Snuffer Reader Excommunicated for Apostasy


LDSFreedomForumI am troubled this evening as I write this short post. An online friend has been excommunicated from the LDS Church for apostasy because he wrote in an online forum, much as I have on my blog, that Denver Snuffer is a prophet of God. As the scripture says, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” therefore, if you have knowledge of Jesus Christ, you are a prophet.

Writing Under Spirit of Inspiration

I have read Denver’s testimony of Jesus, as have many others. I concluded long ago he wrote under the spirit of prophecy and inspiration. His books have motivated me to study the gospel and to make greater efforts to live it. I have made no attempt to ask you to believe as I believe nor have I ever mentioned one word about Denver Snuffer or his books in any LDS building.

My Feelings About the Church

Let’s be clear up front. I love this church. I love the people in it. I love the brethren and sisters in my ward and stake. I would not want to do or say anything to cause them discomfort, difficulty or trouble. I love my brethren in the Stake Presidency with whom I serve on a regular basis. I know a stake financial clerk is not that big a deal, but because of it, I know these are good men.

Direction Comes From the Top

Question: What would my stake president do if he received a letter or phone call from a member of the area presidency directing him to convene a disciplinary council on my behalf? Of course he would do it. I would too if I were told to do so. Question two: What if he were given specific directions that I must remove my blog or the twenty-plus posts that deal with Denver Snuffer?

My defense Before the High Council

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I already wrote my defense to the High Council in a previous post. In it I expressed dismay that the Church would try to control the content of a blog written in good faith as an effort to follow the counsel of Elder Ballard. He asked us to be involved in the online dialog going on about the church. That’s exactly what my blog is about.

Definition of Apostasy

Apostasy, in case you’re not aware, is defined as 1) Deliberate opposition to the Church or its leaders in a clear, open and public manner. 2) Teaching as doctrine something that is not Church doctrine after being advised by appropriate authority that it’s false doctrine. 3) To affiliate with, belong to or follow the teachings of apostate sects, such as those that advocate plural marriage.

What Denver Snuffer Teaches

As far as I know, Denver Snuffer does not advocate plural marriage, nor has he expressed any intention to form his own church. I can’t imagine any Church authority proclaiming the doctrine he has taught of the Second Comforter to be false doctrine (D&C 88:68, 93:1, 97:16, 107:18-19). That leaves only deliberate opposition to the Church leaders in a clear, open and public manner.

Why Denver was Excommunicated

From what Denver shared on his blog, he was excommunicated for writing the book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. Now I wasn’t at Brent Larsen’s disciplinary council so I can’t comment about his attitude or if he asked the question, “Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it.” As I wrote in my previous post on the subject, if the church told me to take down my blog, I would do it.

Similar Testimonies Posted Online

I am encouraged that Daniel Roger’s blog, TheSecondComforter.com still remains. What is so different about posting your testimony of the Savior in a blog as opposed to stating it in a forum? You can read a copy of Brent’s letter of appeal at this link along with some additional insight from Brent’s wife. As always, we only get one side of the story. The Church will not comment.

Submissiveness to Authority

If you are a follower of Christ, talk to me about submissiveness. Tell me what Christ did, how he acted, what he said or didn’t say when he was confronted by those in authority. You know the answer. He was submissive. Like a lamb to the slaughter as the saying goes. Joseph used the same phrase as he went to Carthage, knowing his life would be forfeit to seal his testimony.

And Should We Die

If you’re an old guy like me, you might remember the old B/W movie about the two Mormon leaders in Mexico at the time of Pancho Villa who faced a firing squad rather than denounce their faith. It was entitled, “And Should We Die,” and was made in 1966. I remember we got ahold of a copy on my mission and showed it on the side of the church building one hot night.

It Takes Courage to be a Mormon

We had hundreds of kids and their parents come from many blocks around the church. This was in a very poor part of Central America. Nobody had a TV nor could they afford to go to town to the movie theater. I bring this up as an example of the courage it took to be a Mormon back in the early days of this Church. Now it seems the firing squad has become the local high council.

Killed for Reading a Book

These leaders were killed for reading and believing a book – the Book of Mormon. Apparently if you read and believe books written by Denver Snuffer, you now face excommunication, which in our church is looked upon as spiritual death by some. How can it have come to this? Somebody doesn’t understand what poor PR this is to cast someone out of your church for reading a book.

First Amendment Right Doesn’t Apply

I’ll conclude the way I started this short post. I am troubled by this report. But I’ll reaffirm my intention to do whatever my Priesthood leaders direct. After all, what’s a blog anyway? It’s just a way to communicate and to share feelings. It just seems a shame that we now cast out of our church those who stand up for their right to express their opinions and personal experiences.

The Church is not a Democracy

No U.S. government agency would allow such a thing to happen. We don’t kick people out of America for criticizing the workings of the government or writing a different view of history. But apparently in this church we now cast people out for reading books and expressing our opinion that the author was inspired. I guess the sin was in stating that Denver was a prophet.

This Doesn’t Strengthen the Church Members

All this does is bring more and more attention to what was an obscure local situation in a small part of central Utah. As these excommunications continue, more and more people will learn about Denver Snuffer and want to read his books to find out what all the fuss is about. As I said before, for a church that places such emphasis on good press, this seems like a bad PR move.

64 Responses

  1. From what I read on Freedom Forum, his statement they used in the council was that he said “Denver Snuffer is the first prophet since Joseph Smith”. I don’t think the error was in the belief that Denver is a prophet, but the fact that he publicly stated that all the others that have followed Joseph were not prophets.

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    • Good point. Thanks for clarifying Bryce. If I’m not mistaken, I believe I have read those same or similar words in one of Denver’s talks. I suppose an argument could be made for that position, but I’m not ready to support that extreme leap, at least not at this point.

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      • Hi, just read many of the replys to this blog as well as some of the quotes etc from Bro. Larsen’s post. I do agree that it appears his “error” was in implying that no one since Joseph Smith has been THE prophet. The use of the words “A prophet” would have perhaps been more acceptable. That statement is defendable through the scriptures. Many of which Shyloh”s comments bring to light.

        However, Bro. Larsen also mentioned he felt the leaders had the keys etc. So it is a bit of a contradiction for him to say no one but Joseph has been THE prophet, but to admit that the leaders have the keys.

        Anyway, it is a concern that the leaders are so heavy handed these days. (Fearful perhaps?) In scriptural times past when the people needed them, the Lord sent many prophets to cry repentance. (Look up repentance in the topical guide – many, many references.) Why would now be any different? We are, after all, – if you are even half awake – evidently in the last days. Good thing I have, according to (LDS doctrine and) the scriptures, a direct link with the heavens and can ask for clarification directly from the source. Something I was told to be sure and do when I converted 32 years ago.
        Ruth

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      • (copy of note to Bro. Larsen) Hi Bro. Larsen, so sorry for your situation. Keep the faith. One note, however, not all who have been prophets have seen Christ. Many have only heard His voice and had the witness of the Spirit to what the Lord wants them to say. It doesn’t make them less of a prophet if they are speaking the truth and it agrees with what has been said before.
        just saying….
        Ruth

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    • I did say I did sustain them as such though. and that I felt they had the keys and ought to have the good faith and prayers of the members. I just felt they had not seen Christ.

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      • Brent, on a personal note, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know my blog is under scrutiny so I’m not sure I can say what is really in my heart. Just know that many of us are shocked by the outcome of the council.

        I can’t find the quote at the moment, but I know Joseph Smith said something to the effect that we should not punish a man for what he believes. I know it’s been shared by someone on one of my previous posts about Denver. I think it applies.

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        • I wonder if this is the quote you are referring to?:
          Joseph Smith: “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. (History of the Church, 5:340

          I just keep wondering where this ‘whole thing’ is going…..I think it’s possible and appropriate to recognize someone as a prophet (one who has the spirit of prophecy) and support Thomas S Monson as THE president of the church. Was not Eliza R Snow called a prophet(ess)? And it’s very obvious she was never ordained.
          Numbers 11:29 reads: But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
          Acts 2:17 Describes the Last Days: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Why is this such a shock? Our scriptures are full of like remarks–ANYONE can potentially be a prophet

          I don’t see any harm or error in declaring Denver (a) prophet. It does not diminish the authority or support of the Brethren in SLC.
          But it is wisdom to acknowledge they are MEN-subject to error.
          I was moved by these remarks last conference:

          “And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.”
          Dieter F. Uchtdorf – Conference October 2013
          and this one:
          A prophet is wonderful because he sometimes speaks for the Lord. This occurs on certain occasions when the Lord wills it. On other occasions, he speaks for himself, and one of the wonderful doctrines of the Church is that we don’t believe in the infallibility of any mortal.”
          – Apostle Henry Eyring, Faith of a Scientist, p. 23

          Too many follow blindly. It seems to me that it as though the things that were once ‘plain and precious’ in Joseph’s day are being removed. It is as if we are as the Israelites in Moses’ day-no longer worthy of the Higher law, so we are left with only the Lesser law–perhaps that may be–we are promised only that the Aaronic Priesthood will ever remain (D&C 13:1)
          The tradition of nodding, raising the right hand, and agreeing to sustain has merged with the notion that we explicitly obey our leaders. But this is not how it should be. Consider these:

          Millenial Star 14: 594-6:
          “Willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indespensable to salvation, (but) none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, (even) if they knew it was wrong, but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme, and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly… Others in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority, have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong, or else because they have done wrong and wise to use the cloak of their authority to cover it with, lets it be discovered by their superiors, who would require an atonement at their hands. We would ask for what is the Priesthood given unto men? Is is that they may have the right to administer the law of God. Have they the right to make void that law? Verily no… If a man could have as much authority as the Almighty, it would not authorize him to do wrong, nor counsel another to do wrong; and the man that will administer with partiality, for the sake of screening iniquity, will find his stewardship will be taken from him.”
          Brigham Young:

          Now, dear readers, if you can still believe that you can trust in any living man or group of men for your safety and salvation, then you certainly understand the message of these witnesses far differently than we do. The scriptures, prophetic visions and teachings we have quoted seem to us to express the true principals upon which the faithful must rely in these latter days far better than we can. If their words do not convince you, then there is certainly nothing we can add to strengthen the case they have so eloquently made. I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whisperings of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. –>Discourses of Brigham Young, compiled by John A Widtsoe, pg. 136

          Joseph F Smith: “the Standard Works of the Church are the measuring rods the Lord has given us by which we are to measure every doctrine, every theory and teaching, and if there is anything that does not conform to that which is given to us in the revelations, we do not have to accept it. Whether I say it or anyone else says it, whether it comes through the philosophy of men, or whenever a statement is made, that is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, you should know what course to take.

          The wheat and tares must be sifted through. Blind obedience is slothfulness. It calls more question to my mind that the scriptures say one thing and the leaders of the church may say another. ‘Continuous revelation’ should not re-write or contradict our scriptures. “If ye are not one, ye are not mine”. Their disputations are obvious, and if we truly follow Christ, should we not then follow His teachings?

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        • Yep, that’s it. And oh, man did you add some great additional quotes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You nailed it – I have been called to task for referring to Denver as a prophet several times now.

          My standard answer: It was confirmed to me in prayer. Sorry. I won’t / can’t change what I know when the Spirit tells me something. It’s burned into my soul.

          Your point about referring to the current President of the Church as THE prophet is ingrained in our culture. It’s disturbing to some people to hear that title applied to anyone but the head of the institution.

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      • I once had a friend argue with me about Denver. He was convinced all of the 12 and 1st Presidency had personal encounters. When I said that many of them through the years had claimed they hadn’t had that experience, he insisted they were just doing that because they couldn’t say what was REALLY happening.

        I told him that basically I believed they were being honest and telling the truth and he believed they were lying.

        Brent, your experience gives me great pause. God bless you, I can’t imagine facing such a thing. I wonder if there was anything you could have done, barring lying about your true beliefs, that would have prevented what seems to me a predetermined verdict.

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      • Hi Bro. Larsen, so sorry for your situation. Keep the faith. One note, however, not all who have been (or are) prophets have seen Christ. Many have only heard His voice and had the witness of the Spirit to what the Lord wants them to say. It doesn’t make them less of a prophet if they are speaking the truth and it agrees with what has been said before.
        Just saying….
        Ruth

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      • Brigham said he had seen the Savior as did Pres Snow, I think it was. Aside from them, I don’t know of any who have claimed to have seen the Lord.

        I think it was Arson Hyde who wrote what the qualifications are for being a special witness of Christ, i.e. any of the “12” who claim that privilege should have seen Him face to face. None have made the claim.

        The D&C says they are to be sustained as prophets, seers and revelators and yet none of them seem to fill that bill, which is OK. IF they are who whom the Lord wants to guide the church at this time, I am perfectly OK with that.

        I think Tim said something about being submissive. Is that not what this life is about, being submissive to the Savior in every deed? Anything else is cause being contentious and divisive and those spirits are not of God or Christ.

        Lead on, I’ll follow. I have received no revelations to contradict anything coming out of SLC. Until I do, their will is mine.

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        • I would be curious to see your firsthand source for Brigham claiming to have seen the Lord, as well as your firsthand source for Lorenzo Snow making the same claim.

          I would also be curious to see where in the D&C it says the 15 “are to be sustained as prophets, seers and revelators.”

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    • I believe that Denver has stated that he accepts the words that church presidents have spoken for themselves. Joseph boldly declared that he was a prophet and had seen the Lord. I am not aware of any subsequent church president making a similar claim, and some have pointedly said that they have not seen the Lord.

      If you define prophet as someone who has seen Christ and then testified of their experience, then no church president other than Joseph Smith qualifies as a prophet that I am aware of.

      Brent’s excommunication would make it seem that we have become a church with creeds that a man must believe or be asked out of the church. Some guy named Joseph Smith spoke against this practice. We ought to heed his words.

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  2. Tim, you said, “Question: What would my stake president do if he received a letter or phone call from a member of the area presidency directing him to convene a disciplinary council on my behalf? Of course he would do it. I would too if I were told to do so.”

    Why? This has become standard Mormon mentality. I’m sure you’ve read this from the Millenial Star. It is much preferable to me:

    “We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them even if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves” (Millennial Star, Volume 14, No. 38, Pages 593-595).

    I’ve served as a counselor in two bishoprics. In both, the bishops encouraged us not to be “yes” men, but to think freely, engage, and challenged. Why this new mentality to just bend over and take it?

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    • Hi Stephen. Two reasons: 1) I believe the best way to follow the Savior’s example is to be submissive to authority. He was submissive even when it cost him his life. So was Joseph. 2) I love my Stake Presidency. I work closely with them. I don’t want them to have to go through a disciplinary council. I mean that. I know it would be painful for them.

      I’ve served in various bishoprics and on the High Council for over twenty five years. My blog is not worth causing them grief. Although I feel strongly about my position, and have so stated – that Denver is a prophet, I don’t want my Stake Presidency to have to convene a disciplinary council for me. All he has to do is say in private, “I received a letter from Salt Lake about your blog…” and it will be gone. It’s just a blog. My friendship and fellowship with brethren I love is more important to me.

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      • Thank you Tim. But part of me also says that all that we really have is our integrity to our beliefs. Your beliefs are yours. And nobody has a right to claim possesion over them. Expressing you beliefs is not wrong. Someone telling you you can’t express your beliefs is wrong.

        btw, arent’t disciplinary councils supposed to orginate locally? If I was a SP and got a call from a higher up to ex someone, I’d more than likely tell him that’s not his call, it’s non-sciptural, and he has no right to direct me to do such.

        It was recently brought to my attention this exchange between BY and Bishop Edwin Woolley:

        On one occasion, according to the family, the bishop and Brigham had a heated discussion about a business deal. President Young, who could be very sarcastic, turned as he was leaving and said, “Now, Bishop Woolley, I guess you will go off and apostatize.” To which Edwin rejoined, “If this were your church, President Young, I would be tempted to do so. But this is just as much my church as it is yours, and why should I apostatize from my own church?”

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        • As far as I can tell, when it comes to apostasy, SP’s receive direction from the SCMC via their Area Authority. If they do initiate proceedings, it’s because the previous Stake President wouldn’t and they were told when called to “take care of it.” I know, it’s shouldn’t be that way, but that seems to be the way it has been reported by others.

          No SP wants to cut someone off, at least none that I have known here in California. Maybe it’s different in Utah. I know Bishops differ in the way they administer justice and mercy. I am fairly certain SPs are no different. We are a church of followers. It’s ingrained in our culture. We look to the priesthood line for direction – very hierarchical.

          I can understand what Brent did and I think I know why he did it – for the very reason you expressed – integrity. I’ve expressed it before and I’ll say it again. I need the sacrament each week. I need the temple. I do not want to do anything to upset the order of things. I am careful to express in my blog my support for the Brethren and my local leaders.

          I simply have not progressed in my relationship with the Lord to the point where I am strong enough to stand without the two things I noted in the previous paragraph. The church holds those keys. They have the right to dictate the conditions. They proclaim they are acting on behalf of the Lord in the way they direct this church. I pray they are doing so.

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    • The key to the above quote is “hey would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them even if they knew it was wrong”.

      When these men are doing the best they can, it is up to us to support them and help them along, not deter or take from what they are doing. If they are not fulfilling their callings, it is for the membership to live in such a way they do or leave the post to which they have been called.

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  3. WOW … this one went straight to my heart! You said, “If you are a follower of Christ, talk to me about submissiveness. Tell me what Christ did, how he acted, what he said or didn’t say when he was confronted by those in authority. You know the answer. He was submissive. Like a lamb to the slaughter as the saying goes. Joseph used the same phrase as he went to Carthage, knowing his life would be forfeit to seal his testimony.”

    Yes, Christ and Joseph were humble, meek, and submissive … to FATHER! To submit:

    to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.
    to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
    to present for the approval, consideration, or decision of another or others

    So, on the one hand I can see what you are saying when you use the word “submit” … but never a submission in testimony, and never submitting to anything but Father. As I have mentioned before, Father always for mortal men, not the other way around.

    Honestly, I cringe when I hear that individuals would maintain a relationship with “men” rather than God. Something isn’t right with that. According to some individuals way of thinking, maybe Joseph should have just pulled the Book of Mormon from publication, recanted his testimony … maybe Christ should have done the same, rather than teach everything that is the pure truth of the gospel; the reality of Father, his love and our ability to have a direct, personal relationship with Him.

    No one who has truly been in the presence of Christ, in the presence of Father while in mortality (that I have met) keeps feelings of pride, jealousy or comparing specific to their experience. There is no feeling of who is carrying the biggest sword. Now, I have seen that happen among those who have not had that experience. And quite honestly, that IS what this is about. You have mortal men, who have NOT had the experience in question, “judging” a man who has.

    Yes, there are “angelic” true messengers, and there are mortal true messengers. DS is a TRUE mortal messenger, even a prophet.

    A few years ago, with no hostility, no pride, and I genuinely felt love in the room, my bishop and I had a talk. Neither of us minced words. I believe him to be such a good man. But I shared my personal testimony as directed by the spirit, and that I would follow Christ, regardless of mortal consequence. There was no court, only my choice, and I have since followed the path that is mine to take.

    When all this is said and done, what else do we have? Our experiences? Our choices? Our testimony? Our identity and relationship? Maybe this is why an individual must have your OWN oil.

    I’m not here to “follow” DS. Has their been fruit worthy of harvest in my life as a result of reading and listening to his testimony. YES. But even if he posted on his blog tomorrow that there was a secret rendezvous in Missouri next week … I wouldn’t even pack. I know the voice I follow (even with all my mistakes!!).

    What’s a blog anyway? What are the written words of Christ, of Joseph? Sure … taken them down, but I would warn anyone, who has received directly from Christ, from Father, about recanting their testimony, whatever that might be. Then again, anyone who KNOWS whose presence they have been in, well, it wouldn’t be a question.

    Nathan Shackelford, aka Hermit

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  4. If the highest leadership has indeed been involved in this and other excommunications (in the form of pressuring local leadership – as it sounds like was the case with DS), such actions might end up being one of the strongest witnesses and evidences against their status as approved (of heaven and not by common consent of members) prophets, seers and revelators. This is how priesthood and authority are lost (D&C 121).

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  5. Tim,

    You say that if your stake president told you to take down your blog, you would do so. Is this based upon a commandment of God or covenant you have made. I cannot remember one which requires unconditional obedience to any but the Lord.

    Would you confirm it with the Lord first? If so, what would you do if He contradicted your leader?

    I assume many of us have considered similar situations.

    Steve

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    • Hi Steve. I have made a temple covenant (#5). Hypothetical arguments are always non-productive. That’s why I was dismayed to see Brent’s Stake President use one in the disciplinary proceedings – according to Brent’s appeal letter. But I’ll answer anyway. I would discuss it with my Stake President. I would turn it around. I would say to him, “President, you know I love you and appreciate the position you’re in. If the Brethren have determined my blog is a hindrance to the work and is not building up the kingdom, then I’m happy to remove the blog. I know you would want me to pray about this first. I was not commanded of the Lord to write my blog, I was trying to follow Elder Ballard’s advice.”

      If Elder Ballard or Elder Nelson or any of the twelve who sit on the SCMC feel I have misunderstood Elder Ballard’s direction, then I will gladly accept the correction. I love these Brethren. I sustain them as prophets, seers and revelators. I pray for them by name each night, especially those who I know are not physically or mentally well. There is no need to put my good relationship with my Stake Presidency in jeopardy over my misunderstanding of priesthood direction.

      So hypothetically speaking, if my Stake President counseled me to remove the blog and I were in his office, I would say, “President, do you mind if we kneel in prayer right here and now? I will explain to the Lord what I have been trying to accomplish and will ask the Lord what he wants me to do. No, better yet, I’ll ask Him for a confirming witness to my soul that He wants me to accept your counsel. If you tell me this is coming from someone in the Quorum of the Twelve, then we don’t even have to pray. I’ll do it.”

      I hope that wouldn’t seem insulting to my Stake President – to say I’ll do what a member of the Quorum of the Twelve tells me to do but I’m questioning his counsel. Do you see my point? But yes, that’s where I’m at in my relationship with the Lord and with my priesthood brethren at this point in my life. There are many, many good leaders in our church. I would not want to be a leader in this church because of all the problems I’ve seen just from the position of a clerk, Bishopric counselor or High Councilor.

      I didn’t answer your question, did I? I told you I hate hypothetical situations. Let’s pray it doesn’t come to that. Isn’t the right answer, if the Lord told me to do something, I must obey the Lord? But I better be especially sure it’s the Lord who told me and not someone else. That’s the real test of life, isn’t it? We MUST know for ourselves when we’ve been asked by the Lord to do something and when it’s our own idea or perhaps from a false spirit. God bless us all to walk in the light and hear the voice of the Lord.

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      • Tim,

        At one time in my life I would have done similarly to you. In fact I would not have prayed for a confirmation regarding a stake president request. Today, I would like to think that if I lived in the time of Joseph and he asked me to do something, I would still seek confirmation from the heavens. And I believe he would agree, because that is what he did. And he wanted us all to be prophets.

        I believe the history of the Church shows that false spirits can affect all of us, from the greatest to the least. And we have the responsibility to test the spirits. In line with D&C 50, I think J. Reuben Clark remarked that the ball is really in our court to make sure our leaders speak by the Spirit. If they don’t, it’s really just their opinion.

        Steve

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  6. Wow! I had not heard about this excommunication. This is very concerning to me. Because like you, I have felt more inspired, more filled with the Holy Ghost, and have had more of a desire to do what is right since reading DS’s books. What will I do if I am confronted about his books? If I am brought before a communal to even be excommunicated? Let’s pray I never have to find out.

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  7. Thank you Hermit for stating the full truth! Those would have been my words also.

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  8. TheSecondComforter.com remains up because I promised I’d keep it up for 2 years despite any consequence. I recently changed the tagline of the site to “3 out 4 of Bishops Agree! The Second Comforter is Tasty Doctrine.” The 1 bishop that doesn’t agree happens to be mine.

    It is an odd situation when leaders of the church feel to ignore their own handbook and standards. In any case, I would not take too much encouragement in the site remaining up. We are the Church of Jesus Christ and we are the Church of Latter-day Saints. (See 3 Ne 27 for insight regarding our name). It is a battle to see which will prevail.

    Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

    Like

    • Hi Daniel. I saw that tagline yesterday and laughed out loud. Thanks for adding it. It made my evening. My wife, who sits next to me in our office as we both write, must have wondered what I was laughing at. But she knows I talk to myself when I write. Thanks for your comment and your testimony. As I wrote before, it has been encouraging to me in my quest to be submissive to the Lord. I counsel with him every day what he would have me do in difficult situations such as the boss at work telling me to do something I disagree with. Ultimately I do it because it’s his company and I follow the modified golden rule there – he who has the gold rules. God bless you my friend for your courage and witness.

      Like

      • Thanks. I’m glad someone laughed at it. It actually happens to be literal as well. :) God bless you, too!

        The boss at work analogy is interesting. I actually used a form of that to get permission to take it down during my time in church meetings. So for 3 hours every Sunday there is a message that the site will be back. It was the first time that I can recall that I’ve convinced the Lord of anything.

        Like

  9. And then again Tim, it may just be the test for you, to see to whom you owe the greater allegiance.

    Like

    • A profound thought, Lizzie, profound indeed. I have been pondering it for days. I only recently found out about the change in covenant #5 we make in the temple endowment. I’m not revealing anything sacred here people, so don’t castigate me. Thank you for the succinct summary.

      I know this life is a test of loyalty, at least it has been that way for me. I’m loving the dialog on here about who is ultimately responsible for our own salvation / exaltation. You’ve got me thinking about a whole new post regarding the idea of submissiveness. It weighs on my soul.

      Thanks Lizzie. Your comment helped me more than you know.

      Like

  10. D&C 132
    8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

    9 Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?

    10 Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed?

    11 And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?

    D&C 1
    17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

    18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—

    19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh

    20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world

    Do not arrogate to yourself the burden of counselling your fellow man pertaining to his relationship with his God, and his duty towards him. When the Lord requireth a thing of a man, he shall tell that man.

    Like

  11. Well, folks, it looks like it is time to go underground. A lot of people that I love and am responsible for would be deeply hurt and harmed if I were exed because I like Denver Snuffer and was too vocal about it online. I simply can’t allow that. My new alias is Vector.

    See ya around!

    Vector

    Like

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing, Vector. Does that mean I’m not willing to stand up for the truth? Am I a coward?

      Maybe.

      But I’m still learning, I don’t have enough answers to face something like Denver is, I still have questions. What kind of strange world are we living in now?

      Between Denver, the blogs I subscribe to, Daymon Smith’s Cultural History, I feel like I could could get manufactured into a church court for any of those reasons. I don’t yet _know_ that the course I’m pursuing is according to the will of God.

      Until I do, I’ll hide in the shadows, enjoying His light. What a strange contrast.

      Like

      • I am very willing to stand for truth when it counts, and as I am inspired to do so. For now, I need to protect my loved ones from the Strengthening the Members Committee thought police.

        Like

      • Interesting you mentioned Daymon. I read on Rock’s blog today that Daymon is offering free downloads in PDF of his books for awhile:

        http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-book-of-mormon-cultural-history.html

        The above link is to Rock’s blog – which is very worthwhile. I highly recommend his posts. Daymon’s is here:

        http://daymonsmith.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/the-bom-cultural-history-reading-project/

        So many good LDS blogs. So little time. Cheers.

        Like

        • I’ve read all of the currently published “Cultural History,” it is worth reading.

          You remember in 2nd Comforter when Denver talked about getting your “eyes scratched out?” That is exactly what the “Cultural History” series is like to me.

          With all of his writings, I’m not sure how Daymon has escaped discipline. Maybe it is just a matter of time at this point.

          And I don’t blame anyone for hiding behind anonymity. This handle is my own new anonymous blog/commenting account. I’m taking great pains to keep it protected. (Including posting from a TOR browser to make sure I don’t leak my IP address in comments).

          Like

        • Hi bd – He probably hasn’t been disciplined because no one can understand what in the world he’s saying :-). Ha ha. I should try reading him again. I have a feeling there is immensely valuable stuff in what he’s written, but he writes so academically that it makes his stuff inaccessible, at least to simple minds like mine. It’s a shame. When something is so important, when a message is so important, it’s not worth it to obscure it with dense, academic writing. Why not write plainly? Anyway, I do plan to give it another try at some point.

          And while I’m commenting, I might as well say something else. I don’t blame anyone for keeping their identity private for now. Indeed, this is something to consider very carefully before laying it all on the alter and risk being excommunicated. I think that when (if) the time is right, the promptings from the spirit will be like those to Nephi before he slayed Laban. We may initially recoil. But after reasoning through it, reasoning with the Lord, we’ll know it’s the right thing – even if we may not want to do it. There are great struggles and trials coming for the church. I think there will be an upheaval, a great disruption (just my opinion). It may be that DS is just the stone of stumbling to precipitate what I think is inevitable.

          Hold on for dear life. Or should I say, hold on to the Lord for dear life, lean on him. Speaking not of any earthly organization, but of false traditions and philosophies of men that have no organizational bounds (in other words they exist even in our own church): “For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish”. When earthly institutions and organizations fail, when our idols are crumbled, what will we have left to hold onto if we haven’t placed our full trust in the Lord rather than in the arm of flesh?

          As Nephi said: “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

          “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.”

          Why don’t we realize that this warning (in the first of the two verses above) applies to us and our church just as much as any other earthly institution?

          Like

        • Ryan,
          My grandma used to say, “You can do hard things.” Volume 1 of Daymon Smith’s books starts out citing Joseph’s reference to Ezekiel 14, wherein he states that the members’ minds were being darkened because they relied too much on the prophet and were neglecting the responsibility delving upon themselves. My guess is that he is encouraging you to make some effort into your own salvation.

          It could also be why he comes across as a “pompous a$$” as some have called him. If you’re not interested enough to get past these things and do a little of the work with him, then I suppose he would say that it may not be worth your while. At any rate, if you just continue through the parts you don’t understand, just keep going. You’ll still get the picture because he is very thorough in driving a point home.

          Like

        • Ryan-

          Daymon’s first book is hard to get through, but really only for the first part of the book, imo. I am not a scholar, but a lowly IT geek, so i have no special training to help me understand it either. Just plow through the first 150 pages of background. You don’t have to fully understand it, but you do need to know what he is talking about generally.

          It is a shame it starts out like that, because it really does have a message that is worthwhile for us to consider.

          Like

  12. There is an interesting process that takes place in our growth and development. As “children” we appropriately displace our needs and identity on our “parents” or those we have (even if unknowingly) given responsibility for raising us.

    Along the line, here comes adolescence, and we start asking questions. A few things start happening, but the experience is largely catapulted by the seeds that have been placed within us by our true Father. Anyway, all the sudden things don’t look the same as they used to, even our “parents” don’t look the same; their answers don’t fit, don’t make sense, and quite frankly, what you had previously lived as “gospel truth” … well, the “veil” is pulled back.

    What I want to suggest, is that there is a space in this process where one is not quite to the veil, and neither have they cut the apron strings, an if a person isn’t careful they can get stuck in the energy (that is appropriately placed to launch them into a true understanding) that becomes the angry, bitter teenager. Their mantra is “you never told me” “you lied to me” “its all your fault” “I could have become” etc, etc. While its natural to experience this along the path, my point, just don’t get stuck there! There is too much at stake. This is NOT about the church, not about the brethren, per se. Don’t let go of the very thing that was the beginning, that was and is your identity and relationship.

    As mentioned above, hold on! It is going to get a lot darker. We are metaphorically the caterpillar heading for the cocoon — it is coming. The very foundations (in so many ways) are going to shake, and it must needs happen. There is no other way for Father to do His work. If not, we could not truly be given the opportunity to come into our true selves, experience our true identity. In the process, that will be the shaking, many, many will displace their own unfinished work on others. Meaning, much misplaced frustration, anger and malice.

    Know that this is just step, which others have overcome. There is a reason true prophets can boldly assert, be of good cheer. Yes, consider carefully, as Father does His work and glory, and in so doing the “true character” of individuals is revealed :)

    Patterns are beautiful!

    Like

  13. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
    “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
    “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
    (Matthew 18:3 – 6)

    I know Brent Larsen. He is a very humble, child-like servant of the Lord. He is a man of great faith. He is a man that loves the Lord and simply wants to serve Him in faith and righteousness. He has no personal agenda, no vendetta. He is no threat to the church or to anyone with pure motives. When the church excommunicated him they did indeed “offend one of these little ones which believe in me.” I shudder to think of the consequences which shall be poured out upon the offenders. May God have mercy on their souls!

    It is quite obvious what they are trying to accomplish by this. They are trying to make an example of him. They are sending a warning to dissidents who do not simply obey the authority of the church, follow the main stream, and give complete homage to the holy cloth of the LDS church. They think Brent is an easy target. They think that by excommunicating him they will do minimal harm whilst still getting their point across. Well, they are wrong.

    “And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;
    “And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.
    “Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.
    “And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.”
    (D&C 101:55-58)

    The warriors of the Lord’s house, His servants and those who have embraced His fullness are about to rise up to go “straightway unto the land of my vineyard… [to] break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.”

    We will remain publicly anonymous. We will not preach against the church, but we will testify of Christ’s fullness from the pulpits, from the classrooms, in the home, and on the internet. The more the church moves to crush the agency of man, the more resolve we feel to declare without hesitation, without fear, and without shame the might, majesty and holiness of the Lord in these last days. We shall declare His generation, His dispensations, and His promises unto the children of men.

    Like

    • Awesome comments. And thanks for adding your personal witness of Brent’s character. I hope you’re not right about the example thing. Amen to your last paragraph. I feel the same way, except…uhhh, I’m not too anonymous, am I? Well, I fully intend to share my spiritual growth experiences online as Elder Ballard suggested we do so long ago.

      Like

  14. My heart goes out to Bro Larsen and my concern has grown tremendously.

    I was very impressed with Bro Larsen and DS in stating their love and forgiveness of those who should have heeded D&C 121:41-42

    41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

    In light of this,… I find the following about President Truman Hunt very interesting…

    http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32107

    Like

  15. Maybe some could see the on-going development of church purification ie. recent events as a good thing? Leading to a more sophisticated automated, streamlining quantification of character, church-allegiance, organizational worthiness?

    Hmmm, like…you could just enter church building at time of temple recommend renewal, approach kiosk, insert recommend and instantly, billions of records, emails, online history, cookies, bookmarks and favorites, phone calls, amazon book orders, Kindle downloads, purchased movie tickets sales, library book check out, tithing and fast offering receipts, as well as church, stake, conference and temple attendance, home teaching compliance … wow, the possibilities :) And walla — instant printed documentation of your worthiness, standing in the eyes of the brethren, I mean … Jesus.

    Ouch, unless of course … the kiosk starts spinning, flashing lights and spits out your denial form, and scheduled court of love date, with printed confirmation that all concerned parties have been notified of your non-compliance, so they can initiate def-com level appropriate shunning and casting out, thus protecting the remaining brethren approved remnant folks from Christ testifying people like Bro Larsen and DS.

    Hmm???

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    • You crack me up, Nathan. Such talent. Thanks for sharing. Can’t we be just a little bit different than cookie-cutter Mormons? Otherwise, I don’t fit. I try, but still struggle with the submissiveness thing, like forgetting to stand when someone of higher priesthood rank / calling enters the room. I don’t mean any disrespect. I just forget it’s part of the unwritten order of things. And I don’t think it’s fair to be judged by that unwritten order, but then who ever said life was fair? Cheers.

      Like

      • I’m sorry, Tim, sometimes I can’t help myself. It helps me to laugh at MYSELF! I’m so full it it sometimes :)

        On a more serious note, some time ago, last June, an individual who my wife knows, and her mother knows even more so … anyway she had a very personal experience with Christ, with Father. This individual is apparently a really big blogger, awards, blah, blah, has struggled through loss, issues with mental health and, well, life.

        The point is that thru this experience (I’m totally not judging it, right, wrong, whatever) she decided to blog the experience, and as part of that, made publicly known her “Alma the Younger” – like story or process with complete transparency. During that time (i did not follow her blog previous or after) I read everything that was that experience and what Father wanted her to do with it. (That summation of that experience is here: http://loraleeslooneytunes.com/2013/06/15/refiners-fire/ which includes the four posts “The Lions of the the Lord” “Refiner’s Fire: The Full Story” “My Gethsemane” and “Marriage: The Critical Importance of God’s Most Sacred Covenant”). What totally burned in my soul as I read it was her transparency!!!

        I truly believe that in the coming months, years … the issue of transparency is going to come front and center…for all of us. For those who “cover” or “hide” … well, God will be experienced in the light, in the transparency, in the testifying boldly. Sometimes people have the illusion that the parting of the veil is always this incredible, angels blowing trumpets, harps playing, people being fed grapes kind of thing?? Some people like to live in a world where they truly believe that just because they have the blanket pulled over their head, no one can tell what they are doing.

        For me I guess, I’d rather get a jump on the inevitable; warts, mistakes, stupid choices … whatever. If I’m not honest, how can I change? … heck, if i’m not honest (transparent), how can I testify, stand with Christ? I can’t.

        Thank you Tim for your part in helping me along my path…

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        • I’m very curious about these blog posts at Loralees Looney Tunes, but I’m getting a 500 internal server error. Hopefully it’s only temporary. She hasn’t taken down her blog has she? Sounds like she is a major blogger i.e. well-known. I’m surprised I can’t even find other blogs that reference these posts that you mention. The only thing I found was a thread on some forum where they’re just floored at the mental breakdown they think she must be having because of these posts. Hmm… well hopefully the site comes back up.

          Like

        • Looks like a temporary issue. I would check again tomorrow. I know I will. but thanks for pointing it out, Ryan.

          Like

        • @ Ryan. that’s crazy because I had just gone there yesterday to cut & paste the URL for my post. Anyway, Loralee is not like a “doctrinal” blogger … or in the circles that would be characterized stuff like DS, second comforter, etc. She is very much an individual who had an experience in which she declares that she was “healed” in and through Christ / Father. Again, the posts are very blunt, transparent, feminine, and revealing. What I got from sharing this snapshot of an experience was that not only is Loralee very much human (just like all of us) … but Father is fulfilling His covenants with His children!! And I love that it was so real for her, that it meant so much to her and that Father’s love has healed her, helped her to transform and move forward, whatever that looks like for her (again, I did not follow the blog before or after). God does heal each of us, the process IS unfolding for each of us and as Joseph declared, anything that is available to “the prophet” (ie real one) is available / applicable to each of us! He is no respecter of persons.

          As mentioned, i’m not sure about the glitch. At the time, I put those specific posts in a Word doc (59 pgs). If you want I have emailed Tim that copy, and you can work out having him forward you that — while whatever glitch gets worked out, and her blog comes back up.

          Like

        • Hi Nathan – Thanks a lot (and thanks Tim) I got the document. I’m looking forward to reading through it!

          Like

    • I met Bro. and Sis. Larsen last night. Hardly seem the types to be targets of Church discipline. They were a lot kinder towards those who judged them than I may have been.

      Like

  16. […] of Snuffers loyal followers has pointed out that Denver has declared his dispensation. The following snippet is from his Orem […]

    Like

    • “Because I am Watching?” Could you please define your definition of “Snuffers loyal followers” please? Thanks, David Park.

      Like

  17. believe that Snuffer and Monson are frauds. I would contest that any man/woman who stands before you claiming to have seen or have some sort of divine right and at the same time tells you he can share that right or right of passage with you on condition you are loyal and you give him money for his information is at best a fraud but most probably a flaming Sociopath. Check out this article written by a true American patriot.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

    I also think that your perception of who Christ was is the problem. It is the deception that the LDS church has spun that Christ was meek and submissive and did what he was told. The evidence in the Bible suggest the opposite that he was a rebel and that he challenged those in authority continuously until they were that irritated with him that they conspired to have him killed and in the end that is what happened. If there is one thing Christ has taught me is pay your respects to the Creator ie. pray and be grateful for the gift of life but never ever be another mans subordinate. You can serve all the days of your life but never give yourself to be another mans slave. Don’t be fooled by Snuffer and Monson these men are Sociopaths by nature the are religious “rock stars” that want your attention. Be a free man… think for yourself… the Creator made you an individual for a reason…I

    Like

  18. believe that Snuffer and Monson are frauds. I would contest that any man/woman who stands before you claiming to have seen or have some sort of divine right and at the same time tells you he can share that right or right of passage with you on condition you are loyal and you give him money for his information is at best a fraud but most probably a flaming Sociopath. Check out this article written by a true American patriot.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

    I also think that your perception of who Christ was is the problem. It is the deception that the LDS church has spun that Christ was meek and submissive and did what he was told. The evidence in the Bible suggest the opposite that he was a rebel and that he challenged those in authority continuously until they were that irritated with him that they conspired to have him killed and in the end that is what happened. If there is one thing Christ has taught me is pay your respects to the Creator ie. pray and be grateful for the gift of life but never ever be another mans subordinate. You can serve all the days of your life but never give yourself to be another mans slave. Don’t be fooled by Snuffer and Monson these men are Sociopaths by nature the are religious “rock stars” that want your attention. Be a free man… think for yourself… the Creator made you an individual for a reason…

    Like

  19. I dislike how the anti-Snuffer folks keep on trying to insinuate that those who accept Snuffer as a true messenger are somehow apostates to some new cult by labeling them as “Snufferites” or as “his loyal followers.” This is very disingenuous. We’ve all made it abundantly clear hundreds of times that this has nothing to do with Denver the man; it is about his message; it is about real faith in Christ, and in Him only, which is the absence of idolatry. I accept Snuffer as a true messenger, but I do not want to be labeled with him as an insult. Please do not persecute me for my beliefs. That concept, at least, is one you should respect.

    Like

    • The denizens of the great and spacious building may be easily discerned by characteristic behaviors.

      1 Nephi 8
      26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

      27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

      28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

      29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.

      30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.

      31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.

      32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.

      33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.

      34 These are the words of my father: For as many as heeded them, had fallen away.

      Such mockery and scorn is evidence of pride.

      1 Nephi 11
      36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great.

      1 Nephi 12
      18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men.

      Pride, enmity, and envy motivated the persecutors of the Prophet; mockery and scorn were his lot, too.

      JS-H
      21 Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

      22 [T]elling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; … men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.

      23 [H]ow very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age … should … attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.

      24 Paul … related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled….

      27 I continued … suffering severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious, because I continued to affirm that I had seen a vision.

      28 [I was] persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me….

      How should they have treated him?

      D&C 121
      41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

      42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

      43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

      44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

      And so should they treat us. But even if they don’t, so what?

      3 Nephi 12
      10 And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

      12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

      Like

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