Arguments Against Denver Snuffer


UtahCourtBuildingI do not speak for Denver. He needs no spokesman. Go read his blog. These are simply questions I have been asked since I have done a few reviews on his books over the last year or two. They seem to keep coming up over and over as new people discover my blog and want to know some of these basic facts and my opinions. I always respond – go read his books. But in an effort to make it easy for readers in a time-constrained world, I have put together answers to some of the most common questions that have come up more than once. It would be better if you found them for yourself on his open blog or any of his many books which are for sale in several locations in Utah as well as on Amazon, where I picked up all my copies and where they are still available.

01. What kind of a name is Denver Snuffer? I kid you not, these are some of the comments I have received in private emails or here on my blog. One guy said the first time he read Denver Snuffer (he came here from Reddit), he thought he was a serial killer from the mile high city. Denver is named after his father so all his books have Jr. appended to his name. Yes, that’s his name. Denver was not raised a Mormon. His mother was a Baptist. He was raised in Idaho but joined the LDS Church 40 years ago in 1973. He was excommunicated 40 years later to the day. It’s an easily remembered name isn’t it? I think we will be hearing it more as the years go on. If my calculations are correct, Denver is now either 60 or 61 years of age as of late 2013. So what?

02. Why should I listen to someone who has been divorced? I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. As Denver has shared in his first book, The Second Comforter, he’s just a regular guy, the “least” of the saints. He shares very few things from his personal life. He has shared this one in an effort to point out that unlike the LDS Church, which will not consider a divorced man for a leadership position (see my note below), the Lord does not hold something like divorce against us. Denver has since remarried and is the father of nine children, although that has nothing to do with his message that we each can and should have a personal relationship with the Lord, one in which we receive a personal witness of the Lord’s resurrection, also known as the Second Comforter.

03. Why doesn’t he like to have his picture published with his books? You can find pictures of Denver at various ages on the Internet, but he has made it a practice to make sure promotional material on upcoming talks, lectures or book discussion does not include personal pictures. He continues to state this is because he wants people to concentrate on the message, not on him. He has offered many times in many places in his books and on his blog that the messenger is not as important as the message. Obviously, you can infer from this that he feels he has been given an assignment from the Lord to deliver a message to us that the promises in section 93:1 and other scriptures are literal. He says the Lord wanted him to tell the people that anyone can experience a personal visit from the Lord, be they male or female. Endowment is required but not priesthood. In other words, the Lord does not discriminate his visits to women who qualify themselves.

04. What makes him think he can write a book or give a lecture? Denver is an attorney by trade and thus has some expertise in writing and speaking. My reviews of his books have included something to the effect that he is verbose, tends to repeat himself and can go on and on about a subject at some length. That has been helpful to me in many ways as I have read his books. He will introduce a concept, give an example or two, repeat the concept, explain how the idea can he applied in our lives and then conclude by restating the concept again, always backed up with abundant references to scripture, both modern and ancient as well as words of LDS leaders. Some have criticized his writing style. His first book, The Second Comforter, acknowledges editing contributions of others, which he says makes the message clearer or easier to understand.

05. What special claim does he make that I should listen to him? Denver claims, at least for his first book, that he was asked, perhaps even commanded by the Lord to explain to the LDS people in particular that they can and should seek to obtain the witness of the Second Comforter. From what I can tell the gist of his message is that we have left many of the original teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith behind and either misunderstood or misapplied many scriptures for which he offers clarifications from twenty years of callings as a Gospel Doctrine Teacher in various wards and stakes in which he has lived in the Sandy Utah area. He at one time served on the High Council in that stake and, I am told, held many meetings in his home, in which attendance was similar to when he taught or spoke – always overflowing. People came from miles around to hear him. Yet he continues to say he does not want a following. He wants to bring people unto Christ. In short, he does indeed claim that he was given a message from the Lord for the people.

05. Why would the Lord speak through him and not through the LDS prophet? This is perhaps one of the most oft repeated criticisms I encounter in the comments in the dozen or so essays I have posted on my blog about Denver Snuffer over the past year or two. It’s not one that I am qualified to answer. However, it does not bother me in spite of the fact I know the stories of how the Lord dealt with this in the past through the Doctrine and Covenants. I’m referring to the story of Hiram Page and his white stone in section 28. In verse 6, we read, “And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church. For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.” This scripture has been cited by many as the main reason Denver was excommunicated.

06. A messenger from God would not drive a Harley or use swear words. Yes, Denver drives a Harley, or at least he did in the past. I don’t know if he still does. So what? What does that matter? What gives us the right to judge another man by the kind of vehicle he chooses for transportation? Yes, Denver has been known to let slip a “hell” or “damn” in his lectures, but then so did J. Golden Kimball, so there you go. The idea here is that a prophet or messenger from God should and would conduct himself with decorum, be conservative in his principles and would want to portray himself in an acceptable light, more like the way our current general authorities present themselves in public. I don’t believe I have ever heard Denver call himself a prophet, although the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy. He has, however, said he has been given an assignment from the Savior, is His servant and is delivering His message.

07. The church does not want us to listen to excommunicated individuals. This is true. That’s one of the reasons why the Church excommunicates members who go astray. The charge against him was apostasy, although many have tried to make a distinction that what he did was heresy in the way he denigrated the brethren, opposed some of their interpretations of scriptures and history and in short, was less than respectful in his writings and lectures towards those whom we sustain as “prophets, seers and revelators” in the LDS Church. The unusual thing of course is that we would know nothing of Denver’s excommunication if it did not come from his blog. In other words, the church does not now or no longer announces disciplinary actions against former members as it once did. Many members simply will not listen to or read Denver because of this.

08. He is a slick, deceiving anti-Christ. Stay away from men like him. Yes, this argument has been presented in the comments of my blog. Personally, I do not find this statement logical, since Denver, in all he does, as far as I can tell, invites and implores us to come unto Christ, to do all within our power to heed the spirit which leads us unto Christ and prepares us to enter the Savior’s presence. His entire first book was all about the steps we can and should take to come unto Christ. Each subsequent book, up until the last, augmented that message. In fact, the last book, Passing The Heavenly Gift, which is the one that brought about his excommunication, made direct statements about how and why we should come unto Christ, even though they were couched in terms accusing the current LDS church of no longer teaching this doctrine of Joseph.

09. He is just trying to get a following to start a church and get our money. Denver has expressed many, many times he seeks no following, does not want a following, has asked people to not follow him but to seek after the Savior. He has even renamed the widget on his blog to display “readers” instead of “followers.” He has explained to us many times he donates the proceeds of the sales of his books to the LDS Church General Missionary Fund (I assume now through other family members). He at one time also explained the printing of his books was contracted through an individual who depends upon Denver’s books for his livelihood to support his family. If I remember correctly the man was handicapped or could not provide for his family in any other way. Denver is NOT trying to start a church, although he has said we should all seek to become members of the church of the Firstborn, which, as you know, does not have an earthly structure.

10. What makes him different from other apostates who have left the church? First, you will have to decide if you feel comfortable calling him an apostate. I don’t. Others have argued he fits the bill so they have no problem with that. They claim he leads members away from the Prophets and is therefore an apostate. I disagree. He had told us to sustain the Brethren, has taken great pains in sharing his excommunication procedures, including some details behind the scenes in which he wanted his children to know he sustained his bishop and stake president. Of course, there are those who argue if he sustained them, he would have done what his stake president asked by ceasing the publication of his books and cancelling this year’s lecture tour. You can read his response on his blog. I am satisfied in my mind he is no apostate. It is true enough that the church cut him off, but I do not see him as someone like the leader of the Strangites or any of the leaders of the polygamous groups such as Lorin Wooley, Warren Jeffs or Rulon Wells.

11. He seemed belligerent and disobedient as he was being excommunicated. Because he made the documents and some of the background discussion public on his blog, there was much discussion here and on the private discussion groups that he was not being cooperative with the requests of his priesthood leaders. I fact, some went so far as to say by bringing his children to the proceedings he violated their instructions and in effect, “did an end-run” around the process. They considered this mockery. Denver explained his reasoning on his blog. You will have to decide for yourself if he was honoring his wife’s right to revelation as I believe he was or if he was trying to manipulate the proceedings. What does it matter? The end result was the same. He knew the decision had been made before the council was held. I was surprised he decided to attend. He told Peggy Fletcher Stack the Friday before in the Salt Lake Tribune he felt it was a done deal. The decision had been made and his local leaders were only doing as they were told. If anything, perhaps Denver was tired of waiting and wanted the process to be over quickly.

12. Why didn’t he stop publishing PtHG like his Stake President asked? You’ll have to ask him that question if you’re not satisfied with the one he gave on his blog about negating contractual obligations. Personally I’m not sure it would have made a difference. The book is published. It has been available for almost two years. I am certain tens of thousands of copies are out there. I am also certain hundreds have read it. I have received written affidavits from individuals who swear it helped keep them in the church, saved their marriage and caused them to reconsider and understand so much of what they had previously misunderstand and been taught growing up in the church. In short, and in my opinion, Denver did not stop publication of the book because he feels Passing the Heavenly Gift is helpful and is helping people come to grips with what they learned from the official curriculum and what history teaches from documents and witnesses.

13. He has given ammunition to the enemies of the church with his book, PtHG. Yes, I have read this from some of my Facebook friends. I cannot understand this since most everything he wrote about is already available and has long been available in a form much less flattering on the Internet from sites like Mormon Think, Recovery From Mormonism, Post Mormon, New-Order Mormons and many, many anti-Mormon sites. They didn’t need PtHG to find the quotes or the stories they use in their publications and on the Internet. If anything, Denver related the stories with greater factuality, from original sources and drew conclusions that were complementary to the individuals involved. I can think of several examples which he told with sensitivity that belies the brutality of what actually happened. Think of some of the way local bishops ran some of the towns in Southern Utah in the late 1800’s. Think of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Denver did not make up these facts and was not the first to relate them. He wrote them clearly.

14. I prayed about it and the spirit told me not to listen to him or read his books. Then don’t read his books. They are not for everybody. It does require a strong testimony to read some of the things in PtHG. The book was not written for the new member of the church, weak in the faith. If the spirit is telling you to not go to his lectures, then for heaven’s sake, don’t go. If you feel a pre-disposition to be offended or are worried about being led astray by what he might say, then, by all means, stay away. Many people find all the spiritual nourishment they need from the regular meetings of the LDS Church. We are encouraged to study out of the best books. I consider Denver’s books to be some of the best. I have gained so much from them. They have answered so many questions for me and removed so many doubts. Yes, removed doubt, not introduced any new doubts. I also have prayed about Denver books and lectures and feel impressed they will be helpful to me in my regular study of the Mormon faith. I read the scriptures on a regular basis, read the lessons for Sunday school and my High Priest Group but I also read a ton of other LDS books that help me understand this religion including Denver’s.

15. Something changed between his first seven books and his last one – PtHG. Yes I have read this one a lot. Some write he went rogue just before publishing PtHG. They write they can accept all his books before this one but not PtHG. Perhaps something did change. Perhaps he got tired of people not “getting” it, because they were stuck in some false beliefs about our history or about our doctrine. Yes, this is getting into deep territory. We teach that only prophets have the right to interpret scripture and teach official doctrine for our church. You may believe what you like about whatever may have happened to Denver before he wrote PtHG. I for one am grateful he wrote the book. As I stated previously, it helped me resolve many discrepancies I had been taught growing up from the official curriculum and what I later read in the journals and other sources. In any event, it’s a moot point. Denver is excommunicated. You can freely ignore him.

16. Why did he make his summons letter and excommunication notice public? I guess you’ll have to ask him this question. I believe it was to provide a witness of what was happening. Denver is not like the rest of the September Six, for example. His stake president proclaimed in front of his children that Denver was worthy of a temple recommend. The disciplinary council was only about a book – Passing the Heavenly Gift. He and President Hunt are friends. From what I read, President Hunt was willing or perhaps suggested individuals who had questions about what had happened to Denver should read his blog for the detailed explanation. Previously I wrote the church did the right thing by excommunicating Denver. I am no longer so sure. With all his knowledge and background in teaching, could they not have made him a consultant to help those who are struggling with a faith crisis? Trust me there are a lot of them, especially in Utah. Although I see only a little here, I read stories of people resigning from the church every day in Utah. It seems to be the in thing to do as a way of protesting the feeling of being deceived.

17. Doesn’t he teach the ordinances are not the real thing – they’re only symbolic? Yes, he does, at least to my understanding. Denver relates and backs up with scripture we should go to the Lord in prayer after receiving an ordinance specifically to ask the Lord to ratify it and send the promised power described in the ordinance, and I mean every ordinance, including those of the temple. The church is authorized to perform those ordinances but as President Packer taught, there is a big difference between authority and power. Power comes from the Lord and only from the Lord. We need to be taught by the Holy Ghost and then by angels what we must do to receive the power described in the ordinance. The ordinances are earthly representations of heavenly things. I don’t think this is a new or different doctrine. Denver does a great job of teaching and explaining it in a way that helps us understand we have work to do after receiving the ordinance.

18. His book claims there was no succession in the presidency from Joseph Smith. I confess this is one I still don’t understand. I may be totally wrong on this point. My wife and I have had several discussions about this point. You’ll have to read the chapter on succession in the presidency from PtHG to understand what he is trying to explain. I have read it probably half a dozen times now and I confess I still don’t understand. I have read Denver’s statements that he never said the church didn’t have the sealing power, yet he makes a very big deal about how Nephi received the sealing power in the Book of Mormon – only by hearing it from the voice of God. We also used to teach in this church that an apostle’s ordination is not complete until he feels the hands of the Lord upon his heads and hears from the Lord himself that he is ordained as an apostle. He makes a distinction between an administrative apostle and an apostle who is a living witness of the resurrection of the Savior. This is not new. You can read the record for yourself how the charge was given to the apostles until the turn of the 19th century. What power or what Heavenly Gift was being referred to in Denver’s book that so upset the Brethren?

19. Why would he publish such a horrible book that does so much damage to the church? When I was first introduced to the book and read it, I thought to myself, “Finally, someone has written all the things about the church I have found spread out all over the Internet in a way that makes sense, presents facts and wraps them up neatly in a nice bow. The ending didn’t always come out so pretty but that’s because some of our history is ugly. Men and women are imperfect. Our leaders made mistakes. I’ve said it many times, these things can be found all over the Internet in ways that are not complementary to the church. Denver’s book does a good job of explaining them in a better light, even though they are not so desirable. They really did happen. The book is not filled with lies. It is filled with a slightly and sometimes radically different narrative of our history from what we were taught growing up in the church or from the official curriculum. In my mind, it is not a horrible book, but I would only recommend it to my friends who struggle with things they have read on the Internet that contradict what we teach in Sunday school class.

20. He is out of order. He criticizes. It is not his place to tell the Brethren what to do. OK, this is one that I chalk up to Denver being a convert. It’s unheard of to disagree with the official story of our history and then to publish it in a non-academic environment with all the peer-review and weasel-words that allow an essay to be read without offense. There’s no doubt this book offends some people, especially when he uses phrases like “proud descendants of Nauvoo” (he explains that well I think). I could never have done what Denver did in publishing this book. I think he knew when he wrote it that it might cause a few ripples, a few waves and perhaps result in some disciplinary action. In an email he wrote to me six months ago, I think he even had an inkling that he might have to suffer excommunication as a result of publishing Passing the Heavenly Gift. But I’m glad he did and appreciate his courage in doing so. The book has blessed my life.

Duane Crowther Has Not Been Excommunicated


DuaneSCrowtherI write this at the request of Brother Crowther. I don’t know him well enough to call him Duane. In fact, we have never met, as far as I know. But if I do slip into familiar voice, please forgive me. I feel as if I have known him for years, over forty at least. That was when I was first introduced to his two most popular books: Life Everlasting and Prophecy: Key to the Future.

Life Everlasting and Prophecy: Key to the Future

I have read it so much I have lost the jacket cover of Life Everlasting. The jacket cover of Prophecy: Key to the Future (hereinafter referred to simply as Prophecy), is worn and taped on all edges and corners. I grew up with these books. I read them when I was a teenager and have read them perhaps a dozen times each, especially Prophecy. I think you can tell I’m an old guy.

Bookcraft – publisher of many wonderful books

Life Everlasting was first published in 1967 by Bookcraft (now there’s a name that brings up memories), while Prophecy was first published in 1962, also by Bookcraft. In case you don’t know, in the old days, if your book was not published by Deseret Book, it wasn’t considered top-tier Mormon doctrine, or perhaps had some questionable or debatable content as the subject.

My Introduction to Duane’s Writings

If I remember correctly, Prophecy was first written as a Master’s thesis at BYU and later expanded for publication. I fell in love with the book from the moment I first laid eyes on it at Ellsworth Stationers in Baldwin Park California, the place we went to buy LDS books in my youth. It was with my sister, Tricia, now a librarian, and my mother who bought and read them.

Our Regular Trips to the Book Store

I seem to recall I devoured it that night. This was the 22nd printing of 1973 so I was sixteen. I also bought Life Everlasting as well as The Coming of the Lord by Gerald Lund on the same day, and Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition, by Bruce R. McConkie. We were allowed four or five books each trip to the bookstore. They didn’t cost nearly as much then as they do now (maybe $5).

Books That Augmented my Testimony

Later favorites from these trips to Ellsworth included Great Basin Kingdom by Leonard J. Arrington, The First 2,000 Years by W. Cleon Skousen, along with The Third Thousand Years and The Fourth Thousand Years. Mother bought me several biographies about Joseph Smith including one by Donna Hill and No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brodie, which she gave me when I was going to college and Institute after my mission in 1978.

I Inherited My Love of Learning

My mother was a wonderful person, a schoolteacher and amateur gospel scholar extraordinaire. She taught the gospel doctrine or genealogy / family history classes for about as long as I can remember while growing up in the old Covina First ward and Covina Stake. Mother loved to teach and she loved to teach her children. I inherited my love of learning from my mother.

Mother Owned an LDS Book Store

Mother loved LDS books so much she opened her own LDS bookstore in La Verne CA back in the early 1970’s called Leta’s Books. I remember seeing all the new books each year with James Mortimer of Deseret Book. The bookstore didn’t last long. Mother had no business sense so she lost a lot of money – all of my dad’s life savings, but if it bothered him I could never tell.

My Recent Email / Letter From Duane Crowther

I hope you get the impression I love to read LDS doctrine and history and have since I was a teenager. But I digress. Let’s get back to Duane Crowther. I was surprised with a post on my blog from Duane the other day. It was put it in my “About-Tim” section. I answered it within two hours, also posting a public reply. He emailed back privately as did I and this is the result.

I Have Written Much About Excommunication

You’ll have to read both letters to get the full story but in a nutshell, because I have written a number of stories about individuals who have been excommunicated (Mel Fish, Denver Snuffer), my blog shows up high in a Google search on the topic. By sheer coincidence, I also published a bunch of reviews on NDE books, another favorite subject, and Duane’s book shows up there.

Unintended Consequence of Search Engine Optimization

Now I’m a computer dude by trade, but I’m more of an old-fashioned infrastructure kind of guy. That means I design and administer networks to make them run efficient. I don’t know much about websites, blogging or especially SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Duane pointed out that when you Google his name, excommunicated shows up afterward, along with other words.

SEO Can Cause Some Weird Google Search Results

Well, he’s not unique in that regard. You can find weird stuff behind famous people’s names, including LDS authors if you Google their name and leave a space. For example, “obituary” shows up behind Gerald Lund’s name and as far as I know, he’s not dead yet. He was our Institute Director and bishop for many years so we keep pretty close tabs on him. I think we would know.

Duane Crowther Has Not Been Excommunicated

Oh, you may be wondering why Duane wrote me about this little problem. It just so happens my blog shows up first under his name and the word “excommunication.” Now we know Duane has not been excommunicated and never was. He currently serves in the temple presidency of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple. Naturally he thought I was writing he had been excommunicated.

Google – They Keep Their Secrets to Themselves

I’m afraid I didn’t do a very good job of convincing Duane there was anything I could do to make that connection go away. Google concatenates words and phrases from several posts in some random order only they understand. We bloggers have very little to say and no control over what appears under our names or the subjects about which we blog. It’s really unfortunate.

This Post is in Response to Prayer

So again, this post in in response to a private request from Duane separate from the public letter he posted in my “About-Tim” section. He asked me to pray about it and explain the situation in one of my regular blog posts. I’m more than happy to comply. The last thing I want is offend one of my boyhood heroes who got me started down the path of studying about the last days.

SEO is Like Free Publicity for Bloggers

I guess I’ve done too good a job at SEO – unintentionally, let me assure you. All I do is make sure when I write a post, it gets announced in Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. I think that’s all done through a widget called Networked Blogs. I’m grateful for the publicity. Seems like ninety percent of my hits come from Google searches, then Reddit and a few LDS bloggers.

Anonymous Searches Beat Out Directed Searches

I don’t get anything from the conservative LDS Mormon blog Aggregators anymore – ldsblogs, Mormon Blogs and places like that. As I’ve noted before, they either dropped me when I changed from Blogger to WordPress or when I started blogging about Denver Snuffer. So all you people who come here from a Google Search – about ninety percent – thanks for your visits.

Duane’s Official Quote – A Misleading Listing

But if you came here expecting to learn more about Duane Crowther being excommunicated, you won’t find it here. I know nothing about that, but I will share what he wrote again: “…I’ve never been excommunicated, nor have there ever been grounds for that to take place… such a misleading listing can be very harmful to one’s reputation.” I agree and wish Google wouldn’t put them together.

How to Get Google to Change Their Algorithm

Now maybe you SEO experts out there can offer some suggestions on how I can grant Duane’s request with some action on my part. I know you can work with Google in correcting erroneous information about a company listing. For example, we did that the place where I work. But still, the 2001 Aspen crash will always be listed under the name of Avjet. It is simply unfortunate.

Conclusion – My Public Apology to Duane Crowther

Brother Crowther, in addition to what I wrote in my letter, please accept my sincere apologies for this unfortunate sequence of events from my blog that causes a Google search to concatenate your name with a word I have used a lot in many of my posts. As I wrote there, I have a lot of respect for your contribution to the world of LDS Book Publishing. God bless you my friend.

Forty Years in Mormonism


CDs of Denver Snuffer Boise LectureI received my CDs from last week’s Boise talk. It took a day or two more to get to me in California. I know some already had theirs Saturday. I haven’t listened to it yet. I plan to rip the CD and put it on my iPhone. I’ll listen to it to and from work tomorrow if I can wait that long. I’ve read good reviews already: http://goo.gl/TslGw4

Update: The full transcript is now available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/168908635/Boise-Transcript-Be-of-Good-Cheer-Be-of-Good-Courage

Excommunicated Forty Years Later

Denver delivered this lecture last Tuesday evening having received word that very morning he had been excommunicated from the church forty years to the day he had been baptized. How ironic. Those who attended reported he said nothing of the disciplinary action, but was upbeat, cheerful, positive and spoke with confidence.

Spoke for Over Two Hours

One observer said he rarely looked at notes, but simply spoke from the heart. I suppose years of preparation from being a lawyer and teaching the gospel helped but that does seem a bit amazing. Even after many years as a High Councilor, I think I could speak for thirty or forty minutes before I would have to sit down.

First in a Series of Lectures

This is only the first part of a series of lectures. From what I have read, he stopped after two hours and twenty minutes, inviting everyone to the next lecture to be held in Idaho Falls on Saturday, September 28th and the next night in Logan on the 29th. If you want to pre-order your CDs go to Doug Mendenhall’s PublishingHope.info.

Denver is Blogging More Frequently

Denver seems to have gone back to posting something on his blog most every day. Today he wrote about “Evil Speaking of the Lord’s Anointed.” I’m not sure who is accusing him of that but the blog post provides links to where he has answered that question previously. You can’t fault Denver for not giving us enough information.

Read Before You Leave Comments

Too many people are forming or have formed their opinions without reading his books or listening to his lectures. You can tell almost immediately when you read the comments in this and other blogs about Denver who hasn’t done any reading. It’s sad really. I would be embarrassed to express an opinion without any facts.

Hundreds of Recent Comments

This will be a short post tonight. I have many private emails to answer and want to get the CDs ripped and loaded up onto my iPhone. But there are a few things I would like to make clear. I have read hundreds of your comments over the past few weeks as I have written almost exclusively about the Denver Snuffer episode.

Strong Feelings About Denver Snuffer

The comments seem to be equally pro and con. I like that. It makes for good dialog. Thank you to all who have left comments and especially to those who had ongoing running conversations over a period of days. I have learned a lot from you. Mostly I learned you feel strongly about the subject. That is a good thing.

Leave Links Back to Your Blog

There are some really smart people who have left great comments here. If you blog regularly somewhere else, take advantage of the open forum where you can leave your web address in the comments. Readers will click on your blog link to get to know you better. I like to know more about my readers, so don’t be anonymous.

Backup Up Your Comments

Second, don’t be afraid to state your position, but please be prepared to back it up with intelligent reasons. I don’t know about you but I dislike reading comments that state, “Denver is an apostate who deserved what he got. Anybody who reads his stuff should not be allowed to have a temple recommend.” Really? Why is that?

Provide Your Sources

And please stop repeating lies, innuendoes, false accusations and other falsehoods. If you have a source for what you are sharing, please let us know what it is so we can look it up for ourselves. Opinions are great, but what caused you to form such an opinion, either pro or con? Give examples from Denver’s books or blog entries.

Please Be Civil and Considerate

For all I know, Denver could possibly open his blog up again for comments. He said he closed comments at the request of his stake president. I can see why. Some of the comments on my Facebook threads where I announce my blog posts have been downright rude, vicious and mean. Most people prefer civil blog comments.

This is an Open Blog

Some of you may be wondering, “Who made you the spot to write about all things relating to Denver Snuffer?” I’m not. Trust me, there are other places you can go to discuss this issue like the LDS Freedom Forum or Google Groups. However, I think I am one of the few that is open to the public. Can you point me to others?

This Blog May Suddenly Disappear

Two final thoughts: 1) If my bishop or stake president asked me to stop writing about or bringing attention to Denver Snuffer, I would do so in a heartbeat. They may feel that what is discussed is too detrimental to those who have already fragile testimonies of the concepts that we discuss here, especially about church authority.

Respect the Privacy of the Man

2) If Denver asked me to stop writing about him or bringing attention to his blog or his lectures, I would do so at a moment’s notice. I in no way want to impose upon his privacy, although that’s pretty hard to do since he has made himself a public figure. I have a lot of respect for what he is doing but I could not follow his path.

My Position – I Love This Church

I have no intention of ever leaving this church. Denver has always advocated we remain true and faithful to the church by attending our meetings, partaking of the sacrament weekly and attending the temple regularly. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love this church and love to serve my brothers and sisters in this church.

I Want to Know the Lord Better

I hope you can tell I’m excited about receiving these CDs. I have few passions in life: one is computers – helping other people use them, two is books – collecting and reading them and three is the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the LDS Church. I should have reversed that order – my love of the Lord comes first.

Boise Lecture Review is Coming Up

God bless you all. I hope to have my review of the Boise talk posted sometime within the next few days. Review is probably not the right word. A blog post containing my impressions of what Denver said and what I felt as he said would be more appropriate. Thank you for visiting, for reading my blog and for commenting.

Changes in Heaven and on Earth


SolarWindsI’m not sure if I’ve ever published two posts in a single day. I know I’m going to be busy next week so I probably won’t have time to write then or say what’s in my heart this afternoon. I hope this is helpful to someone. It has to do with the signs of the times – that’s what my blog is all about – and this recent statement by Denver Snuffer. Here’s the quote from his second post today:

Changes in Heaven and on Earth Recently

“Ninth, there have been changes in heaven and on earth recently. I’ve done all I have done in obedience to our Lord. Things will unfold and everybody will have a more fulsome understanding of things. Be patient. Be believing. Do not despair as God’s work unfolds.” It’s numbered nine because it came from a post in which he wanted us to know ten things.

Warnings to not Despair as Events Unfold

I was pretty sure I knew what fulsome meant but looked it up anyway because it’s not a word I use every day. I would have used the word complete. It also means generous, excessive or abundant. I had to ask myself, “What changes have taken place in heaven and earth recently?” My wife asked, “How does he know this?” And why the warning to not despair as things unfold?

Electric Universe – Plasma More Powerful Than Gravity

Many of you know I have been an ardent student of the writings of Anthony Larson, which are based on the works on Immanuel Velikovsky and later, on the work of the proponents of the Electric Universe – Dave Talbott and Wal Thornhill in particular. I’m not going to bore you with their theories. I would like to share a few scriptures that came to mind as I read point nine above.

The Arm of the Lord Will Be Revealed

The first has to do with the arm of the Lord being revealed. Comets have always been considered a sign of something significant. We know they are naturally occurring objects in our solar system. Every time a new comet makes an appearance the whackos come out of the woodwork to promote their latest theory about how we had better be ready because this is it – the big one.

Watch and Be Ready – Be Prepared

We’ve been counseled to be ready for catastrophe for as long as I can remember. We have been warned to watch and be prepared, to have on hand a good supply of food, fuel and whatever else we need to survive on our own in the event the normal distribution channels are messed up. I’m going shopping for perishables in a few minutes and am grateful to have a year’s supply on hand.

Church Promotes Emergency Preparedness

Our stake had an emergency preparedness expo today. We hold it every year in conjunction with our city. Here in California, the big expected event is of course an earthquake. We’re due for a big one. Where I live in Camarillo, the elevation above sea level is 54 feet. I’ve watched the videos of Tsunamis on YouTube over the years. I wonder what I would do if one hit in my home town.

Second Coming will be a Catastrophic Event

We know the second coming of the Lord will be a completely different kind of event from his first advent when he came as a lamb. He now comes as the Lion of Judah, with a vengeance. From Isaiah: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4

The Day of the Lord is Accompanied By Fire

Psalms 50:3 – “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” What will cause this fire that will accompany the second advent of the Lord? Will his coming be accompanied by loud noises? What will be tempestuous? When it comes, it will be quite noisy. It will be a time of burning, a time of fire.

The Arm of the Lord is a Significant Phrase

Isaiah 40:10 – “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” What is the arm of the Lord? Is it symbolic of some natural phenomenon? What is his work that will come before him? Is this in reference to a cosmological event? Our ancestors wrote of the arm of the Lord seen in heaven.

A Day of Vengeance and Great Tribulations

Moses 7:60-63 – “… the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance … the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; … be looking forth for the time of my coming; … a New Jerusalem.

The City of Enoch will Accompany the Lord

“And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there … and they shall see us …” The Lord will return with the City of Enoch, which was once a piece of the earth. Everyone will see it. The City of Enoch was “taken up” from the earth and “fled.” A large portion of the earth will return. It may remain in close orbit above the earth when it comes.

The Sign of the Son of Man

Matt 24:3-5 speaks of the sign of the coming of the Lord. The sign of the son of man in heaven is described. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. Everyone shall see his coming in great glory. There shall be the sound of trumpets accompany his return. I other scriptures these sounds are said to be loud and long, lasting perhaps for days or weeks. What is the sign of the Son of man?

Close Encounter With a Celestial Object

Joseph said the world will tell us it is a comet or a planet. It will be. The earth will have some sort of close encounter with a celestial object that will cause great destruction. Is this something that will come to pass in our lifetime? Is this perhaps what Denver was referring to when he said changes have been made in heaven and on earth? What are these changes? Who will tell us?

The Powers of Heaven Shall Be Shaken

Luke 21:25-27 – “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” The scientific mind in me asks, “Could this be some sort of an EMP?”

The Sun and the Moon Shall be Darkened

We should look for unusual things happening in the sun and the moon at the time of the coming of the Lord. In other places we read that the sun and the moon will be darkened and that the moon will appear blood red. Even the stars will look different. Perhaps they will be in different places in the heavens because the earth will change on its axis to align with a celestial visitor.

The Moon Shall Turn to Blood

D&C 34:7-9 – “… the time is soon at hand that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory. And it shall be a great day at the time of my coming, for all nations shall tremble. But before that great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood; and the stars shall refuse their shining, and some shall fall, and great destructions await …”

The Stars Shall Fall to the Earth

The Lord has forewarned us and given clear indication of things that will happen before he comes again. We should look for the sun to be darkened, the moon to be blood red in color, the stars to look different, and great destructions on the earth. Some stars shall fall [to the earth] perhaps refers to portions of the earth returning. We can read more in the book of Revelation.

Signs of the Exodus Will Be Repeated

Section 45 contains in-depth details of the signs that will precede and accompany the Lord’s advent. Every one of these phrases has particular meanings that have been used by the Lord’s prophets for millennia. We would do well to take them one by one to study and understand. Many have occurred in the past, especially during the Exodus. Will they possibly occur again?

New Heavens – Portions of the Earth Returned

Isa 65:17 – “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Things are going to dramatically change when the Lord comes again. The phrase “new heavens” to me indicates that there will be portions of the earth hovering close by. New earth means that the earth will look dramatically different.

The Polar Configuration of Planets

We are told elsewhere that the continents will be joined again. I am of the opinion that the waters of the ocean will be gathered at the poles, exposing much of the earth. You can read a fictional account I am putting together based on these scriptures in a book I tentatively have entitled, Red Sky. It’s all conjecture, but I’m especially pleased with the outcome of chapters 4, 6, 11 and 12.

Remember, it’s just fiction. What do you think?

A Moderate Approach to Denver Snuffer


IncreaseInVisitsToLDCIn a private email from Denver Snuffer earlier this year, I had an epiphany about myself and my writing style. I was surprised when he answered my email directly and pleased that he would do so. He shared some advice and an observation which stopped me in my tracks. He said I had a “fair and moderating voice.” At first I thought, “Hey, wait. I’m a conservative, not a moderate.”

Flavor of the Month

But then I got to thinking about this whole Denver Snuffer affair over the past few weeks. My blog readership has gone off the charts. I don’t think it’s because of anything I’ve written. Denver also commented on his blog he has become the “Flavor of the Month” because of what has happened over the last few weeks. He noted his blog hits had also gone through the roof.

A Change in My Bio

I’ve decided I have to change my bio once again. Long-time readers will note I label myself a conservative here, on Twitter, Google+, FaceBook and just about everywhere else you can find me. I’ve decided Denver is right. Seriously, I was a little taken aback about the “moderate” thing but please allow me to provide a few examples of why I now am convinced Denver was correct.

Dangers of Extremism

Growing up, I’ve always viewed the world as black and white, right or wrong, us or them. I was proud of being a conservative and saw progressive liberals as deluded, overly tolerant of evil and basically wrong. Over the years, mainly though my interactions with you, my readers here on my blog, and my interactions on Facebook, I’ve had my eyes opened to the dangers of extremism.

Actively Engaged in the Dialog

“But we’re just zealous for our cause,” you may say. That’s wonderful. We know the Lord wants us to be anxiously engaged in the work. I consider my blogging activities to be a part of the work the Lord wants me to do. It’s a personal revelation thing. Elder Ballard asked us to get engaged in the online conversations about the church happening on the Internet with or without us.

Don’t be a Lukewarm People

We read in the scriptures the Lord doesn’t want a lukewarm people, those neither hot or cold. I used to be very zealous as an activist for the conservative cause. All it got me was arguments from the liberals and silence from the conservatives. I’ve never argued a liberal / progressive stance on anything so I can’t tell you how readers would respond to that. Things changed over the years.

Take Time to Understand Others

I started to see things from the point of view of some very articulate individuals we would label as progressive / liberals. And you know what? I was surprised. A lot of them made sense. I also began to notice how hard-nosed and defensive some of the conservative writers had become – or was it my imagination? I’m not talking politics. I’m referring to discussions on religious topics.

I’ve Decided I’m a Moderate

I’m not sure my wife will be pleased, but I’m sure she’s suspected it for quite some time. Well, now I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a moderate. Gasp! There I’ve said it. That feels better. I don’t like extreme views on either side. I now see the closed-mindedness that so many of my progressive / liberal friends have been talking about. Wow. It can be really annoying.

We’ve Had Some Wonderful Dialogs

I always thought being a moderate meant average or non-committal and I didn’t want to be average. And I do have strong feelings of commitment, even loyalty to certain ideologies and beliefs. I enjoy the dialog that takes place here on my blog between those who feel strongly either for or against the ideas and writings of Denver Snuffer. But I dislike the bickering.

This is an Open Forum

I do not like personal attacks. I have never banned a single writer here and never will. A friend on Facebook asked me to delete an entire thread because of the bickering he saw going on there. For those who don’t know, when I post here, it also posts on my Facebook account. Sometimes there are as many if not more comments there as there are here. But this is where I mainly post.

Civility With No Personal Attacks

Now you may be interested in what advice Denver shared with me. I suppose if was more of a generalization of his feelings as he experienced the reactions of so many against him. But I felt it was just what I needed to read because I had been writing book reviews of his books and got some of the same hostile reactions to what I wrote. I still do. Most people are civil, but some…

A Prophetic Email From Denver

His email to me, written some six months ago, was prophetic. In it he hints he knew his path would eventually end in excommunication. I wish I could share it now. I treasure it. But it would not be right to do so without his permission. Besides, it probably wouldn’t mean as much to you unless you write about controversial things – not intentionally – that simply bother some people.

Please Contribute as You Feel Prompted

Everyone has an opinion, or should. Everyone should take a stand on certain principles, such as following what your heart tells you, or more correctly, what you feel prompted by the Spirit of the Lord to do. Everyone has something to contribute to this discussion. I hope you never feel shy about adding your comments here. I’ve left it wide open on purpose. I love your comments.

Numb To The Insults and Derision

I don’t care if you disagree with me, and many people do. Some have told me in private emails I am deluded and going to burn in hell for bringing additional attention to the writings of Denver Snuffer through my book reviews. So be it. I will quote one line from Denver’s email: “…with continuing personal trouble eventually you become numb to the insults and derision.” Indeed.

Upcoming Review of Denver’s Lecture

I hope to receive the CDs of Denver’s Boise talk in the near future. I intend to share impressions here on my blog of what I hear there. Again, I sure hope Doug worked out the glitches and got a good recording. If not, we’re going to have to reply on notes taken by individuals who were there such as these shared by one writer: http://goo.gl/TslGw4 (I’ll remove link if the owner objects).

My Position on Denver Snuffer

I make no bones about where I stand. Something in the writings of Denver Snuffer has stirred my soul. Since I started reading his books and blog, I study the gospel more. I am in the scriptures more, and not just to read the lesson for Sunday school. You say I should be doing that anyway, because every prophet and apostle says the same thing. You’re right. I wonder what has changed.

Growth Means Change

I have changed. I no longer see things in black and white, right or wrong. Although I know there are absolutes out there and I feel strongly about some things, I have come to believe I may have been wrong about certain things, or certain ways of thinking. “Oh, no,” I can hear you know, “Tim’s been infected by Snuffer. He’s questioning and doubting. He’s no longer temple worthy.”

I Love This Church

No, that’s not it at all. I’ve said it so many times in the comments, but I’ll say it again here. I love this church. I grew up a Mormon and I’ll always be one. This is the Lord’s church. I love the people I associate with at church each Sunday. 90% of them are asleep as to the sort of things I blog about but that’s OK. They’re good people anxiously engaged in raising their families.

Wisdom Comes at the Price of Tribulation

That’s another quote from Denver’s email. Didn’t Joseph Smith say something similar? He was “wont to swim in deep water,” I believe he said. He also said he was like a rough stone rolling that got a corner chipped off every now and then as it went on its way – I’m paraphrasing. If we don’t take a stand on what our heart tells us is right, we are not being valiant to the Holy Ghost.”

Be Valiant to the Whisperings of the Spirit

I know we are to be valiant to the Lord. I suppose I should say “valiant to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.” That’s a sacred line from my patriarchal blessing – that if I will “be valiant to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, I will be prompted in the path that I should go…in the work I have been called to do.” Is sharing my thoughts and feelings on this blog part of that work? Blogging is a way of sharing the gospel.

Prompted of the Spirit to Blog

I think so. I felt prompted of the Lord to start blogging six years ago. Actually, prompting came continuously for several years. I ignored it and am sorry I did. Once I finally started this public blog, I have felt my testimony strengthen by leaps and bounds. What I’ve written has gotten me into trouble a few times, but the Lord has always helped me through it. God bless. Cheers to all.

My Blogroll – Are you on There?

By the way, if you’re an LDS blogger and would like to be listed on my blogroll, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add you. I try to read regularly from the ones I have listed, but don’t always have the time. I’m grateful that this year has turned out well for me. On weeks that I am training, I start at 6am and am home free much earlier in the day with energy to read and to write.

Denver Snuffer Excommunicated


PassingHeavenlyGiftDenver Snuffer recently posted the news on his blog that he has been excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for apostasy. It was not unexpected by most who are familiar with his writings. This morning, before I learned the news, I received the email below from a reader regarding Denver and my many posts about what he has written. I asked for the writer’s permission to share it here on my blog so I could respond publically. He agreed.

My response to a private email on Denver

Warning: If you have any feelings of love, support, friendship or sympathy for Denver Snuffer, this email will make you sit up and think as it did me. The writing is strong and passionate. [Update: see comment below: Strong writing is protected speech as it is opinion about a public figure.] Let’s please be clear up front these are not my words. It is my intention to defend against these claims, based solely on what I have read of Denver Snuffer and my feelings as a follower of Jesus Christ. Denver doesn’t need me to defend him, but I feel the desire to do so.

Loss of Temple Recommend Over Reading a Book

Now that the excommunication is official [see my note below], and even though I’ve already addressed it in two previous posts, I recognize my public expressions of sympathy for Denver Snuffer, whom I have never met, could conceivably disqualify me for a temple recommend. The question is “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”

Update: The church has not and has said they will not comment on Denver’s official status as a member of the church. Therefore, I have no problem with reading his material, listening to his recorded lectures or attended meetings at which he speaks. I can answer the temple recommend question truthfully that I do not support, affiliate with, or agree with any … individual whose teachings are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the LDS Church.

Divisiveness Over Denver’s Book

Here is the email, with some identifying information left out:

—— Start of email ——–

“…the last thing I want to do is to pick a fight with a Snufferite.  Nevertheless, I saw your blog, so now I am commenting, as I can’t understand how you think the way you do.  I am not a fan of Denver Snuffer.  I was introduced to Denver Snuffer’s work by a former friend of mine … who is a friend of Snuffer.  We are no longer friends, mostly because of disagreements over Denver Snuffer.

Denver is Labeled a Liar

“I have his Second Comforter book, and find the THEOLOGY impressive.  In fact, I find almost ALL of Denver Snuffer’s theology impressive.  I actually AGREE with the idea of a second comforter experience while in the flesh, but that is not impressive in the sense that it is actually more common than we think, as a lot of mundane people out there have had it.  And so, Denver Snuffer’s claim is not a unique one or a special one.  What is unique, and what makes him a liar is the fact that he claims a commission from the Savior.  He is out of order.

Claims Denver Is Seeking A Following

“I HAD the book PTHG but quickly disposed of it after I read it (not impressed).  It as well is very useful in certain aspects but I didn’t want to own a copy, to be frank.  It is his worst book.  Not the facts presented in the book, but the interpretation of them.  It made me irritated that Denver Snuffer is capitalizing on certain facts to gain a following.  Yes, I stand by that statement.”

Says Denver Vilifies the Lord’s Anointed

“He vilifies the Strengthening of the Members committee.  He vilifies the Lord’s anointed that has received revelation on Snuffer’s need to be disciplined.  And sorry [but] Snuffer publically vilified his own stake president for his own political gain, in hopes that he could affect the outcome of his trial.

Calls Denver Snuffer a False Prophet

“I’m sorry, but this is what makes Denver Snuffer such a subtle false prophet: Because his Theology IS so believable, and IS mostly so much on track.  It’s not that the Church does not need reform.  It’s that Denver Snuffer is the one taking it upon himself to proclaim that to the world.  Yeah, I’ve heard it all before.  Sorry.

Claims Denver Needs to be Humbled

“The prophet that will reform the Church will be a successor to Thomas S. Monson or to his successors, with actual keys, not some guy with a holier than thou complex.  Snuffer needs to be brought down off his high horse.  He needs discipline, and I hope he is excommunicated.  His attitude is apostate through and through.

Says Denver Has Not Seen Jesus Christ

“I don’t care how much he claims to support the brethren.  He does no such thing.  I find his THEOLOGY very useful for the most part.  But his attitude is that of an apostate with a cloven tongue.  He is not a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is a liar and has not seen Jesus Christ.

Warns Us to Withdraw Support for Denver

“Jesus Christ would have told him to stand down and submit to the keys of the priesthood before he got to this point if he was truly in communication personally with him.  It’s all hogwash.  And so, I just thought I would give you my opinion, though you being a Snufferite so it seems will be another one probably with deaf ears to someone like me that tries to warn people about actual false prophets.  I would advise you to withdraw your support for Snuffer.”

———— End of Email —————–

What You Can Expect From Me

My personal rules of engagement are that I will not attack an individual for making statements that I believe are unsupported. I also desire to find unity in my responses. I attempt to compose my sentences in such a way that they are not offensive, but thought-provoking. I have tried to have an open mind about the writings of Denver Snuffer from the day I was introduced to them.

My Personal Investment of Study and Prayer

I also want you to know up front, if you haven’t read any of my previous posts about Denver Snuffer, and I have written over a dozen, that I have read most everything Denver has published or made available publically. I have also listened to many of his lectures and pondered both the lectures and the writings. What’s more I have prayed specifically about the content of both.

The Book Puts the Church in a Negative Light

The Church did the right thing. I know that sounds harsh, but too many people were bothered by Denver’s book. The Stake President’s letter spells it out. I can’t speak to the mischaracterization of doctrine because I’m not a scholar, but yes, I can see how you can say Denver denigrated just about every prophet since Joseph Smith. And there is no doubt the book puts the church in a negative light. Quoting the SP, “Your work pits you against the institution of the church.” Yep.

Some say Denver Snuffer is Now an Apostate

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. You can officially call Denver Snuffer an apostate if you feel so inclined. He was specifically excommunicated for apostasy, or even more specifically for an act of apostasy, which was the publication of the book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. Wow. That concerns me. As I considered in a previous post, can an individual be disciplined for expressing opinions about the church in a personal blog that just happens to be open to the public? Yes. [See my comment to Tom below – this is NOT official news from the church.]

Reading the Words of an [Alleged] Apostate

I have been questioned by those who love me and by some who read my blog why I have such an interest in the writings of Denver Snuffer. The simple answer: I don’t know. I find something in them that satisfies my soul. I don’t consider myself a scholar or an intellectual. I just like some of the explanations and exhortations I find in Denver’s books, especially in Passing the Heavenly Gift. So is it wrong to read the words of an apostate? I thought we are to seek for knowledge.

Seek Out of the Best Books

I started reading Denver’s books so I could answer the question when asked, “What do you think of his latest book?” I had to seek the book out, purchase it online and then invest the time to read, study, ponder and pray. I’ve related that experience in a previous post. Others have had contrary experiences, but for me, reading PtHG was an enlightening and spiritually uplifting experience. It did not contain new information, at least in the first two thirds, but it had a powerful ending.

Finding Good in Some Bad History

The book gave me hope. For years I had felt something was amiss in my worship experience. I thought perhaps if I studied more, prayed with greater intensity or tried all that much harder to be submissive and obedient to what I thought the Lord wanted me to do, things would improve. They didn’t. I was not finding joy in my service in the kingdom. I know that’s my own personal problem, one only I could fix. Reading PtHG gave a voice for the feelings I was experiencing.

The Church Holds the Keys

I love this church, this religion, this gospel and the people who embrace it. I love to associate with the Saints. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I could not do what Denver has done. I need the sacrament each week and the temple as often as possible. The church holds the keys to my admittance to the temple. I will do what the church says to do in order to get into the temple.

I Need The Church Each Week

I need the sacrament each week. I am a sinful man. I make mistakes. I need the atonement and believe that comes through repentance and partaking of the sacrament frequently. I love to serve in this church. I’ll accept any calling and appreciate my opportunity to serve the stake presidency as an assistant stake financial clerk. I would be just as happy serving as a primary teacher. I love to teach the gospel either from the pulpit or from the front of a classroom. I need those things.

I Also Need Freedom to Write

Even though I agree with what the church has done in excommunicating Denver, I am troubled now that this action has taken place. He did not lose his membership because of any issue with the moral code of the church. His Stake President said he was worthy of a temple recommend just last Sunday. The problem was over freedom to express himself in writing. Yes, that is why I am so interested in this case. I grow as I write. I learn as I write. It is the way I study the gospel.

Some Specific Responses to the Email

I am not a Snufferite. I do not follow a man. I follow Jesus Christ. I do not believe Denver Snuffer is a liar. I believe him when he writes he has been ministered to by Jesus Christ. I accept his claim that he received a commission from the Savior to write at least his first book on the Second Comforter. I also believe he wrote Passing the Heavenly Gift under the inspiration of the Lord. I know it’s a controversial book. It’s not for everyone. My wife won’t read it. It scares her.

A Commission From the Savior

I don’t believe Denver is seeking a following. He has specifically stated he is not looking for a people to lead. He said his purpose was to add his witness that we can commune with the Lord in a personal and direct way. I suppose he was asked to write that first book to show that a regular member like you or me can receive the Second Comforter. He lays out the steps to achieve it. Such a goal is the meat of the gospel – to be ministered to by Jesus Christ and to hear His voice.

A Man of Humility Who Loves the Lord

I don’t believe Denver to be a false prophet. Everyone who has the testimony of Jesus Christ is a prophet. Denver has not asked us to leave the church. On the contrary, he encourages us to be as faithful as we can, to love and serve our fellow members. I do not sense pride in the writings of Denver Snuffer. I sense the opposite. He comes across as a humble man, a man who wants to do the will of the Lord. He is sacrificing a lot to do what he feels the Lord has asked him to do.

A Man Trying to Do the Lord’s Will

No man is perfect. So what if he rides a Harley (gasp!). So what if he occasionally lets slip an expletive like hell or damn most conservative LDS would never use in public or private. I do not know how I would respond if the Lord asked me to do something that would eventually get me excommunicated. If the Lord really asked Denver to write PtHG as a tool to help some of those who it helped (and I have letters from them to prove it), then he was doing as he was directed.

A Threat to the Church and Weak Members

Don’t tell me I am being double-minded, saying the church did the right thing while at the same time defending Denver for doing what he says he has been directed to do. I do not fault the church. I agree with the action taken. Denver was too much of a threat for most members of the church.  I am impressed that Denver would do what he felt the Lord wanted him to do – write that book – even though he probably knew at the time it would eventually get him disciplined.

Follow Your Own Inner Voice

Is Denver out of order? Does he sustain the Brethren? You’ll have to answer those questions for yourselves. But for goodness sake, don’t judge the man without at least making some small effort to get to know him. Read his blog. Read his books. If after doing so you feel what he writes is not for you, so be it. If you pray and the spirit tells you to not read his books, so be it. What he writes is not for everyone. All I know is his books helped me. I’m glad he wrote them.

Not a Follower of Denver Snuffer

I don’t think I’ve added much new in this post I haven’t written before. I would like to write a review of his Boise lecture once I receive the CDs later this week. I read from a friend who was there, the CDs were delayed. They hoped to be able to burn them on the spot. I’m sure Doug will fill the orders as quick as he can. I look forward to reading what others have said who were there. If you attended the lecture, perhaps you could leave a few comments here on what you thought.

Don’t Believe His Teachings Are Contrary

The bottom line for me is that I feel impressed of the spirit to continue in my quest to understand what Denver Snuffer has shared. I need to finish some of his books and intend to re-read parts of PtHG and especially The Second Comforter. I learn something new each time I invest the time to read and ponder what I can apply that will bring me closer to my goal of opening the heavens and be taught what the Lord wants me to know. In the meantime I will serve here as best I can.

We do not Encourage Compulsion

I’ll make no broad statements condemning anyone who says Denver is a liar. I am not offended if you call him an apostate. According to our church, he is. But don’t tell me what I can and can’t read or believe. Amen to the priesthood of any man who tries to exercise control or compulsion on the souls of men. Force is not the way of the Lord. Neither is fear. We should not be afraid to learn something new and then make up our own minds if it is useful or helpful to us. God bless.

The Appeal of Denver Snuffer


DenversReadersUpdate 9-11-13: Denver Snuffer has been excommunicated. You can read it on his blog.

A reader asked my opinion of a recent post about Denver Snuffer by Russell Stevenson over on Rational Faiths. Somehow I missed it even though I go there often. It’s entitled, “Housewife Danites: Denver Snuffer and the Suburban Underground” dated August 27, 2013. I had to laugh at the title and at much of the content. I like Russell’s style. So now we’re Facebook friends.

We’re going to see a lot more posts about Denver in the next few days and weeks. I suspect his disciplinary council on Sunday will not be attended by the most important person – Denver. I may be totally wrong, but the fact is we know he is starting his lecture tour on Tuesday. That’s a big clue he won’t be doing as the Stake President asked, so why show up? It’s a done deal, folks.

Update: I’ve been advised in the comments by one who knows that Denver will attend his council. As I wrote in the comment. I assume too much. To me, that’s a true sign of humility. Please forgive my arrogance for assuming otherwise. Also, remember, as the Stake President wrote in the summons, there are two options: disfellowshipment or excommunication.

Update2: There are those on the private email lists who have stated they will be fasting and praying for Denver. I feel to do the same. I was too quick to think that his case was open and closed – too quick to make him a martyr for the cause of free thought and dissent. Take what I write here with a grain of salt. Mine are only observations from afar. I do not know the man.

Russell writes about the Mormon underground which confused some of his readers. Not sure why the headline calls it the Suburban Underground, maybe someone else wrote that. Anyway, you’re going to have to wade through a lot of stuff to get to some of the meat of his comments about Denver, his appeal, why he matters and will continue to matter in at least the near future.

Confidence in the Face of Excommunication

Many people are fascinated by Denver Snuffer. I’m one of them. Yet I know I couldn’t do what he’s doing. God bless him and his family as he goes through this. Maybe it’s not a big deal because he’s expected it for so long. Perhaps the big day for Denver is not Sunday, but Tuesday. He might lose his church membership on Sunday but will teach things on Tuesday that are in his heart.

As I wrote in my last blog entry, if my Stake President said take down your blog or at least stop writing about Denver Snuffer, I would do as he asked. I expressed how much I need the temple and the Sacrament each week. Think of it. If he is excommunicated, Denver will no longer have access to those, nor the right, according to the church, to exercise his priesthood or to even wear the temple garments.

Since it is a commandment to pay tithing, if he desires to do so, it must be paid through another family member. There is the stigma in our LDS community of being shunned, even though it is a time when former members need the most love. There is the possible loss of income from former business associates who choose not to be associated with a man who has been excommunicated.

Something Different About Denver

You’ve got to ask yourself why he would be willing to give all this up. In his latest posts he hints at some of his conversations with his stake president, how he has tried to comply and yet how he cannot or will not give up the publishing contracts. Did you know that he donates all proceeds from the sale of his books to the church missionary fund? He does not promote them by the way.

There is something different about Denver Snuffer and everyone who writes about him both sees it and writes about it. We who have been following this saga over the past year or two since the release of Passing the Heavenly Gift see there are mainly two camps: those who love him and those who hate him [See my comment in response to Ray below]. Russell Stevenson writes in his post about The-Church-in-Waiting.

Denver referred to this idea a couple of posts ago on his blog, pointing out that the establishment of Zion is not and will not be brought about by an institution such as the LDS Church. That’s quite a claim, but actually quite tame compared to some of the things folks have been quoting in the many (138 now) comments on my post from the day Denver announced his summons to the world.

Something for Both Camps

I know this may seem like I’m wandering a little bit, but stick with me. It’s late, I’ve had a tough week and I’m tired. But I feel it’s important to get this posted tonight so folks will see it before this weekend. You can discount me because I’m a California Mormon but Russell Stevenson hit on something very important in his post: Denver Snuffer appeals to all kinds of Mormon folks.

I hate labels or groups, especially when it comes to people but we all do it. Take a look at what Russell is saying: He points out clearly that Denver appeals to conservative and liberal Mormons. He appeals to both men and women. He appeals to those who are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the church as well as those who are working to build the church up.

I get the impression Russell may have only recently been introduced to Denver’s writings, and had a lot of catching up to do in order to post his article with some credibility. But Stevenson does have credibility in Mormon history. Therefore I paid attention to his main point: Denver has appeal. That’s the bottom line. The man has charisma; he has confidence and exudes authority.

Wish I Could Be There Tuesday

Maybe that’s because he’s an attorney, or maybe it’s because of his claim to have met with the Savior. Not many people can or have made that claim. Denver has gone to great pains to make sure his picture is not posted in his books or on flyers advertising when he is going to speak. He has explained many times it’s because he wants to draw attention to his message, not himself.

I wish I could be there in Boise next week but I’ve got a certification class for work I can’t miss. I’m looking forward to listening to the talk I’ve already preordered from Doug Mendenhall. In many ways I envy my friends on the private discussion groups who will be there. I believe it will be an electrifying moment. Denver has a message he or someone who inspired him wants heard.

I can just see some of the opposing comments to this post now: “Yeah, we know that someone who inspired him is the devil.” Yep, some of the comments are that bad and worse, but for the most part, I’m grateful for my readers who are willingly and deliberately civil even though they disagree. I am fairly certain some from the SCMC have been adding their comments as well.

My conclusion on Denver’s Appeal

So what is that appeal of Denver Snuffer? He must be excruciatingly annoying to those who are able to poke holes in his arguments. They do a pretty good job too. Even some of his supporters have asked questions that make you wonder if he has contradicted himself or dramatically changed his beliefs or teachings between the time of his first book and his last one – PtHG.

The appeal is that he has not self-imploded like so many apostates have over the years. Note that I used the word apostate. Yes, if he is excommunicated, he can be considered an apostate from the LDS Church. In the minds of some people, that changes everything. To me, it does not make one bit of difference. I don’t see Denver as fighting against the Church but maybe I’m wrong.

Denver appeals to people who find something lacking in the LDS Church. I think Stevensen mailed it when he wrote about the idea of The Church-in-Waiting with one exception. We’re not looking to leave the church. We want the things the Lord has promised – to be taught by angels and to be invited to be a part of the Church of the Firstborn – obviously not an earthly institution.

Invitation to Dialog

Does any of this scare you? What are your thoughts? I love to read your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for sharing what you think. You help me grow. That’s why I blog. And Richard, did I answer your question? I told you I might make it public if it got too long. In short, I loved Russell’s post. It made me think. I didn’t find it offensive, I found it humorous.

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