Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil

I imagine by now there are many thousands of people who have read Denver Snuffer’s books. He wrote his first in 2006 and published his eighth towards the end of 2011. I have listed them below with the links to Amazon where they may be purchased. I have read four of them since being introduced to this author a few months ago and am slowly working on the others.

Denver is still an enigma to me. On the one hand, I am enthralled by what he has written. I have spent every spare moment reading his books and have read two of them twice – his first and his latest. He writes well or at least well enough for a verbose and repetitive lawyer. I personally think he could be more concise, but I doubt he was striving to produce finely polished work.

The books seem to be written more as an effort to get a message out with each additional book written to support the first one. That is, on the other hand, until you get to his latest book. I shared my initial reaction to that book in a previous essay. As I wrote in my comments there, if his witness is true, then he is possibly the most dangerous man in Mormonism right now.

I would like to focus this entry on his first book, The Second Comforter. When I was a young man either in seminary or while preparing for my mission, I studied the doctrine of having our calling and election made sure. We can and should be pursuing a course in our lives where we ask for and receive an audience with the Savior in order to seal on earth our eternal exaltation.

What the scriptures teach

John 14:16-18 – And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth (this is the first comforter) … I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (The Savior is the Second Comforter).

1 Peter 1:10 – Wherefore … brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

1 Peter 1:19 –And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy

D&C 131:5 – The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.

What Joseph Smith taught

“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted.

“When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses….

“Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; …when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him…

“…the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the First Born” [TPJS, pp. 150-51].

What the church teaches today

You can find plenty of references on the church website about making your calling and election sure but not as much about receiving the Second Comforter. I’m not so sure that this doctrine is as well understood. That’s why Denver’s book intrigues me so. How often are we taught in the church today that we should seek to be taught the mysteries of the Kingdom of God by the Lord himself, face to face? Are we being encouraged by our leaders to receive the Second Comforter?

Perhaps, like me you have the impression that we are subtly being discouraged from this idea. Is it dangerous to seek to commune with the spirit world other than through the general ministration of the Holy Ghost? Perhaps there is the fear that we may be deceived by angels of darkness who are appearing as angels as light? How many times do we talk about being taught by the angels? If we’re not ready to receive the Lord yet, can’t we and shouldn’t we seek to have angels teach us?

I like what my friend Bryce Haymond wrote in the comments on my first Denver Snuffer essay: “I have once heard it said, ‘Those that don’t know speak….. while those that know don’t.’ I would be extremely cautious of following too closely to a member that claims to be ministered to personally by the Savior. Such an experience, if and when it occurs, is certainly a very sacred and personal thing, and not to be shared lightly.” I have also heard this all my life in the church.

But I’m an old man now. I feel I have served in all the leadership positions to which I will be called in my life. I’m not concerned about what my bishop or Stake President might think if they read my essays. In other words, I’m not trying to be overly careful to share only the milk of the gospel on these pages. This blog is my personal journal of spiritual progression. I’m much more interested at this point in my life in preparing to meet the Savior, perhaps while still in mortality.

The witness of Denver Snuffer

On page 405 of The Second Comforter, Denver writes, “Christ lives and comforts his followers today, just as he promised and did anciently. He is the Second Comforter. I know He lives, for I have seen Him. He has ministered unto me.” And on page 410, “In words well worn in testimony meetings of every ward in the Church, I proclaim: I, too, know Christ lives! I have seen Him.”

On page 392, he offers, “You will generally not be able to tell anyone, except for close family members, about these things; although if commanded to do so, you must.” And in a footnote on page 396, “If the author had not been asked to write this work, the author’s own experience would have remained a private matter, as it was for years before writing this book.”

In Chapter 12 of Come, Let Us Adore Him (page 216), we writes, “I knew a man in Christ about four years ago, who, being overshadowed by the Spirit on the 26th of February, 2005, had the Lord appear to him again. And the Lord spoke to him face to face, in plain humility, as one man speaketh to another, calling him by name.” He is obviously referring to himself in this passage.

And on page 220 of the same book, “After long inquiring into the things which he had seen, the Lord, who is patient and merciful and willing to instruct those who call upon Him, again appeared to the man on the 20th of December, 2007.” He then shares what the Lord taught him about the atonement. Again, “the man” in this quote is obviously Denver Snuffer, the author.

On page 268 we read, “Although I have disclosed some of what I have been shown I cannot tell all. I am merely a lay member of the Church …, with no authority or position of significance. If I have a witness of the Lord’s resurrection, certainly you can have the same.” And again on page 292, “He lives. For I saw Him. He has ministered to me. I know he lived, died and rose …”

Books by Denver Snuffer:

The Second Comforter (2006) – Read this first. I have read this twice

Nephi’s Isaiah (2006) – I have read excerpts

Eighteen Verses (2007) – I am reading this now

Ten Parables (2008) – I have read excerpts

Beloved Enos (2009) – I have read this

Come, Let Us Adore Him (2009) – I have read this

Removing the Condemnation (2010) – I read a lot of this online

Passing the Heavenly Gift (2011) – I have read this twice

53 thoughts on “Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil”

  1. In an essay on this blog long ago, I mentioned that I had not seen the Lord nor did I expect to do so in this lifetime. I received a private email from an individual gently letting me know that he knew many who had indeed received the Lord and knew from personal experience that Jesus lives.

    On this Easter Sunday, I am grateful to know that he lives, not because I have seen him but because the Spirit has born that witness to my soul. But I make no secret about it that I am trying to prepare to meet him, which I know I will do when this life is over. All Christians have that in common.

    But can I, should I seek to receive a visit from the Savior while yet in mortality? If so, what would be the purpose of such a visit? I can think of only one reason – to know for certain my status before him and whether he accepts of me and my course in this life. Can a sinner hope for such a visit?

    1. Tim, I trod the path Snuffer took long ago. I would refer you to Snuffer’s statements on pg 404 and bear witness to you of the absolute truth of that which he has written. I weep every day that it is now 257 weeks ago at 14:00 on Monday that I last saw the face of the Lord. How I have begged and pleaded that I might just sit at His feet and be in His presence. But alas, we will only meet again in His good time.
      Chris Brockway

  2. I have not read Denver’s books. Sounds like i should. I believe there are more people than we think who have recieved the second comforter. I hope for the opportunity myself. We can receive it, and as you quoted, we should strive for it.

  3. Just an early morning seminary teacher

    I bought the book because I wanted to better understand an experience that I had years ago. I saw the Lord face to face and felt the wound in His wrist.

    I like that Bro. Snuffer does not take honor to himself and that he does not seak to council the brethren.

    Every member, not just the Apostles, should be striving to meet the Lord face to face.

  4. I like the idea of self-selection in Denver’s book, which is essentially that hundreds of Nephites selected to see the resurrected Lord because they were doing the right thing at the right time.

    Is this how we should expect a visit from the Lord, based on us doing the right thing at the right time based on personal righteousness and the desires of our hearts. An almost suprised, unexpected visit?

    Or Should we specifically be praying for a personal visit in our prayers, “Lord, please visit me” “Lord, please visit me” “Lord, please visit me” day after day, year after year?

    Which is the right approach? I feel kind of weird asking for an audience with Christ rather than hoping/desiring for one based on the self selection principle.

  5. I am reading, or have read 4 of Denver’s books. I admit that I was very skeptical at first. However, now that I have read and studied some of what Denver has written (including much of his writings on his blog), I have found the “fruits” of his writing and testimony to be good, sincere and uplifting.

    I have the same question as Tim M., “…can I, should I seek to receive a visit from the Savior while yet in mortality? If so, what would be the purpose of such a visit? I can think of only one reason – to know for certain my status before him and whether he accepts of me and my course in this life. Can a sinner hope for such a visit?”

  6. My main concern is that, if the Lord wanted this information put forth, why wouldn’t he do it through official church channels?

    To me, so many church members seem to struggle with even the basic tenants of the Gospel. Feasting on the words of Christ, and praying continually are very, very, very basic things each of us should be doing, but many do not. Perhaps the Lord understands that this doctrine could become a distraction for a church that has such fundamental struggles within it’s membership.

    As Mormons, we’re fairly susceptible to frenzied outbursts of diligence, but neglect the small and simple daily habits that actually form character. Thus, I think these sacred experiences happen for those who have moved beyond the bare minimum and who have magnified their calling.

    Perhaps that is why Apostles are so unwilling to discuss this aspect of the Gospel; they are the most familiar with the struggles of church members to live the bare minimum.

  7. Maybe the reason the Lord doesn’t always work through “official channels” is to test our faith and responsiveness to the promptings of the spirit. Actually, I think this pattern (non-official inspiration) is more often used than we might like to think.

    Why did the Lord work through Sameul the Lamanite to proclaim the coming of Christ? Nephi was right there and was the leader of the church. In fact, when Samuel was done prophesying, he didn’t attempt to set up some spin-off, the people sought Nephi, so its not like Nephi was unavailable:

    “And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and sought for Nephi;” (Hel 16:1)

    The Lord later chastises the officials of the Nephites for failing to record Samuel’s prophecies.

    Similar story with Abinadi, some outsider from who knows where comes in with a specific message and charge from the Lord. Outside any official church structure, he was nonetheless a true messenger.

    John the Baptist, and even the Lord himself were messengers outside of official channels. There was still a high priest in Israel, who was even given deference by Jesus despite his wickedness. Seems it would’ve made a lot less trouble, though, to have had some kind of official announcement of such things.

    The fact that there might be things of importance going on outside official, correlated material might actually be something of a mercy. Those who aren’t yet prepared to receive such things are not bound by anything Denver says. He operates outside any authority, so anything he says CAN be totally disregarded and are nonbinding in every sense, unless we receive a witness from the holy spirit the specific teachings are true.

  8. At the end of Eighteen Verses, Denver’s third book which I am now reading, there is an appendix that includes a transcription of a talk / fireside he gave in 2007 entitled, “Christ’s Discourse on the Road to Emmaus.” I discovered that the recording of that talk was available from Confetti Books and ordered a copy. I received it today and listened to all three hours.

    I note there are some differences between the transcription and the actual recording. I mention this simply to let others know who may be interested in learning more about Denver, that hearing his voice as he teaches is a good way to get a better feel for his sincerity. I liked this recording better than when I listened to John Dehlin’s podcast interview with Denver on Mormon Stories.

    He takes his time when he teaches. He speaks slowly, carefully and deliberately. His words seem to flow. He does not struggle to know what to say. He is simply making sure that he gives his listeners time to digest what he is saying. I would say he has a gift of teaching. He ought to, since, if my memory serves me correctly, he taught Gospel Doctrine classes for over twenty years.

    I mention this because as part of my due diligence in studying what he has produced, I wanted to hear what he sounded like and hear him teach. I was not disappointed. It is unusual for me to spend three hours listening to an audio recording in my evening hours instead of during drive time, but I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. It was especially appropriate to this Easter season.

    Another advantage of having the recorded talk as opposed to simply reading the transcription is to hear his answers to the questions at the end. His response to several questions was simply astounding to me as he explained more about Mary meeting the Savior that resurrection morning. His long answer to how and why he sustains the leaders of the church was gratifying to hear.

    He gets passionate as he explains how we are currently such an Americanized church and how we became that way, mainly conservative Republicans. I loved his quote, “Being anxiously engaged does not require anxiety.” But the best answer is when he expounds on the process of how we come to know the Savior and why it is that HE wants to connect with US. Powerful!

  9. For what it’s worth (which is not very much at all, as pertaining to our personal salvation), I’ve been in 2 meetings where someone has claimed they have seen the Lord. (One was a stake conference; the other was a fast and testimony meeting.)

  10. Tim, thanks for the heads up regarding Denver’s talk on CD. I also listened to him on Mormon Stories and got the feeling that he felt rushed in that format. He seems to be saying, “Please hear me out. I lot of this stuff may be new to you. Please let me explain” And boy is he very deliberate in his explaining. But I also get the feeling that he is a genuine defender of the faith.
    My birthday is coming up and I think I will put these CD’s on my birthday list.

    How would you rate his books? Are there must reads vs. just ok reads?
    I have read his first “Second Comforter” and am currently working on “Beloved Enos” to be followed by “Come, Let Us Adore Him”. Not too interested in “Nephi’s Isaiah” and “Eighteen Verses” for whatever reason although I have heard about his “Road to Emmaus” talk located in “Eighteen Verses”. The CD will fill that need. I intend to read “Passing” to get his take on the church, although I’m not sure if I will be ever able to agree on his interpretation of D&C 110 and 124. We’ll see.

  11. I didn’t really like “Ten Parables;” although, the absence of footnotes made for a quick read.

  12. Hi Tim and other following Tim’s studies of Denver Snuffer

    I’ve had experience going down the path that Tim is on. In the late 1980’s I became acquainted with a man who said he had been visited by the Savior.

    He also wrote many things, and like Tim I threw myself into learning all I could from him. I believed him. He was a success, highly intelligent, well connected, charming individual with a charismatic personality.

    I spent many hours with him and considered him a friend. He never said anything that was out of mainstream Mormonism. Everything he said and did appeared to do nothing other than to help those he influenced draw nearer to the Lord.

    However, notwithstanding all of this I prayed continually to the Lord asking that he would reveal to me and others the truth regarding this brother.

    My friend invited my wife and I to a fireside at an LDS chapel where he was invited to speak. There were several hundred people there. When he concluded his remarks he related a special experience he had a few days earlier. He said that while traveling the Savior appeared to him again.

    When he said those words, both my wife and I experienced something that can only be described as darkness come into the room. Both of us knew without doubt that our friend was telling a lie. I will never forget the awful feeling that came into my heart and mind. It was the exact opposite of the feeling church members often experience when we’ve been edified in a meeting.

    Within a few weeks after this experience we learned that our friend was secretly practicing polygamy with a few single sisters he “converted”. Shortly after that he was excommunicated. Later, I understand he worked his way back into church activity and had his blessing restored.

    Unfortunately that isn’t the end of the story, I learned this week he is now an atheist and is fighting against the church. I found his internet site. He is now a destroyer of faith.

    I hope that Tim’s journey on this path leads to better things than we experienced. It was heart breaking to see what appeared to be a faithful family man turn out to be a deceiver, but I count all of this a blessing in some ways, because I learned firsthand lessons about evil that I couldn’t have learned in any other way.

    I read Denver first book, The Second Comforter. When I completed the book I asked myself a question: Should I read his other books? I decided that the scriptures, General Conference talks, and a carefully selected reading list of books and blogs have filled my life with all the reading material I need.

    I don’t know the truth about Denver Snuffer. I think it would be wonderful if he is genuine. From what little I’ve learned about his message in his latest book I’m concerned he is lessen instead of increasing faith in the Lord’s servants.

    But one thing I do know, Heavenly Father answers the prayers of his followers. I hope Tim and others who have been drawn into brother Snuffer’s influence will diligently seek the Lord guidance and blessings.

  13. Great comment Jared.

    Watch out, folks. While there is a possibility that Denver has truly been inspired to share such experiences the probability is very low. Generally, communications with heaven follow the sacred patterns found in temple worship. There are the outer courts and the tabernacle with its divisions. And there are covenants and safeguards associated with knowledge that may be acquired in those respective realms. There is order.

    Be careful.

  14. I am fascinated by this topic and am reading The Second Comforter for the second time. It gave me enough to study and ponder the first time that I don’t feel the need to read any of his other books yet (as curious as I am). It could take a year to finish the second reading at a more relaxed and prayerful pace (along with reading the scriptures, conference talks, looking at the context of quotes he uses, preparing for seminary, etc. etc.)

    A few notes and questions.

    Tim, thanks for posting on this topic and for replying to my personal email last month. There is so much misunderstanding of what DS writings imply, that it’s good to see someone consider it more carefully.

    Stephen, your questions on “which is the right approach?” is a good one. I don’t know, and would love to get input from anyone who has a solid notion. My guess is the answer lies someone in between, but I could be wrong.

    Jared, I’d be curious to know if you or anyone else has felt such a dark feeling while reading or listening to DS? I felt inspired as I read The Second Comforter, but it may take me years to reach his last book (which is more controversial). I wonder if the man’s initial claim you mention was authentic as you didn’t mention feeling darkness until later?

    Jack, have you read DS in any detail? It seems that most of those in blog/site comments who seriously doubts DS’ writings haven’t read anything beyond what you can find online, and my experience has been that you really have to read at least a few chapters of The Second Comforter to understand his tone and message. Otherwise he seems to be very misunderstood.

    Finally, I’ll just add that my testimony of the gospel of Christ has been strengthened by considering the doctrine/teachings discussed in The Second Comforter. I have not received a personal visit from the Savior, but it has confirmed what I have often sensed in my own prayers and studies, that many of us often don’t strive with the enough faith and diligence for the many miraculous divine interventions that God is capable of blessing us with in this life. Whether those miracles include visits from heavenly beings or other less visible manifestations, blessings, and ministering of angels, I sincerely feel that so much is possible beyond what we often attempt to do with our knowledge of God’s plan and purposes for us.

  15. I have just learned about Snuffer today, and while I have not read any of his books, I have been researching them on Amazon and have spent the last several hours reading through his various blog posts.

    His rhetoric is very disingenuous. He doesn’t directly criticize church leadership, but has effectively maintained and still maintains that the church is in apostasy. He is also very condescending toward those who have not reached enlightenment regarding this truth as he has.

    He claims that he knows his opinions will never let him hold a calling of significance in the church (and claims he is OK with that), but his author profile on Amazon states he currently sits on the high council in his stake.

    He claims to know the thoughts and discussions in the inner circles of the uppermost levels of the church, making claims that he knows of apostles scandalized by the Joseph Smith papers, and that he has the specific disapproval of the Committee for Strengthening Members (is there such a committee?).

    He cherry picks scripture and misinterprets them to support his thesis of an apostate church. The most egregious example is his use of D&C 124:28. Snuffer maintains this verse, which he accurately quotes, proves that Joseph could not pass on the fullness of the priesthood because the temple was not complete prior to Joseph’s death.

    However, he fails to include the following verses where the Lord explicitly states that the fullness he is talking about is baptisms for the dead (see vs 33 & 34 specifically). This is because baptisms for the dead IS a sealing ordinance. The baptismal font was finished and being used prior to Joseph’s murder.

    In addition, the Lord also states that baptisms for the dead, which, again are sufficient to enjoy the fullness of the priesthood are acceptable outside a temple if the people are in poverty. So Snuffer’s initial premise is based on a very poor reading and exegesis of scripture.

    He makes similar mistakes in his other writings (always with the conclusion that the church’s in apostasy). For example he wrongly concludes the trees in the vineyard in Jacob 5 are the church, when, in reality, they are the nations and people’s of the earth. Again, he does this so he can conclude the church is in apostasy. He even mixes metaphors to support his argument, claiming in one verse the roots are the church, while in another he claims the branches are the church.

    Read him if you like, but he is a false teacher.

  16. Fred, say what you will about his interpretations of church history and the specific scriptures you mention(I mean, not everybody we read is 100% correct in their conclusions right?), but for me there is no denying his books, The Second Comforter and Come Let Us Adore Him have inspired me to greater discipleship and developing a relationship with the Lord.

    By your standard of judgment, I guess we should also condemn Bruce R McConkie as a false teacher as his book Mormon Doctrine was found to have over 1000 errors by fellow apostles Marion G Romney and Mark E Peterson. The First Presidency recommended it not be re-published, but McConkie pushed forward anyway. This can be found in the book, David O McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, pg 49-53(read the account free on Google books).

    The point is, just because you don’t agree with some of Snuffer’s historical views, doesn’t mean we should discard his greater message, which is coming unto Christ.

    Part of the joy of reading is to amass information and insight from varying perspectives. Brother Snuffer’s perspective is quite invigorating and fresh. It has awakened many from apathy and lethargy spritually speaking. Do I agree with ALL his interpretations? Nah. But if I read only books that I 100% agree with, I would be a very narrow person indeed.

    And yes, there is a Strengthening Church Members Committee, but nobody really knows what they do. Here is an interesting post about it:

  17. Stephen. You are engaging in a tu quoque fallacy. Errors others may or may not have made do not excuse Suffer. And Suffer’s primary message is not to come unto Christ, it is that the church is in apostasy. He uses “come unto Christ” as his justification for his primary message. There are many uplifting works by latter-day saints that will bring you closer to Christ without the subversive message that Christ’s church is in apostasy. You do not need Suffer. In fact, Suffer will tell you himself you do not need him (while intimating that if you don’t embrace his ideas, you are part of the natural fruit and not of the church of the firstborn). So, take Suffer’s advice and ignore him.

  18. Relax Fred. I love the Church more now than ever. Snuffer(not Suffer) has given me a greater desire to dive deeper into the things of the spirit. He is a great gospel teacher.

    I have not read Passing the Heavenly Gift yet, so I can’t comment on specifics, but here’s my take: this work is his personal effort to come to grips with difficult aspects of church history – blood atonement, polygamy, correlation, priestcraft etc. These are real issues to thousands of LDS who have fallen away. These are issues we can’t ignore, especially in the internet age where any potential investigator is exposed to these things just by googling “mormon”. He is attempting to speak openly about the issues and invites people to COME BACK to the LDS church. To stay with it. He has stated that the book isn’t for everybody, mainly those who struggle with the topics he discusses(which are a lot of people). Kudos to his effort to reach out to them.

    You may not like his attempt, his approach, his message….so be it. But you really need not warn me of this imposter – the spirit will be my guide, though I appreciate your concern.

  19. Yeah, I know the name is Snuffer. That was my iPad autocorrect.

    Sorry, but what Snuffer is doing is telling you it’s OK to come back to the LDS church because it’s in apostasy and all those things he has a problem with were the result of flawed men who were not inspired of God. Snuffer maintains that the church today is a dead organization, essentially a husk that God will use to restore His true church of the firstborn by personally visiting them. He sticks with the LDS church only because he fully expects God to call the “real” church from within it (with him being one of those chosen, of course). If you want to find out what Snuffer thinks about the church, read his description of priesthood session in the conference center in The Missing Virtue of his 10 parables book. You can also read his analysis of Jacob 5 on his blog.

    The aspects of church history that Snuffer had a hard time coming to grips with aren’t really that difficult or controversial, and have been dealt with many times over by traditional LDS apologists. People aren’t leaving the church because of its problematic history, the Tanners have been pumping that bilge out for decades. People leave the church because they don’t like a particular commandment or church policy. The “difficult history” meme is simply a justification.

    I posted this also on the comments for his Passing the Heavenly Gift book, but I’ll repeat it here to end my input on the matter. Snuffer’s position can be basically summed up as:

    “I was personally visited by Christ who made my calling and election sure, told me I was part of the true church within the dead church, and that he would soon call others like me, and it was my job to help with that.”

    1. Fred, how would you know people only leave the church because they don’t like a particular commandment or church policy? It could really be any reason. You have to have an open mind.

  20. Fred,

    You admit you haven’t read Bro. Snuffer’s books, yet you think you’re qualified to state what his main message is? I have read his books, every one, and I can tell you his main thrust IS IN FACT to teach the saints about the need, the means, and the reality of coming to know the Lord personally.

    His “criticism” of the church strikes me as an honest and insightful attempt to uncover some of the false traditions that have crept into our history. His motivation for what he writes is known only completly to the Lord, but from the two interactions that I have had with him personally, I would describe him as someone who loves the Lord with all his heart, and is doing his best to live his life according to the light that has been given him. Uncovering false traditions in church history is done in order to remove impediments which block the path back to God.

    If you first learned about him four days ago, you simply do not yet know enough about him to say with any authority that he “cherry picks” scripture, or that his rhetoric is “disingenuous.” On the occasions I have heard him speak, I have been taken with his encyclopedic grasp of the scriptures and the church’s history. Do yourself a favor and withhold judgement a little longer. We may have a Lehi, or a Samuel the Lamanite in our midst.


    I think that if you read Bro. Snuffer’s talk on Elijah (available on his blog) you will find that he does not dismiss the importance of temple work. I won’t try to characterize what he says, but my understanding after reading this talk leaves me believing that temple work – like all other ordinances – must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise before they are efficacious in the eternities. Temple work is necessary, therefore, but not complete, yet.

    The reason that the Savior would need to come to you, or anyone else is that He loves you, and wants to enjoy a personal relationship with you. We believe in a personal gospel, and a personal God – though sometimes we forget it. The gospel IS about returning to the Savior, and once there He will continue the teaching process started by the angels to prepare you to meet the Father.

    Keep reading and studying, there’s wonderful stuff ahead.

  21. Gordon,

    Are you seriously implying that Snuffer can write thousands of words on his blog and still communicate his ideas so poorly that no one can know what he really thinks on any given topic without buying his books?

  22. “Are you seriously implying that Snuffer can write thousands of words on his blog and still communicate his ideas so poorly that no one can know what he really thinks on any given topic without buying his books?”

    No better than a math teacher can teach calculus to an algebra student. Those who have read his books have a proper foundation for understanding his blog.

    I find it unbelievable that out of The Missing Virtue, what you took was his disdain for church membership.

    How did you miss 1) having a happy, loving marriage is what principally gets the attention of heaven, 2) showing compassion towards the beggar, seeing a beggar as a person, 3) giving the destitute dignity – showing others their value 4) patience (it took him 18 years to come full circle). Out of this beautiful parable, you get, the church is bad because everyone else ignored the beggar?

    Have you ever gone to temple square? It happens. Beggars are ignored. The Pres. Bishop even spoke about cleaning up the appearance of downtown by adding City Creek. You can’t be upset that one points out a fact.

    I am always amazed with critiques of Denver. They have never read his books, but they’ve read a few blog posts and other reviews of Denver and presume to know.

    What I haven’t ever heard of is ANYONE leaving the church because of Denver. And I know many people whose lives are enriched after reading his books.

    Fred, you don’t have to like him or read him, but let’s hold back some judgment alright?

  23. Wow. This topic has really intrigued me. The comments on here vary so much. I’ll be forthright and say I haven’t read any of Snuffer’s books. Maybe I would if I didn’t have other priorities on my booklist…and being a college student is time consuming enough for me.

    This topic has reminded me of a past experience I’ve had. Hopefully it’s useful and/or relevant:

    Does anyone remember “The Secret”? Okay, just hear me out. I got the DVD from my dad for my birthday one year. He’s always looking into new ideas/concepts and getting into new things. I took it home to my wife and wanted to watch it with her. She was very speculative about the whole thing and didn’t have a good feeling about it. How could you?, I thought. It was a great message. She thought it was just kind of weird stuff…

    Anyways, I began to look deeper into this. I found out that the source of this “law of attraction” was Esther and Jerry Hicks (or at least claimed to be. I know there are others). I actually got a DVD of theirs from Netflix one day. Talk about creepy. Esther Hicks was being interviewed by a gentleman. Later she supposedly conjured up this ‘spirit’ known as ‘Abraham’ who spoke through her. One of Abraham’s first lines was “We are Abraham”. I couldn’t help but immediately think about the story of Legion in the New Testament (“My name is Legion: for we are many”). Then the interviewer asked if Abraham had ever been born (interesting question). No, he hadn’t. Yikes. Was this for real?

    To say the least, I completely dropped it. In fact, looking back, I think it was completely silly to get into it in the first place. It’s actually embarrassing to me. I’ve ran into a few members who got into it. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some principles that could be taken from it. I think I even changed for the better when learning about it at the time. Ultimately, though, it was just another worldly doctrine that is useful only in this life and not the one after (if that, even).

    Snuffer’s books seem to be at an entirely different level, I know. Speculation is going wild. My experience isn’t a subtle example, either; but the Adversary is for sure finding new ways to incorporate his doctrine with pure and true doctrine. I will say I’m much more picky about what I take up; but just because something makes us desire to be better doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. It’s about where it is leading us. From what I’ve read in the comments, I’m not even sure I would read his books-at a personal stance. I say that because I know I have much to grow in the basics of the gospel first, and studying directly from the scriptures, and going to the temple more. Serving a mission has helped me learn to communicate with the Spirit at an entirely new level, but I still feel I have much to learn.

    Also, it’s easy to pick on history and all of it’s flaws. We can’t just go back in time and see what *actually* happened. We have only imperfect records to look back to. We just have to walk the walk of faith. Where will it lead us? Joseph Smith had an encounter with a man (who turned out to be Matthias of New York) who seemed very knowledgeable about the doctrine of the resurrection that even Joseph Smith was interested in. Turned out that the god of Matthias was the devil. Just throwing this all out.

    I’m not saying Denver Snuffer is that type of man. He could be legitimate.

    However, Mr. Malone, I am glad that you have taken upon yourself to read these books. I really enjoy your blogs and respect your opinions. I’m actually anticipating your outcome from reading all of his books.

  24. @Rob,

    So, in other words, Snuffer’s blog is not designed to educate, but to drive people to buy his books. That was not the conclusion I reached. My conclusion is that it gives him cover. No matter what he writes, he can always claim he is being misunderstood because you simply haven’t read his books, which makes everything clear. Except that many of his statements, particularly his criticism of the church, are so clear cut, that there is no way they can be interpreted in any other way, regardless of how many books he may have written. It’s a classic misdirection.

    Regarding the Last Virtue, whatever other messages he may have put in there do not change the message he wrote regarding the church and its leadership.

    But, I can see you are sympathetic to his criticisms of the church.

    I also had to chuckle as you pass judgement on me while telling me to back off the judgement of Snuffer.

  25. I’m going to end my posts on this topic. The temptation to sink into contention is too great for my combative nature and my last post was dangerously close to the line. Use what I’ve written as you will to help you make your own decision regarding Snuffer.

    Best wishes to all.

  26. “I will say I’m much more picky about what I take up; but just because something makes us desire to be better doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. It’s about where it is leading us. From what I’ve read in the comments, I’m not even sure I would read his books-at a personal stance.” Bryan

    When did it happen that we became so afraid of being deceived? Joseph Smith searched for truth from many sources: academics, difference religions, even nonreligious. He searched for truth wherever it came from. Part of our progression is developing the ability to discern truth from error. Sure, you can avoid everything all together and never be deceived, but you will not progress either.

    I’ve read all of Denver’s books and all of his blog. He has one thesis, seek Christ. Everything else is supplementary to that.

    If you are interested in that goal, there is no better book (apart from the BOM) to read than the Second Comforter. I’ve loaned my copy out to many people. More than I’ve ever loaned out for any other book. There is not one person who was offended by it, and all were uplifted. Now perhaps you are not ready for Passing the Heavenly Gift, if church history does not concern you then I wouldn’t worry about it. But his other books are equally uplifting. “Come Let Us Adore Him” and “Beloved Enos” are great.

    I wish you the best, in whatever way you see fit.

  27. ” My conclusion is that it gives him cover. No matter what he writes, he can always claim he is being misunderstood because you simply haven’t read his books, which makes everything clear.”

    They do. I’ve read all his books and his blog is clear to me.

    “Regarding the Last Virtue, whatever other messages he may have put in there do not change the message he wrote regarding the church and its leadership.”

    In the Missing Virtue, he did not say anything about the church and it’s leadership. He simply stated a fact. Other individuals did not stop to help. Do you doubt that that happens?

    He has also shared many stories of individual members doing great things.

    “But, I can see you are sympathetic to his criticisms of the church.”

    I am not really concerned with what he says about the church. What I enjoy is the light, knowledge, and understanding I get with the accompanying Spirit that has helped me improve my life by drawing nearer to Christ and allowing Him to overcome my weaknesses.

    “I also had to chuckle as you pass judgement on me while telling me to back off the judgement of Snuffer.”

    I did not judge your intentions or your heart. I actually do not doubt that you are a very sincere believer who is worried about someone causing confusion. I am just trying to tell you that he is not. And there are many who have read his works and it has blessed them. If you are not interested, fine. I just don’t think you have enough information to judge his heart, motive, or character.

    It is strikingly odd to me how similar this discussion is to when I was on my mission. I would talk to people about the Book of Mormon and tell them how much it can enrich their lives. They would reply with things like, “I don’t need any more Bible”; “Joseph Smith was inspired alright, inspired by the devil”; “I do not want to be confused about my believes by considering something new”; “Sounds like a false prophet to me.” The only response is to try it. Read it. Don’t believe me. See for yourself. God will help you find out if it’s true or not. No matter how much I said the BOM has helped me, so many would not listen.

    Likewise with “The Second Comforter”. Some people respond with so much fear. It took 2 years for me to convince my brother to read it. (All the other members of my family read it and loved it.) Two weeks ago he used it to help teach his lesson in Elders Quorum.

    Fred, you don’t know me from your postman. But you will not find anyone who has read it, or any of Denver’s books, leave the church because they read it. That’s simply not what it’s about. Everyone I know who has read it has been enriched. I’m not forcing you to read it or even challenging you to. There are a number of other books including the scriptures that will help you draw near to Christ. We don’t have time to read everything. I’ve simply saying that it was worthwhile for me.

    I would also hope that you refrain from making judgments without more information. I really hope you don’t persuade others not to read it with the incomplete knowledge you have. Then you are impeding other people a marvelous experience.

  28. Rob,

    I wasn’t clear in what I was trying to say. I just want to have a more solid base in the Gospel. For me, that is reading the scriptures and understanding basic doctrines before looking elsewhere; and if this book has caused so much disagreement and controversy in the church already, then I don’t think it would be wise for me to pick it up just yet.

    I hope that clears everything up.

  29. Bryan,
    I don’t believe there is any disagreement about “The Second Comforter”. If you have been on a mission, through the temple, and are trying to be like Christ, you have the foundation for “The Second Comforter”.

    The Second Comforter is not really anything new. If you read it and are expecting some grand new revelation, you’ll be disappointed. It’s really just a great compilation of BOM, D&C scriptures, and quotes from Joseph Smith. But the way it is put together is what is interesting. It is very motivating to improve your life and seek Christ.

    THe only thing some people are troubled about, is the idea that a man who claims to have seen Christ is telling people how they can do it themselves. Many think the book is about Denver’s experience. It’s not. He doesn’t even talk about it. The Second Comforter is is about YOU. And how YOU should seek Christ and what YOU need to do to make it happen.

    There is nothing controversial about it. Unless you don’t believe it’s possible.

    “Passing the Heavenly Gift” is an altogether different story. It is an examination of church history. If you are unfamiliar with the warts of church history, I wouldn’t read it. There would be no point to.

    “Come Let Us Adore Him” is all about Christ. Great book. Up there with Jesus the Christ.

    “Beloved Enos” is about the fullness of the gospel. Another great book. Who’d think one could write a whole book about 2.5 pages of the BOM?

    “Nephi’s Isaiah” is a great book about the Isaiah chapters in the BOM. I never really understood Isaiah in the BOM until i read it.

    Anyway. whether you read his book or not, I hope you find whatever you need.

    1. Rob, agree with your sentiments. I have often observed particularly to the HP Quorum that the last words when going through the Vail are: “Enter into the Presence of the Lord”. No one actually believes it and it never happens.
      If you want to “Enter the Lord’s Presence” you have to find another way (both in or out of the Temple).

  30. I have not read all the comments on here but I have seen there is some discussion both in favor and against looking further into Denver Snuffer’s books and message.

    I read an experience from a comment about a man who claimed an audience with Christ and who now is an enemy to the church. It was recommended that because such people are known to exist that we should treat Denver’s message lightly.

    It should be clarified that Denver’s message is that he was directly commissioned to write these books despite his personal desire not to. Denver’s message has never been about himself but rather he uses scripture to shed light on many of the fundamental doctrines that we collectively in this church have decided to leave behind as we become more modern. These changes have become stumbling blocks to our journey of reconnection with Christ and they need to be removed.

    1 Nephi 13:39 tells us to look forward to receiving “other books” that will come forth “by the power of the lamb from the gentiles..unto the convincing of the gentiles of (Nephi’s) bretheren (or rather that the BOM is true). Read the whole verse and consider if Denver’s books are not included in this category, if not than who’s books WILL serve this function? What will they look like? What will they be about? From where will they come? What will they accomplish? How will you recognize them? These are relevant questions.

    If Denver’s calling fulfills this purpose what a horrible thing on our parts to dismiss it so carelessly. We are under MORE obligation to investigate given his claims despite the fact that many others have made similar claims and proven themselves to be apostates. If we accept the BOM as true than we should EXPECT that some kind of books are going to come from the gentiles directed TO the gentiles about clarification of plain and precious truths that have been lost.

    For what it’s worth I should throw in my voice that Denver’s book, “The Second Comforter” completely reconverted me to the restored Gospel through nothing short of the power of God and his spirit. I do value his input and opinions because they have reconnected me to God after a decade of studying church history issues as well as a multitude of ideas from other traditions including Atheism. I had no faith and was not interested in any religions let alone our quirky messed up Mormon tradition but after being deeply offended by his claims I was consequently reconverted when I humbled myself enough to inquire of a God about them.

    I’m still dumbfounded about history and I honestly don’t know how to justify it intellectually but I have received a down pouring of spiritual answers and experiences which are to me undeniable witnesses of Jesus Christ. The work of Denver Snuffer has changed my life. I think everyone should read and discuss them no question. If they are wrong you should be able to demonstrate it through the use of scripture and gentle persuasion.

  31. Chris,

    I have to admit, Denver Snuffer’s writings (at least from his blog) have had a positive impact on me. He definitely knows his stuff. Additionally, I actually plan on reading The Second Comforter; and looking back at my earlier post, I should have approached this more objectively.

    My question is, what do you mean “fundamental doctrines” that the church is leaving behind? Do you mean receiving the second comforter? Why wouldn’t further teachings, revelations, and clarifications of these other doctrines come from one of the 15 first? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of a living prophet? Are those teachings withheld from us on purpose?

    I’ll admit, it bothers me when Mr. Snuffer *seems* to criticize the “church”; does he mean the people or the actual institution–or both? Whatever faults the church has would seem to be directly related to the lack of faith in the members. Joseph Smith has warned against criticizing the church, but at the same time Mr. Snuffer does not seem to raise himself up. Furthermore, Mr. Snuffer says the church is merely the means to an end–Christ. I can go with that. Where does a testimony of the church fit in to all of this?

    I also question his position on saying whether prophets can lead us astray. Maybe the Lord withdraws His hand from faults they have made for a purpose. Who knows? Maybe in the stumbling we find our true faith and begin to rely on Christ. My point is, who’s to say? The thing is that I can’t think of any place in the scriptures where the prophet has actually misdirected the Lord’s church–that’s not to say that the prophets don’t make mistakes, because there are certainly examples of those. Where does Amos 3:7 go into all of this?

    Clearly, I have a lot of questions. I’d actually appreciate a reply from this (from anyone); I value all feedback greatly. I honestly feel like I have done well without Denver Snuffer’s books and could continually do well without them. I owe all of that through feeling the Spirit in reading the Book of Mormon and seeking guidance from the Lord. That has initiated my true conversion. I do think Mr. Snuffer’s books can have a hand in changing lives, but I really can’t say that they’re essential. I can’t get my hands on one of Mr. Snuffer’s books quite yet, but I at least want to do some due diligence before taking it to the Lord.

    Please, don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Denver Snuffer. I’m trying to approach this as objectively as possible. I think he holds a lot of wisdom and understanding. I think he may even be a valuable instrument of the Lord. I’m just not sure how that really fits in with me, though…yees, I’m getting his book. Do his books answer these questions?

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  33. Rob,
    You have a lot of questions. They are good questions. Though, I’d say slow down just a bit. =)

    The most significant fruit “The Second Comforter” has yielded in most every reader I am aware of, is a very strong recommitment in trying to live the gospel. If you have this desire, read TSC, and worry about the other questions next.

    “Receiving the Second Comforter” means receiving the literal presence of
    Jesus Christ. This is something that is possible to receive in this life and we should be seeking it.

    Since this affects your personal salvation more than the questions about the church, work on understanding/seeking this first. After you feel good about your own direction, then seek answers to the other questions.

    Denver wrote a lot more books helping people understand the Book of Mormon before he addressed church history. Read his earlier books. He did not invent the issues with church history. This isn’t a controversy HE created. All these issues have existed for sometime. Only recently has he attempted to address them and provide some answers for some people.

    At the end of the day, even the ultimate message of Passing the Heavenly Gift is to seek Christ. Denver should not be controversial.

    Why did the Lord want HIM to write it? Denver is a interesting example. He is a convert. A lawyer who likes Harley-Davidsons. He’s divorced. He has no church authority and will be the first to tell you so. Why him? It’s a good question. Personally, I am really glad the Lord chose him, because what the Lord is saying is ANYONE who does what’s necessary can see HIM. If Elder Eyring wrote it, many people would enjoy the idea of meeting Christ, but would not believe that THEY could do it. Only a holy apostle could REALLY do it. Denver is a very flawed individual, but he has done what is necessary to see Him. If he can do it, anyone can, but more importantly- I CAN!!!

    Read the book, and judge for yourself.

  34. An adequate characterization of Snuffer is much easier than this comment thread makes it out to be:

    If you believe the LDS church, including its priesthood leadership, is in apostasy, Snuffer’s your guy.

    If not, go read something else.

  35. Quoting from Denver’s Elijah talk (page 40): “I don’t want there to be any mistake about my view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If anything, I feel more strongly now, than I did when I was baptized at age 19, of not only the relevance, but the importance of the church. It is the body set in motion by the hand of the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith.”

    Continuing, ” It is authorized by commandment to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel. It has been commanded to preach, teach, exhort, expound. It has been commanded to baptize. It has been commanded to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It has been commanded to bless and ppss the sacrament. This is the only church authorized and instructed to perform these rites.”

    From page 497 of Passing the Heavenly Gift, “I never expect to abandon my membership in or activity with the church. There should be no reason to restore again, ‘reorganize,’ or redo the organization of Christ’s church. It is here and continues to have a Divinely appointed destiny.”

    From his blog post “I am a Mormon, part 3: “I am a Mormon and I have no intention of trying to supplant leaders, or to acquire a following. I submit and defer to them. I have no right to lead, but I do have, as all Mormons have, the right and obligation to express and defend my beliefs and bear my testimony. If you study what I’ve written, there is almost nothing of myself in them.”

    From his blog post, “Traditions of Men, part 1: “I sustain the church’s leaders and I do not challenge their right to preside, make decisions, direct the affairs of the church, control tithing and call leadership. I ‘fall in line’ behind them and do not question their right to lead. …I have a testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of President Monson as the only one authorized to exercise all the keys within the church.”

    1. And for every quote of Snuffer’s supposedly supporting leadership, there are at least three more undermining its authority. Apparently he is going through the disciplinary process as we speak.

      I stand by everything I said. If you believe the current version of the LDS church is in apostasy and has perverted ordinances, read Snuffer. If not, read something else.

  36. Just thought I’d do an update as a former Snuffer skeptic. I finished reading his book, The Second Comforter (the only of his books that I’ve read). I really didn’t have any problem with his book. In fact, I feel like it has expanded my mind in some sense. I feel a greater desire to know the Savior, keep the commandments, and repent. I like that he is very candid in his writing; he expects you to ask God about any subject for an acknowledgment of truth.

    If you have only read his blog, then you may get a different vibe. I enjoy a lot of his blog, yet some of them leave me scratching my head. However, I don’t believe at all that Denver is ill-intentioned or out of the way. In fact, Denver has made a good point that we should not worry about other’s shortcomings or faults. This shouldn’t be about polarizing the man. It’s about a search for truth. I think Denver is really just trying to be a voice of reason and assistance. He puts a lot on the table for us. If we find that some of it is true, fine. If we find that some is in discordance, fine. My search for truth is ultimately between God and myself–nobody else. Everything or anyone outside of that is to assist or detract from that. This is where having a well-founded testimony takes place.

    If I take anything away from The Second Comforter, it’s that I can be better. Denver has helped me have the faith to act upon that. Hopefully I can have the faith to receive a visit from the Savior one day.

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  38. For me Snuffers work is a joy to read because I at least know I am not alone anymore but have brothers in the field working to the same objective. To bear witness that its is worthy goal but not for the faint hearted nor the weak kneed No one who receive either the second comforter or the calling and election desire to become employed it part of the deal, what no-one here would realize is that if you knew what you were getting yourself into I think most would hesitate and flee in the opposite direction, Denver show courage does not and will not desire followers who would be fools to become such. Enter this path and you will have the glories of heaven revealed to you but be warned for you open the gates of Hell at the same time, you will have to save your own life over and over again. I had my calling and election made sure last February2011 shortly after suffering a major stroke which almost claimed my life I have had to endure much at the hand of well-meaning Local leaders and been betrayed by my closest “friends” and even my own children. I have met with Saviour on numerous occasion at his behest am I often called to a temple to receive instruction and council for my enemies and have had my paradigm severely altered which at times has been extremely painful, again there is no glory in this no leadership powers, no riches, only heartache and continuous suffering, and a powerful testimony of the only one who can save to who members of the of the firstborn point Jesus Christ! You must know him you will know him, choose it or be compelled , I receive my real new name only four months ago I use this name in all blessings it last month I was ordered to the temple to meet with the Lord, as with all these things you go not knowing beforehand what you should do, after preparing to officiate in things of the Melchizedekhezadek the saviour appeared in the endowment and introduced me to his father who appeared above the alter . It matter not one whit to me whether this testimony is believe it is freely shared as I was impressed.

    1. QB: Thank you for sharing your witness and testimony. I know something whereof you speak. I also have appreciated Denver’s words and knowledge; I’m not quite where you are yet, but on the path. Your words ring true for they echo my own experience; thanks again for sharing.

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