Monday, March 11, 2013

LDS Author Denver Snuffer Vigorously Denies Superseding The General Authorities Or Promoting Apostasy

Update September 9th: Denver Snuffer's disciplinary council hearing ends inconclusively; updated post HERE. Subsequently, Snuffer reported he was excommunicated.

Update August 25th: Denver Snuffer has been called to attend a disciplinary council on September 8th over his book Passing The heavenly Gift. Updated post HERE.

The name Denver Snuffer provokes strong reaction within the ranks of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some believe he truly has the "heavenly gift", while others suggest he's positioning himself as a "One Mighty And Strong" character. Even the senior leadership of the Church is mindful; on Latter-day Commentary, Tim Malone suggests that Snuffer is being investigated for possible disciplinary action, and that the investigation may be coming to a head.

Denver Snuffer is the author of eight books. These include The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil, Nephi's Isaiah, Eighteen Verses, Ten Parables, Beloved Enos, Come, Let Us Adore Him, Removing the Condemnation, and Passing the Heavenly Gift. The first and last books on the list generate the most interest and discussion within the LDS community, since not everyone gets the First Comforter, and it is almost unheard of to get the Second Comforter. The First Comforter is the Holy Ghost, but when we are baptized and confirmed as members of the Church, we do not automatically get the Holy Ghost, but are commanded to receive the Holy Ghost. Thus confirmation opens up a channel for us to access the Holy Ghost -- if we choose to use it. The Second Comforter is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.

Since Passing The Heavenly Gift is the most-discussed book, here's the description of it from Amazon:

Mormonism has undergone four distinct phases. The first began in 1820 and ended with Joseph Smith’s death in 1844. The second began upon Joseph Smith’s death and ended with abandonment of plural marriage, publicly in 1890 and privately in 1904. In the third phase Mormonism denounced as apostasy its practice of plural wives, marking the first time an orthodox practice became grounds for excommunication. The fourth phase began with David O. McKay and is still underway. In it Mormonism has adopted corporate management techniques to consolidate and direct central church decision-making. The first phase was innovative and expansive, continually adding doctrine, scripture, teachings and ordinances. Subsequent phases have curtailed, abandoned, even denounced earlier teaching and doctrine. Phases two through four have all abandoned doctrine. Growth in these subsequent phases has been defined in terms of political influence, financial gains, cultural inroads, and population growth; while the underlying religion has been curtailed. Today, marketing the institution has become more important to Mormon success than preserving the original religious content. The changes from phase to phase have completely transformed Mormonism, sharing a vocabulary but redefining the terms. Modern Mormonism has now institutionalized change. For the first time in this book Mormonism is candidly described in terms which track the changes by examining doctrine, teachings and practices. Interestingly, the passing of the heavenly gift was anticipated by Joseph Smith’s prophecies and the Book of Mormon.

The description of the phases is factual, although a bit heavy-handed. I consider it more precise to say that the LDS Church, with the passage of time, has actually clarified its doctrine and better delineated between hardcore doctrine, evolved tradition, and unsubstantiated folklore. Because of the principle of continuing revelation, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are subject to inspiration or revelation at any time the Lord deems it appropriate for His servants to make course corrections.

However, the fact that I might consider Snuffer's assessment a bit heavy-handed in no way impinges upon his worthiness as a member. While I've not read any of his books, I've read enough of his blog, as well as this review of Passing The Heavenly Gift published by Tim Malone, to conclude that Denver Snuffer is neither trying to supersede the General Authorities nor promoting apostasy. Snuffer himself makes this abundantly clear in this post:

1. I sustain today’s church leaders as prophets, seers and revelators. The scriptures give them the right to use those titles (D&C 107: 92). They preside, and it is their right to do so. They have our common consent and ought to be upheld by our “confidence, faith and prayers” (D&C 107: 22). I uphold them in this way. They carry heavy burdens and have my sympathy, not my judgment, for any human frailties they display.

2. It is utterly untrue that I have said the church is apostate. I reject the accusation. If the narrative I suggest in PTHG is true, then the Lord’s post-Nauvoo ire is evidence the Lord is still watching over and intends to further His work with the members of this church. Those whom He loves, He chastens. (Heb. 12: 5-11; Helaman 12: 3; D&C 95: 1.) Mine is not a faithless, but a faith filled history. I’ve reiterated this before and reiterate it again. (See my post: The Traditions of Men, Part 1, April 21, 2010.)

There you have it. Denver Snuffer remains an absolutely faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The fact that the Church may be investigating him for a possible disciplinary council is no guarantor that he will be disfellowshipped or excommunicated, or that such a council will actually take place. By the way, Snuffer says that any royalties he receives from the sale of his books are donated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Anonymous said...

Denver Snuffer will attend a Church Court on September 8th, 2013. He has been asked to stop all sales of his book, take down his blog, publicly renounce his books and blogs (how can he do this if he doesn't have a blog anymore?), and, if not, he will be excommunicated. I predict he will be excommunicated, and then start a "Study Group" meeting in his home. This study group will eventually evolve into yet another Church, probably polygamy practicing, with Snuffer as the Prophet. Just a guess. I believe that Snuffer's criticisms of the Church and its leadership is 100 per cent accurate.

Jack Mormon said...

Thanks for the info. I just found this out through another source and have posted separately about it.

If they can X Snuffer, imagine what they'd do if Samuel the Lamanite came back to life and started preaching repentance in downtown SLC.

Anonymous said...

I can't take seriously anyone who claims a personal visitation from Jesus and then publishes the personal details of such a sacred and obviously private event. Surely that is not something to parade around other than to draw attention to oneself. Furthermore, much of his theology is clearly in error (for example, his views on plural marriage), casting further doubts on his claims to divine inspiration. Much ado about a wannabe prophet.

DPeterson said...

To the anonymous commenter above who can't take Denver seriously. You obviously haven't read anything he's written. You are jumping to conclusions. I've read almost every word he's written and he hasn't once published "the personal details of such a sacred and obviously private event". He's said as much himself. He won't talk about the details, only teach that each of us can have a personal visit from the Lord for ourselves. He testifies that it is possible and shows how the scriptures teach the process. That's it. You have no idea what you are talking about. Btw...what the heck are you talking about as far as his theology on plural marriage is concerned? By your apparent lack of understanding what he's written I guarantee that you have no idea what his "theology" is in relation to that topic as well.

Good Will said...

"Anonymous" commenting above on DS's supposed views is probably just an LDS COB fictional "persona" interjected here to sway public opinion.

Just sayin'.

Lily said...

Yeah I agree with Good Will. D is for Denver? Sure seems on the defensive side! I always wonder how many relatives & aliases are posting. Why does Denver have to keep telling us subliminally how humble he is?

Lily said...

Oops I meant Good will is probably denver alias number 2, in Boise, Denver's theme was be of good cheer. I wonder if the d in dpeterson is denver & the god will is actually denver? I agree with anonymous!

Anonymous said...

If it is such a sin to speak and publish ones experience of seeing and having a personal interview with the Lord then Joseph Smith is just as guilty as Denver. He did nothing less than what Denver has done and received the same condemnation by faithful christian men and women. Do you really want to speak this all too obviously ignorant view and join the ranks of those who condemn Joseph Smith? And then to those who follow his remarks, you are ok with the critic who claims to be anonymous but then claim to know who the following remarks are by? Look into your own hearts and find out if there is fear and trembling there. If there is, on any level you have no ability to hear the Lord, for He only speaks to those who have faith, which casts out ALL fear. We judge all to fast those we disagree with because we are afraid that if they are right and somehow that makes us wrong. Can we not love and allow all their own experience? Can we not be patient with others and allow the Lord to judge? Judge not lest ye be judged. His words not mine.

Anonymous said...

These 15 men (1st Pres / Apostles) are in title only. They probably have yet to see Jesus Christ. They say they are special whitnesses and they play on the perception of members thinking they saw Christ. In reality I wouldn't be surprised if they only do this job because they are well paid and they get to promote priesthood craft. There family is taken care of, good healthcare, all relatives go to BYU for free (subsidized by members in the tune of $500+ million each year from tithing money. Look up Canada disclosure statements the church lawfully has to fill out for donations.)

They deal with more business meetings than they do things of the spirit. It was same back in the early 1900's. Apostles are called upon for their business skills and not spiritual skills.

Anything that may dis-way believers from sending in tithing money and donations must be dealt with promptly.

Any real knowledge of the finances and how tithing money is invested can see right through this $35+ billion dollar operation.

I'm not sure why Denver is so loyal to the church.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure why Denver is so loyal to the church."

He isn't and wasn't. He now claims to have wrested the keys from the First Presidency and has advocated the formation of an ad hoc church that has sacrament meetings that Snuffer says should be with wine (or grape juice for those with medical reasons) in living rooms (even though a revelation written during the most inspired time in the Church (phase one) the Lord originally said that it didn't matter whether wine or water were used, etc.), administered by guys who have to be signed off on by seven women before they can administer the living room sacrament.

Snuffer also has said that the Lord told him that they had to go back to the old way of saying the baptismal prayer and all get rebaptized even though the reality is that "commissioned" and "authority given" had the same meaning in 1828 and afterward and were two ways of saying the same thing at the time.