Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Path Away From Denver Snuffer


Note: 
**Let me inform all readers of my unworthiness. I don’t ask that you think I am right or wrong.
**I would ask, however, that you (anyone) merely consider my post. I put it together quickly, but I left myself bare to all, exposing all my weaknesses. Again, please consider my words and forgive me and take what truths are there. Please go to God.
**Denver once stated, "The truth is always about the underlying message. Does the message cause you to awake? Does it cause you to arise?" Please oversee my sins and find the truth that is needed.

UPDATE--31 March, 2016: Looking back, I think I was a little overzealous in my efforts. I don't want in any way to condemn Denver Snuffer nor those who "follow" him. I still disagree with his path, but I do feel some remorse in how hard I came across. I'm sorry for thinking that I know where he is in life or who I think he may be. That doesn't matter. I knew that before. I was trying to express why that path was not mine anymore. I'm sorry I condemned him or those associated. I wish him and everyone else the best.

This blogpost is dedicated to those who associate themselves to Denver Snuffer. I fully disclose that I was on the cusp of re-baptism a couple months ago. I talked to my bishop and was ready to be excommunicated. I still thank Denver Snuffer and John Pontius. I can better understand and apply the Gospel in my life.
I was taught true, saving principles. I saw how they worked in my life. My spiritual experiences multiplied in number and magnitude. Then as one man's journey veered, unfortunately mine did too. In my journey, I found that some of my unbelief in certain things were justified; my unbelief in man, for instance. Was the Spirit still with me in my deception? Yes, it was. I've learned that God is no respecter of persons, and that even in our wrong paths, no matter how dark or sinful it may be, God will always stretch out His hands. We will be called to pass through these tests at times. It takes true discipleship in Christ to overcome all things. Just living in this Babylonian world, it will happen; it is happening now if we don't entirely submit our lives to Him. Even when we do, it is only by His grace that we overcome. In this, we can only give the glory to God and not by our own self-righteousness.
I’m grateful to God to help me. It just proves my dependence on Him in my fallen state in this world. I'm grateful for those who reached out in love and concern; yet, even that couldn't help me. I know it was the prayers that were made in my behalf; to me there is no other explanation. Thanks also to my unknown friend, Miguel. I'm still working out many things, but my place is here with the LDS Church. I apologize for offending anyone in my strayed path. My search is never complete. I hope to never pretend I have all the truth. After all, faith requires revelation; and how often do we receive the gift of faith? Often, I hope. I hope we believe and exercise the gift of faith in all the examples taught in the Book of Mormon. I hope we claim and act in these promises God has given us.
What we need is long-suffering, patience, unity, and love towards members of the church; not another division. We can carry on with the Spirit of the Gospel that Denver Snuffer taught us so well; but we are in great need of outstanding members to stay with the Church that Joseph Smith restored and continue on towards the goal of Zion. Forcing our views is neither wise nor charitable. It’s obvious there are faults in the church. Pres. Uchtdorf acknowledged this publicly. But perhaps this “Old Boat Zion” really will lead us to “the brink of hell”, temporarily perhaps, and then on to Zion (1). It will sift as needed. It is the Church that delivered us all the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (e.g.—by means of preserving the Book of Mormon).
Denver Snuffer has Fallen
I had the following dream on November 29, 2012 that I recorded:
I dreamed I was on a journey. At first I was in a car with friends whom I did not know. Then I saw the woman that was driving purposefully crash. After the wreck, I left on my own and searched again for this woman who departed after the crash. I wanted to be with this woman. Then I caught her with another man in adultery. I then gave up on her because of her sin.
I’ll end my dream there.
I have continuously read Denver’s messages almost for the past 3 years. I recently rediscovered this dream of catching him in a spirit of adultery/apostasy. I understand there is an apostasy from the Gospel, but his is an apostasy of rebellion, fault-seeking, and leaving the church (but never denying the truth).
The apostasy of Denver Snuffer mirrors Sydney Rigdon’s. Like Sydney, Denver “felt [his excommunication] was done without proper order.” Like Sydney, Denver “refused to attend [his] trial”. Like Sydney, Denver “in turn, likewise [essentially] excommunicated the members of the Twelve” (quotes from Wikipedia). I fear Denver may end up the same.
The Danger of Knowledge
Just because a messenger gives truth does not mean he/she is a true messenger. What I mean by the above is that Denver’s knowledge exceeds that of most members in the church. Of course knowledge is not a bad thing. In fact, it is necessary; but there is power in knowledge and it can be abused. Satan has power over us because of our lack of knowledge (2).
I wonder who was likely a better and more skilled teacher. Brigham or Sydney? Who had greater knowledge, Brigham or Sydney? Sydney received great revelations and visions right alongside Joseph Smith. Brigham did not hold as great of a claim on revelation, but sometimes used Heber C. Kimball as his revelator. To those who follow Denver Snuffer, the answer to these questions is obvious. In the end, we were left with Brigham Young; which even Denver agrees was the better decision.
Fight for Inheritance
Much like in Joseph’s last dream, the apostates would always seek to claim his inheritance from the church. The apostates would fight over it, but it was found without the foundation of prophets and apostles. They, as Joseph Smith once said, “mock at authority”. But the apostates can have that “old barn” (D&C 121:16–25).
What if the Brethren really are right that we stay with the old ship Zion? Why must it be such a test to not lift up the heal against the Brethren and stay in the boat? Why must we always lose our greatest saints? Because of my family’s faithfulness over many years, I was able to inherit the knowledge of how to seek the light of the Gospel.
A Sieve in Our Midst
As the pattern of apostasy always happens, so did Denver Snuffer and many before him like Sydney. In Isaiah 22, there is prophesied an “evil servant” that is replaced by “a faithful and wise servant”. I say wait a little longer until the servant will come to put in order the church. Those “found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the church” will not find an inheritance (D&C 85:7–12). Much like the barn in Joseph’s dream.
Brother Snuffer, why did you have to follow so closely the path of Sydney Rigdon? The church is always left with the weakest of saints already. Why must there be another division? The church is yet coming out of the wilderness and going through purification (and more to come), despite our condemnation. Stay with the old boat and teach us poorly saints.
Heber C. Kimball warned the saints in 1856:
“We think we are secure in the chambers of the everlasting hills, but the time will come when we will be so mixed up that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a test, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand?”
It’s interesting that our covenants are attached to the church, but we are willing to break those covenants we made. Maybe it’s not about the membership, but our covenants. We made that covenant in front of God and angels, yet we are willing to walk away. Zion is still the last stop of this old ship. It will be set in order.
Heber C. Kimball stated:
“I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against the covenants they have made, and they will be destroyed as Judas was.”
Priesthood Still Among Us
There have still been others after Brigham who have had an audience with Christ, including Denver Snuffer! President John Taylor, President Joseph F. Smith and David B. Haight. Perhaps most recently, Elder Packer from his testimony in the April 2014 General Conference; proof enough the priesthood in the Church is valid and alive, despite even Denver’s condemnation against it at that very time Elder Packer gave his testimony.
“’For we saw him” (D&C 76:22–23). Their words are my words.”—Elder Packer, April 2014 General Conference
His words are clear enough; and what timing as Denver claimed otherwise (3).
Stay Together
Like Denver Snuffer said, “Joseph Smith suggested the church needed to stay together.” If a church can be condemned, and yet one can still receive those blessings as Elder Packer has testified of around the time of April 2014, then so can members today. Joseph Smith said, “Do not watch for iniquity in each other, if you do you will not get an endowment, for God will not bestow it on such”. It possibly goes the same for watching for iniquity of the church.
Even I became a little inactive in the Church; but I have yet to come across anyone at church to know of Denver Snuffer (I’m on the East coast). Maybe he fulfilled his part and fell away. There is much work to do in the church, but why ditch the saints? Wouldn’t we at least still work with them, even alongside them?
Teaching true principles of faith and repentance will enable enough of the slumbering saints. Is it not still true that this is still the church Joseph restored? It has lived this long, why give up now? There is evidence enough of a type of apostasy since Denver’s fall. His knowledge is greater than the members, and what a dangerous situation that is in his apostasy; a strong delusion that would make, indeed.
Justified by the Spirit
We cannot get wrapped up in the law; for we are only justified by the spirit. Just don’t get wrapped up in the spirit of apostasy. 
Usually, matters of the law are of very important to the apostate. It was for pharisaic Jews as well. Yes, there are some laws that, as a Church, we have done away with. However, we should know better that we are justified by the Spirit. We live the law according to our faith in Christ, not of the law itself. That is true for any law in the Church. Faith in Christ is dependent on being guided by His Spirit.
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3)
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3, see also the ESV version of the Bible)
Be Ye Followers
I agree that we are to obey God directly. I admit that in the end, we follow God and seek His spirit; but sometimes, do we still follow someone in the process? In other words, are we going to choose the Brethren or Denver in the process? I’ve been where you are. It would be hypocrisy for those who follow Denver to say we choose to follow the Brethren. How many would be re-baptized, have sacrament with wine, etc., if it wasn’t for Denver? The Church did not say to do this. Joseph Smith authorized sacrament of water. We have an authorized baptism by a commissioned church; but in the end, we are justified by the Spirit. That is the whole point. Following someone else’s suggestion of keeping the commandments won’t make it any different as long as we keep our covenants and have faith in Christ.
Joseph Smith spoke of Paul’s people to be on par with Enoch’s. If they still needed to follow a prophet then so do we, no matter your spiritual stature. Maybe there is something to the Brethren holding these mysterious “keys” in guiding us. Paul taught:
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.(1 Corinthians 4)
I actually believe it was the Corinthians whom Joseph Smith called Paul’s people. Paul appeared to preach them doctrine beyond the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Yet, Denver seems to think that following the Brethren will corrupt the restoration. But rather:
24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (2 Corinthians 1)
Even if all the leaders are at fault, then it’s our responsibility to “exceed the[ir] righteousness” and be a testimony to them (Matthew 5: 20). If we need to be more righteous, then let’s do so. The Brethren, nor anyone else, need tell us to do so. So, are we going to choose to follow men still claiming an audience with Christ (like Elder Packer)? Or, are we going to choose to follow someone that criticizes (which has always been a hindrance to the restoration)? Which one is God guiding? 
It’s the Criticism
John Pontius didn’t feel it was in his work to do what Denver was doing, either. John passed away faithfully in the church. It’s interesting how much he would have known, and yet know the condition of the church; but he never raised his heal against the brethren, and how many in the church were better because of his faithfulness? So it is with all of those who fell away from the church. We need them just as much to stay in the church. Again, maybe it’s not about our membership, but our covenants which are connected to the church.
It’s interesting to note John’s words:
“But, we [Snuffer and Pontius] have spent a few hours discussing the subject of criticism of the Brethren and the Church, whether the criticism is true or not. Simply stated, he and I do not agree on this subject. I do not criticize the Church simply because it isn’t my calling. I don’t fault the Brethren because it doesn’t change anything. I wouldn’t publish something outlining whatever flaws I might detect merely because I most assuredly do not see the candle as extinguished.
“Whatever flaws exist are irrelevant in my opinion. They are irrelevant because I personally have enjoyed a full measure of blessings the gospel promises, without being limited by whatever flaws exist – and frankly, it seems, so has Denver.”
I wonder what brother Pontius would say now.
See what the scriptures and Joseph Smith say of criticism, judging, fault-seeking, etc. It is a spirit of apostasy, and something we should stay away from. In his first lecture, Denver told of a woman named Monty. Maybe she rightfully warned him, “You beware of pride.”
I think, rather, it’s the spirit of criticism that has always been an enemy to the church and the restoration. Isn’t that more obvious? That has always been the case in the restoration.
Opposition in All Things
I was so quick to follow Denver that I neglected to search the other side–to stay in the church. I needed to search both polar opposites. I used to be angry going to church because of the false teachings. Now that I’ve distanced myself from Denver, I’ve taken the good from him and left what I believe was a spirit of apostasy in me. I now have a greater love for the members. Being in church doesn’t irritate me anymore. I just have a greater compassion and love for the saints. I teach them the things I have learned that have brought me closer to Christ. It was my trouble with the criticisms that kept me from moving forward.
I believe criticism and the spirit of apostasy is what we should avoid. Unity is required to build Zion; but criticism, rather than building up the saints by teaching and long suffering, will not bring about Zion. I still see many faithful and humble seekers in the church that could use that. Division seems to be the answer for criticism.
Wait for the One Mighty and Strong
For those who think Denver is the one mighty and strong, he is not. He so declared himself that he is not that one:
“Leave it for God to decide when we have done enough to justify Him moving His hand again to restore that which was lost. What need is there for a family head if there is no family to organize? When He does that, it will be through ‘a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.’ (D&C 113:6.)”
This means that he was not to put the church in order. This means he is not an authorized servant. This also means, I believe, that he is a fallen prophet; guiding others where he is not authorized. Stay rather with the church that Joseph Smith restored.
Turn yourselves fervently to the scriptures; the revelation will increase. Turn away from blogs that teach doctrine for those with itching ears. Abase yourselves and stay with the flock.
Consider
I was part of the FaceBook group LDS Remnant. I was ready to be baptized. My wife did not want me to be in that group because she thought it was toxic of criticism. Frankly, I was ashamed at some things that were said as well.
When speaking to the bishop, my family, or friends, there was nothing they could teach me, say to me, or do to make me change my mind in my efforts towards re-baptism. However, I promised my wife that I would honestly seek the other side of what I was doing. I needed to search out why staying in the church would be necessary. Part of receiving the gift of faith is in searching. Opposition in all things, right? 
I wrote an email to a friend I had made a few years earlier, and what he said made me consider; just consider. That was all that was needed to spark something inside me. I opened up to my wife in a whole new way. The Spirit poured out on me. I was more open towards her, was more loving, was more humble. My marriage would have changed, and I almost damaged it. I left the group. Then I felt to post what my friend wrote me on that FaceBook group, without comment. I had to convince my wife that was all I was doing to rejoin. When I did so, I was shocked at the reaction I received. I don’t think it lasted but an hour or two before my post with my friend’s words was deleted entirely. My intention of seeking truth was questioned, among other things. I didn’t defend myself. Not only was I rejected in my own church, but also in the group I was planning to join through baptism. I don’t hold any grudges or even blame any of them. I do know that nobody, no group, no church is perfect. I despise the corrosive effects of judging and criticizing. Now sometimes I feel like I’m a loner, rejected on both sides. It takes courage to go to church, but I actually feel love towards them. God then began teaching me why staying in the church is what I needed to do (despite all its weakness), and how following Denver was not the right path.
The rest of my dream that I shared earlier? I was walking towards the mountains with my fellow saints that I knew in the church. I had a hood on my head to hide my face. I was ashamed for something. Now I know why. I almost abandoned my friends. I can only say now to all you who choose to follow Denver Snuffer to simply consider, as I once did.
Re-Enter the Fold
A non-member, Sols Caurdisto, had a vision in 1933. I hope we can find value in what she said:
“I saw your people draw closer and closer together, as this became more tense and as the spiritual forces warned them through the mouth of your elders and your other officers. I saw the spiritual forces influencing those members who had drifted away, to re-enter the fold. I saw a greater tithing than ever before. I saw vast quantities of necessaries supplied by members whose spiritual eyes had been opened. I saw a liquidation of properties and effects disposed of quietly but quickly by members of the church, as the spiritual influences directed them.”
Zion is yet to come. We’ve seen in the past what the sheer forces of the Church can do when we come together. When this call comes, it will be powerful to see. Come and re-enter the fold.

Numbered References:

(1) “Brethren, this Church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people. Then God will raise the one mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, to save and redeem this church.” —Brigham Young
(2) “…A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”—Joseph Smith
(3) “Last general conference, the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes.”—Denver Snuffer

LATER ADDITION:

A Law Unto Themselves

I believe that Denver Snuffer is skillfully turning us against the appointed channels we've been given, the Church which was restored through Joseph Smith. The law was given through him. The Church was the appointed vehicle to bring about and preserve the truth. But now, Denver Snuffer, who has turned against the Church has become a “law unto [himself]” .(D&C 88:35). This is the concept that has been in my mind. Denver is not the first to try and do this, yet all like him have claimed the rights have been taken away. The people are truly perishing for “lack of knowledge”. These are indeed confusing times and perhaps that's why it must take one mighty and strong. I've searched talks in the past, and there are many about this concept.

We've been given the ordinances, and even Denver is a testament to those ordinances to be yet burning. It was by his faith in Christ unto the fulfilling of the law and ordinance. It is my opinion that he has become a law unto himself. I suggest that only the one mighty and strong can initiate the following he has garnered. It is such.

I strongly suggest reading a talk by Charles W. Penrose called “The Gospel–A Practical and Comprehensive Religion, and the Means of Eternal Exaltation”. I believe he expounds upon this concept better than I can. I promise it is worthwhile to read. Maybe start to read where it begins, “All these ordinances and ceremonies instituted by the Almighty…” and then onward.

Find the talk here:
http://jod.mrm.org/21/351

14 comments:

  1. You are still brainwashed though. Walk away from it all.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  3. B. Jones: Did you turn off comments? The other day I tried to leave one. I enjoyed reading your comments -- Jonathan Felt

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    1. Comments are on! I'm glad you enjoyed reading!

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  4. I had no idea!!! I enjoyed this post very much. I know where to come back if I ever drift away. Thank you very much Bryan.

    I read along twice and also searched all the scriptural quotes and witnesses you presented. You spoke with the law and the testimony at hand a required by the lord to all his servants. I was as attentive as I would be to any church leader because there is light in you.

    I liked all the rejection you received from your false friends. That right there is a testimony to me that your word was good for it was rejected by the wicked on the spot and you saw their true colors show up. Your truth ipierced them to the center.

    Just keep climbing Zion's mount and keep getting strong until you reach the top. If the road less travelled on foot and uphill was as easy as the highway and inside a car that crashes by every wind of false doctrine, everybody would take it. I have seen myself the stampede they will face as per Isiah 22.

    Your unworthy servant

    Mickey Mouse

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  5. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

    19 ¶And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

    20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

    22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
    Isaiah 8:18-22

    http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/8?lang=eng

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  6. Big hug! So happy you are back. Love your blog.

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  7. Apostates love to use this section of the D & C to mislead people. This scripture, when speaking of putting things in order, is only referring to Independence, MO. Bishop Partridge was supposed distribute the properties & such amongst the Saints, but he was not doing his duty. The Lord sent him a stern warning that he would be replaced by "one mighty & strong". Bishop Partridge repented & started doing his duty, therefore, there was no need to replace him with "one mighty & strong". This scripture has nothing at all to do with our day. It does not mean that the Brethren in our day have lost their power & authority to lead. It was not even referring to them.

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    1. If thou speaketh of doctrine and covenants 85. It is to do with thou day. But this does not mean the church doctrines itself are in apostasy only it membership and organisation has errors to be corrected.

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  8. "There is much work to do in the church, but why ditch the saints? Wouldn’t we at least still work with them, even alongside them?"

    I would simply respond by saying yes, as much as Lehi Prayed for the saints he loved so much - but in the end, it is up to the Lord when the "saints" are ripe in stuck in their culture and mindset, and it is between the Lord and the very few Lehi's in scripture whether or not we are to continue working with and alongside the saints who will not open their hearts or minds more - and that due to over-correlation and follow the prophet over the voice of Christ.

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  9. A few things: First, I am thankful for each and every one of the Saints who lift up their voices for "staying in the old ship, Zion." Thank you for sharing your experiences. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Second, I was about three weeks away from entering the MTC when Denver Snuffer's excommunication was taking place. His point about the church "missing parts" of the priesthood seemed legitimate to me, and I wondered. I wondered and worried to the point that it was a matter of life and death to me. I felt to fast for two days concerning the matter. I told the Lord that I HAD to know for certain from Him what was right, because I was not about to go out into the mission field, only to lead others astray. At the conclusion of two days I uttered a final prayer, and had a short discussion with my mother: "I'm not going on a mission. I wish I could, but I can't, for the Lord has not told me what I should do. I am His servant, and if I don't know His will, then I can't serve him." I stepped out of that room and went into the bathroom. I washed my hands and looked into the mirror. And that was when the words clearly, explicitly, and authoritatively spoke: "Follow Thomas Monson. Always." I know the Lord spoke to me that day. I served a mission, and I saw miracles (the likes of which are recorded in the Bible). I do not say this with the intent of self-aggrandizing. They were God's miracles, and I just so happened to be there to witness. My point is that Denver believes the priesthood is broken, I testify that the way things are set up now is getting the job done. Even though President Monson is old, failing in health, and can barely manage to give a brief conference talk, I invite you to remember the words that were once spoken to me, "Follow Thomas Monson. Always." The old ship Zion, with any flaws it may or may not have is exactly where the Lord wants us. The Lord is with us on our journey in the old ship Zion. I know this is true.

    Third, John Pontius' ultimate point in all the words he ever published was for people to look to the Spirit, and secondarily to do it as they build Zion in the church and their homes. John Pontius tried so hard to get people to just TAKE CHURCH LEADERS AND THE SPIRIT SERIOUSLY. And I feel confident in saying this about him because I personally knew him and I know his family very well. He never sought to make himself seem as one more enlightened. He just bore his testimony, taught gospel principles, and invited others to ponder more carefully their own discipleship. John was right. The author of this blog post, is as far as I understand, correct in their thinking.

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  10. Thank you for your words and understanding.

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