseph gave us by way of endowments he knew were not the real thing.

robf
robf

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.)

Tim Malone, MCSE
Tim Malone, MCSE

Thanks Matthew. And don't forget Rob Smith's "My Witness" on Upward thought: http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-witness.html 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.

Matthew
Matthew

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.

Roy
Roy

Hi Ryder, Try "Come Let Us Adore Him" by Denver Snuffer, it is very appropriate to read any time; but especially the Christmas season.

Rick
Rick

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.

Rick
Rick

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
log

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
SteveF

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.

Adrian
Adrian

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
SteveF

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.

log
log

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.

log
log

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.

Tim Malone, MCSE
Tim Malone, MCSE

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. Cheers.

Adrian
Adrian

Well put Jim. Amen and Amen.

Matthew
Matthew

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."

log
log

Tim, 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.

Rick
Rick

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? Thanks,

Tim Malone, MCSE
Tim Malone, MCSE

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.

robf
robf

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)

Candice Z.
Candice Z.

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.

log
log

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.

SteveF
SteveF

Well, I suppose we can leave that for each person to judge for themselves.

log
log

Inasmuch as you bear bitter fruit, such as false accusations, I can distinguish between you and teachers of truth.

SteveF
SteveF

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
log

For any who wish to know to what I am referring. I repeat the sentiment expressed in this post.

SteveF
SteveF

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.

log
log

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.

barker
barker

Wow. Just. Wow. Let him with ears to hear, hear.

log
log

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.

log
log

Are the prophets since Joseph Smith not real prophets, since the fulness of the priesthood was not received? It all depends on what you mean by the word "prophet". Denver Snuffer is the first since Joseph to testify that he has seen God and Christ, which can only take place in heaven. Snuffer uses the phrase "real prophet" as I use the phrase "true prophet". Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have the priesthood, authority to do baptisms and confirmations that are valid? I believe we at least have the Aaronic priesthood, and can show scriptural grounds for that. Valid confirmations which actually result in the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost require the Melchizedek priesthood. I know of only one person who was baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost at confirmation, and in discussing it with her, it did not seem that it was due to the authority of the person who performed the ordinance. The priesthood is this, and only this: 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. 20 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments. Notice that miracles and so forth are entirely missing from the list? But, there's more. Those who gain the Melchizedek priesthood are taken up to heaven while yet in the flesh. 26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. 27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, 28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; 29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. 30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; 31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. 32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. Faith and not priesthood works miracles; priesthood gets one taken to see God. The fullness of the priesthood, properly understood, is the Melchizedek priesthood. In a nutshell, because I know of too many invalid confirmations which have only got one explanation, I don't think we, as a church, have this priesthood. If we did, we would have Zion. Are the Church’s temples valid? I'm not sure what that means; I do know the Lord cares what goes on in them. Are the ordinances that people receive in the temples valid? If any particular ordinance has been altered or changed, it is either unnecessary, or it is invalid. You choose which. If a man and woman are sealed in the temple, is it valid? I do not know if the ordinance has been altered or changed. I do know that we have sufficient authority where someone entering into that covenant is damned for breaking it. What does it mean? It is a symbol of the potential future blessing if one is found true and faithful in all things. Like the true meaning of the endowments, you have to find this meaning out from God. The blessing it symbolizes is a real thing which can only be understood by revelation and experience. 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? Honestly, I don't know. Are we going to perish because they didn’t finish the Nauvoo Temple and receive the fulness? No; if we are going to perish, it will be because we, as individuals, did not seek for light and truth with an eye single to the glory of God, and / or rejected light and truth when it was offered to us. The only way to NOT perish is to cast aside all our sins, call upon God in the name of the Son in mighty prayer until we are sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost (Alma 22:16, 3 Nephi 27:20), and remain diligent unto prayer (Moroni 8:26) and good works through faith, hope, and charity, until we are brought unto Christ (Ether 12:28). Has there been any value in the church for the last 167 years? Oh yes. We still preach the gospel, whereby any who obey are saved. We are still the Lord's church, possessing the kingdom of God. This won't change until the Lord comes to reign in his vineyard.

log
log

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.

Rick
Rick

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?

robf
robf

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.

Rick
Rick

Thanks for sharing Log. This helps me!

log
log

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
Rick

Log, you have a strong knowledge of the scriptures, and deeper understanding also. What lead you to this?

log
log

What do you want to know, excepting personally identifying information?

Rick
Rick

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
log

Yes. I absolutely do agree. That is why I teach repentance at every legitimate opportunity.

log
log

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.