Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Denver Snuffer Debacle

Imagine you're on the Board of Directors of a major U.S. corporation -let's say Kentucky Fried Chicken, just for the sake of this analogy. Although yours was once among the fastest growing restaurants in the country, growth is now stagnant. Not only are you failing to attract new business, you're losing your most loyal customers by the tens of thousands every year. So you do what any large corporation would do. You tweak the brand. You add crispy chicken to the menu. Then Hot & Spicy Chicken, and finally Boneless Chicken. You add new desserts and open more stores around the world.

What you find most alarming is that customers who couldn't get enough of your product in the 1950s and 60s have simply stopped showing up at your restaurants. They talk fondly of childhood visits to Kentucky Fried Chicken as having been an important focus of family life growing up, but the magic just isn't there for them anymore. What's worse, quite a number of former customers make a lot of noise about their dissatisfaction with your product, which isn't helping. The company goes into full damage control mode on the internet to try and salvage the brand's image.

In the middle of all this trouble, you hear about one of your employees out of Idaho. He is not a member of top management, just a nobody from the hinterlands; but this guy is saying things that are resonating with your customers. It's true, he tells them, their suspicions are correct.  Kentucky Fried Chicken has been going downhill ever since the death of Colonel Sanders. But his message to your customers is one of optimism: Don't Despair. Stay with the brand.  Management may have made some goofball mistakes over the years, but managers are only human and those mistakes can be corrected. The good news is that Original Recipe Chicken is still available if you look for it.

As a member of the board of directors, what do you about this employee? Well you fire him, of course.

Flubbing The Heavenly Chance
At a time when the information highway has exposed the LDS Church to a great deal of criticism (some of it warranted), God dropped a gift right into the laps of the befuddled leaders which they promptly rejected like it was a hot potato.  That gift came in the form of an unassuming man named Denver Snuffer, whose most salient quality is his testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration. Brother Snuffer maintains a blog and has written several books about Mormonism. His writings have persuaded a sizable number of disaffected Mormons to stay in the faith. He reminds his readers that the core fundamentals of this religion are true and valid, and that by repenting God will forgive us of our mistakes.

Naturally a heretic like this had to go.

Last week, exactly forty years to the day since he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Denver Snuffer Jr was excommunicated for the charge of "apostasy," a charge that is leaving many people scratching their heads in bewilderment. If Denver Snuffer is an apostate, then everyone of us who embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations of Joseph Smith must be an apostate, too.  That would shrink the membership rolls of the Church considerably.

Snuffer's sin, you see, is that he wrote a book. That may seem incredible to anyone hearing about this for the very first time, but the letter from Brother Snuffer's stake president is very clear about his book indeed being the reason for the action. Snuffer's stake president told him all he has to do to remain in good standing with the Church is to pull the book from publication and disavow its contents. (I wonder if he thinks it's also possible to gather up all existing copies and have them burned in the public square?)

Excommunication is the most severe punishment this Church can inflict on a member, so I'll bet you're thinking this Snuffer character has written a devastating pack of lies regarding corruption and debauchery within the highest echelons of the LDS hierarchy. That must be why they want to silence him.

But no, it's nothing like that at all. In the final chapter of the book, Snuffer comes to the conclusion of his thesis, and here it is: "Joseph Smith was restoring something different than what we have today." That's a conclusion most us would consider self evident and hardly controversial. This is what Snuffer said recently about his motivation and reasons for writing it:
"I wrote Passing the Heavenly Gift as a reconstruction of the events of this dispensation. The framework was primarily the description in the Book of Mormon of the latter-day Gentile behavior. This includes specifically, the prophecies of Christ in Third Nephi. I also used Joseph Smith's prophecies in the Doctrine and Covenants, his sermons and history. Taking this scriptural framework, (not as an historian but as a believer in the prophetic insight about us) I then tracked through our history. I used a lot of primary sources, including journals and diaries of church leaders. 
"What I found was that the events in our history could be viewed as an exact match for the prophetic warnings given us in scripture (Book of Mormon/D&C). The result was not history, but truth. If the book is true (and I am persuaded it is the most correct account of our dispensation written so far) then we need to awaken to our present peril and repent. If it is not true then we have nothing to worry about; the church is entirely intact, has the fullness, and all is entirely well in Zion. It would be very exciting if Passing the Heavenly Gift is wrong. 
"The trouble is that I don't believe it's wrong. We have very serious issues confronting us, and a great deal of work to complete before we attain unto what the Lord expects of us. Joseph Smith was betrayed and killed as a result of steps taken by church members. True enough it was a mob of Carthage Greys who shot him. But he would not have been in a position to be shot if it had not been for the betrayal by church members. When we (meaning church members) caused or contributed to his death, we offended heaven in a way that required three and four generations to pass before we receive another opportunity from the Lord. With the recent passing of Eldred G. Smith, we have a milestone representing the end of those required generational passings. Now is the first time it is possible for the Lord to recommence the restoration.
"But it won't commence again without us knowing what we lack. Conceit and arrogance will never redeem us from our fallen state. But contrition and repentance might. Passing the Heavenly Gift is intended to inspire those who are downfallen in their faith, and to help those who are prepared to hear it, that we (all of us, including me) are in a fallen state from which we must awake and arise."
I think what it was that put Snuffer in the doghouse with Church leadership was his assertion that Joseph Smith's successors sometimes made mistakes. This flies in the face of the image the Magisterium is currently attempting to convey: in the true Church, the leaders are incapable of making mistakes, for if the leaders were ever in error, the Church could not be true.  Snuffer, by declaring that yes, general authorities too have things to repent of, has directly confronted Oz The Great And Powerful. He is become Abinadi before the court of King Noah, speaking truths that mere mortals are not permitted to utter.

Doomed To Repeat
I have never been of the opinion that the entire Quorum of the Twelve was behind the ouster of Denver Snuffer from the church.  Despite what some believe about the the operation of the institution at the highest levels, the Church (TM) is not a monolithic entity where all are in agreement with one another on all matters.  Some time after the notorious 1993 excommunications of the September Six, for example, it was revealed that Boyd Packer had been the instigator behind that unfortunate purge, and that other members of the Twelve had serioius misgivings about Packer's actions. Sadly, they made no attempt to rein him in, just as a decade earlier none of Bruce McConkie's colleagues corrected him when he publicly declared that members should not seek a personal relationship with the Savior. Regarding Packer's rogue action, Steve Benson tells of Dallin Oaks admitting to him with a frustrated shrug, "you can't stage manage a grizzly bear."

The blowback from the September Six excommunications had a very negative effect on the image of the LDS Church after it was picked up by the national media and given wide exposure. Many rank and file Mormons were baffled at the action once they learned that every one of those disciplined had been loyal, believing members whose devotion to their religion had heretofore never been questioned. Their crimes seem to have been that they spoke about teachings that had once been commonly held in the church (such as the doctrine of a mother in heaven), and wondered aloud why the modern leadership insisted on suppressing its history.

Joseph Smith himself had objected to anyone being disciplined over their beliefs, but by 1993 the leadership seems to have forgotten his warning.  The backlash of bad publicity the Church experienced  after the September Six fiasco left a lasting impression, as many loyal members began to look critically at the leadership for the first time in their lives. The Magisterium had learned a valuable lesson. It didn't pay to excommunicate a believing member simply because he dissented from the views of the leadership. Such extreme measures tended to hurt the brand.

But it's now been twenty years since the September Six debacle, and memories are short. As George Santayana famously said, those who refuse to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. And this Denver Snuffer affair is poised to come back and bite us all on the butt.

Going after Denver Snuffer is the equivalent of the Holland city fathers coming across the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike and telling him to scram. Our leaders don't like Denver standing there for all to see and hear; he's calling attention to the cracks in the modern structure. But this foolish act of booting him out is just making the situation more obvious. Those who have read Denver's books and heard his testimony will only be more inclined to distance themselves from the corruption they see at the top of the institution. Denver's entire message is that we should be cultivating a testimony of Christ. The Magisterium's mantra appears to be that we should be cultivating a testimony of them. Whether that is their true intent or not, that is the perception. To the outside observer, that is the product they are selling, and the product has some serious, detectable flaws. 

Disobedience Is The First Law Of Church Leadership
For all their preaching to the congregation about obedience, our leaders themselves seem to disobey God whenever it suits them. We know, for instance that when they decided to commit five billion dollars in Church funds toward the building of a lavish shopping center, they deliberately ignored the commandment given in D&C 26:2 and 104:71 where the Lord instructs them that monies placed into His treasury shall “not be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by voice and common consent” of the whole membership.

The leaders seem to have forgotten that church money is held by them in fiduciary trust on behalf of the members to whom that money rightfully belongs. Rather than asking for a simple show of hands, they made an executive decision to spend the money according to their own desires, in violation of God's clear commandments.

In like manner, the leaders of the Church today simply ignore the rules God laid out for them to follow regarding the excommunication of a fellow member. What we do know about the Denver Snuffer debacle is that one member of the Seventy and one member of the Twelve gave the orders to Snuffer's Stake President to move ahead with the decision. This is in violation of the rules initiated by the divine Head of the church in such matters. His law does not permit actions to be initiated from high up in the Church hierarchy.

The scriptures require such actions originate at the local congregation, and only after at least two members of the congregation come forward as witnesses against the accused. In an action involving the stake high council, six members of the council are required to stand as advocates of the accused, and six against. The Stake President is to remain impartial. This almost never happens today as he is usually the guy who brought the action, decides the evidence, prosecutes, judges, and executes the judgement. The scriptures are clear that the Lord designed the procedure precisely to keep all that power out of the hands of one man. Then there's the HUGE problem with the missing Elder's Council which is required, and...

You know what?  There are simply too many violations of God's law taking place in church courts these days today for me to enumerate here. Instead of my laying out the list, I think I'll just recommend you read this recent masterpiece, The Law Against Dissent. Then you can figure out for yourself who the apostates are in this action. The irony is making me too dizzy to continue.

Boogah Boogah!
There is one more aspect of all this that I don't think Church leaders yet realize: Excommunication as a scare tactic just doesn't work anymore. There was a time when the stigma of being excommunicated from the Mormon Church was enough to keep some people from voicing their opinions, but that is no longer true. This is a vestigial consequence of the September Six affair. As people came to realize that these good members had been dealt with unjustly, excommunication came to be seen as a club that was often wielded indiscriminately by bullies, and not necessarily a sign that the excommunicant was wicked, unfaithful, or lacking the spirit. Many of us are acquainted with people who have been ousted from the corporate Church, yet radiate a spirit of godliness far surpassing those holding title and office within the Church who presided over their departures. This difference is noticeable to all.

Since I am not known for showing the proper deference to Church leaders over their pretended "authority," I am often asked if I am afraid of Church discipline. Answer: not one bit.  No one but me has the power to take away my membership in the church of Christ. Jesus himself has removed that authority from the jurisdiction of men (see D&C 10:67-68). If they were to boot me out of their official club, the one organized by corporate charter in 1923 to which none of us are members anyway, I wouldn't even blink.

Let me be clear about something. Although I believe there to be good and just men serving as general authorities in the church today who are doing all in their power to put this ship back on course, the Corporate Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the outfit Denver Snuffer just got booted out of, is not the real church.  That organization is irrelevant to me. It has no effect on my beliefs, and no bearing on my salvation.

If I were excommunicated from that club I would wake up the next morning no different than the day before. I would still have my testimony and my priesthood, my knowledge and my love of the gospel intact. There would be nothing about me that would be different. I would continue to keep this blog as before, writing about what I find to be both pure and impure about modern Mormonism.

By the way, none of this nonsense has had any effect on Denver Snuffer either, as evidenced by what he wrote yesterday regarding these Ten Points.

*****

282 comments:

1 – 200 of 282   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

You nailed it again. Good job.

Bjorge Queen said...

Seriously, Rock, how am I ever gonna get to my goal weight with you writing about KFC in such an enticing way? You make it impossible for me.
Great insight as always.

My, Myself and I said...

Your post got me thinking of Brad Wilcox's devotional not too long ago "His Grace is Sufficient"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLXr9it_pbY

It was reprinted in the Ensign as well.

He shares a view on the Atonement that did not align with what I had grown up with but that DID totally speak to my heart! After hearing his talk, I honestly felt (for the first time) like the gospel really WAS Good News!!

I have searched for quotes from church leaders to support or contradict his presentation. By and large there was more opposition to it than support.

I like Brother Wilcox's understanding...
Who is right?

My, Myself & I said...

Another question:
"Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church."

Does that mean that there are no other ordinances that we need?

I'd love a list of what the Savior said we NEED to do in order to return to heaven.

naomi said...

Great post.
One thing that makes me uncomfortable about modern 'excommunication' is that in JS' times, it was openly used as a punishment of exile. Now, it's intended to be culturally similar, only it's rebranded as 'part of the repentance process'. I find no doctrinal basis for this to be the case; if someone is disfellowshipped, they are already cut off until they repent fully, excommunication is always just a punishment and I resent it being sold in a passive-aggressive smile-frown way.

Anonymous said...

Great article, this. Thank you!

me said...

Rock,

I like your Kentucky Fried chicken analogy. I'm a visual learner and it painted a clearer picture for me.

I think there is a lot to learn from Denver's experience as far as is obvious to us on the outside. I appreciate how he has acted towards those who have accused him and how open he has been in expressing what has been done. To see through a clear window to the inside of whats really happening, so to speak. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so willingly.

LDSDPer said...

I'm still shaking my head. I keep thinking about D&C 112:25--

some big things are coming: in the world, in the church--

hang tight--

(I'm saying that to myself, not to anyone else)--

:)

Porter said...

Rock, great post as usual. But here are the questions I have about this whole fiasco. First, in the "September Six" scenario the church excommunicated progressives who wrote critically about the church. But nowadays there are TONS of progressive Mormons that are blogging negative things about the church and the leadership, why aren't they being excommunicated? People like the Feminist Women Housewives or the Ordain Women people? Denver seems to be anything BUT progressive in his views, so why target him? It seems odd to single Denver out when there is so much criticism of the church online these days.

Second, if Denver is as critical of the church and its leadership as you say why is he STILL reaffirming his devotion to the church and its leaders on his blog?? If he thinks they're so bad and have made so many mistakes why is he still active in this church? Seems like a glutton for punishment to me.

Finally, I am wondering how you know that one member of the 12 and one of the 70 somehow participated in this decision. Do you know what level of involvement they had? Whose idea was it?

Anon 23 said...

Why am I not surprised with what the Church did to Denver?

Since I believe the Church is 'false', (even worse than false, corrupt & evil), and not even remotely the same Church Joseph started, I do not believe the leaders & their actions & teachings deserve any of our time, energy or concern, at least no more than we would give the actions or teachings of any other church on earth.

I would feel the same about Denver if he was exed from the Catholic Church, it simply does not even matter one bit, except maybe with how he may be looked upon & treated by the LDS around him, but even that doesn't matter really.

I hope Denver can come to see how false the Church is and realize how good it is to not be entangled with it. I hope he can stop making excuses for the practices of the leaders of the Church, past & present, and their teachings, which are completely against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The more we focus on Christ the more corrupt we see the Church and it's leaders since Brigham Young are. That is probably why the Church exed Denver, cause he was trying to lead people to Christ and thus away from them.

Church leaders today have put themselves above Christ and his teachings, ignoring or changing them and saying they have authority to do so.

When actually, Christ said that his Gospel is the same yesterday, today & forever & you tell false prophets and imposters by how they preach contrary to what he said.

Apparently the Church does not want members who are seeking Christ and the truth or who judge by what the scriptures & Holy Spirit say. They seem to only want blind obedient 'yes men & women' who follow 'fallible so-called prophets' over Christ and who will not think for themselves nor 'prove all things' before following anyone or anything.

The Church seems to say, teach & do just enough 'nice' things to look good but not enough to lead people to Christ and his real Gospel.

Which is just what Satan wants, for if he can't persuade people to do outright evil, he will settle for deceiving good & wonderful people to support falsehoods, false leaders & false churches, thus they still miss the mark, never really learning or living the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Rock,
Modern day Abinadi is right...but unlike King Noah's court, they "burned" him at the stake without even giving him "his day in court". They would not admit his (adult) children which DS requested be allowed to attend the trial for very valid reasons. Thus, he was judged by people who were in another room, hearing a conversation in the hall where the SP denied his children entrance to the procedings.
What a sham!
Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, the outcome was decided in the COB long before the non-trial.
Just today in Sacrament meeting one of the Priests blessing the bread had to repeat the prayer 4 times before he got it right. So...we force a puny Priest to adhere exactly to the correct blessing on the bread, to the point of excruciating embarrassment...but, we look the other way and sing "ALL IS WELL" when the "leaders" decide to change the Temple ordinances, or ignore the Lord's instructions in the D&C about common consent of monetary expenditures, or the correct porcedures in a trial for church membership?
Is it any wonder Prophets in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon from Nephi all the way to Moroni warned of an apostasy in the church (the Holy Church of God) in the last days?
The only reason I remain in the church is that 1. Denver Snuffer has persuaded me that there is value to the church, and 2. The Spirit has testified to me that even though we are in almost the same exact position in the church as in the days of Nicodemus and Caiaphas, there is still some value to the church, although it is getting harder all the time to see.
The leaders have shot themselves in the foot on this one.
This will cause problems for the church and for its so-called "leaders".
JR

Anon 23 said...

I think the Church is ignoring such sites as you listed because I believe the Church actually wants to be more progressive, and seems to be going that way but carefully and slowly, as not to look like it. I believe the Church will one day come to allow Same Sex Marriage and polygamy, etc., once 'most' members come to accept and want those things, which doesn't seem too far off now.

By allowing people to push progressive agendas they are actually helping the Church convince more & more members to think 'progressively' and thus once the majority of the members are for SSM & polygamy, etc, they can then allow those things. The same thing happened with 'Divorce' (which the Church once called 'an adulterous abomination' too, but now the Church accepts it as not even a sin anymore.

In fact, now you can be 'disciplined' by leaders if you 'don't' go along with the Church's acceptance of divorce & remarriage. For the prophets have spoken and done the new 'progressive' thinking. Never mind what Christ said about it all.

I don't think the Church will ever fully allow or admit that women hold the Priesthood though, for church leaders seem to not want to have to share ultimate power & equality with women, for women might want to change things, for the good and towards Christ.

Anonymous said...

AussieOi says
My long reply was too long for here
It is here ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=30173&p=409363#p409363



Post was about how do we maintain this authority we know is required to execute gods ordinances, but reconcile it with the outward organisation that is puffed up, prideful, and lacking evidence of "prophet, seer or revelator"?

Its a conundrum which causes such angst and confusion amongst so many I speak with.

I don't think just alienating people like Denver will be sufficient to shut down "dissent and murmering" like it once was.

We know too much now. we've read too much history, seen too many book sale tours, speakign engagements from Hawaii, too many friends children of GAs travelling, communicating via forums and web sites and blogs. The magic and mystery just isn't there to rely on "trust and obey me" anymore.

......How do we reconcile what you rightly call the corporate church, with the traditional restored church many of us have had the spiritual experience of, together with its unusual, but magical book or Mormon (with all of its head in hat/ rock and no evidence of intrigue!).

.....So how do we maintain our place in this empire, while adhering.

Which is why I am saddened to see this response to DS.

It speaks loud and clear how the church has chosen to respond to the hemorrhage of members we are experiencing, who head confusing messages- rock in hat, 14yr old wives, marrying other mens wives, poison, mountain meadows, book of abraham.

Here is the message. Try a middle road, which is in effect saying "I can do this, i can base my spiritual relationship with the saviour because man, as in times past, is imperfect" and it works to bring people to christ.

And for that he is removed from the church records and his and his families sealings are broken (or, he is told they are broken)

So now I await to see what the "afterward an increase in love" will be.

But I fear they will come after you Rock.

And then me.

And even if they don't, it is sad, because they are telling people they can't have a middle road with a personal relationship with their god, and saviour.

They need men, imperfect, man.

.....I can't help but fear so, so many will just throw their arms up and say "I'm doing this at home now. Clearly my half way road isn't acceptable"

As he said "what makes you think we want members like that?"

I have been on LDSFF for years, and see a gradual shift in those there. Then I saw the DS tsunami. 2 years ago, and a tsunami.

I don't get into DS< never read a book or a page of his. But I have to say, I have witnessed first hand he has only has a tremedously positive impact on (most) every person who has read him, and in 3 ways I have observed.

1. It has made people want to draw closer to the saviour
2. For many, it has kept them alive in the "church"
3. They have in turn expressed to others of similar doubts and concerns that they can exist in the kingdom, with its warts and all.

........I keenly await what comes next. Because this can't have simply been timed to stop him before he went on his talking tour.

DS was too insignificant in the overall scheme of things singularly.

Is this the way of the future?

I hope not. There are too many, too many good people we need to keep with us. taking the sacrament, sharing christ, serving one another and our brothers and sisters.

We don't have the luxury to cast these people off, to lose them like this.

The "church" won't be any less authentic, divine, official, gods one, one true, (insert word to define it however they might want) if it does this.

I mean surely HQ knows all this....don't they?

LivingAbroad said...

My 2 cents worth: Last weekend I was in a meeting with an apostle for 4 hours. Although I have been going through a period of questioning (probably questioning more than you guys do here), I felt the great spiritual power and authority that came with that calling. The spiritual witness was completely satisfying to me, and I don't believe that I ever need to worry about the church again, I just need to live my best spiritual life, follow Christ and work in harmony with others. Everything will be ok.

One of the questions here is what the First Presidency and the apostles really care about and think about. After hearing him talk for hours, I believe that his primary focus is the increase of spirituality and faith in Christ of the members and that that goes for the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as well. My doubts about whether God is with the leaders of the church or not were completely swept away.

The apostle was open, forthright, very intelligent, unassuming, articulate, and charitable. They are aware and have thought carefully about the issues that cause difficulty.

I am glad I didn't make a hasty decision, and I am fortunate to have had this renewal. I don't have any negative feelings for people who doubt or leave, and I am not posting here to try to bother you. I do think it is a good idea to keep one's eyes and ears open, just in case the Lord really has chosen them as apostles and He really is guiding the church. I do believe that is the case, and I have found peace with the imperfections of the church.

Robin Hood said...

I too spent 4 hours with an apostle last week. I can concur with LivingAbroad.

I have to say Rock, I am somewhat surprised you have been taken in by Bro. Snuffer. He is of little consequence in the scheme of things and joins a long line of individuals throughout the history of the church who thought they knew better but time has demonstrated that they didn't. Bro. Snuffer is in the same category. He'll perhaps spend the rest of his life "kicking against the pricks" but it will come to nothing.

He's made a big song and dance about his ordeal with the SP, which to my mind betrays his true agenda. But it will pass and no one will remember a few weeks from now.
I have read his book and agree that the SP had no choice - Denver made it very easy for him.

In my view, the book itself is full of very dubious assumptions, relies on diaries and journals where the scriptures are silent (always a questionable practice) interprets scripture very selectively in my opinion, and ignores unhelpful historical information which would bring his position into serious question.

In my view he is wrong to identify the Gentiles criticised in the Book of Mormon with the modern LDS church. This position just does not accord with scripture. Only last night, for example, I read in D&C 42:39 where it says ".....for I will consecrate of my riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles unto the poor of my people who are of the house of Israel." So his people (the Latter-day Saints) are among the gentiles but are of the house of Israel, and we have that on no greater authority than the Lord himself. Bro. Snuffer says one thing, the Lord says something else.

He talks about the failure to complete the Nauvoo temple. Well, what constitues failure? Were ordinances performed there? Yes they were. Was it dedicated? Yes it was. However, there is something else he has forgotten here. If you go to Nauvoo today and visit the temple site what do you see? A completed and dedicated temple! The season in which we were to complete the temple was never defined by the Lord. 100+ years to him is of no consequence. Bro. Snuffer's argument that the church was rejected is exactly the same arguement the RLDS made for decades. When he chooses common cause with the RLDS a red rag flutters for all to see.

As I've said before, I could dismantle this book almost page by page and I'm sure anyone could who didn't set out wanting to believe it.
It is not an offence in the church for anyone to believe whatever they want to. I myself have some unorthodox beliefs which are at odds with the generally accepted teachings of the church. I might be right, I might be wrong. But no one but me will ever know because I keep them to myself. Bro. Snuffer's problem was that he didn't do that. He wrote books, embarked on speaking tours, created a blog etc. He was convinced he was right and was determined to set himself up as a teacher. As it says in the scriptures (D&C 43) if such an enterprise is of the Lord, he (meaning the new teacher) will "come in at the gate".

If the Lord does send "one mighty and strong" to set the church in order he will do it his way, not the Denver Snuffer way.


Anonymous said...

And then they exed Denver, and effectively, his wife and children.

Fusion said...

Rock, a phenomenal piece...thank you so much. I was starting to wonder when your next post was coming. It was worth the wait.

MyMyself&I: I was converted to the Book of Mormon, and after reading every single thing, pro-Restoration and anti-mormon, I am of the same opinion as i was the first few weeks I was in the church: that the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ is true and the Book of Mormon is as Moroni said, the FULNESS of Jesus' Gospel...and the church is simply a group of men who by virtue of being able to print & publish the Book of Mormon, have pulled the wool over the eyes of the entire membership who have been confused over the truthfulness of the Gospel, as Rock has so many times stated so well, with the evil and false notion that the Church (TM) is equally true and must have our utter loyalty, blindly.

I therefore state after all these years exactly what i felt the first time I entered into the Temple (TM, also) that ALL one needs is what the Saviour tells us in and thru the Book of Mormon. The fake Endowment is a mockery of the real thing which happened in 1831 at the Morley Farm: have a look at http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/ ...wherein the scriptures say one can ONLY be endowed by the actual voice of the Lord Himself. And the resulting fruit of the actual endowment is: POWER. There is no power to behold today in the LDS church. not a single healing or miracle as in the days of the Saviour, and as in the days of Joseph Smith, from what i have read.

thus if the Book of Mormon has the Fulness of the gospel, then why isn't the Endowment in there?! Why is there absolutely no record of it during Joseph's time, apart from hearsay from a few folks after Joseph died? Not a word written by Joseph on this endowment as we have it since Brigham's time. The fact that two Masons, Brigham and Heber C Kimball, joined the Anti-Masonic church that had what was known as the Anti-masonic Bible, the Book of Mormon was called this in all the newspapers of the day- and later became the very leaders of the church, is a huge red flag for me. And the spiritual fruits of these men are rotten. The Lord works not in secret, and has never mentioned the endowment ceremony in any of the standard works!

Living Abroad: I am sorry to say that what you have written sounds so trite and forced and about as warm and sincere as a 'Brigham' (yes, I've coined a new phrase). I can only conclude that you are an online missionary or someone from the church Office Building...and if so, ughhhhh. YOu sound like a salesman for tithing...

I just re-read your comment again before posting this, LivingAbroad, and oh my, it is appalingly fake.

Once again, thanks Rock
Fusion

Fusion said...

Wow, with all these good folks like LivingAbroad and now RobinHood (who ironically has no problem with the poor being robbed by the rich, to the tune of say 40 Billion) having these amazing meetings that are almost identical, can we say we have entered into a new era of Apostle(TM)-Member relations! We can call these ground-breaking, monumental events:

'4-Hours-of-Power!...Now, with an Apostle of YOUR choice!'

Yes, things are definitely getting better in Zion

Fusion

Anonymous said...

Robin hood, tee hee. Don't work for the church now do you? That's a uh, polished response you have there. Curious how anyone can be as knowledgable as this, but so naive or ignorant to the glaring problems in LDS history

Andrew C said...

@My... - Do you have any references for these claims? I would love to read them,

PS - Amazing talk!

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to watch, both spiritually and physically, the events as they are now unfolding. Talk about kicking the hornets nest. And its not even the work of MAN, but of God. Who else can or has the capacity to reach down and truly bring to the hearts of mortal man an eternal covenant long prior established, and then honor that here and now, only God! His WORD is pulling hearts, moving men and women to come to life, almost as if activated at the sound of a pre-mortal call. There is no MAN to follow, CHRIST is doing His work now, and ALL have the opportunity to come directly to Him. "Zion," if only preliminarily is being established; in thought, heart and idea. Zion's trumphets, even if afar off, far in the distance, are being heard.

While the invitation is to many, few are responding. It begins by connecting ourself directly with Heaven. It begins by honoring 100% that voice that lies deep within you. Learning to clearly distinguish between that true, even holy, identity that has been with you your whole mortal life, as one who understands intimately your true connection to Christ, to Father. Honor that "voice," that experience, until in a moment of critical mass, heavenly grace, that celestial reunion is experienced -- not in some far off, after you have passed time, but here, now.

There is so much clamor about the internet and in the church. We can't afford to get lost in the noise. Thousands of years of prophets words have spoken, have looked forward to this moment. We are hear now. Celestial bodies "there" are mortally coming to life "here", rising through the telestial dust. Through all our mistakes, our generational conditioning, through sin, through perceived appearance-Christ is redeeming; God's song, God's purposes, even God's covenant will NOT be silenced. Any attempt by any man who thinks pitifully that they can in some way stand between a FATHER and his SON, by any means, be it dominion, coercion, deceit, manipulation or any other kind of abuse will not only fulfil prophecy of the damned and wicked, but will serve as the very catalyst by which the righteous will arise, call out and allow for a connecting of Heaven and earth in a way heretofore unseen.

In the end, Babylon (in ALL its forms) will fall! Sadly, her demise will be long, painful and full of suffering as that is her nature--that is, genuine belief that her ways are above the very God of Heaven, that she can with the same "authority" and "power" by which she has reigned with blood and horror in this realm can possibly allow her such dominion in the presence of Father.

Remove your heart from their coffers! Whether placed there blindly or by fear, your heart has always belonged elsewhere. Believe in God. Believe in Christ. Believe their words! Experience His love, and believe the words that come to you as you walk this almost solitary path out of Bablyon. These early morning glimpses, even bursts of heavenly insight, are simply a prelude to what is coming, and what will be experienced when Zion comes in all her beauty. (cont'd)

Living Abroad said...

Hello Fusion, I don't work for the church and I am very glad I don't. I have had some horrible experiences with the institutional church. I don't have anything to gain by posting here. I don't think of myself as an influential person, so I don't think I will convince anyone of anything. I think I understand how you feel. I have been there, or if you don't give me that, at least I have thought and felt each of the things you wrote in your post. I don't blame you for feeling that my experience is fake. I don't think humans are made to deeply accept each other and I don't claim to understand you and your life. I sincerely wish you the very best of happiness and peace as you pursue the spiritual path that you feel to be right.

Anonymous said...

(cont'd)

It is in us! Repentance, even the ability to turn away from and then kneel, is so inside us. We know who we are. Even more so, we KNOW the difference between HIS voice -- and the predominately sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbals. Your words are hollow to us, they do not save, they no longer liberate, they no longer free, but only provide a more sophisticated, illusionary gateway heading in the same direction as the world. We will blindly follow you no more!

Today I repent! Today I stand with Christ! Today I choose the resumption of my eternal identity and relationship. I declare that I will no longer allow man to mediate my relationship with God. I boldly, yet humbly, enter the presence of God, in faith. I ask that the covenant by which I have been bought be made fully active in my life. I step in faith, allowing the words of ancient prophets, prophets of the Old, combined with the prophets of the New, along with Nephi, Enos, Alma, Brother of Jared, Moroni and Mormon, and even Joseph Smith who NOT only walked the path, but who testified BOLDY that they had, and that the way is open to all and that ONLY CHRIST stands present, for there is no other "servant" or MAN which has the ability to return us back into the presence of Father.

I know the consequences of living such a prayer. Somehow this has, in some way, already played itself out in my heart. Somehow this has already spiritually played itself out. So, let us choose today, and step into eternity.

Fusion said...

Robin Hood, you have read the 'Gentiles' wrong, and those of us fallen on the wayside, you know, the one sheep lost from the other 99, and waiting for the shepherd to come save us- I, we, Denver and the rest of us are not wrong in this: we ARE the Gentiles who are condemned in the Book of Mormon for building sanctuaries and forgetting the poor, orphans & widows. Let's see what else the scriptures say- there are 3 groups of latterday folks involved with the Book of Mormon as it says on the title page: the Lamanites (we're not them), the Jews (we're not them) and the Gentiles- which of the 3 are the majority of the church is succinctly stated in D&C 109:60

60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto US, WHO ARE IDENTIFIED WITH THE GENTILES!

This argument of 'we are not the Gentiles, is getting really old and worn out. It is a lie, not a tradition borne out of ignorance or innocence. If you have the Holy Spirit, there is no way one can justify themselves that the Book of Mormon doesn't condemn but praises the Gentile LDS church like the leaders and members do in this era constantly, on the pulpit incessantly. Here's one example I found earlier- a 70 who is so proud of his Babylonian institution that he states was built by the sacrifice of the orphans and widows...JUSt so he and other Babylonian traders and professionals can get their glory amongst men with their titles:

'Yes, this is a great school. But it is more than a school; it is an ensign to all the world. It is one of the show cases; it is one of the windows through which the world can view the product of the great plan of the Eternal Father. It is one of the display racks of the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The cream of the crop from the homes of faithful Latter-day Saints in this nation and many nations fills these classrooms and halls. Representatives from institutions and corporations in this land, and in many lands, come from afar to seek its products, who are spread like leaven among the nations. Yes, it is more than another school. The tithes of the faithful across the world, including those of the widows and orphans, help provide a sacred feeling that sets this school apart from other schools.'

Found at: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1268

If the Lord does indeed only send 'mighty and strong ones' via the church itself, then it is time to rip out those pages that declare Samuel the Lamanite, Lehi and Abinadi...and Paul in the New Testament...for NONE of them came in by the gate you are talking about. If you study closely and with the Spirit, you will find that the 'gate' is the one that Jesus is Himself the GateKeeper of, the one where He employeth no servant, and that includes all the fake prophets at the head of the Corporate Church.

Fusion

Fusion said...

My sincerest apologies Living Abroad. I hope that these Apostles you and Robin Hood spent 4 hours each with don't become the arm of flesh. They are just men like the rest of us, who should be serving the people and the Lord. Great power is not something that can be assumed in a person who states he holds a special position- all leaders in corrupt institutions have able to do that, from Hitler and the Popes, to this guy Vissarion, in Russia who so many believe is actually Jesus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Cv5hZfOmk

Power needs to be MANIFESTED in order for it to be real and true. In addition, for power to be manifested the holder of said power needs to be actually called of God, as it states in JST Genesis 14:25-40, one of the greatest scriptures on this subject of how to identify who holds this 'power'. One cannot just look at a switch on the wall and assume there is high-voltage in there- it needs to be tested and the light actually needs to work, illuminating all in its path. The notion of power, is not power.

God bless
Fusion

Rachel Doyle said...

Thank you so much for posting Brad Wilcox's devotional. It was exactly what I needed to hear. His view definitely does not align with what I have heard my whole life - but it does align with what my heart has been telling me.

Jon said...

@My, Myself &amp; I,

In 3 Nephi Christ says repentance and baptism...anything more or less cometh of evil.... Which makes you question the temple ordinances which are more than repentance and baptism.

LDSDPer said...

@Robin Hood--

I read D&C 42:39 as meaning that the members of the church from the East (whether in America or Europe) who had the ability to generate money (for good or for ill) would use it to help the Remnant of Israel, who are and were the "Lamanites"--

I know what the DNA testing says, but the fact is that the American/European Mormons by and large failed to do that--

the life expectancy on some plains Indian reservations is 45 years.

There was slavery of native Americans allowed in Utah--

(some, not much, but some)--

not all the Mormons treated the native Americans well at all--

I do have the accounts of my ancestors that I can read; there was a good deal of hostility--

I had one ancestor who worked hard to cooperate with and help the native Americans; he was from Wales.

As for Denver Snuffer, I am just concerned, because I am afraid to speak up--

I wouldn't have done what he did--by any means. But the element of fear is there.

Even if you disagree with his book, the disdain you feel for him is evident in what you write. He is, after all, a human being--

and he hasn't exploited anyone. I try hard not to express or feel disdain even for evil people who exploit the innocent and weak--

but to express disdain for someone who is trying to be a good member of the LDS church, even if you think he took a wrong turn--

doesn't seem very Christlike. After all, there are quite a few people in the world who 'look good on paper' who gain from oppressing the poor and the weak--

if you must feel disdain, feel disdain for them, but who are they?

It's hard to tell--

LDSDPer said...

@both Robin and 'overseas'--

(not sure I have that right)

I come on Rock's blog--

I read a few other Mormon blogs--

I spend most of my time on the Book of Mormon, so I don't, frankly--

have a lot of time for books written by anyone else--

even general authorities--


I, too, have felt the Spirit from some of the apostles--

but, frankly, not all of them. I sense that most of them are very sincere; some of them are headed in the right direction; I fear a few of them have been caught up in the "traditions of the fathers"--

the idea that they are a collective and feel exactly the same way about everything--

is just false--

no one person should be judged based upon the 'body' to which he/she belongs--

which is why when people say, "everyone should leave the church" I find it as appalling as for anyone to say, "if you are a Mormon you are automatically a 'good guy'--"

each individual has the right to choose what actions he or she will take--

but the fact that an apostle had the Spirit (bless him!) and spoke words of truth and faith--

doesn't mean that all is well in Zion. The Book of Mormon warns about that--

and--

though I've known only a very few RLDS, one of the most rotten people I ever met was RLDS, and I try not to judge the entire organization by him--

but the fact is that--

those people had some real concerns.

Many years before I even heard the name Denver Snuffer (I've only read about him and a very few of his blog entries)--

I believed that Utah was an exile for the saints.

I believed it when I heard Ezra Taft Benson pronounce that the condemnation on the saints had not been lifted.

When I first visited Salt Lake (from another part of the country) I did not feel that it was Zion, at all. The place haunted me to the core--

(and still does)

but I remain a faithful member of the church, however you want to define that.

I define it as being someone who reads and studies the Book of Mormon faithfully, tries to learn from her ancestors' journals and remember their testimonies (of the Book of Mormon, of the divine calling of Joseph Smith; it ended there, pretty much; most were disillusioned with Utah, and all of them left there soon after the exodus)--

I had ancestors who resisted polygamy; they were quiet about it, but they resisted--

so, you see--

some of us 'came' with this baggage of believing that not all is as it appears--

and have been forced to look to the Savior (Jesus Christ)--

and have been cautious and wary about church leaders--

I always wondered why few people wanted to think about what President Benson said (about the condemnation); President Hinckley repeated it; I think Dallin Oaks repeated it--

it's because most humans are uncomfortable with the concept of needing constant repentance--

if Denver Snuffer has encouraged people to repent, how terrible can that be?

Those of us who are descended from "Nauvoo saints" and have forced ourselves to look at our OWN family histories--

it's not hard to concur with Denver Snuffer, the convert from the East--

when he suggests that the saints truly 'blew it' 180 years ago--

I have believed that, from my own ancestral records, for many years, if not decades--

nothing new from Denver Snuffer.



Rocky Road said...

With your KFC analogy, you obviously don't know how Church discipline works. It is not a one time event. It comes after a several meetings, pleadings and outlining exactly what the individual needs to do to avoid excommunication.

To extend your analogy a bit and make it more realistic, let's imagine the employee was telling people in a very public forum that the KFC product was poison and eating enough of it would kill you and that he had the good chicken, not KFC. He'd not only be fired, but sued for libel.

I have heard and you have heard, if you are listening, a number of the apostles admit to imperfections and weakness, and confess that they are mere mortals. I don't know where this idea comes from that they don't need to repent. They would be the first admit it is an ongoing process.

Lastly, members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are just that, members. Members any organization are admitted on certain conditions. Any organization has the right to revoke the membership of a member on those conditions. Members also have the right to withdraw. That's the way the world works. Our individual relationship with deity is another matter. My Church membership, which I did not always have, enhances that relationship significantly.

LDSDPer said...

@anyone who cares--

*I* believe that Robin Hood and "overseas" (I know I got it wrong) really attended a special meeting probably somewhere in Europe--

with an apostle. There is nothing wrong with that. I don't doubt they felt the Spirit. I do believe some of the apostles are 'real', in spite of everything--

but that doesn't mean that a man who feels called to teach (who brought upon himself a good amount of heartache) is evil either--

I don't believe Denver Snuffer was/is a prophet or anything like that. I am not sure there is a living prophet today.

I do believe the apostles have the 'keys' (whatever they are)--

even if the church is rocking and reeling--

but the fact is that few people bring this up:

24 Behold, avengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of bdesolation, of cweeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

25 And upon my ahouse shall it bbegin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have aprofessed to know my bname and have not cknown me, and have dblasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.


All is not well in Zion and has never been; Zion hasn't been established; the best *we* have is a sort of preparation--

sort of--

I don't listen to Denver Snuffer, but when I first heard about him, I thought, "oh, now there is someone who feels a lot the same way I/we (my husband) do"--

only we are more 'radical'; we don't believe polygamy was ever inspired. My husband has been in the church as long as Denver has, and his face grew pale when he heard that Denver had been excommunicated on his baptism anniversary. That is a cruel cut, indeed.

But I don't intend to 'follow' him, or go and listen to him or read his books. I don't need to--

I have been led to the same conclusions on my own.

The difference is that I don't speak up about it--

which one of us is the coward?

:(

Well, I don't have the resources. Denver, apparently, does--

The bottom line:

Babylon will fall, and then the entire world will know who belonged to Babylon and who belonged to Zion--

I don't think we have much time to wait and see--

then there will be no more debate--

by their fruits ye shall know them--

Robin Hood said...

I confess to finding this all rather amusing.
Apparently, according to Fusion, I work for the church and I approve of the church spending $millions on shopping malls etc! And it appears this conclusion has been reached because I spent 4 hours in a meeting with an apostle recently! This is almost comical. Are you guys paranoid or what!!!
The meeting with the apostle was part of the Europe area review and happens every 3-4 years. There were a couple of hundred of us there, stake presidencies, bishops, EQP's and HPGL's. Other similar meetings were occuring simultaniously elsewhere in the UK.

So, to put the record straight, I am actually employed by the British taxpayer and I don't think the church should have helped build that shopping mall, based on the limited information I have. It's possible they know something I don't of course.

The last days gentiles of the Book of Mormon are clearly not members of the LDS church. I can't understand why people believe otherwise when reading the scriptures - in context - clearly demonstrates my point.

Joseph made the statement in that prayer that we are "identified with the gentiles". That is not the same as saying we are gentiles. If that is what he meant I'm quite sure that is what he would have said. "We are gentiles" makes much more sense than "we are identified with the gentiles". That tends to suggest the gentile are others, whom we are identified with (because we are amongst them presumably). I identify with my favourite football team, but that does not mean I am my favourite football team. It's not difficult, it just requires a reasonable and fairly elimentary understanding of the English language.

The Denver Snuffers of this world are identified (there's that word again) with the likes of William Law et al, who think they know better, that somehow they've spotted something no one else has, and who are very good at finding fault with people they don't even know. They endeavour to tell us all about it and those with "itching ears" flock to listen to them.

It's a great shame, but I suppose it's just that dratted human nature of ours!

Rob said...

Food for thought: Nicodemus was an upstanding dude, yet was a member of the Sanhedrin. Notwithstanding his upstandingness, he didn't have the gonads to visit Jesus during the day, and the Sanhedrin still killed Jesus.

LDSDPer said...

@ Rocky Road--

I have never heard anyone on any Mormon blog directly criticize any church leader--

certainly not by name. I have read, here and there, comments about talks--

Yes, I know that it has been said that Elder Packer was responsible for some excommunications 20 years ago. I don't know if that is true or not, and I've never discussed except in my family--

we are aware those excommunications took place; at the time we just went on with our lives, but it did trouble us--

we determined to stay under the radar--

I don't think this is about criticizing the leaders personally at all; I think this is about:

55 Which avanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

This is about the need for every individual to repent, to realize that "the church" can't save anyone (only Jesus Christ can, but we must repent)--

I guess I just don't see the same things. Why are so many people resisting repentance?

And, yes, Rocky Road, what you said was profound and succinct:

Quoting Rocky Road below:
Any organization has the right to revoke the membership of a member on those conditions. Members also have the right to withdraw. That's the way the world works.

That's the way the 'world' works, not heaven. That's the entire point. The church is a vehicle, not the destination.

I can remember when church discipline was handled very differently from the way it is handled now--

there did have to be witnesses, and the stake presidents and high councilors were very careful, and half of them did defend the 'defendant'--

it was very different--

now, in our stake, a person can be disfellowshipped (or excommunicated) by a stake president almost alone--

it's very different; generally speaking there is more lenience for actual sin, especially if the member has been faithful in the past--

there are tears and sorrow, etc.--

and offers of help--

but if a member disobeys a stake president who has strong ideas of what his own authority means, a disfellowshipment can take place quickly and easily and with no 'due process'--

of someone who simply didn't follow orders--

Sadly, I know this, not for myself, but for a member of our stake who didn't follow orders--

in other aspects, not in church 'discipline' we have seen this, and, yes, we do stay under the radar--

being 'afraid' of church leaders isn't a healthy situation in any time or any place--but it certainly exists here.

I am trying VERY hard to stay in the church, corporate as it is--with all its warts; I feel strongly that Father wants me to--

but I do believe the church is this:

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and acometh unto me, the same is my bchurch.

I try to look at things from a heavenly perspective. All this fuss probably seems quite silly to the Godhead--

but the fact is that those who testify of Jesus Christ will not be forgotten by the Lord when Babylon falls--

LDSDPer said...

wait a minute, Robin--

there is no 'identified' in verse 39. Perhaps he used a different word in another part of the section--

(or revelation; you used the word prayer)--

in verse 39 *I* see that the converts to the church ARE gentiles--

mercy, mercy--

here we go, the daughter of British coal miners (who had been weavers before the industrial revolution) in England--

contests with a real, honest to good Brit--

over language use!!!

Oh, yes, I did do graduate work in English! LOL!

It seems that this is one thing upon which some of us simply don't agree--

does it matter?

What is the 'problem' with believing that latter day (from Palmyra on) members of Christ's church who are not descendants of Lehi--

are gentiles?

How is that so offensive? As I see it, IF *we* are gentiles, then we need to repent.

I am not telling any church leader to repent. I never have--

even when one or two of them were 'out of control'--

I never even though the words 'you need to repent' when they were 'out of control' and I was trying to seek the spirit to know how to respond--

but when I read the words of the Book of Mormon and think of myself as a gentile, I realize I need to humble myself and repent--

where is the danger in that?

Oh well; I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. And even the word 'identify'--

in the 1928 American (Noah Webster) dictionary:

"1. to ascertain or prove to be the same"

Joseph Smith was an American; he probably was acquainted with Noah Webster and even his dictionary--

but that is the 1928 meaning of 'identify'--

now--

*taking a deep breath*

Where is the danger in thinking we are the gentile church, that we are gentiles?

Since I came to see it that way (through my own experience, not because of Denver Snuffer or anyone on any Mormon blog)--

I have felt a much deeper need to be humble and repent. How dangerous is that, really?

I find some of the things on Mormon blogs to be interesting. It is nice to know that our family hasn't been singled out for persecution alone--*laughing*

Because we are isolated in many ways and economically 'inferior'--

I find that there is a unique 'community' of saints online--

but I don't invest my testimony in the things that are written on Mormon blogs--

and yet, there is that 1928 definition of 'identify'--

and in verse 39 of section 42--

I read it differently. I think it is time that, even if our means are meager, we begin to feed the poor among the remnant of Israel--

:(

time to repent; time to get off this computer--

work to be done--

LDSDPer said...

oh, and for those overseas--

yes, that is common; my husband has been invited to such meetings in the past--

even here in the states, though generally, here it is pre-taped and then broadcast--

four hour meetings, yes--

this isn't a 'dupe'; it really happens--

for those who wonder--

here in our part of the U.S. we rarely, if ever, see an apostle, even our priesthood leaders--

we are, somewhat, isolated and forgotten--

LOL!

See how important everyone else is!!! *chuckle*

Rob said...

Robin Hood, I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon here. But, assuming you to be a minion of the COB would be comical except for the fact that the COB actually does hire trolls who lie about who they are and what they are doing, posting as various names and saying all sorts of rubbish to try to minimize the volume of dissenting voices. This is not a judgment call on my part, just a statement of fact. A great expose is available at http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-google-apostasy-part-2-the-mormon-church-uses-paid-shills-to-influence-the-way-people-think/

Rob said...

The funny thing is that the decision to use paid shills has backfired on them: Now any comment that is "faith-(in the institution)-promoting" is automatically dismissed as written by a shill. Am I the only one that finds this hilarious?

New ad campaign: I am a Mormon Shill

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Do you even have to ask? Brad Wilcox's assessment is the correct one.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Excellent point, Naomi. Disfellowshipment was intended to "withdraw the hand of fellowship" to someone whose activities were such that it would not be appropriate for this person to be identified as a member of the community. Repentance was encouraged so that the person could be welcomed back.

Excommunication is for those like the scoundrel John C. Bennett, self-avowed enemy of the church. He wanted to destroy the church, so of course a person like that would be cast out.

To excommunicate a humble, believing member such as Denver Snuffer who WANTED to remain in the community of Saints is a despicable act on the part of those who orchestrated his removal. Denver Snuffer will not be harmed by any of this, but wo unto those who persectued him. Wouldn't wanna be them, either now or in the life to come.

Annalea said...

Rock, I love your attitude. :o) There's far too much obeisance and fear in the hearts of church members today . . . it keeps us from all kinds of really important things, including true closeness with our God.

Don't stop writing. (Not that you need encouragement. lol) Just let me know when you publish your blog in book form. I'll be first in line to put it on my shelves.

Jim Bodie said...

Where does the $5B price tag for the mall com from? The estimate on the web site ("downtownrising.com") and in the original announcement was originally $1.5B until it was deleted; I never saw a new estimate on the web site. I hear other numbers quoted frequently, but nobody seems to know where those numbers came from. Otherwise, thanks for this post.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Porter, who knows the answers to your questions? Anon 23 above's thoughts are valid, but I think the real reason is that Denver poses an actual threat to the power of the Magisterium. I'm reluctant to make such comparisons, but think of the way Christ was a thorn in the side of the established priests of the temple. Or, as I described in my piece above, Abinadi before the priests of King Noah.

Maybe Denver has met the Lord, maybe not. I have no way of knowing. The question is, why does the Magisterium see him as a threat when there are so many others out there who are actually and actively kicking against the Church? Why guy?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Porter, the information regarding the Seventy and the member of the Twelve giving the final go-ahead is on Snuffer's blog somewhere in the past few days. I recommend reading the past 2 weeks worth at least.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for the link to LDS Freedom Forum, OssieOi. I have read your post there and will go back and follow the rest. I don't spend as much time as I'd like to on that forum, so thanks for nudging me back to it.

Also, a big Tip of the hat to Ajax for posting the link to this blog. He's one of the good guys.

Gary Hunt said...

Rocky Road,

Obviously from what you said...

"With your KFC analogy, you obviously don't know how Church discipline works. It is not a one time event. It comes after a several meetings, pleadings and outlining exactly what the individual needs to do to avoid excommunication."

... you are assuming guilt before a trial!

Rock understands how church discipline works and also understands how it is supposed to work. Obviously you do not.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Anonymous, I think you misread a comment above. It was not Robin Hood who said he did not work for the church. That was "Living Abroad" who said that.

Robin Hood does hold office within the church, but he is not in a paid position;and though he and I do not always see eye to eye on everything, I do consider him a friend, so I just wanted to make sure that correction is noted. Robin Hood does NOT work for the church.

Living Abroad says he does not work for the church either, and I don't see any reason we should doubt him on that.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jim, I believe the five billion dollar figure is what the estimate has ballooned into to cover the entire project, i.e. condominiums, office buildings, etc. The shopping complex I believe was completed for 1.5 billion.

I am prepared to stand corrected regarding these numbers. Anyone have anything official?

Anonymous said...

That's because they put an addictive chemical in the chicken that makes you craze it nightly...

(Quick, what movie is that from?)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

One of the Austin Powers movies, I think. Did I win anything?

Scott Shepherd said...

Rock, a concerned relative of my wife asked me to do her a favor and read this talk by Ezra Taft Benson: http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

I am concerned that this is the very rhetorical lullaby that has lulled so many of the members of this church to sleep. Have you taken a look at this talk in depth and picked it a part? Please send me a link if you have, or please consider doing so. If he tells the truth (which I doubt) we are in big trouble if we don't fall back asleep; but if he is lying, then so many people are going to be pissed off when they figure it out. :)

Thanks,

Scott

Anonymous said...

So sad. But true.


A little off topic but relates to how the COB thinks: Wendy Nelson wife of Apostle Russell Nelson wrote a book now in Deseret Bookks.
It is a children's book about being in a club where no one breaks any covenant, commandment, or disobeys leaders. If a kid does something bad like tell a lie then that kid is booted out of the club. The kid misses out on friendship, candy, etc. Really harsh book for little kids. Evidently some LDS members are upset about the book but the COB supports it. The book does not mention anything about Christ. sad, sad, sad

JRSG

Anonymous said...

FotgotB. name of the book: "Not Even Once"


jrsg

Bob Sonntag said...

Rock did touch on that talk: http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/10/preaching-false-doctrine-from-general.html

Another blogger spent a few posts on it. This post (and the several after it), are quite good if I recall: http://inmountzion.blogspot.com/2012/09/fourteen-fundamentals.html

Robin Hood said...

When I heard the church had taken such an interest in improving downtown Salt Lake City, I got excited. My little town here in England could do with a facelift so I'm hoping we're next ;)

One of the problems with communicating in this way (blogs, forums etc) is that certain expressions, figures of speech, tones and inclinations, do not translate too well via the written word.
So if I have come over as a little harsh (and I think I may have done) I apologise.

I do enjoy reading Rock's articles and I have learned a lot from them and from many respondees. I just feel that with the Denver Snuffer issue, we only have one side of the story.... his. We will never get the SP's side, not the church's, so we should all exercise great caution.

One of the problems I have encountered many times over the years (and one that I feel I used to have) is that many LDS see the church as either all good and near perfect, or quite the opposite. The middle ground is not well populated. It seems difficult for some to cut the church some slack, to coin an American phrase. I believe we need to understand, really understand, that no one in the church is perfect, near perfect or better than anyone else, and that the leadership are no different than us, they just have different responsibilities.

One thing that Bro. Snuffer is spot on about (credit where credit is due) is the cult of personality which has developed in the church. He is right on the money with that one. In my experience (which is quite limited to be fair) this is almost all the fault of the members. When I have had the chance to get up close with church leaders I have found them to be really quite ordinary. It's the members who hold them in awe for some reason.
One reason for this is that, due to the growth of the church, the leadership are a lot less accessible nowadays. They tend to be people we only see on our TV screens and it seems we are hardwired to consider anyone on a TV screen as some kind of celebrity, worthy of our adoration!

Can you imagine being an apostle? Knowing that you can't retire and will work until you drop dead. Having to travel the world at an advanced age and live out of a suitcase when really all you want to do is play with the grandchildren. Having to deal with issues of various shades of grey, when a black and white response is justified but won't work.
And to top it off you have some church members who hang on your every word, and others who use those same words to crucify you!

me said...

It seems like our primary organization for children isn't enough to instill that "obedience to the arm of flesh" concept; now lets bring it into the home and read it to our children before bed to help it get deeper into the subconscious of our babies. We are being taught that we only have the right to 'Choose the Right'! (somebody's perception of right). How about a ring that says TRTC.

Scott Shepherd said...

Thanks!

AussieOi said...

Robin H Hood, you really do need a middle initial.

We have learned by sad experience.....

Robin Hood said...

AussieOi,
I don't understand. Middle initial?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks Bob. I was just about to post my link in response to Scott's query, when I saw you beat me to it. Thanks also for the link to the very good line by line analysis at In Mount Zion. I did not know about that piece and I'm grateful to you for leading us to it.

Pay the Piper said...

I think I understand and agree with the general message in this blog post; however, I think that DS is a bad example to illustrate such a message.

DS had opportunity to avoid discipline by walking back his incongruent analysis of the church. It appears that the only thing stopping a more favorable resolution of the matter was DS' own refusal to seek one. Did he ask for help to bring his analysis and interpretation into congruence? Did he really want to get the story and interpretations right? Or did he just stand stubbornly by his own limited analysis, regardless of any counsel?

He's entitled to his opinion, but why not seek some counsel on the trickier interpretations? What efforts did he make to avoid this outcome? Is it really enough to just say "Sorry, but I stand by my interpretation of the data no matter what you might have to say about it, even when you convey clear objections to some of it, even when I could possibly benefit from info on how I'm getting it wrong."

If someone in the leadership told you that some of your blog posts contained interpretations that were harmful and incongruent, and that you should take them down, then would you not want to at least understand where you *might* be wrong? Would you just say "Tough, I'm right and you cannot possibly have any legitimate reason other than corporate loyalty to object. Therefore, I don't care about your opinion, and in addition, I will use my blog to make an example of you and your ilk!" (Or some other willful ignorance.)

I think anyone interested in advancing our collective understanding of difficult church matters could work out an irenic way forward other than their own silence.

So, I don't agree DS' case is just about a book. It came down to a defiant attitude and lack of deference. What ever happened to the spirit of cooperation? His case has all the hallmarks of rebellion, however dressed up or rationalized away. It seems like the wrong way to go about doing something, regardless of its merits.

Toni said...

Are Living Abroad and Robin Hood the same person?

Toni said...

Wow! That two part testimony was incredible! I wish you had put your name (even a pseudonym would have worked). It touched me, an increased my desire to repent and come unto Christ - in the flesh.

Toni said...

"and increased my desire" not "an"

Toni said...

Yes, Rob, that is the backlash. I find it sad, actually, that I feel I cannot trust someone who sticks up for the church (TM), who seem to have an assumption that the post/people they are addressing are unfaithful to the brethren and to the church.

And pouring thousands of missionaries into the internet only adds to the lack of trust, and takes away much of my ability to believe that the posters are speaking honestly from their hearts. Instead, I suspect they are being true to a dictate from a higher authority.

And I find it sad. Very sad. I would like to know for sure that the two posters on this thread are a) speaking out of the honesty of their beliefs instead of via an assignment (formal or informal) and b) not really the same person posting under one name.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I can see why Denver finds it a bit frustrating when people comment on his case without knowing anything about what went on. It's a simple thing to read his reports of things as they developed the past two weeks. Far from having a "defiant attitude and lack of deference," Snuffer made every attempt to comply. You seem unaware of any of this, preferring instead to make a judgment based on my meager report of the outcome.

You seem to think the problem was with Denver's interpretations of scripture. If so, then why would the Church leaders not patiently explain to him where he was in error?

When Grant Palmer was disciplined for his book, he was astonished to learn that no one present at this court had read his book or was at all familiar with its contents. They merely got their marching orders from higher up and blindly complied. They were not interested in his defense, or in pointing out his errors. They saw their job as punishing him. For what, was not an issue.

Do YOU know precisely what the leaders objected to in Snuffer's book? No one seems to know. That's the problem. If anyone felt he was doctrinally incorrect, they gave him nothing to go on to make corrections.

As to your question regarding errors in my posts here: I have a standing invitation to anyone to notify me of mistakes, and I will correct them. I seek an honest conversation. If you have an opinion different than mine, you may air it here. If you would kindly point out where I have made a mistake, I will correct it. I have done already when readers have noticed an error.

You say, "I don't agree DS' case is just about a book." But Denver's Stake president said it WAS just about the book. They wanted that book to disappear. They didn't really say why, other than that the book's existence constituted "apostasy."

To which I ask, show me the apostate parts. Apostasy is defined as a falling away from previously held beliefs. Everything I've read in Denver's book appears to document there has been a falling away, all right. Denver's crime was in pointing that out.

Denver did not write the book in a vacuum, or just set out to present a personal opinion. The sources he cites are writings, journals, preachings, and statements from the General Authorities themselves. The gradual decline of the LDS Church since the days of its founder is well documented there and elsewhere. But you have to read about it; deciding a thing before you hear it is deemed foolishness, so says the Psalmist.

Toni said...

I don't have anything official, but in what I have read the entire project was between $3 billion and $5 billion. The mall, so I understand was1.5 or more.

Toni said...

Aussie, "middle initial" as in a general authority's name. David O McKay type of thing.

Toni said...

Oops. That's what Aussie meant. Sorry. I addressed the wrong person.

Toni said...

Pay the Piper said, "DS had opportunity to avoid discipline by walking back his incongruent analysis of the church."

Yes, just like Abinadi had the opportunity to avoid discipline by taking back the evil he had spoken of the king and the king's people. The choice DS had was to fear God more than man or to fear man more than God - to do what Jesus had asked him in person to do (the whole teaching thing, not just the offending book), or to do what a nameless committee (and it's leaders) pressured his stake president into commanding.

Anonymous said...

Rock, thanks for that great post. You nailed it. After reading all 60 some comments I have one thing to say. You can know if Denver Snuffer has met The Lord. And the answer does matter.
James 1:5-what our whole religion is based on. Ask God! He'll tell you! There is so much deception today it's scary. If you want to be welcomed to the wedding, you have to recognize the bridegrooms friend, who announces His coming!

Me from Cali said...

All of this hub-bub for about 0.036% -- less than four ten thousandths of the earth’s population -- that are totally (let’s say, full tithe paying) active members of a ‘church’. And that number has stagnated if not even becoming less and less (as for proselytized converts) in resent times (in consideration of amalgamated stakes, re-consolidation of many European missions, etc).

“The backlash of bad publicity the Church experienced  after the September Six fiasco left a lasting impression, as many loyal members began to look critically at the leadership for the first time in their lives.”

Give me a break. I live in California where there are a lot of Mormons and I’ll bet you a dime for a donut that more than 90% of the regular LDS church goers would respond: “Denver ‘Who’? September ‘What’?”

This stuff amounts to as much as ‘zero’ in the annals of church history that any regular Mormon would ever consider to be something of note, and most especially as for anyone in the secular world. And the top LDS leadership knows this. And you know what else? They don’t care one whit about it!!

For me, all this stuff is just a soap opera, an amusement, a curiosity and nothing more. But if it’s ‘pure’ religion you want, trust me, you won’t find it (in the *broad sense*) in the Mormon church.

Anon 23 said...

Anyone who claims to be a 'prophet of God' needs to prove it. Especially since we have been warned that many 'false' prophets will come among us and deceive everyone except a few. They need to prove they are more righteous then me, and more loving & Christlike and they need to prove that what they say is true in in harmony with what Christ taught.

Or why in the world would I ever follow what they say and think they know more than me or that they are a true Prophet?

God has never asked us to just accept & believe anyone who claims to be a 'prophet'. He commands & cautions us to 'prove all things & persons' especially those who seek to lead others and claim authority from God.

Unknown said...

I was struck by the similarities between the thoughts expressed here and my current reading of The Open Society and its Enemies by Karl Popper, "Totalitarianism, of course, cannot consider any criticism as friendly, since every criticism of such an authority must challenge the principle of authority itself." A bit overblown but there are parallels here. - EJNorton

Steven Lester said...

I BELIEVE!!!!!! (oh, wait...you're not done. go ahead now.)

Steven Lester said...

Thank you for that. Now, I BELIEVE, BROTHER!!!!!!!!! Well spoken, although I felt the spirit way more inside of a tent I visited just the other day. They had a choir.

God knows, I hate to be emotionally manipulated. I really, really do.

Steven Lester said...

I am suddenly filled with sadness after reading about Sister Nelson's book and its contents. How subtly vicious! As only a scary mother could write.

Anonymous said...

Denver Snuffer Blog: September 9, 2013.

LDSDPer said...

@Fusion, this is concerning your earlier post about BYU--

as the mother of several special needs children who could never go to BYU under any circumstances--

and there are those for whom BYU is simply non-existent in terms of life's pursuits--


it hurts deeply to read such things as 'cream of the crop'--

and the idea that the more righteous homes will produce this 'cream of the crop'--

is very hurtful to those and the parents of those (even those of us who adopted children knowing they were special needs; we were aware from the beginning that *our* families would not fit, but it took years to realize how much rejection and persecution there could be)--

who are not 'cream of the crop' in the sense that man means--

how hurtful--

how darwinistic--

Special needs children, hungry orphans, children who are disadvantaged in any way--

are not children of a 'lesser God'--

Thanks for posting that--

LDSDPer said...

I always appreciate what Fusion and Toni have to say, but these meetings are real--

LDSDPer said...

oh, BLAST it all!!! (sorry for the swearing)

That post to Robin Hood was full of typos/errors--

it is not the 1928 dictionary--

it is the 1828--

I'm blushing all over the place--

Robin, I hope you see this; I apologize for the sloppy writing--

here I go and bray about doing graduate work in English--


serves me right--

LOL!

LDSDPer said...

I know ETB made mistakes; I know he wasn't perfect--

but I seem to remember reading somewhere (and it wasn't in the blog above) that President Kimball was not happy with that talk--

ETB was not an easy man to listen to (even for constitution lovers) before he became the president of the church--

after that he changed; he focused on the Book of Mormon and on Jesus Christ--

I think he repented; I don't take that 14 'things' talk seriously--

at all.

LDSDPer said...

@JRSG, I was dismayed by that book, too. I didn't buy it, but I did the 'read a few pages' things--

and the entire premise of the book is bizarre.

I know there is a 'sheep' mentality in any organization, especially religious, but not just religious--

but I am also wary of assigning the same values and priorities and beliefs to everyone who has any connection with the 'leaders of the church'--

I believe there are some who are at least making an attempt to swim upstream while still remaining 'leaders'--

I want to encourage that and support that--

but, your are correct, that book is very strange--

on the other hand, I did read Denver Snuffer's most recent blog, and he expressed sympathy for Sister Nelson.

I hate to grind my axe on this (polygamy), but Elder Nelson changed when he remarried--

:(

I've seen it happen again and again--

especially when there is another sealing--

Sister Nelson never had children; she was an older, single professional when she married Elder Nelson.

For decades the apostles and other general authorities were encouraged to marry a woman who had not been sealed. This is a phenomenon of which I am aware that has been widespread throughout the church for several decades--

and often it is disastrous--

I've seen it firsthand--

LDSDPer said...

@Robin, you have some very valid concerns--

that 'middle ground', as you put it, is not easy to find or inhabit--

but it's worthwhile--

Your last line says it all--

I DO feel sorry for these men. I think some of them are very genuine--

I think some of them really have the best intentions, but have, somehow, gotten into things that would best be left alone--

but the adoration that comes from the members is highly disturbing--

Sometimes I wish that these men would speak up about it, though--

sometimes I wish they would say, "no, I don't want that adulation"--

some of them did, once upon a time. And then things changed with Hinckley, and I don't think it was his decision; I think PR got carried away. Public relations is a hornet's nest--

and has caused a tremendous amount of damage--

President Hinckley went along with the birthday parties, etc.--

but previous prophets had eschewed that--

I do think it is important, however, to 'test' the words of anyone--

but most of *us* prefer to do that with trusted companions (spouses) or with siblings with whom we have had long association and with whom we share common spiritual understanding--

I have never wanted to criticize any man (or woman) directly--

whether member of the leadership of the church or not. I was sorely tried when a Mormon ran for POTUS. Since I had little or no respect for his political beliefs, it was very hard not to be openly critical of him--

the fact is that all people, even debauched political leaders and corporate heads--

are children of our Heavenly Parents--

and yet, somehow, we have to struggle to divide truth from error--

there are times when I really feel the spirit from some of these men--

most of the time, however, when a 70 speaks in a way that really touches my heart--

he disappears not long afterwards!!! LOL!

As for apostles and any general authorities, I do not envy them--


the direction in which the church is moving, however, is something that I think must be discussed--

if it can be done without slandering anyone--

and I think that excommunications (when they are published, and those that took place 20 years ago were much commented on in the media) can come close to being slander--

the Mormon rumor/gossip mill is deadly.

Nobody should have to experience that, whether 'leader' or 'common' member--

and yet those whose words come over the airwaves with organizational approval--

have to realize their words will be open to scrutiny. Same thing must be true of Snuffer. He wrote a book. And so people will either like it or dislike it--

but to be excommunicated for what he wrote--

is certainly as wrong as it is for members to publicly condemn or gossip about church leaders.


Pay the Piper said...

Rock:

I'm fully aware of DS' reports of the situation, and it is those reports and not your analysis on which I base my opinion. He was asked to do three things. (1) He did not withdraw the book, despite the church's offer to offset any costs of doing so. He did not try to negotiate a resolution to ameliorate his concerns about breaking contracts. He just refused to budge here, using those issues as an excuse to do so. (2) He did not cancel his speaking tour, but instead opted for the "trust me, I won't promote the book" response. What would be the basis for that trust? (3) He technically complied with the third request to notify his blog readers of the problematic content of his book. However, he did so grudgingly and only to the "letter of law" of the request, while simultaneously painting them in a bad light. He basically said "here is what they are making me say and why their request is a sham". He interprets their request to explain that it "contains content which must be withdrawn" as an admission that the content is not in error. That is a wild stretch. That is because his thesis is that the church (or certain leaders in it) is out to get him regardless of the content. He puts much effort into painting that picture. That is not a repentant attitude, no matter how you want to spin it.

I think a major problem is his presumption that the book is not in error, despite the request to withdraw it, but that it is only suppression of history or control of historical facts or PR concerns. First, he could have consulted his SP or others up the food chain in the editing phase of the book to avoid this problem altogether. Second, he could have tried to pinpoint the problems after hearing of their earlier objections. Third, after the disciplinary notice he could have possibly negotiated that he would withdraw the book if he could later get some consultation on where he went wrong in the interest of learning the truth.

The problem is that all of these possibilities would require that he is still teachable and open to the possibility that he might be wrong. But if one believes he is more knowledgeable and more righteous than another and goes to great lengths to paint the church leadership as ignorant and/or with ill motives, a situation is set-up so that one cannot learn. What if the leadership actually know a few things that DS does not know, which could critically change his interpretations? Is that even possible in his mind (or yours)? Wouldn't it be worth compliance if it were possible to learn what those things are? If he thinks his truth is THE truth, then they have nothing to offer other than being a nuisance of suppression or another ear to HIS teachings. These are the hallmarks of rebellion.

LDSDPer said...

@pay the piper, I have not read Rock's response yet, and I don't think you are talking to me, so I hope you'll forgive me if I respond to you.

I had two bishops tell me (and my husband) that we were making bad/wrong decisions concerning our family; these were very private matters; these were things we had taken to the Lord in fasting and prayer.

One of these leaders was very critical of us, but he didn't threaten us ecclesiastically, other than just disapproving of what we were doing. What we were doing IN NO WAY broke any commandments or even church policies; he was actually criticizing us for not being more aggressive (in a Babylonian way) in some financial matters; our 'trust in God' troubled him, and he wanted us to bring the 'world' into our situation--

we couldn't; we neither felt the spirit from him nor did we have any desire to change things to suit him; again, his advice was strictly 'worldly'--

but for us it was shocking--

then there was the bishop who openly criticized us for the educational choices we made for our special needs children (and even our 'normal' children)--

and our temple recommend was threatened.

He considered us 'rebellious'--

we pled with the SP to protect our recommends, and he asked us to stop doing what our primary president had instructed us to do with one of our children at church, which was in compliance with the handbook and which was our PP's idea (and a very good one)--

if we had not done that, we would have lost our temple recommends--

so our child suffered, and we kept our temple recommends, because the SP would not listen to us.

Both these men were public educators. Neither of them had had any kind of experience with special needs children.

We complied.

But now I am afraid; I have been afraid ever since. So, if a person gets up and bears a testimony of Jesus Christ, and a church leaders doesn't like it--

(I can believe that of the one bishop, to be honest)--

does he/she retract that testimony? I know our bishop was 'guilty' of unrighteous dominion, but we didn't have the strength to do battle, and we valued our TRs too much--

the idea that we can't express our feelings, beliefs, opinions--

and heaven forbid that we write them down for others to read--

is terrifying indeed.

Rebellion? To have an opinion? To express beliefs?

to be continued; thanks for bearing with me--

LDSDPer said...

I'm sorry; someone is 'out of control' here and will end up being taught a lesson--

God does a very good job of that, by the way. Within three years the bishop who was so openly wrong-headed towards our family--

was dying. He apologized, tearfully, admitted he was wrong--

and has since suffered untold physical agony. I am VERY glad that I prayed nothing bad would happen to that man, but God has a way of dealing with people who hurt innocent people--

and you can't stop the Hand of God.

Most 'modern' LDS have forgotten the entire concept of free agency. Yes, Elder Packer told *us* to change the wording to "moral" agency--

the fact is that each man/woman has a right to express him/herself and to believe what he/she feels he/she needs to believe. The people of the Book of Mormon, when they were righteous, had laws set up to protect the beliefs of all human beings--

if they broke a law, that was different. When writing out beliefs and opinions and even using documentation, even if someone else disagrees with it--

a person is expressing agency. Punishing someone for doing that is not Christlike; it is the opposite.

I am hesitant to mention Bruce R. McConkie; I don't want to slander him. One of my parents admired that man tremendously. But the man he publicly chastized (George Pace) was also a family friend. The parent who admired McConkie stuck with McConkie, even though a close friend had been hurt terribly.

It wasn't long after that incident that Elder McConkie contracted a particularly painful cancer--

and before he died he wrote a hymn about believing in Jesus Christ. He was a different man. It was VERY hard for those who had watched the 'debacle' (sorry to use your word, Rock, but it works) with George Pace--

not to feel that McConkie was publicly suffering for having publicly humiliated another man.

God is no respecter of persons--

LDSDPer said...

I need to add a p.s. to this--

my post could imply that those who have done something wrong are punished with ill health.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The parent who loved Bruce R. McConkie was the mildest, gentlest person anyone could ever imagine--

who had done nothing to hurt anyone--

truly a saint by every possible definition, someone who had served and suffered--

and who died of the same illness not long after Elder McConkie--

I didn't mean to imply that ill health is God's way of punishing anyone--

but God's ways are not our ways--

and He sees everything--

Anonymous said...

Rock

"Denver did not write the book in a vacuum, or just set out to present a personal opinion. The sources he cites are writings, journals, preachings, and statements from the General Authorities themselves."

You have read Denver's book and you seem to feel that his observations and teachings are correct and that nobody has seriously challenged them.

Does this mean you have changed your mind on polygamy?

Denver clearly believes that Joseph Smith did practice and teach the principle of polygamy.

In previous posts you have taken a strong stand against polygamy and you did not think Joseph ever practiced it.

Where do you stand on this issue?

LDSDPer said...

@pay the piper, 7:18 a.m.

Again, I know you're not speaking to me--

but what you say bothers me, still.

What would happen if the leaders of the church did this to every person who wrote a book--

I'm sure that there has been plenty of false doctrine in a few books, now and again, that get into the Deseret Book catalog/store.

I've seen some real 'junk' there, though not all the junk is written by LDS, to be fair.

But I've seen LDS 'junk', too--

I've even read a few LDS books that were disturbing and didn't ring very true--

why is there not a committee formed to approve of anything written by any member of the church?

Rebellion--

against what?

And what do the leaders of the church know that *we* can't know?

I think there are things they do know that *I* do not know.

I don't 'blame' the leaders of the church for human weakness or even for not 'turning things around'--

I don't believe they could, if they wanted to. And some of them may want to. I don't see them (not all of them at least) as any kind of 'bad guys'--

What bothers me about Denver Snuffer is the fear element--

what you see as rebelliousness, I read as openness--

Denver doesn't want people to think he is 'unworthy'--

do you have any idea how many people assumed that those excommunicated in 1993 were 'unworthy'?

I did so myself, because I didn't understand what was going on.

These were faithful LDS, my friends!

Just gone from the church, because what they wrote was 'uncomfortable' for some people--

If *I* am rebellious, let me work it out with God--

5 The Lord God hath opened mine aear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

That is the only time that word is used in the Book of Mormon--

rebelliousness towards God is a serious offense--

if Denver Snuffer is rebelling against God, let God deal with him.

But if he is rebelling against the 'leaders of the church', then--

so are many, many LDS who:

pay tithing, serve their fellow LDS, do family history and temple work, study their scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) and pray 'ceaselessly'--

The bottom line is that this sort of 'control' over the minds and hearts of other human beings is . . .

well, it doesn't 'feel' right--

Some of my beliefs are more radical than Snuffer's; I don't believe polygamy was ever inspired--

when are *they* going to come get me?

:(

And then I will, I assume, pay the piper, for having had thoughts and beliefs and having expressed them?

This is a sad day indeed--

goodness; I have never read anything of Snuffer's but an occasional blog entry--

never met the man; never heard him speak--

but he is a fellow LDS, or he was.

And he believes in Jesus Christ and felt 'called' to write and talk--

I wouldn't do it, but then I'm a coward. So I still have my TR--

Frederick said...

Pay the Piper,

You make the assumption the DS's book is in error, while simultaneously criticizing DS for not realizing the same. However, the difference between your statements and DS, is that DS has provided reference material to support the book's thesis.

If you see that DS has made false claims, please provide a citation.

Quite frankly, I think the easiest way to see that DS is correct is to simply look at the LDS church and see what fruits it is producing.

Does the president of the high priesthood, who's duty it is to "be like unto Moses," actually prophesy, translate, or reveal?

The scriptures state that everyone who is ordained to the High Priesthood should have power by faith to break mountains, divide the seas, to dry up waters and turn them out of their course, put at defiance the armies of nations and to stand in the presence of God.

I really don't see any of these gifts common among the members of the LDS church, nor do I see them from their leaders. I don't even hear anyone even talk about these things. In fact, I hear people say, "it's too sacred to discuss seeing God." One of the twelve has said that very thing, yet nothing in scripture supports this view.

Yes, the LDS church has strayed and followed the same path as the Children of Israel. We, like every other one of God's chosen people in every other dispensation have dwindled in unbelief, rejected the fullness of the Gospel, and strayed from the straight and narrow path.

Why does this surprise anyone? The fact we have strayed does not mean we are no longer God's people. This is still His church, but I know He is not well pleased with where we are as a whole. (D&C 84:55-57)

Pay the Piper, I think you would be far better off listening to the message contained in the book, Passing the Heavenly Gift, and learn to accept and see where we truly are as a church today.

Thank goodness for people like Denver Snuffer and Rock Waterman. I know they truly have been given a calling from God to help wake us up from our slumber.

Rock, as always, you are awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Pay the piper (if that is your REAL name...)

Historical accuracy had nothing to do with his excommunication, just as it had nothing to do with Quinn's excommunication. The problem was not that facts were presented. The problem was the implications of said facts were not judged to be faith promoting in the eyes of Elder Christofferson and Elder Rasband. The brethren could not simply submit a list of fact-checked inaccuracies because there are none. What they want is more sugar-coated stories about pigeons that declare "All is well in Zion! God wants us to be happy, fat, and dumb! Praise to the man who communes with the NYC PR Firm! Revelation, revelation, we have revelation, and we need no more revelation! Anything the brethren say, think, or wink is revelation! God house is a house of order, and that must mean that the Church Handbook of Instructions is the word of God! Girls camp is true! The Church of the Handbook of Latter-day Saints! I saw a handbook flying through heaven, declaring the corporation sole to the ends of the earth! The angel shouted, touch not the four corners of the earth till the servants of the Lord receive a copy of handbook 1!!!!"

Frederick said...

Pay the Piper,

If your SP asks you to change your views, will you do it, simply because it is your SP who is asking?

What if your Bishop asks you to reconsider your personal views because they are out of line with the mainstream of the church. Will you comply, simply because it is your bishop who is asking?

This is the sentiment that I am getting from reading your responses. That we should submit to a bishop or SP, simply by virtue of their positions.

However, in D&C 121, we see that no power or authority can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

In other words, if a SP or bishop has an issue with DS, their only recourse is to use the method described above.

If someone has an issue with DS and his book, why not use persuasion, as in providing a more thorough look at the issues, using primary sources that illuminate the issue more fully. In that way, they can gently persuade that their view is more valid.

They cannot simply assert their view is valid by virtue of their positions, and that goes all the way up to the president of the high priesthood. If they do, they lose their priesthood and they have no authority.

No one should ever submit to a bishop or SP or anyone, unless they are persuaded gently and meekly and with love to do so.

Anonymous said...

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of obedience! A voice of faith-promoting stories; and a voice of hastening the work out of the NYC PR firm; glad tidings for the spiritually dead; glad tidings of apathy. How beautiful upon the conference center red plush chairs are the bums of those that bring faith-promoting warnings of pornography, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy prophet reigneth! As the waste of Carmel, so shall the correlated materials of yesterday be rehashed upon them!

LDSDPer said...

@Pay the Piper--

I just realized that *you* believe that church leaders (from bishops and SPs on "up")--

have the same rights and responsibilities as do parents--

to teach, correct, and discipline.

Wow--

I grew up believing that, actually. And I don't anymore, which is why--

I don't see anything in the scriptures to validate that sort of position--

the idea of a grown man being 'rebellious' to other grown men seems very silly.

But this is what you believe, and it is what I used to believe--

years of conditioning that brought *us* to "this".

Obeying God is very important, but there is no scripture in which God has told *me* to obey any men--

I am supposed to 'keep' the law of the land--

whatever that is--

that's another topic--

I am supposed to 'heed' those who are called of God--

that's another topic--

but the idea of a man, who is grown, being 'rebellious' to another man--

that is a very wobbly concept that has no scriptural foundation--

Gary Hunt said...

Anonymous (September 17, 2013 at 9:05 AM and 9:15 AM),

I really enjoyed your two comments. Does the NYC PR firm happen to be Hill and Knowlton? Just wondering.

I believe it was Elder Bednar's "European Tour" that "Robin Hood" and "Living Abroad" attended. FMI go to the church website for the PR on it.

Anonymous said...

Every time Nephi's father (prophet) asked Nephi to do something, Nephi prayed to get his own confirmation then went forward with faith, knowing The Lord is who commanded him and that The Lord would help him accomplish what he was commanded to do. We are all entitled to pray and get our own confirmation as to what The Lord would have us do.

Gary Hunt said...

Everyone,

I have been going over the comments made by “Robin Hood”, “Living Abroad”, “Rocky Road’, and “Pay the Piper”. The common thread which I have found running through their comments is the use of logical fallacies. The use of logical fallacies is quite common among Politicians, PR firms, business leaders, religious leaders, satan, unwitting “defenders of the faith”, and others trying to sell you an idea and, or a product.

Sometimes the use of logical fallacies is intentional and sometimes it is unintentional. The intentional use of logical fallacies is by someone who is trying to control you (human predators). This is the most insidious type because it can "sound and feel true" that is until you take it apart and see it for what it is. IOW "wolf in sheeps clothing".

The unintentional use can be by someone who is either trying to control you (true beleiver) or just doesn't know any better (true believer). These can still do damage.

Another concept which I think is important in this discussion is the idea of “the noble lie”. The concept goes, at least as far back Plato’s Republic.

It is critical that we learn and understand the two concepts, the “noble lie” and “logical fallacies”. If not we will (not may)fall prey to human predators.

President David O. McKay has written:

Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God's greatest gift to man. . . . Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any possession earth can give. It is inherent in the spirit of man. It is a divine gift to every normal being. . . . Everyone has this most precious of all life's endowments—the gift of free agency—man's inherited and inalienable right. [Improvement Era 65 (February 1962): 86]

Brett said...

Robin Hood, even Bruce R McKonkie would disagree with you.

“We have heretofore identified the Jews as both the nationals of the kingdom of Judah and as their lineal descendants, all this without reference to tribal affiliation. And we have said, within this usage of terms, that all other people are Gentiles, including the lost and scattered remnants of the kingdom of Israel in whose veins the precious blood of him whose name was Israel does in fact flow. Thus Joseph Smith, of the tribe of Ephraim, the chief and foremost tribe of Israel itself, was the Gentile by whose hand the Book of Mormon came forth, and the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have the gospel and who are of Israel by blood descent, are the Gentiles who carry salvation to the Lamanites and to the Jews.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah, p 233)

“It is to those who are not Jews that the Lord promised to give his gospel first in the last days. “In the latter days, when our seed”—now known as Lamanites—”shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years,” Nephi said, “and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then”—and this is to be in the glorious age of restoration in which we now live—”then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, [the Latter-day church] and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed.” This gospel shall come to them “by way of the Gentiles.” Why? “That the Lord may show his power unto the Gentiles,” Nephi continues, “for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel.” (1 Ne. 15:13-17.)

“We are those Gentiles of whom Nephi speaks. We have received in this age of restoration the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is now beginning to go from us to the Lamanites and to the Jews. But the great day of the Lamanites and the great day of the Jews both lie ahead. In the full and true sense of the word, the day of their worldwide glory, the day of the triumph and glory of both the Lamanites and the Jews, in all nations—that day will be millennial.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah, p 238)

You show a COMPLETE ignorance of church history.

LDSDPer said...

http://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-nelson-polynesian-cultural-center-promotes-peace?lang=eng

this is all I could find, and it made me wish I could go to Hawaii--

not going to happen in 'this life'--

He looks as though he is having a lot of fun--

Anonymous said...

I'm a seminary teacher, this year we have been studying the New Testament. One point that is made over and over agin in the scriptures was the illegality of Christs trail. Those that wanted Him out of the way had to use illegal processes to assure the conviction of an innocent man.
Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

DS is Jesus now? I thought he was just Abinadi.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I'm not likening Denver to The Saviour. I'm accusing the church leaders of behaving like The Pharisees.

Gary Hunt said...

LDSDPer,

Go to google search. Type in Elder Bednar Europe and you should get the links.

LDSDPer said...

goodness; I sound covetous.

YIKES!

No, I do NOT want to go to Hawaii and throw flowers and wear a lei--

*bad mistake*

I wouldn't even have thought about it, if I hadn't seen the picture of Elder Nelson obviously having a good time.

I am content with my life without going to Hawaii--

!

YIKES, again--

no coveting here--

none--

ever.

Anon 23 said...

Robin Hood,

You are assuming that the LDS Church today is 'true'. If it is not, then the LDS are indeed Gentiles, no?

Joseph was talking to the members of 'his' church, not Brigham's church (If he really even said those things, for so many have said he said things with no proof). But you again assume the 2 churches are the same. But the RLDS or FLDS Churches have just as much right to call themselves the continuation of Joseph's original Church as Brigham's Church does. They were started by Apostles too.

But according to Christ & Joseph Smith, 'none' of the Churches today are true or the continuation of the original Church. It all boils down to who you gonna believe, Christ/Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Now now, Brett. No need to get persnickety.

My understanding of the word "Gentile" at least as traditionally understood by Jews, is that it is synonymous with "other tribes." Therefore I suppose it could refer to the other tribes of Israel such as Ephraim, or to another people entirely such as the Greeks who were outside the house of Israel. This whole business of understanding what the Book of Mormon means by Gentiles is a bit trickier.

I thought I had it nailed down many years ago, but as I stated in a comment above, I may have to reassess everything I thought I knew. Still working on it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Toni,
Living Abroad and Robin Hood are not the same person, though Robin Hood does live abroad. Someone above confused them, probably for that reason.

Anon 23 said...

I don't believe that ETB repented, he seemed as deceived as everyone else til the end. He did more than most Presidents to perpetuate one of the worse of falsehoods, that 'prophets can't lead people astray', among many other serious falsehoods he continually taught.

I appreciated his words about freedom and at least the truth he taught about that, but as Joseph Smith warned us, false prophets will always teach mostly truth and then throw in just enough falsehoods to carefully lead most everyone astray so they don't even realize it.

Anonymous said...

How ironic that a man, who has recently been excommunicated, has taught me more about developing a relationship with my Savior more than anyone else. Perhaps I've just been "asleep" for most of my life and obviously haven't studied my scriptures like I should have been.... I will always be grateful for DS for this reason alone.

LDSDPer said...

oh, o.k.--

in the meantime I didn't realize how much I wanted to go to Hawaii, 'til I saw Elder Nelson--

*sense of humor alert*

LOL!

Anonymous said...

Then resign and follow your dear leader into spiritual demise.

Anonymous said...

And just how exactly is drawing closer to my Savior spiritual demise?

Anon 23 said...

LDSDPer,

Your experience and many other people's I know about just show how terribly sad it is that the LDS members are so deceived to live in fear of losing their 'eternal family' & salvation if they don't obey the whims & commands of false prophets and unrighteous leaders who think they can do no wrong.

It is mind boggling. When if they would go to Heavenly Father and listen to his counsel instead of man's, they would find out that those LDS leaders have no authority or power at all as they suppose, let alone over anyone's salvation or eternal family.

In fact, Heavenly Father would tell them that 'all' families & 1st marriages are eternal, no matter what church people belong to or no church at all.

Why would we think we aren't going to know & love our family members in the eternities. We don't lose our righteous feelings or memories when we die. We will always know & love & associate with our parents, children & spouse as ours, nothing can change that, even if we don't all make it to the same kingdom. It will be like here, we will visit them often. And the unrighteous family members will repent and everyone will be righteous & wonderful.

Spektator said...

Robin Hood,
I would ask you this simple question: Was the Book of Mormon written to you? If the answer is no, you have no reason being here.

If the answer is yes, then I would ask you to read from the title page of the Book of Mormon which was...

"Written to the Lamanites, who are the remnant of the house of Israel, and also to the Jew and Gentile."

Which one of these three groups are you? Lamanite/remnant, Jew or Gentile?

The correct answer for most of us WASPs is, of course, we are Gentiles. Go back and read the scriptures again. This time paying attention to what 1 Nephi 15 writes about the nasty Gentiles. You should also read 3 Nephi 16 about the believing and the unbelieving of the Gentiles and how the Gentiles, as a whole, will reject the fullness of the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Rock,
So how do we truly initiate change? Do we take the Hugh Nibley approach and earnestly seek answers while baffling those with lofty satire? Or maybe the Hugh Brown approach and stay the course until we have a position of authority that commands attention? I'm not sure so until I receive revelation on the matter, I'll continue to whittle away at the nonsense one splinter at a time.

(sorry I had to go anonymous (call me be PJ), I'm not sure how to proceed otherwise!)

Spektator said...

Rock,
I enjoyed the post. I have to say that I have read Denver's blog on occasion. I didn't buy any of his books until I heard that he was being called into a disciplinary court. I ordered and read Passing the Heavenly Gift out of the interest in what the church found so objectionable.

I do think you missed a key point. It was not just the book that was causing heartburn in the COB. The book had been out for quite a while. The action was taken because Denver had set up a series of lectures. Don't you think it was curious that the excommunication occurred on the day Denver was traveling to Boise to give his fireside?

In my opinion, the corporate church would have continued to tolerate Denver had he not set up the series of meetings. That is were he crossed the line and invited the excommunication. Based on past experience, everyone is tolerated in having their own view of history and doctrine. It is not tolerated when they go out and publically speak to attracted audiences on these topics. It is the same reason discussion groups are not condoned in the church.

Another key point, in my opinion, is that the disciplinary action was because Denver was accused of preaching that which is contrary to 'church doctrine.' Of that, I believe he is guilty. What Denver is NOT guilty of is preaching anything contrary to the doctrine of Christ. There is obviously a difference between that which passes for 'church' doctrine and the doctrine of Christ as defined in the Book of Mormon. I know on which side I would prefer to be found.

Anonymous said...

I ordered his book just so I could personally burn it in my fireplace. It felt good and warm and that's how I know he's an apostate.

Anon 23 said...

The problem is, Satan always answers peoples prayers too and most people think 'his' answer is God's answer. Unless we have perfect love we won't be able to always tell the difference. Even Prophets like Joseph Smith were are often deceived by Satan's revelations.

Thus the sure way to know if what Denver is claiming is true or not, is to compare his teachings & actions with what Christ taught. If they differ then, as Joseph Smith taught, we would know he is not a true disciple of Christ.

We must prove all things, even our own revelation.

Anon 23 said...

Very true, especially since Joseph Smith said we can lose our standing in the Celestial Kingdom if we let ourselves be deceived to 'support or follow' errors, falsehoods, false prophets and unrighteous leaders who lead us astray, which is all I have found in the LDS church.

What will we say when Christ asks us why we gave our sacred tithing to men who we knew would probably use most it on church buildings & business ventures, etc, while the fatherless & poor continued to be ignored & suffer?

I believe we will be accountable if we give our money to leaders & churches who don't use it all for the needy, until there are 'no poor among us'. Then they can build church buildings & malls if people want to give money for that.

Anonymous said...

I believe Denver has helped you because, despite that I don't believe Denver's claims or agree with much of what he teaches, I still think Denver teaches far more honest truth then any LDS leader I have ever known of since Brigham Young took over. Thus, compared to false prophets and false leaders, Denver does pretty good.

It seems most LDS leaders don't want to talk too much about Christ because they know the Church isn't following Christ that much, so they just focus on following 'them' as Prophets, pretending that they can't lead people astray.

Toni said...

Okay. Thanks, LDSDPer and Rock.

Anonymous said...

Spek,
As seems to happen so often, I agree with you. I have read everything Denver has written, listened to every talk he has given, and met him several times in person. I was never impressed that he was trying to lead anyone or develop a "following". What I do know is that he teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Doctrine of Christ, contrary to the "mass of confusion" (doctrines of men mingled with scripture) that most church leaders preach. The witness of that fact is found in this and every other blog among church members where so many are willing to declare that Denver is an apostate without ever investigating or studying what he has said.
Personally, my guide is the Book of Mormon, not a bunch of men in fancy suits in SLC who preach a feel good gospel and are leading people into the great and spacious building.
Denver teaches from the Book of Mormon and that really steps on the toes of a lot of church leaders who want people to adore them and reverence them and follow them.
There is a huge division developing within the church today between those who look no further than the shallow teaching that we should follow a man, and those who teach that we should only follow the Savior.
I thank God for the Book of Mormon and for Joseph Smith and for those who teach us to follow the SAVIOR!
JR

Alan Rock Waterman said...

My my,Steven. Aren't we feeling catty this morning?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Robin Hood, I fully agree that the real danger is not so much that the Brethren cultivate this cult of personality, but that many members are stuck in idolotry. When I began this blog, it was largely an attempt to bring those members back down to earth and say, "hey, cut it out. These are only men you are idolizing.

At the same time, though, some of the leaders are complicit. Look at how Bednar focused on the importance of following Hinckley's counsel on earrings, very strongly declaring that those who ignored the president's counsel on minutia such as that were not worthy of the kingdom.

Ditto what LDSDPer's suggestion that the GAs could do more to discourage this celebrity worship. But you are correct; this hero worship stems from ignorant members who do not realize the dangers in relying so heavily on the arm of flesh.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Pay the Piper,
If I understand your position, it is that if Brother Snuffer had deferred to the Church authorities and fallen in line with their demands, none of this would have happened. But what I would like answered is two questions:

1. What scriptures gave the leaders authority to make those demands in the first place?

2. What are the particular errors in history or doctrine in Snuffer's book that the leaders objected to? In other words, what specific errors was he asked to correct in order to be "in compliance" with their wishes?

The only party I can see that was out of line here were those leaders imposing unrighteous dominion. If we are to be a church that follows the word of God over the whims of men, we must insist scripture be our guide, not some vague, nebulous desire of "leaders" to have their decrees followed. D&C 121 firmly rebukes those inclined to use their office, title and station to lord it over others.

What this issue came down to is unrighteous dominion, nothing more. The ego of the leaders was front and center. "We are your leaders. You must obey. We don't have to tell you why."

Alan Rock Waterman said...

No no no! By reminding the reader that Denver used cites from Church leaders to bolster his thesis, it does not follow that everything the leaders said was correct. It only means these were the beliefs of those past leader he cited.

Just because Denver Snuffer may have accepted without question everything those past leaders said about Joseph Smith, it does not mean they spoke the truth in all things. I don't think Denver Snuffer is any more aware of the questions raised that would exonerate Joseph from practicing polygamy than the average member is. It does require examining the evidence, after all.

And just because Denver may have had a personal audience with Christ, even that does not mean he suddenly knows everything about everything.

In the comment section following last month's post, a reader was very adamant about his dislike for Denver Snuffer based on the fact that Snuffer accepted D&C 132 as legitimate, when all evidence points to the fact it was probably a forgery slapped together years after Joseph Smith's death. But to dismiss Snuffer over that presumes Denver Snuffer should somehow be aware of questions he has never yet examined. No one claims Denver Snuffer is some kind of infallible prophet, but I think the LDS mindset has led this reader to assume Snuffer should know all about everything, and since he does not, that makes him a false prophet.

My focus on this controversy has nothing to do with whether Denver Snuffer is historically correct in all things. It has to do with his quoting general authorities in the past, and comparing those statements to those made by general authorities today. He was punished because the general authorities today would prefer these inconsistencies not be well known among the populace.

It would have been lovely if Church authorities had pointed out to Snuffer that he erred in attributing polygamy to Joseph Smith and that he should correct that assumption. But this is something they will not do, for to expose Brigham Young as a usurper would call into question the legitimacy of the line of authority they depend upon, which goes back to Brigham Young.

As much as today's leaders would love for the polygamy controversy to go away, they cannot renounce it, for to do so would mean Amen to their own claims as legitimate successors to Joseph Smith.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Frederick,
Regarding those occasions when an apostle is asked if he has ever seen Christ, and he answers that the experience is "too sacred" to speak about: I always thought that was an odd response. Since the scriptures tell us the primary role of an apostle is to be a witness for Jesus Christ, isn't he REQUIRED to testify boldy and often about having met him?

Of course, it's obvious that the reason they hem and haw and attempt to deflect the question is precisely because they are not REALLY apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. If any of them had seen Jesus, he would witness to that fact, not hide it under a bushel with excuses about the experience being too sacred. Meeting Jesus was not too sacred for Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and untold ancients. Why all of a sudden is it too sacred for these clowns to testify about.

Like a lot of holders of the High Priesthood (which as you point out is attended by real, palpable POWER) they have the title, but not the gifts. A shame, really. And a sham.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Personally, PJ, I'm a fan of satire.

And by the way, have you noticed that since the passing of Hugh Nibley, we almost never hear him quoted? I think he stepped on a lot of toes among the Magisterium, but he was so well loved among the rank and file that no words were spoken against him. He held such stature in the church that a lot of members thought he WAS a general authority himself, though he held no office in the church, not even in a bishopric.

Nibley was not shy about pointing out the hypocrisy and self-importance of Church leaders, albeit he did so in a veiled way and with humor.

So now that he's gone he can be safely ignored, I guess.

Steven Lester said...

Let me tell you a story of the early Bruce R. It applies to this discussion, I think.

He, also, wrote a bunch of books. One of the early ones, before he entered the ranks of the blessed, was the book that I cut my teeth on when I first joined the Church...Mormon Doctrine. Filled with fun definitions about everything under the sun. But, when he first published it, it was full of embarrassing PR mistakes, like calling the Catholic Church "The Church of The Great Whore Of All The Earth" and actually supporting the concept of Polygamy, as two examples.

Deseret Books was the publisher, but back then they were just starting out and they didn't have an editorial board to check things out, and since Bruce worked at the old COB, and knew all the bigwigs, they just sent it through unread. Within days, Bruce was called to the carpet. The book was taken out of circulation as fast as it was possible. And Bruce, this oh-so proud man, was required to stand in front (although he was invited to sit, he chose to stand) of the The Twelve and The Presidency and listen to each member tear him up and down and sideways as he stood there silently, 15 times in a row.

Well, after all of that was finished, Heber C. Kimball was assigned to be his handler, and together they went through the whole book and changed everything that Kimball deemed dangerous or inconvenient. Kimball actually had to agree that everything that the book said was perfectly true, but that it would also clash with how the world would see the Church, so a lot had to changed and "corrected".

Because he humbled himself before The Brethren, he later joined their ranks. DS didn't. There must be a lesson somewhere in this tale and in the comparison. I just can't figure out what it is. Isn't humility the key here? There is a difference between declared humility and actual humility. Which, I declare, DS did not really exhibit. The actual stance, as opposed to the declared. And so he paid the price. Anyway, that is my two cents. Be kind to me, if you want to reply, please.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Agreed, Spectator.
For some reason the Magisterium has always feared members getting together to study the gospel in a venue they cannot control. They don't want us learning anything that doesn't come through "proper" channels.

I think church members have the freedom to assemble just like anyone else.

By the way, Readers, one of the most cogent commentaries I have seen on the Denver Snuffer affair was written by friend Spectator on the LDS Anarchy blog. Scroll down to about the third comment; you'll find it here:

http://ldsanarchy.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/denver-snuffers-passing-the-heavenly-gift-does-its-publication-constitute-an-act-of-apostasy/

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well Steven, you asked for kindness, but I believe you deserve to be torn up one side and down the other for writing Heber C. Kimball when you meant Spencer Kimball. You made a typo! Shame on you!

Other than that, I liked everything about your comment very, very much.

Virtual Hugs! (I know you can't handle real ones.)

Jared C said...

Several points stuck out to me in this blog. First, I think it would be ignorant for any member to assume that the Prophet and the Apostles are perfect men. It is abundantly clear throughout Doctrine and Covenants that Joseph Smith went through many painful learning experiences in which he had to repent of wrong doing. Just as any imperfect being, he was prone to making mistakes in which he had to repent of. This is how we become perfected; by making mistakes, correcting them and resolving to be better and through the Atonement of Christ, we are forgiven and we grow from those experiences.

Second, many disaffected members of the Church early on, even those closest to Joseph Smith, believed that he had become a fallen Prophet. That is why Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and many others left the Church. So believing that the Church has gone astray because of imperfections of the leaders is nothing new. Joseph Smith was not perfect, but he was a Prophet of God and fulfilled his calling on this Earth and sealed his testimony with his life. So no, the Prophet and Apostles are not perfect, but we should not expect them to be. The Lord has chosen them for their faithfulness and testimonies of the Gospel and for His purposes. They are entitled to revelations and probably know things that I can’t even imagine, so I would be extremely hesitant to judge them on any actions without having a good understanding of what led them to those decisions. If any leadership of the Church has erred in excommunicating someone, then I imagine it will be reconciled in the afterlife, so I agree with the Blogger in that if he were to ever be excommunicated for reasons he felt were not correct, then he can wake in the morning and still have his Testimony in tact and be blameless before God.

So my next point would be that our Testimonies should be centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of the restored Gospel, and that the Gospel stills exists in its entirety as Joseph Smith was promised that it would never be taken from the earth again, and that the Church of Jesus Christ would not fall into apostasy again. I also would focus on the fact that the Prophets and Apostles today are called of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ is still led by the Savior through revelation. While there are imperfections within the Church, the Gospel is still intact and I personally have gained a testimony that the Church is led by a living Prophet. If we gain a testimony of the basic foundation of the Gospel, I think that we can overcome any doubts we may have of the Church organization, the imperfections that exist in the members and leaders of the Church, and any Church history/doctrines we may have doubts about.

To fault the living Prophets and Apostles for imperfections would be hypocritical for they are people just as we are. But they are called of God and have his Authority and are entitled to revelation. To think that we have a better grasp of the Gospel and Doctrines than they do, and that we know better than them is to say that we know better than God. For they are his chosen servants.

Andrew C said...

I'm asking more to verify who said what about the talk than anything else. I already love that talk by Bro. Wilcox and I've had the privilege of hearing him speak in person. He really does speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Fusion said...

LDSPer,

Thank you. That was a beautiful read. Reminds me of the last time I ever taught Sunday school- the ward had the Bishop chastise me because I taught what King Benjamin taught about riches. The good folks in the ward said that they only reason someone is rich and does well in this world, having privileges like expensive private schools and such, is because they are more spiritually deserving! In addition, I remember the Presiding Bishopric say a year or two ago that those who are impoverished temporarily would thus struggle spiritually...equating wealth with spiritual righteousness. What jerks... They ought to read the words of and about Jesus, the Master they so falsely claim as their own.

Ironically, I heard recently that Canada requires all income from the Church to be declared, and Canadian LDS would be shocked to know that 99% or more of their tithing went to fund BYU. 'Stakepresident' does a very funny blogpost about this on his post, but fist here is the actually Canada Revenue Agency webpage showing where the Canadian LDS $$ went- it went up from $40 million to $103 million!!:


http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/srch/t3010form22gifts-eng.action?b=119223758RR0001&e=2010-12-31&n=THE+CHURCH+OF+JESUS+CHRIST+OF+LATTER-DAY+SAINTS+IN+CANADA&r=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cra-arc.gc.ca%3A80%2Febci%2Fhaip%2Fsrch%2Ft3010form22-eng.action%3Fb%3D119223758RR0001%26amp%3Be%3D2010-12-31%26amp%3Bn%3DTHE%2BCHURCH%2BOF%2BJESUS%2BCHRIST%2BOF%2BLATTER-DAY%2BSAINTS%2BIN%2BCANADA%26amp%3Br%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.cra-arc.gc.ca%253A80%252Febci%252Fhaip%252Fsrch%252Fbasicsearchresult-eng.action%253Fs%253Dregistered%2526amp%253Bk%253Dchurch%252Bof%252Bjesus%252Bchrist%252Bof%252Blatter-day%252Bsaints%2526amp%253Bb%253Dtrue%2526amp%253Bp%253D2

http://stakepresident.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/o-canada-may-byu-receive-thy-tithes.html

The Gadiantons are being exposed for who they are. There is a reason why the Book of Mormon prophets told us about them- they still exist. Amongst us.

Fusion

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Andrew, I'm not really aware of comments about Brad's talk. "Me, Myself, and I" implied that there had been some contradictory remarks. I hope he/she will direct us to them.

I can tell you for myself that Boyd Packer's view is incorrect. He gives the analogy of man in burdensome debt to another man, and since he cannot pay this debt he is in danger of being forced to become the servant of that man. Along comes Christ, who pays the debt, and according to Packer, the young man's debt has now been transferred to a new debtor. The young man, according to Packer, is now in bondage to Christ.

That view is not supported by scripture. Christ's payment is free and the man is free from under it. He has not traded one master for another.

In his interview at Mormon Discussion Podcast, Brad Wilcox tells how he had heard all these analogies and metaphors, but that they didn't really stand up when compared to scripture. He made it his mission to scope out the word of God directly regarding grace and forgiveness. And guess what? Turns out the scriptures tend to trump the opinions of certain GAs.

Fusion said...

My apologies to Robin Hood and LivingAbroad. The info you gave about meeting had no specifics- it sounded so vague, to me at least. I will reiterate something that I believe- that since Brigham and the 12 had no right to ordain Brigham as President of the Church as the scriptures state specifically that a new presidency can only be called and ordained under the hand of the existing Presidency, should something happen to the others in the Presidency. As Sidney Rigdon, the Lord's spokesman as identified in the Book of Mormon by Nephi, was the only existing member of the Presidency, by all accounts, it seems obvious that HE was the only one to hold that right. Now, based on this, if this is true then Brigham and the others did not have the power to ordain a new presidency- in fact for 3 years Brigham insisted that there could NOT be a new Presidency...then he suddenly went on to become the new President. Seeing that he did this illegally, without the lord's protocol, then all those that follow him also have no claim to the presidency and Apostleship. And their fruits bear rotten evidence of this.

So, whether you spent 4 hours with an actual 'Apostle', or just a lawyer, or banker who 'assumes' that title bestowed on him by simple virtue of the fact that he followed Brigham and Co, is upto you, of course. I, on the other hand have never been able to reconcile that the men who claim apostleship, without EVER declaring and testifying that they have seen and spoken to and heard the voice of Jesus, are actually prophets simply because they happen to print and publish the Book of Mormon. This is my conviction.

Fusion

Fusion said...

Rock, scary that you have actually said here is almost word for word what I said to a couple of friends recently. Honestly!

Does this mean we have achieved being 'One'?!

Fusion

LDSDPer said...

@anyone and possibly Jared C--

I thought it was interesting, while visiting another Mormon blog--

to hear Elder Nelson refer to President Monson as:


His senior and presiding apostle on the earth today--


I think one of the biggest problems any discussion about anything has is definitions--

the definition of the word prophet, for example--

I'm looking for the scripture in the Book of Mormon where a Godly man was rebuked for believing that the Lord's dealings with human being were restricted to those seen and heard by the people in that culture--

(long-winded; I'll try again, if anyone cares)


The fact is that *we* can't limit God. And we don't know what His dealings with other people might be.

LDS tend to be highly prideful about this. I believe that God has chosen men, and some of them might even be LDS apostles, but I don't believe those He has chosen are restricted to being LDS apostles--

and one thing most LDS simply don't want to talk about is this:

He died in San Francisco, California (2 Sept. 1898). (this is off lds.org)

It's not easy to find out why he was there, but there are some who surmise that it was to meet with the "Eastern bankers" that are often mentioned in journal of discourse talks--

"Eastern bankers"--

I don't know; I can't find a reliable, original source--

his sudden death; I remember from my seminary days that there was talk of his having been poisoned; sometimes in seminary in the early days there was information that is not now available; often there was--
there are those who believe President Woodruff was trying to get the church out of the grip of the "Eastern bankers"--

and his death was the result of either his success or his failure, but either way--

the church continued to be in bondage--

incorporating very early, much earlier than many other religions--

and for reasons that remain somewhat mysterious to *me*, anyway--

the fact is that the church is in bondage. Captivity. As in Ether. What is the point of including the accounts of the many righteous kings whose actions were limited by their being in 'captivity'--

so it is today--

as long as the LDS church is a corporation, it will be as vulnerable as any other Babylonian institution to the fall of Babylon when it occurs. Anyone who doesn't realize that is in for a huge and possibly horrific surprise when it does happen.

As long ago as the late 60s institute teachers were teaching that there was more than one church, more than one LDS church, and why--

so, you see, some of *us* came up through the "ranks" and went to all the right places and heard all the right things and have questioned things ever since.

This isn't new. I don't know when and where and how many covered up history--

but it hasn't always ALL been covered up.

I know that I have never cited imperfections in church leaders as a reason to be concerned about what seems to be dissonance in the church today. By all means, let *them* be as imperfect as they need to be; I certainly do not claim perfection for myself.

What *I* am attempting to come to grips with, as a 'private' member of the church is all the 'stuff' that became part of the church as a result of culture and tradition, such as the Strengthening the Members Committee; nothing like that is found in the D&C; in fact, it smacks more of Danites than of anything that Joseph Smith established--

those are the sorts of things that people, when they focus on Jesus Christ, began to wonder about--

nobody feels 'safe' in an organization that has a KGB-like intelligence arm--

to be continued

LDSDPer said...

I don't. But I don't think *we* are meant to feel 'safe' in the church anyway; the idea of trusting men goes completely against what is taught in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants.


34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

19 The aweak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man bshould not counsel his fellow man, neither ctrust in the arm of flesh—

31 Cursed is he that putteth his atrust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the bprecepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.


The fact is that Babylon will fall, and if *we* are placing our trust in the church, and it, as a corporation, is part of Babylon--

then we are in peril.

That is why it is so important to have a relationship with Deity. That is why it is so important to know Jesus Christ. That is why the Book of Mormon is so important; it did not come from Babylon.

But I believe these men and women have been gagged. I think they are allowed to do certain things and are not allowed to do other things--

the idea that the church will be intact, as a corporation, when Jesus finally comes--

is ludicrous. It was incorporated. Sure sign of captivity.

In the meantime, though I am not certain I know what "keys" even means--

I do believe there are apostles--

there again, they are not 'one man'. Each man is responsible for his actions and choices, and one might have more of the Spirit with him than another.

To treat them as a 'body' is, again, the whole incorporation design, and it is deceptive--

I know that Christ has called for unity among His followers, but humans are still individuals--

Jared C, your last sentence is confusing. "grasp"--

How each person devotes him/herself to Jesus Christ is a very personal matter.

If a person really has the Spirit of the Holy Ghost with him/her, he/she will know if someone is speaking the truth.

This is such a broad statement that it staggers me.

This is like saying that there are spiritual classes of beings--

with some being higher than others. And that isn't found anywhere in the scriptures. I don't spend my time trying to shoot down what apostles say--

if I feel the spirit from them, then usually it confirms what I have already learned from my study of the scriptures and my own life's experiences--

so, are you saying that nobody should try to have a personal relationship with God, because the 'leaders of the church' can do it better, and we can just use theirs? Your words are very confusing. There is no monopoly on a child of God having access to God—

As for meeting together in groups, I prefer not to do it; church is hard enough—
Whether or not God told Denver Snuffer to do that, I can’t say—
I don’t like being stuck in a group—even at church I sit on the outside of the ‘circle’—
But I still don’t see why a person would be excommunicated for it—
It’s all very confusing as to why Denver Snuffer was actually excommunicated anyway. I have only read a few of his blog entries; I haven’t felt interested in reading more, but I find the idea of being ‘watched’ to be very disturbing—
If Denver Snuffer was being watched, who else is? The church doesn’t need an intelligence agency—




LDSDPer said...

I erred. In the scriptures (Pearl of Great Price, maybe D&C)--

it does speak of some people having more intelligence or understanding; it does speak of classes--

but it doesn't base those classifications on 'calling'--

it doesn't say, "you'll know someone has more light and knowledge by his status in the church"--

nope--

me said...

Jared,
Are you saying that the apostles and prophets are imperfect men in their personal lives and expected to make mistakes the same as the rest of us, but when it comes to being apostles and prophets they are unable to err in their actions, decisions, and policies? And being imperfect and repenting and suffering the consequences as did Joseph Smith, wouldn't there need to be the repentance part for the present apostles and prophets to correct, resolve and do better and be forgiven through the atonement of Jesus Christ and grow from these experiences? It sounds like you are assuming these brethren are doing the repenting part. Maybe some are and some are not. I believe the reason Denver Snuffer has suffered the wrath of the Church corp. is because he was bringing to light some of those imperfections in the brethren that have chosen to hide their sins or imperfections rather that repent, and that hasn't been received very well.

me said...

Also Jared C
The prophets and apostles in the Latter day saint religion are appointed to their positions by other men. Who's to say that the men were inspired of God? I agree that these men then become presidents and leaders, but that does not mean that they are called of God and that they have His authority and are entitled to revelation.

You say.... "To think that we have a better grasp of the Gospel and Doctrines than they do, and that we know better than them is to say that we know better than God. For they are His chosen servants."

I say they are nothing, we are nothing. They do not speak for God.
They may reiterate what God has said before, or, if God speaks through them, then we would know by the gift of the Holy Spirit that what is said is true. Apostles and prophets are to be servants not dictators. What I see are mainly the latter.

me said...

Steven,
Is there a difference between Bruce being guilty and Denver not?

I've heard the story of Bruce's Mormon Doctrine book and how David McKay didn't want to make a public display of him and have him apologize for all the doctrinal mistakes. He wasn't commissioned by anyone in the Church to write such a book. The corrections dept. said there were over 1,000. Granted, maybe those doctrinal mistakes were truly correct but to call the book 'Mormon Doctrine' was the downfall of his opinion versus the Church's.
McKay asked Bruce to stop publication altogether, and he promised to do so, but just as soon as McKay died, Bruce had it republished.

czimm said...

I believe it is "fort-nightly." ;)

czimm said...

Awesome. I am also a fan of the Original Recipe.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

And, Fusion, it's also worth noting that neither Rigdon nor Brigham was trying to convince the Saints that he should be the leader. Since the Saints fully expected Joseph III to lead the church once he came of age, the salient argument between the two was who was better equipped to be a placesitter until Joseph came of age.

We have revised our history to believe that Brigham Young was heaven's choice to succeed the prophet Joseph, but no one was thinking in those terms at the time.

Hence, the promotion of the fraud that Brigham Youngs' voice and appearance took on the visage of Joseph as a heavenly sign. That myth was completely debunked by Sterling Van Wagoner and Reid l. Harper, as quoted in m piece here:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-mormon-history-is-not-what-they-say.html

Joseph's brother Samuel was the rightful placesitter but he died mysteriously within weeks of his brothers. Many suspected poison.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Indeed, Fusion. You and I are fusioned as one.

LDSDPer said...

the fact is this:

'leaders' can talk to 'followers', but 'followers' can't talk to 'leaders'--

except in a submissive position--

I hadn't thought of it before, but it's true--

even if dealing with a very kind leader, there is always a feeling of defensiveness when dealing with a 'leader'--

in fact, leader, the word, is generally used in the Book of Mormon as a military term--

hmmm--

militancy--

is that the accepted culture of the LDS--

even often capricious kings traditionally had a day in which they heard the grievances of 'their people'--

but in the LDS church communication generally only goes downward--

even parents listen to their children, but those who have a grievance as LDS generally have nobody to whom they can turn--

unless they want to be labeled as a whiner or a rebel--

and then that label can be applied very quickly--

something just isn't right here--


LDSDPer said...

@anon 23 at 5:42


No, I'm not at all worried about the 'eternal future'--

what I don't want is more heartache with church leaders. The last time it happened, it was really hard on our entire family--

we lost sleep; we lost our health; there was no joy in our home--

some people may be strong enough to:

--fight back

--leave

I admire Denver Snuffer for being able to go on as though nothing has happened, but the fact is that it is always painful to be separated from one's faith community, no matter how full of problems that faith community might be--

I can't say more about this personally, but I do know that it can affect the health and well-being of a person and that person's family--

Denver has raised his family; that is good; he is also not impoverished; as long as he has a well-paid profession, he should be all right--

but not everyone is as well-prepared to be rejected and experience being a pariah--

the internet is littered with website for helping former Mormons (and former Christians, etc., etc.) to deal with the heartache of no longer being part of their communities.

Some of *us* struggle enough with other differences that have brought some rejection, misunderstanding and even persecution into our hearts and homes--

that we really don't want to pull down more trouble onto our heads--

I speak as a weak human, I admit. It is one thing to have powerful beliefs and opinions and thoughts that want to be expressed--

it is another thing openly to invite being an outcast--

Again, I am not worried about my eternal well-being or the eternal well-being of my family--

it is the here and now which concerns me. If I could go into more detail, I think you might understand immediately, but it would betray confidences and privacy of other people-

If it were just myself--

that would be a different matter; I am not sure I would even care anymore--

it took so many months/years for two family members to recover from anxiety and panic attacks and ptsd from some severe encounters with unrighteous leaders almost a decade ago--

humans need tribes; we each choose our tribe; sometimes we are born into tribes--

I have not found another tribe--

there is some support and comfort on communities such as this one--

but it's not the same as how it feels to break bread together--



LDSDPer said...

@Rock, didn't William Smith die that same summer?

Again, suspicious--

perhaps; I don't know; these men were not old, but then the mortality rates were high back then--

LDSDPer said...

@Fusion,

Ballard basically said the same thing a few conferences ago--

Equally worrisome is the ever-growing gap between the rich and poor and between those who strive to preserve family values and commitments and those who have given up on doing so. Statistically, those who have less education and consequently lower incomes are less likely to marry and to go to church and much more likely to be involved in crime and to have children outside of marriage. And these trends are also troubling in much of the rest of the world. (See W. Bradford Wilcox and others, “No Money, No Honey, No Church: The Deinstitutionalization of Religious Life among the White Working Class,” available at www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/Religion_WorkingPaper.pdf.)

Opposite of what many had thought, prosperity and education seem to be connected to a higher likelihood of having traditional families and values.

The real question, of course, is about cause and effect. Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous, or are they more educated and prosperous because they have values and strong families? In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter. When people make family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as well.

One of my family members got up and walked out of the room and said, "I will NEVER listen to a talk by that man again"--

true, he may only have been quoting statistics, but the 'spin' was that those who are spiritually refined will enjoy great worldly prosperity--

even if he didn't SAY it--

Anonymous said...

Jared,

We are commanded to judge & discern whether prophets are true or false prophets, by whether they have Christlike love (charity) or not. And Charity is a very rare & high trait that only the most righteous possess, if anyone today.

True prophets would probably have some minor faults, but they would not have major ones, especially not major sins like polygamy, which Christ & the scriptures have said, over & over, is always a whoredom.

So we are to judge whether the prophets and apostles of the current LDS Church are true disciples of Christ or not, by what they do and say. They can't be wrong much or unrighteous or deceived or what righteous person would follow or believe in them?

Though Joseph did have minor faults and he was still learning line upon line, there were major differences between him and Brigham Young and those leaders who have followed since him. Joseph didn't seem to believe in any of the many horrible abominations that Brigham & Co. did & that the leaders of the Church today believe in.

We should only listen those who 'prove' by word & deed that they are true disciples of Christ. And yes, that means they have to near perfect to expect anyone to follow or trust in them.

From what I see, I don't believe any leaders of the Church are true disciples of Christ, in fact, from what they do & say, they all seem to be just the opposite.

Anon 23 said...

LDSDPer,

I understand that there may be certain circumstances which would make it much harder, or even unwise, to speak out about your true beliefs.

I'm glad to hear that you don't believe Church leaders have any say over your salvation or eternal family. That alone should bring you alot of peace.

But I know watching family members struggle because they are so entangled with the Church and it's approval, can in fact be hard, though it could be good too, for most people don't wake up to the truth unless they go through hard trials and struggles dealing with unrighteous church leaders.

As far as needing a tribe, I wouldn't say 'need', but 'desired'. For it is nice if we can have or belong to a group that accepts us and that we find is righteous, but sometimes we have to be like Job, and stay strong even if everyone else rejects us or if we have to separate from them, or from a Church if it's a sin to participate in it.

The Mormon Curse of Cain Doctrine said...

Brother Waterman, I've read some of Denver's works. They are very insightful; much more so than most General Conference talks, and certainly much more so than just about all Sacrament talks. He is a very spiritual man, and he is correct in his observations of the Church and Church leaders. He is why I left the Church:
http://daheshism.webs.com/DARRICK.htm

DeWayne Hafen said...

Fifty years ago (1963) I was excommunicated for publically questioning the Negro Priesthood ban. I have watched the church from the sidelines ever since. Last week they published an article "Five Ways to Detect and Avoid Doctrinal Deception" which was just another 'trust the leader' document. I'm sure it had something to do with the Snuffer case.

I am constantly amazed at the way the leadership fails to learn anything from their mistakes. By making a martyr of Snuffer, they are just going to wake up more opposition. This article does a great job of pointing this out, so you Mr. Waterman may become their next target. If it comes to that embrace it with love and appreciation. As a believing, non LDS Mormon, I find living outside the corporate church to be a true blessing.

Bart Burk said...

As someone who was basically told to resign or be ex'd, I appreciate the reference in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

No, William Smith lived until the 1880's or 90s. Interestingly, he was one of the original 12 apostles, but he was convinced Brigham Young had arranged for the poisoning of his brother Samuel at the hands of Hosea Stout (I could actually believe Stout was capable of this), and Young excommunicated him.

William later claimed he was the rightful successor, but he wasn't able to get much of a following, probably because the Saints were aware he and Joseph argued and fought a lot. He bounced around with the Strangites, then Lyman Wight, and finally after his Nephew came of age, settled with the RLDS church.



Anonymous said...

The person who commented under the title "the Mormon curse of Cain doctrine" is Darrick Evanson. Anyone who knows anything about this man will know that he did not leave the church because of Denver Snuffer, as he has just claimed.
He's been in and out of the church at various times over the years. Once to become a born-again ex-Mormon for Jesus type, then he came back and wrote a book denouncing anti-Mormons and "exposing" their methods, then left again in order to become a Ba'hi, then flirted with the church again, then got kicked out of the Ba'hi movement and after a while tried to get back in but they wouldn't let him and told him they would never have him back........... the list goes on.
Bro. Snuffer, for all his faults, needs the support of this man like a hole in the head!

LDSDPer said...

@anonymous at 4:54

I don't know whether it is because members of my family have experienced serious shunning in the church or not--

bu I find your words really offensive.

Marginalizing people, because they have 'come and gone' into the church is not a Christlike thing to do, but I can remember a time when the LDS 'circles' in which I traveled did it a lot. I remember when one of my brothers told me to stay away from: converts, even RMs and RMs who had not been APs--

well, I married a convert who had never even been a district leader--

that kind of silliness is silly, but it is also hurtful.

I would imagine that most people come to Rock's blog, because they have had experiences that make them want to go back to the basics, and one of those basics is learning to be kind to others, even if their background is not a resume for becoming a general authority.

I quickly skimmed (what is it called, the kind of reading you do quickly) his link; what is wrong with someone exposing anti-Mormon methods; it was fascinating to me; I had never read those anti-Mormons, but I had heard of him, and how do you know he doesn't have some valid points?

I know that this pure mormonism 'reader' and poster appreciates the unique variety of people on here and does not feel 'threatened' by anyone 'different'--

and you misread him; though it was poorly stated, it becomes obvious, if you read again, that he left the church, at last, because the middle eastern 'gentleman'--

And you misspelled his name--

Every human being is dear to Father in Heaven, and, from my experience, overly pious Mormons can do a lot more damage to the 'kingdom of God' (however it is defined) than can those who come and go and have what others might think is a 'different' personality--

The only thing I wondered about, and I would ask Mr. Evenson to explain, is why he stayed in the same apartment(s) with such vile fornicators as he mentioned.

I think there is a difference between disagreeing with what someone writes and 'making fun' of someone--

If we are truly following Jesus, we won't care about the social standing or religious background of anyone we meet--



LDSDPer said...

sorry for the typos; I don't know why I can't catch them the first time around--

"him" should be "them" for the anti-Mormons--

and "of" should come before "the middle eastern 'gentleman'"--

LDSDPer said...

sorry for the typos; I don't know why I can't catch them the first time around--

"him" should be "them" for the anti-Mormons--

and "of" should come before "the middle eastern 'gentleman'"--

Log said...

"I would imagine that most people come to Rock's blog, because they have had experiences that make them want to go back to the basics, and one of those basics is learning to be kind to others, even if their background is not a resume for becoming a general authority."

I only wish that "being kind to others" extended also to those whose background *is* a resume for becoming a general authority - or who may even be general authorities. Most of the comments around here, even Rock's, are generally pretty caustic towards the GAs. Does the Savior's proscription on judging others have an unspoken exception for those in leadership positions?

LDSDPer said...

@Log--

what did I say against a general authority? Any general authority?

I know young men who come off their missions and speak like general authorities--

they walk like them, smile like them, talk like them, shake hands like them--

I knew elders on my mission who were preparing for future leadership positions--

I know men now who have aspired to be leaders. I know men who have said, "those who are in leadership positions have more access to spiritual powers"--

Do you honestly think that young men do not envision themselves there? Some young men?

Would you please be specific as to how *I* have not been kind to a general authority? You need to be specific.

It's true that general authorities are treated with much more respect than are those who are 'odd men out'--

so, please be specific with me. Here. Now.

How and where and when and to which general authority was I unkind?

And what is with the word "GA"? Is that respectful?

I took the trouble of using both words--

"GA" isn't respectful, is it?

And, actually, if you are going to start talking about Jesus Christ and His words about 'leaders'--

try this, FROM lds.org:

12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the adoctrine of the Pharisees and of the bSadducees.

There are five references for that same teaching--

There are other scriptural references to being 'aware' of the danger of the teachings of those who are 'in authority'--

but I won't go into that--

No, I'm not Jesus--

but I haven't criticized any individual general authority. I merely pointed out that the sorts of young men who receive praise in our culture are those who pattern their lives after the general authorities. If you go to church and study people, you can see it.

Perhaps *I* think that's a good thing; how do you know? Do you?

As for their personal lives, I have absolutely no interest in them (the general authorities, not "GAs")--

but when they speak, I am commanded to heed, assuming they are called of God. If the Spirit testifies to me that what they are saying is the true doctrine of Jesus Christ, then great--

if they are praising a building at BYU--

well, then--

most of the time I don't feel much spirit from that, but I rarely even remember who may have said it.

Do you honestly believe that a person can only be 'righteous' if he/she accepts every word that comes from the mouth of a general authority?

If you do, then please give me the scriptural foundation for that belief.

If the Spirit testifies that it is true, that is a different matter, of course--

but I've asked you to be specific. I've been on Rock's blog now for a couple of years; you can go back over all my old posts and show me where I criticized a general authority.

And, if you weren't speaking to me, why did you quote me?

Your behavior might be a little passive aggressive.

LDSDPer said...

oh, and Log--

look up scorn in the topical guide--


the anonymous person who referred to Mr. Evenson (and misspelled his name)--

was actually speaking of him in undisguised scorn--

that he would not help Denver Snuffer.

I am not concerned with what will or will not "help" Denver Snuffer; I assume that God will help Denver Snuffer, as He helps all of His children--

but to scorn someone isn't Christlike/kind; it is that to which I was referring.

Jesus may have rebuked, but he didn't scorn. Scorning simply isn't done righteously; it can't be.

It is one thing to disagree with something a person says; it is another thing to scorn them.

I think that everyone involved in a discussion on criticism needs to agree as to what the definition is. Not agreeing with what someone says is not necessarily criticism. But to disagree with someone can be done without using scorn or disdain (another word that is not used positively in the scriptures, but is only found in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon)--

Young men who choose particular majors in college (accounting, business, law, medicine)--

are choosing careers that will tend to make them more desirable as church leaders--

to point out that there are people who either don't feel good about those professions or who don't have the ability to succeed in those professions as not having a 'resume to become a general authority' is merely stating a fact.

How many LDS do you think disapprove of a young man or woman going to college and majoring in those fields?

Very few, if any.

Log said...

"why did you quote me?"

Because you are correct; "one of those basics is learning to be kind to others, even if their background is not a resume for becoming a general authority." But beyond what you said, it is also a basic to learn to be kind to others, even if they are general authorities (hereafter simplified to GAs because that requires 3 letters to type and is unambiguous in meaning, as opposed to 18 letters and a space between the words), because the Savior's teachings apply with double force to those one considers one's enemies.

3 Nephi 12:38-48
38 And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;

39 But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.

43 And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;

44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new.

48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

Quoting people who express correct views is a simple way of expressing correct views. You saved me the time of going to the scripture website to pull up a citation.

LDSDPer said...

oh, well, I don't expect a response from *you*, Log--

I have a feeling you are a 'drive by'--

random.

LDSDPer said...

oh, Log, *you* answered--

I don't 'hate' the general authorities.

1--'general authorities' is a collective, and I don't judge anyone by collectives.

2--I have no reason to 'hate' any of those men individually at all--

If you want to know, I pray for them, but not because I consider them to be my enemies. I don't think of them as *my* enemies at all. Only Jesus knows where any one of them stands with regards to Him; only Jesus knows where any human being stands with regards to Him--

Because I believe:

55 Which avanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of aZion, even all.

57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new acovenant, even the bBook of Mormon and the cformer commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to ddo according to that which I have written—

President Benson declared that the 'church' was still under condemnation--

it is important to remember this principle:

7 I speak not concerning those who are appointed to lead my people, who are the afirst elders of my church, for they are not all under this condemnation;


The Lord did not say who was or who was not under condemnation, but here He makes it clear that collectivizing wasn't a wise or righteous thing to do--

There is a huge difference between seeing the cultural gaps in a religious movement and among the people who are involved with that movement--

and criticizing individual people.

I have made it clear on this blog that I believe that the church is in captivity--

individual leaders may or may not have much control over what is done--

some of them may actually be quite enlightened; others may not. But I don't spend enough time thinking about it beyond, "I felt the spirit from that man" after a talk or, "I didn't feel the spirit from that man."

I don't even bother to remember most of the time. I do know generally which ones 'feel' more inspired to me, but I wouldn't discuss it on here.

Whether each of those individual men is righteous or not or whether any of those men has tried to change the course of things or not--

is not something I can ascertain, though I know there are people who think that it should be ascertained.

I just know that culturally the LDS 'movement' is not going in a good direction--

and that there are more than one church--


LDSDPer said...

but the past education and careers of the general authorities are open for all to see.

And don't be amazed that young men try to emulate them.

Robin Hood said...

I went through a similar, if less public, process as Bro. Snuffer some years ago. I ended up walking away from the church (though I still believed) labelling it "semi-apostate".

I took issue with the leadership, both local and general, and was pleased with myself for appearing to know more than them. I was away from the church for 5+ years. During that time I read studiously, regularly visited other churches looking for truth, and I even associated with the Community of Christ (RLDS) for a while.

Then God intervened in my life in a very dramatic way and rescued me from myself and from the situation I had put myself. He showed me very clearly where the truth was, who his servants are, and what was required of me by way of response.

My life since then has been wonderful. It hasn't been easier, nor less puzzling. Church history hasn't suddenly fallen into place, the seeming excesses of the corporate church still grate, and the dumbing down in the church (which is so obvious to those of us who have been in the church 40 years or so) is still cause for concern.

However, I satisfied myself that God is at the helm, he has a plan, and we just have to serve each other, live the gosepel the best we know how, and all will be well with us. Because we are in the picture we cannot see the big picture, but the Lord can and does. I believe many of the brethren do too.

I personally believe Bro. Shuffer, though well meaning, is the victim of a very subtle deceiving spirit, as was I. One day he will come to realise it. I hope and trust the Lord will be there for him as he was for me when that day comes.

LDSDPer said...

@Robin, I believe everyone, even in the church, has a different calling and mission--

I've been told very firmly to stay in the church (in prayer), but I don't judge those who don't; I think it is possible that some may be told to leave; I don't think Brother Snuffer was told to leave; I would never have been as public with any of my concerns--

we turned the other cheek severely when leaders were abusive; I've never had any trouble with any kind of general authority; there are some I think more highly of than others, but I think that is not uncommon or unhealthy--

some 'grate' (good word), because of their perspective, but perhaps others need that perspective; I don't know; others seem more 'in tune' to me--

The one problem that *I* have with any discussion about religion is that it really is true that what is right for one person may not be right for another; I do believe there are those who can serve and do more good in another religious venues--

however, some of *us* need to learn how to handle *our* tempers, etc.--and sometimes even unrighteous leaders are a tool in the Lord's Hands for that--

I can't judge Brother Snuffer; I won't judge him--

I believe that another Mormon blogger said it well when he explained that the wheat and tares are growing together, and it is up to the Lord to do the harvest, not to us--

so I won't say who is right or wrong in this circumstance, but I will talk about it and say that I am saddened by what happened, and if Brother Snuffer has been wronged against, it will be righted someday. If he remains faithful, he will be blessed. I can't say what experiences (spiritual) he may or may not have had. Because you know you were being deceived doesn't mean he has been deceived. I can still choose for myself not to listen to him or read what he has to say--


LDSDPer said...

@Rock, thanks for the information on William Smith--

I hadn't known his relationship with his brother Joseph had been full of conflict--

and I think I remember now that he didn't die--

that summer, when Samuel did.

But his excommunication, along with the deaths of Joseph, Hyrum and Samuel must have been difficult indeed--

I looked for your response; I found it earlier, but I couldn't find it again, so I hope you see it 'down here'--

The trouble with the Smith brothers, besides Joseph and Hyrum--

is that I never heard about them, because they were kind of 'buried' in history--

there is that issue again, right?

whew!

me said...

Robin Hood,

You describe yourself as having gone through a similar process as Bro. Snuffer but it doesn't sound similar to me at all. You say you walked away from the church, took issue with the leadership, went looking for truth and was pleased with yourself for appearing to know more than them. I haven't read or heard anything like that with Bro. Snuffer. In fact it appears quite the opposite.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to live the gospel the best we can, and that the Lord knows the plan full well.

But, ANYONE who chooses and asked the questions of God will be able to see a bigger picture.
I guess it's really not ours to decide whether Bro. Snuffer or anyone else is a victim of a very subtle deceiving spirit. If you believe that, then a prayer of sincere love and compassion toward that person is all that is needed to help them. It doesn't work nor help to try to instill fear in others.

Log said...

There is a problem here that it seems none quite have a grasp of.

The argument Snuffer has leveled in PTHG is consistent with the scriptures, the teachings of Joseph Smith, and the history books. That is the problem. His argument is not answered by claiming he is deceived, neither is it answered by excommunicating him, neither would it be answered by stoning and slaying him and burning his book. Neither do slights upon his character answer the argument, neither does judging his motivations - which judgements, be it known, only reveal the inner character of the ones making them.

I have taken the liberty of reading most of what he has written. I can detect no signs of deception from him - none of the pride, arrogance, insecurity, or condescension which inevitably characterizes pretenders to knowledge. I have not seen him cast aspersions upon those who disagree. That doesn't mean he's authentic, but his consistency and claims do mean I have to take him seriously, and give him a very careful hearing, and for good reason.

Moroni 7:12-18
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

"Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

"For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

"For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

"But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

"And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged."

How we judge is a harbinger of our own final judgement.

Snuffer's work passes the Moroni 7 smell test - it justifies none in any wickedness whatsoever, but on its own terms mandates a greater faith in Christ and diligence in service to God and obedience to His commandments. It doesn't justify railing against the Church nor the authorities within it; neither does it justify disobedience to them. It doesn't even justify voluntarily leaving the Church.

That's a very great problem: a purported pretender to great knowledge which takes no advantage of others but explains how to gain it; an alleged rebel who doesn't rebel and teaches people not to; one who allegedly seeks to lead men astray but keeps them in the sheepfold; one who allegedly seeks a following but instructs all to not follow him but rather Christ; one who purportedly denigrates the Brethren and casts the Church in a negative light yet teaches obedience to the Brethren and that the Church is still the Lord's!

That problem requires revelation to solve. But any public answer to Snuffer has to be on the terms he's made his argument - by reference to public evidence and analysis.



Anonymous said...

I think a G.R.R.Martin quote is very apropos here: “When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
~christian LDS

LDSDPer said...

@Log, you are a very confusing person!!! LOL!

First you say that "people on this blog, even Rock" are too critical of leaders.

I challenged you to find where I had been critical of leaders, and even as I was doing it I forgot that I have questioned the very public decisions and choices and behaviors of men like Brigham Young--

maybe because he's been dead a long time I feel that that is different from bringing up Elder M. John Brown (not using a real name)--

which I don't and won't do--

and then you defend Denver Snuffer--

LOL!

I guess the reason I was drawn to Rock's blog is that I am a libertarian.

Frankly, what Denver Snuffer teaches or believes or does is not my business. Unfortunately, what Brigham Young did really WAS my business, because it had a huge impact on my ancestors, which trickled down to me. He was the 'head' of the church, and his choices did have an impact.

Denver Snuffer isn't my business. He may be a REALLY cool guy, or he may be a bit 'off' (I don't know, and I am not sure I want to know)--

my concern is how he has been 'dealt with', because it makes me feel that if I speak up about Brigham Young and polygamy--

and say that the church got sidetracked with that, even though I can believe that the Lord is still concerned with it (the church)--

then I become as much of a 'threat' to the 'leaders of the church' as Snuffer has been, and that scares me. That makes me feel that I am living in Animal Farm or 1984. Big brother is watching sort of stuff.

Snuffer seems unconcerned about what will happen to him, and some people think that is audacious; other people think he is just trying to be Christlike. A person can't win for losing--

depending upon the viewpoint of the person looking at another person's life, that person may be perceived on a scale of bad to good and anything in between.

The problem is that I don't see being honest about corporations as putting the church in a 'bad light'--

it depends upon whether the light one is concerned about is the Light of Christ or the flashlight of the world--

if one is concerned about impressing the world, well, then--

My testimony of Jesus Christ and "the gospel" (don't like to use that word, but it simplifies things) is strengthened when I see prophecies come to pass, even those that concern the apostasy in the last days--

I find it hard to understand why others can't see that, too--

but we are all looking through the lenses of our own experiences--

to me all this confusion and chaos is exciting, because it means that maybe Jesus' Coming is just around the corner.

Hang on for the ride--!

Yes, there are those who think that sounds insane, but--

see?

My point was made, I think.

Log said...

"then you defend Denver Snuffer..."

If you read what I have written carefully, I'm not defending anyone, but rather stating facts, upholding general principles, and giving the scriptural basis for my approach to these things - which I am convinced is the universally obligated approach of any Mormon.

You might say I am using the sword of justice to defend truth and virtue.

"[W]hat Denver Snuffer teaches or believes or does is not my business... Denver Snuffer isn't my business."

I agree - DS ain't my business either. What I don't like are defenders of the Brethren and the Church using the tactics of the great and spacious building, and violating the commandments of Christ in so doing, as has happened on this thread.

But I also don't like seeing those tactics applied against the Brethren. You'll find I am consistent that way.

Mockery, scorn, judgment, and accusation are wrong - no matter who they are aimed at. The use of what are termed "logical fallacies" are not accidents of bad reasoning, but intentional rhetorical devices meant to undercut truth, and undermine reputations and characters in an attempt to triumph over one's enemies, ideological or otherwise.

That has been the reaction to DS's work; and that is how many approach the GAs.

There is enough work in preaching repentance - casting aside all sin, turning wholly unto the Lord God in our hearts, and calling upon the name of the Lord in mighty prayer unto the remission of sins and the sanctification of our hearts - to occupy us all our days, and there is no more important message which we had ought to be spreading.

In preaching this message, we serve the Lord - whereas when we rail against the Church, the Brethren, Denver Snuffer, Republicans, Democrats, Congress, the UN, taxation without representation, taxation with representation, gun control, &c., ad nauseam, we serve the devil, who seeks to distract us from coming unto Christ.

Anonymous said...

It is not 'serving the Devil' to warn others about false prophets and false teachers and the falsehoods & evil they speak and do.

True prophets & disciples of Christ (we should all be prophets) have always tried to warn others of those who would lead them astray.




Log said...

I'm lacking an example of true servants of the Lord railing against anyone.

Indeed, I read these.

patdwhite said...

I can't say whether or not Denver should have been disciplined by the Church. However, if you do some serious research into his teachings and the people following his teachings they are pretty far out there for any organized religion.

patdwhite said...

I can't say whether or not Denver should have been disciplined by the Church. However, if you do some serious research into his teachings and the people following his teachings they are pretty far out there for any organized religion.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

"Pretty far out there" by whose measurement, Patdwhite? What's that supposed to mean?

The idea that God descended as a man, was killed, then rose again would seem pretty far out there to some, yet most organized Christian religions teach it, and most of us believe it. So whether a teaching is "pretty far out there" or not is subjective. It tells us nothing about whether the teaching is true or false.

The problem with the LDS Church disciplining Denver Snuffer is not his teachings, far out or otherwise, for if he was teaching falsely they would have told him precisely what they objected to so he could correct it. They have not. They will not tell him where he is in error or what parts of his book need correcting. He has been told he can "come back" if he kow-tows to their authority. But they are curiously silent about where he is doctrinally or historically wrong.

That's the nub of the controversy. "They" don't like what he says. They won't say why.

Log said...

I have done serious research into his teachings. Which of his teachings do you believe "are pretty far out there for any organized religion"? Please cite either his blog or his books. I have had too many people say something similar only to find out they haven't done any research at all, being unable to cite accurately any actual source for their positions.

Which of his "followers" do you speak of, and what is your specific relevant accusation against them, and how do they reflect upon Snuffer? Shall we hold all "followers" of someone responsible for the one they are "following"? What then should be said about the Inquisition, the Crusades, or Brian David Mitchell? Or shall we admit that "guilt by association" would be one of the tactics of those who dwell in the great and spacious building, lacking a foundation of knowledge?

Anon 23 said...

The same could be said of any members & leaders of the Church. All LDS are pretty far out there in their beliefs.

Compared to most other Christian religions it's 'pretty far out there' in the extreme to believe in such abusive things as polygamy, polyandry and prophets who lie to their wife (not to mention lie to a whole church) while they run around after teenagers behind her back.

I don't know many non-lds who would believe in such horrid things or believe such men could ever be a 'prophet of God' if he did such things.

I even doubt any LDS on this site would even treat their own wife the same or her put up with it, let alone want the same done to him as early LDS leaders did to their wives.

I guess LDS don't believe in Christ's 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' No wonder other Christians don't think we are Christians, I certainly don't think LDS are Christians, for they seem to preach and practice so contrary to Christ.

Anonymous said...

Is this the dude that says he's a reincarnated Hyrum Smith or is that some other nutjob?

Log said...

Guilt by association is so old...

Matt 11:18-19
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

And more....

Anonymous said...

Great post Bjorge queen. I love the great people who read Rocks articles. Cheers from a true (of the original church) believer from down under (Australia).

Brian Johnson said...

Your awesome Alan keep it up

LDSDPer said...

Log,

There is a fine line--


Jesus warned His disciples against the pharisees. I'm not railing against anyone when I suggest that corporations and global bankers are behind much of the evil in this world--

I don't mock general authorities. Or Denver Snuffer. I am somewhat ambivalent about church leaders. I intend to and make a great effort to follow Jesus. But I'm not railing to speak of conspiring men--

Gary Hunt said...

Log,

I have been reading and thinking about your comments. You have made many statements of truth, however there are some statements you make and concepts you describe which I believe are incorrect. I will explain.

In your first comment you say…

“Most of the comments around here, even Rock's, are generally pretty caustic towards the GAs.”

You also use the words “rail” and “railing”, in your other comments in reference to comments made about general authorities on this blog. This is a serious accusation because according to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology the definition of the word “rail” is “utter abusive language”.

The definition of abuse is “wrong use”; “injurious language”; “misuse”; “misrepresent”, and “malign”. This is again according to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Relatively few comments on this blog would fit into the category of “rail” or “railing”. I think if you go back and read all the comments you will find that the "caustic" or "railing" statements are made by a very small percentage of those making comments. Not "most" or even "generally".

To make truthful statements about what a person says or does is not railing. An example would be the following scripture.

“ Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

Christ also called them hypocrites quite often. Was he railing or being caustic towards the Pharisees and Sadducees when He exposed who they were?

In another one of your comments you say…

“Mockery, scorn, judgment, and accusation are wrong - no matter who they are aimed at.” (Refer to scripture above). “ The use of what are termed "logical fallacies" are not accidents of bad reasoning, but intentional rhetorical devices meant to undercut truth, and undermine reputations and characters in an attempt to triumph over one's enemies, ideological or otherwise.”

Logical fallacies can be committed by well meaning persons unintentionally (accidentally) and not just intentionally as you claim. Look the definition up.

The common thread I found running through all your comments is what is called a “Straw Man fallacy”.

BTW read 1Kings 18:27.

Log said...

Brother Hunt,

I am sorry that you believe I have committed fallacies or spoken in any manner less than truthfully.

LDSDPer said...

@Log, I'm not Gary, and I'm not responding for him; I'm responding for myself. I appreciate your desire not to revile. I've been thinking about that a lot lately--the warning to revile again, as found in Alma.

Sometimes I think it is easy to be too adamant. Spiritual and theological things are very personal and very dear to many peoples' hearts, and those who don't hold them dear have probably suffered a lot for the beliefs of others. Either way, it's hard to discuss without emotion and intensity.

Jesus did warn His disciples about the Pharisees. And in the D&C we are told to beware of evil and conspiring men--and to learn about the perplexities of the nations--

we can't do that if we are afraid to communicate with *each other* about evil and conspiring men and the perplexities of the nations--

finding a balance is very difficult, I admit--

I haven't found it yet, I admit.

LDSDPer said...

oops--

er . . . NOT to revile again--

Log said...

The way to avoid reviling is simply to not judge. Unless we know - actually know, not merely believe - that we have the truth, the very real possibility exists that we do not have the truth.

LDSDPer said...

@Log, you have read in the Book of Mormon and D&C about evil and conspiring men?

Do you pretend they don't exist? Do you believe it is wrong to try to use discernment to protect your loved ones from such people?

Log said...

It is interesting you bring up D&C 89. Did you notice the Lord announced that there are and shall be evils and designs by conspiring men? And did you notice that He spent no time naming them, nor reviling them, but rather He taught true principles to His children, that they may govern and protect themselves thereby? I would suggest that is a model for how we protect our loved ones: teach them true principles, and let them govern themselves. No need to judge, nor revile.

JST, Luke 6:29
29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

I would hazard to say the prohibition against reviling extends to the laying down of one's life before one engages in it - witness the example of the Savior, and the people of Ammon; look at the brothers of Ammon in their trials, as well as Alma and Amulek in prison.

Even Abinadi did not revile his persecutors.

Anon 23 said...

Actually Abinadi did revile his persecutors, he told them exactly where they were wrong. As did Christ.

I believe the Anti-Nephi Lehi's were wrong to bury their swords and not protect their families, their guilt seems to have clouded their realization of their duty to protect their families. Repentance, even of serious sins, doesn't mean ignore your duty to protect your family. Thus someone else had to do it for them, and when they saw that this was so they quickly realized their duty, but their sons stepped in, but the men still should have fought too. Moroni would not have allowed any man to not fight, no matter what sins he had done previously, for he had perfect understanding.

It is a commandment and a vital necessity to judge, everyone and everything. We just need to make sure we judge righteously using the scriptures and the Spirit.

We have to judge the character of everyone around us, the best we can. We must judge who we make our friends, who we date & marry, who we do business with, who we interact with, who we vote for, who we let our children be friends with, who we let our children be taught by in church or school, who we let give us medical help, who we go to for advice, and which men and women we listen to for spiritual guidance, meaning we must judge which prophets are true and which one's are false, even today around us, especially in the Church.

We also can't help anyone repent if we don't 1st judge that they need our help to repent.

Just because we may not be 100% sure we are right about everything we believe, doesn't mean we shouldn't share what we believe or feel is true, as long as we are humble and open to new information in case we may be wrong about something. For no one knows everything or has everything right. Everyone listening to us should know we could be wrong about some things, even prophets get a lot of things wrong. No one is perfect but Christ.

Those who can't or won't judge are easily deceived and led astray by false prophets and falsehoods, while feeling sure they are right.

But we should all be sharing truths & ideas and reasoning with each other about all things, so to help each other learn and progress.

After all we hear and discuss, we ourselves just need to make the final judgement on who and what is really true, based on what Christ taught.

Gary Hunt said...

Bro. Log,

Would you please define revile for us?

Thank you.

LDSDPer said...

Well, it was Alma who told those who were being persecuted not to 'revile again'--and I believe that is a truth--

I did look it up once, "revile", and I was satisfied with the definition, and I work hard not to 'revile again'--


that isn't my concern here--

I love the people of Ammon and admire them--

and I do not believe in violence; there may be times when the Spirit tells us to defend others, but I won't defend myself, and I pray I won't have to defend my innocent ones--

but--

I'm not talking about that; I'm talking about gaining knowledge about what is happening in the world--

D&C 89 does mention 'hidden treasures of knowledge', and it doesn't say the treasures will be all 'sunshine'--

the idea of refusing to discuss difficult things, even if *we* set standards that exclude mocking or scorning--

seems wrong to me--

sorry, Log--

BUT, this may be your gift, your burden--and not the burden of others. I think that sometimes we receive personal revelation and think it applies to everyone we "meet"--


maybe YOU are supposed to keep your eyes and ears shut and just be good--

and I am NOT making fun or laughing at you or mocking you or being satirical--

!


The idea of personal mission is important. That's why I don't judge those who leave the church and I ask them kindly not to judge ME for staying--

why does everyone think everything applies to everyone all the same--?



Fusion said...

Hi Rock,

Have you (or anyone) heard about the current happenings with Denver Snuffer and Onewhoiswatching?

After going to DS' Boise talk, the Watcher (Onewhoiswatching) and Snuffer have an very interesting confrontation going on- OWIW rejects some of DS' claims and teachings, and calls him out on a number of things, and DS' has taken note and put this up on his website. This is very interesting for those of us who have been reading both their blogs. I'd describe it more but you really need to check this out for yourselves:

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/an-evening-in-boise-with-denver-snuffer-part-one/

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/an-evening-in-boise-with-denver-snuffer-part-two/

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/a-contemplated-rebuttal.html

Fusion

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