What Denver Snuffer Teaches

PassingHeavenlyGiftThis essay contains my study notes from chapter one of Passing the Heavenly Gift, written by Denver Snuffer, a Utah attorney and published in 2011. I have read this chapter half a dozen times in the past year, shared it with my wife, looked up the quotes and spent considerable time on my knees trying to understand what Denver is trying to teach. It is controversial material.

“…no one speaks for me. … If I have something to say, I will say it. No one is authorized to speak on my behalf. And no one is entitled to interpret what I think, or how I view any given issue or subject. To the extent that I have a view, I will tell it.” – Denver Snuffer blog entry, dated 20 November 2012 (DenverSnuffer.Blogspot.com)

OK, maybe we can’t interpret what you think, but we can certainly interpret what you write. I mean, why else would you write so much and offer it for sale, unless you wanted us to read and understand it for ourselves? I share my interpretations online to solidify my own conclusions. The feedback I receive from others helps me understand and correct mistakes in my thinking.

The Right Way to Judge

“If you read this blog without having first read his books, then you assume responsibility for your own misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the writer’s intent. Please do not presume to judge Mr. Snuffer’s intentions if you have not first read his books.” – Denver’s blog header

I have read all of your books, some of them several times, as well as all of your blog. I have listened to your recorded public talks, several times. I don’t presume to judge your intentions. I accept at face value when you wrote the Lord asked you to write your books. Because you made that claim, I paid very close attention as I read your books this year. I took them very seriously.

The Perfect Witness

The Lord does still personally appear to mankind. I am a witness to that fact. He first appeared to me February 13, 2003. I have written a book about the topic. … I know He lives. I have seen and spoken with Him.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 452

This is obviously a profound and unusual claim. I have not seen the Lord. I do not know anybody personally who has, or if they have, they haven’t told me about it. I have not seen an angel either. My testimony and witness is therefore incomplete. I am not a perfect witness. I am but a student, a follower, a disciple of Christ. Why have I not read of other men publishing such a claim today?

Although I’ve been a member of the church all my life and Denver is a convert, clearly I have not learned the lessons that Denver has apparently learned allowing him to converse with the Lord. I’ve read his book on The Second Comforter several times and still haven’t figured it out. I’ve read his latest book, Passing the Heavenly Gift, several times in the past year. Things have not become easier or clearer. I’m evidently still not getting something that he has gotten.

Church does not control Heavenly Power

“Gentiles always crave authority to preside over one another. Gentile authority in the church is not equal to power in the priesthood. … The power of heaven cannot be controlled by men. It comes from heaven or it does not come at all. There has never been an institution entrusted with the power of heaven. … The power of the priesthood comes only one way … men do not have any right to either confer it, or prevent it from being conferred.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, pages 27-28

In other words, the authority exercised by the LDS Church to teach, baptize, ordain, endow and seal does not confer any kind of heavenly power. Although I have been ordained and sealed to my wife in the temple, this did not give me any kind of heavenly power. All the ordinances and ordinations in which I have participated as either a recipient or an officiator have, in reality, done nothing as far as heaven is concerned. They were authorized but did nothing to save souls.

Is he calling the LDS Church a Gentile church, as described in the Book of Mormon? In First Nephi chapter thirteen, we read that the desires of the Gentiles included worldly power, wealth – “gold, silver, silks, scarlets, fine-twined linen, all manner of precious clothing” and “many harlots.” Surely Denver is not saying that the LDS Church falls into this category. The Gentile church is the same as the church of the devil and that he is the founder of it. No, it can’t be, at least not the church I know. I worship and serve in this church. It is filled with good people.

Priesthood Exists Independent of the Church

“Priesthood and redemption are tied together. And if Joseph Smith’s revelations are to be trusted, then the church does not and cannot control either, because God controls both. Establishing the church was distinct from restoring priesthood. And priesthood has, can and does exist independently of a church. Joseph’s revelations and ancient scripture repeatedly teach this.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 29

I wonder how many people in the LDS Church really understand and accept this idea. Priesthood power is not the same as priesthood ordination or office. We’re taught this all the time but usually in the context of, “Brethren, if you live righteously, you will have power, because you have been ordained by someone in authority,” implying that the church controls that power. In other words, any Godly power we receive must come through official church channels, right?

We are taught that the church could not exist without the priesthood. Yet we read in section twenty of the Doctrine and Covenants that church offices and officers exist to serve the members. Those called or sustained to such offices receive their authority from the voice of the members though common consent. We sustain them, we “set them apart,” we promise to uphold them in their offices and callings. All this is not dependent on priesthood? How so?

Priesthood Received only Directly from God

“Joseph Smith taught that all Old Testament prophets who obtained higher priesthood during the dispensation of Moses, did so by receiving it directly from God. In the Book of Mormon we learn there is a ‘holy order’ which is ‘without beginning of days’ which some obtained ‘from the foundation of the world’ and brought here. The higher priesthood does not come from man or men, is without father or mother, and is only given one way: by the voice of God to the individual.” Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 31

Now this is very contrary to what the church teaches today. I’ve been a member of this church all my life and never have I been told that I must go and talk to the Lord to get priesthood power. In fact, those who claim they have talked to the Lord are looked upon as crackpots in our church. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but it doesn’t seem to be part of our current curriculum. We are taught that priesthood power is conferred by the laying on of hands by one in authority.

Ordination is only an Invitation

“Priesthood power is clearly something different than an ordination. But it is clear the only thing an ordination accomplishes is to invite the one ordained to then connect to heaven. It is from heaven alone that priesthood power is obtained.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 33

When I was interviewed by my stake president at age eighteen to be ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood, he was very careful to review with me the oath and covenant of the priesthood. We also reviewed several other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. When he was satisfied I understood the seriousness of what was involved, he signed my recommend.

I was sustained in the next Stake Conference and ordained that afternoon by my father. But never did he teach me that it was now up to me to go and complete my ordination to receive power directly from Christ. In fact, in all the intervening years I have never heard this from any priesthood leader, local or general, and I have served in church leadership for most of my life.

Power of Heaven not Conferred

“Power comes from heaven alone. Therefore, no person who has priesthood conferred upon them has any power prior to having it ratified by heaven. The conferral is only an invitation for a man to go obtain power from heaven, not actual power itself. It confers an office within the church, but an office in the church is not synonymous with the power of heaven.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 33

So, even after having been ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood over thirty-seven years ago, I still have no real power, because it has never been ratified from heaven by the voice of God. I only received an invitation to go see God. How come nobody ever told me that? The office of High Priest that I hold today and have for seventeen years is only an office in the church, and does not really have any spiritual significance as far as God is concerned. How can that be?

Ordinances not the Real Thing

“Most of the ordinances of the church are not the real thing. They are types, symbols of the real thing. They are official invitations, authorized by Christ… Any person who has priesthood conferred upon him will need to go into God’s presence, and receive it through the veil for power in their priesthood.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 36

Wow. That’s the first time I’ve ever read that the ordinances of the church aren’t real. I wonder what he means by “most.” Are there some ordinances that are real? It’s nice that he teaches the ordinances are authorized. That’s good to know Denver believes the church has authority. He makes direct reference to the veil ceremony of the temple. It is apparently only a type or symbol of the actual veil. I wonder where that veil is. Are we supposed to go through it before death?

Temple Endowment a Practice Run

The church and its ordinations and ordinances does not confer power. They invite the recipient to press forward into God’s presence and receive Him, where the actual endowment of peace, joy, promises of eternal life, and power are conferred by Him who as the right to bestow them. The keeper of that gate is the Holy One of Israel, and He employs no mortal servant there.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 36

That is an amazing proclamation, that the ordinances do not confer power, but are only symbols or invitations to go and get power. I think of the ordinances in the temple, including the sealing ordinance, and wonder if Denver meant that there is no power or efficacy in that sacred rite. In effect, he is saying that the sealers in the temple are doing nothing more than saying nice words. Until Christ speaks and ratifies them, the ordinances have no efficacy in our lives or in eternity.

So the endowment is not the “actual” endowment as he points out, only a practice run, so to speak. Where are we to participate in the actual endowment – in our homes, or also in the temple? I wonder how many people have received the “actual” endowment while mortal. I wonder if I know any of them. Are they different afterwards? Is life easier, better somehow? By “promises of eternal life” I assume he means having your calling and election made sure.

Come and Receive the Lord

“Whether or not there is any person in the church with priesthood power, every person who joins the church, and keeps its ordinances will be invited, through those ordinances, to come and receive the Lord. When they do come into His presence, they will find themselves in possession of promises, rights, privileges, power and covenants for themselves and their posterity, for all generations, and into eternity.” – Passing the Heavenly Gift, page 37

Hmmm…sounds familiar. What promises? What rights? What privileges? What power? Are we talking about the right to open the heavens at will, on demand, when desired? Doesn’t that go contrary to everything we’ve been taught that spiritual experiences can’t be forced, that they come when God wills it and not man?

Do we then have the right “To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto [us], to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant?”

Summary and Conclusion

I confess all this is beyond my current capacity to understand. I’ve always believed that all these promises in the Doctrine and Covenants are for after this life. I don’t know anybody who talks about having communed with the church of the Firstborn other than as part of a polygamous sect. As far as I have been taught, these kinds of promises are reserved for after this life and are not a part of mortality. Apparently Denver is teaching that they are for us to strive for in this life.

And apparently he is teaching that this is what Joseph taught, but that the current LDS Church has changed the doctrine and strayed from the ordinances as restored by Joseph. That’s quite a claim, but from what I’ve read in his books, it’s an accurate summary. He is saying that the LDS church, while still authorized to teach the gospel and administer the ordinances, does not have the power to save souls. That belongs only to the Lord. We receive salvation only from Christ.

An Invitation to Dialog

For anyone else who has read Denver’s book, what are your thoughts on the first chapter?

70 thoughts on “What Denver Snuffer Teaches”

  1. I can only say that I’ve read The Second Comforter.

    I was actually surprised to hear your review about Denver. I found myself leaning towards Denver’s views. I find myself interpreting his words differently from how you have. I am understanding more and more that the Book of Mormon really does contain the fullness of the Gospel, in that we really can see Christ face to face.

    One thing I don’t think Denver has really touched on very thoroughly was how to communicate with God. I think this is crucial. I really don’t think Denver, or his views, are perfect; but I have found that the gist of his messages are true. All ordinances are dependent upon the Holy Spirit of Promise or the Holy Ghost. They always point us to Christ, but unless we have that promise, it means nothing. That seems to be the missing link in what you’ve written, from what I could see in my understanding.

    I would suggest reading “Following the Light of Christ” by John Pontius (who recently passed away). He’s written a few books. He is also an active member of the church, claims to have seen Christ face to face, yet, has a different perspective than Denver. He’s definitely more church friendly. What I have gained from his book (so far, not done reading yet. Just started) is that he clearly lays out methods for communicating with the Spirit. He teaches with clarity, and he really pushes communicating with the Spirit in very understandable terms. As church members, I think one of the ordinances we have a right to in and of itself is the bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We still have to work for it, but it is a promise to us as we are obedient. As members of the church, it may be a bit more difficult to distinguish between the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost; I mean, we were eight when we were baptized. So, it may not be as easy to distinguish between the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost as it would be for a convert, perhaps. This would be huge for members of the church to really study and understand. If we don’t realize our communication with the Holy Spirit (the Light of Christ) and the Holy Ghost, then I think we’re really making things hard for ourselves. Communication with God will greatly increase if we can understand all of His words to us and obey them. That should be a daily thing.

    Overall, Denver is not an enigma to me at all. Sure, he may teach something that we disagree with or don’t understand (which I would barely need one hand to count with); but I believe he has seen Christ. Everyone errors; but I think the point is that he is obedient to the light he has. The church cannot save. Ordinances cannot save. Priesthood cannot be given by man. I think it is true that God decides. Once we practice faith and repentance until we receive the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, I think that will be a pivotal moment in our lives. And I think it all starts with daily communication with God and obeying His words. After that, it would seem that the Second Comforter would naturally be the next step.

    1. I’ll echo the recommendation for Pontius’ Following the Light of Christ. It helped me achieve a greater measure of spirituality in my own life. I recently purchased several copies to give to family and friends. Also I recommend afterwards picking up his more recent book on Zion and translation. A good summary of his teachings can be found in this two hour fireside: http://followingthelight.org/index.php/download_file/-/view/97/.

      While I read Snuffer first, I found Pontius filled in some of the gaps more clearly on how to approach the higher blessings. With the understanding I gained from Pontius, I found Snuffer easier to parse. Even though they have different perspectives and personalities, they compliment and balance each other’s writings beautifully. I definitely have felt the Spirit move upon me as I’ve read both of their works. I sincerely feel they are two pillars of light in a spiritual revival amongst members of the Church.

    2. I have read all but Passing the Heavenly gift , i think what he has said for the most part is correct . it saddens me that the stake pres. feels the need to stop someone that only speaks of things that will if pondered and thoughtfully prayed about lead you to more understanding of Jesus Christ. It matters not to me rather he has seen Christ or not. We all have that to look forward to in this life or the next, I know one thing after reading and rereading his books , I study harder and pray more about the book of Mormon than i ever have. I feel the Spirit when he says truth and i do not when it is something i am not sure of. I hope things work out for the good for him The church needs men of Denver Snuffers faith and knowledge.

    3. I’m coming at this a few months late, but I see a great deal of wisdom in your remarks from Dec. 11th 13 on your Denver S take. I’ve not read any of his work to date but oh, what a buzz! Based on snippets I have gleaned, he certainly has made me think.
      As individuals in the LDS church we are in so many different spiritual levels that sometimes in our progression toward Christ we could stagnate. At a point we have to get off the bottle (milk) and get introduced to some solid food. I think Denver is trying to help introduce us to the very meat of the gospel. Not by way of commandment certainly, for what authority does he have, right? but gentle shaking to nudge us into an awakening so that when we are ready we may move forward.
      We are certainly not a people who can as yet bring Zion. So lets all stop being shocked and threatened and individually move toward greater light.

  2. “Where are we to participate in the actual endowment – in our homes, or also in the temple?”

    I think the answer is in the tenth parable, if it is to be achieved in this life.

  3. I am so disappointed in this article. You are a fool. I have read all of Denvers’ books. Denver Snuffer is a genius enlightened by the power of the Holy Ghost. He has opened the scriptures and made clear the true meaning for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Denver has never asked for a following. He is a “watchman on the tower” sounding a voice of warning.
    32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

    1. Uh, thanks Janet. I feel so encouraged by you calling me a fool. That’s OK. I’ll take that as I assume it was intended – that I am not as smart as you obviously are. You apparently “get” everything Denver has written without the need to discuss it. Unfortunately, I do not and was hoping for intelligent dialog from others who have figured it out and can enlighten me. Perhaps you could share a few reasons why you are so disappointed in my essay. Did you find it insulting, derogatory, misleading or just plain ignorant? Be honest, I can take it. Thanks.

      I don’t disagree with you that Denver is an intelligent man, probably a genius. I have never met him so I don’t know. I enjoy his writing and his speaking style. I have learned much from his writings this year. I don’t claim to be one of his “followers.” Not sure why you brought that up. That’s nice that you quote scripture to me and point out that Denver is a prophet. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy so in that sense, we’re all prophets. I suspect you think I was attacking Denver. I wasn’t. I was reaching out to the LDS blogging community for insights.

      I would be honored if you could share with me how you have been able to reconcile what Denver teaches with what we have been taught over the years in the LDS church. I’m sure you agree that some of the things Denver writes about are in direct contradiction with the official church history narrative. In essence, Denver is saying that the church is in apostasy and has been since the death of Joseph. He points out that we have been rejected and cursed as a people. Although I believe he is quoting scripture in D&C, those are stout words, not something you hear from the pulpit.

      I’m trying to be humble about this because I recognize that what Denver has shared is divisive yet, as you point out, has so much truth in it. I was thrilled the first time I read Passing the Heavenly Gift – couldn’t put it down. Here was someone who had insights that made sense and yet that are not commonly shared among our educated writers and speakers. The man is an intellectual who claims to know the Lord. That gets my attention. Surely he would want us to be kind and civil in our discussions. Care to elaborate? I’m all ears. If a man is a fool, teach him.

      1. I’m with you on this one, Tim. I’m still trying to reconcile what he teaches with my current belief system. I have to say, though, that his blog has some amazing insights that have answered questions I’ve had for decades (See, for example, http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/03/adam-and-eve.html).

        Denver talks a lot about authority versus power and that can trip a lot of people up. He doesn’t deny that we have been given authority, but rather we have not received power because we have not yet qualified for it. Some surely have, but many, if not most, of us priesthood holders have fallen short and thus remain without true power in our priesthood. Elder Packer spoke of this in a recent conference (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/the-power-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng).

        Nevertheless, I continue to struggle to reconcile what he teaches with what the Church teaches. It honestly never occurred to me that some of what we are taught is not Gospel truth, but rather traditions of men. For me, it’s a painful process, and has to be done prayerfully to avoid damaging my testimony.

      2. Tim I owe you a huge apology. I am so sorry I called you a fool. I misread your intent on this blog. I have been so busy with the holiday and as I have thought about you I have not know how to appolgize sufficiently. I see now that you are just questioning. Good for you. Good for you for reading Denvers’ books. I does take some contemplation and a paridigm shift to see things from Denvers’ point of view. As you can see, I am fairly passionate about the things I have learned from Brother Snuffers’ books. I have tried to share with other members of my family and I have met with resisitence. That is why I think I was so defensive when I thought you were totally diagreeing. And because the internet is sort of anonymous I lashed out with a harshness that I would have softened face to face. I have some insights into what the “veil” is. If you can forgive me for my impatience I will share with you but I would like to back it up with some quotes from Denvers blog and his books which I do not have time to research for a couple of days. Again please forgive me. I have enjoyed reading everyones comments.

      3. Hi Janet,

        Thank you for your kind and gracious words. I don’t mind being called a fool, especially since I have read Denver call himself a fool many times. In essence, I am a fool because my heart has told me many times that I need to pay closer attention to what Denver has tried to teach. I have been foolish in that I have not tried harder to “get it” in a way that the spirit has tried to teach me. One of the things I have been prompted to do, which I foolishly haven’t yet done, is to fast about my concerns. I have prayed about them and pondered them in the temple but I haven’t fasted with a specific purpose to understand better and accept this paradigm shift I have felt coming on all year.

        I would very much like to read your insights into the “veil.” I have been thinking about that subject a lot recently. In many ways, it seems to me that the body and our connection to it is the veil. That’s why fasting helps us get closer to the things of the spirit – it gets the distraction of the flesh out of the way at least for a few moments. To part the veil is simply to shift our vital life force from the flesh to the spirit somehow. “Quickened by the spirit” takes on a whole new meaning. It allows us to see into the spirit world with something other than our natural eyes. I know it sounds a little crazy to our Western way of thinking, but from those who have developed this skill of reaching through the veil I have read that it becomes second nature. I like that.

      4. I’m also interested in any insights on the “veil.” What you, Tim, say about the flesh makes a lot of sense. I recently went on a week-long vacation, and unfortunately consuming a lot of food was difficult to avoid. I had reached a spiritual peak in the preceding couple of weeks, but then found it extremely difficult to feel the burning of the Spirt (which has become more regular since seeking spiritual rebirth) during this vacation. I’m not sure, though, whether the overconsumption of food or the lack of time alone (vacation for me involves a lot more social/family demands) was the primary spiritual deterrent.

      5. Hey Tim

        What a beautiful reply to an otherwise harsh comment,I hope the poster receives the power of that blessing and frees herself from the spirit of scorn and wrong judgement,may you continue seeking with dilligence,determination and thirst to KNOW!!! what very few know,to know the real,from the unreal,to be led by the light of the Holy Spirit from out of the darkness of our own ILLUSIONS that we maybe able to see the real face of GOD or other words,to KNOW the real from the unreal.

        Hint;learn to read 🙂

        blessings and peace my brother

      6. Hey Tim

        I read somewhere of this paradox,it was said that a certain town where all its citizens were idiots all except one,and all except the one thought himself to be the exception to the norm.

        Socrates wisdom came from his understanding that he knew he knew nothing,Moses 1:10

        I put my first post up before reading on and seeing Janets most sincere and beautiful appology
        that is the true essence of what Christ taught,your kind reply and and Janet recieving that,the scripture”He that is faithful in that which is least….”Luke 16:10 comes to mind.

        Much of what DS writes about authority and the saints incessant wreckless willingness to put their trust in the arm of flesh(leaders)can be summized in these refs,1Nep 8:5 onwards the remedy Luke 17:21 the end result Rev 11:15

        peace and blessings

  4. Tim,
    Denver speaks some truth but unlike Joseph he wants to sell it to you book by book by book! So don’t expect him to briefly and clearly lay anything out and don’t expect to get it with his next book! Expect him to tease you along book by book so he can profit by playing prophet.

    1. The thought of Denver spending as much time as he has to sell books is laughable. The relative market for his books is so small.

      I’ve read and enjoyed all his books, and I can barely get my friends to read them.

  5. Here’s a few of my thoughts on both what you’ve written and how I understand Denver (I’ve read all his books, several multiple times, though I haven’t reread Passing the Heavenly Gift since it first came out).

    Reread your post and reconsider every place you use the word “control” as a verb. Look at D&C 121:34-46. How does this section define control of priesthood? Consider President Packer’s April 2010 conference address.

    Regarding “Priesthood Received only Directly from God”, given that there are degrees of priesthood, I understand Denver to be talking about the fulness of the priesthood, specifically the bestowal of the unconditional sealing authority, that is in all of the examples in holy writ (e.g. Helaman 10:4-9) given directly by God.

    Look at Elder Bednar’s October 2010 conference address and consider how it relates to what Denver’s written and the questions you pose in your post. In one of the key paragraphs Elder Bednar says:

    The simplicity of this ordinance may cause us to overlook its significance. These four words—“Receive the Holy Ghost”—are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction—an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26). The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken. As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed “receive the Holy Ghost” and its attendant spiritual gifts. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (D&C 88:33).

    I read Denver as saying that all of the ordinances we receive are only authoritative invitations (“priesthood injunctions” or being “called”) to connect with Heaven (being “chosen”) and lay claim to the attendant promises and that we should not confuse them with being the real thing themselves. (They are a means, not an end.)

    But how are we to be chosen if we are not first called? Recognizing that once called we still have to be chosen should not diminish the importance of being called, of how & through whom we come to hear the call, or of our need to heed the call.

  6. I hope Denver is the real McCoy. I read his first book but decided not to read his other books. I’ve read what Tim and a few others have to say about his other books and I just don’t feel motivated to learn Denver’s mind and will. I’m curious to see where he ends up. I hope it turns out to be a good place, but I’m uneasy about his gospel paradigm.

    I think most of those who are attracted to his approach are fascinated by his “brilliance” and claims to have seen the Savior. I hope he has, I want to, but I don’t see anything superior he has to offer that can help me or any one else realize that great blessing. Meanwhile, I’ll stay mildly interested and see what develops.

    As for me and my house, we’re staying close to the brethren and doing those things that have proven to be reliable and time-tested methods for drawing near to the Lord.

    1. “I’ve read what Tim and a few others have to say about his other books and I just don’t feel motivated to learn Denver’s mind and will.”

      As Tim quoted above, Denver has stated “The content of this blog presumes you are already familiar with Denver Snuffer’s books. Careful explanations given in the books lay the foundation for what is contained here. If you read this blog without having first read his books, then you assume responsibility for your own misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the writer’s intent. Please do not presume to judge Mr. Snuffer’s intentions if you have not first read his books.”

      I think it’s also fair to say that … If you read [what others have said about] this blog [and books] without having first read his books, then you assume responsibility for your own misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the writer’s intent. Please do not presume to judge Mr. Snuffer’s intentions if you have not first read his books.”

      As one who is “attracted to his approach, let me tell you why.

      Just over a year ago, my marriage was at it’s lowest point in 8 years. The last year of my marriage was the best. We are truly happy and have the Spirit in our home. The teachings in the books have brought the Spirit into my life and has helped me take advantage of the Atonement and overcome weaknesses.

      I pray more regularly, I study the scriptures almost daily. I’m a 100% home teacher, serve faithfully in my calling, etc. I don’t mean to do the gospel checklist, but its the easiest way for me to quantify the change in my life and communicate it online, but the real change goes so much beyond that. This is real repentance to me. I’m seeking the Spirit. THAT;s the GOSPEL. Faith, Repentance, Baptism of water AND SPIRIT.

      What’s baptism of fire and the Spirit? Immersion of the Spirit, Immerse yourself with Holiness. Then the Spirit will sanctify you.

      I’m not really sure what would bother any Latter-day Saint in ANY of Denver’s books except “Passing the Heavenly Gift.” Yeah, that’s a different paradigm. But his other books are tremendously good. I would encourage everyone to read all the first 7 books Denver has written. And if the history of the church doesn’t bother you, don’t worry about “Passing the Heavenly Gift.”

      1. I honestly feel like leaving the church when I hear Denver Snuffer’swords words. He makes me think if you are right why do I even try. If this church doesn’t have the authority no one does and I am fanned. Also my husband is a big Denver fan and since he has gotten so into his books. I feel some of the spirit has left our home. We are expecting a baby and I feel guilty bring it into a home where one parent has received revelation that Thomas Monson is a true prophet that talks to God and the other parent believes he does not have the truth. I have a hard time believing Snuffer based off what he has done to my husband and family. I know that I am not the only family he has split due to his views. Yet he always talks of Zion. How is breaking families and people going to help Zion. Maybe I just don’t understand.

  7. If Denver Snuffer has seen or met the Lord Jesus Christ then he is a special witness of Christ and a prophet. I say that because he denies that same opportunity to the 15 men who meet in the Upper Room of the Temple every Thursday, dressed in the holy robes of the Priesthood, calling upon God in the true order of prayer. Denver claims that he has met Christ but Thomas Monson or Dallin Oaks cannot have done the same. If he does believe they could have the same experience then what makes them the false or redundant Prophets which he claims they are?

    I believe that Denver Snuffer is either a deceiver or a victim of deception. When I read his material I have a stupor of thought and the Spirit withdraws from me. Why is this? He has applied his worldy understanding to the things of the Spiri and has come up short. There is a being who will readily meet with those who desire ‘heavenly experiences’. It is not, however, Jesus Christ.

    1. How does he deny that opportunity to the 15 men….?

      Denver has never said the brethren haven’t seen Christ. Of course neither have they, so I don’t know why you presume to believe that they have. Why impose a tradition on them? Why not just believe them and take them at their word?

      Denver HAS NOT claimed that Thomas Monson or Dallin Oaks have not done the same.

      Didn’t Samuel teach repentance to the Nephites? And what did those who believed Samuel do? They went to Nephi to be baptized.

      Didn’t a wild man prepare the way before the Lord…John the Baptist?

      Didn’t another stranger in the land preach repentance? Abinidi. Wasn’t another prophet commanded to leave Jerusalem? Lehi.

      Not all the Lord’s servants come through an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

      His message is repentance, why does that bother you? Denver is not telling anyone to leave the church. . If anything, he would have people go to the temple.more as he emphases the importance of what is taught in the temple…we must and can converse with the Lord through the veil. This is an invitation to all, not just the leaders of the church, leaders who are to be servants.

      “There is a being who will readily meet with those who desire ‘heavenly experiences’. It is not, however, Jesus Christ.”

      I’m curious. Are you suggesting that Christ does NOT minister to people who have sanctified themselves? Or that He will only visit and minister to a church apostle or prophet?

      I just want to make sure I understand you correctly, because I don’t think that is anything we teach or believe.

  8. I greatly appreciate the dialog and sharing of opinions about what Denver teaches. I think it’s obvious his ideas engender strong responses. When I discuss them with Carol, she helps me see how the conservative, traditional approach to our history brings her feelings of peace, safety, security and comfort. Like some of you, she is troubled by his “different” perspective.

    I am not bothered by his unusual or non-standard approach to our history, mainly because I have read so much of it online over the years. That’s what I love about LDS blogging. We get to see all kinds of different ways our doctrine and culture have influenced each other. But who has the ultimate right to tell us what is truth and what we should believe? That’s an individual thing.

    In our church you can believe what you want as long as you teach only the approved doctrine in the classroom and from the podium. I’m OK with that. I love this church. I have every desire to promote what the Brethren, whom I sustain, have determined is in the best interests of the body of believers. You’ll never hear me bringing up these ideas in the Gospel Doctrine class.

    But just so there’s no doubt about where I stand, I’m leaning more and more towards believing that Denver a) has indeed seen the Lord has he claims, b) was indeed asked by the Lord to write at least his first book and c) is fairly accurate in what he has shared in Passing the Heavenly Gift. In other words, his focus on the difference between power and authority makes sense to me.

    As I now see it, the LDS Church is authorized to teach the restored gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation, which will be recognized and binding in the eternities. However, what I now accept and believe is that those ordinances mean nothing unless they are ratified by the Lord or by the Holy Spirit of Promise. I don’t think that’s too different from official church doctrine.

    The title of his latest book is very appropriate as is the illustration on the cover – a candle that has been recently been snuffed out. The heavenly gift of the sealing power was given to Joseph. He received it from the Lord. He also lost it a few years before he was killed. It is not something that can be passed on from one man to another. It is only received directly from the Lord.

    Now the question that we each need to answer for ourselves is if Brigham or any subsequent man that we sustain as prophet ever claimed to have that power. From what I read, Brigham did not claim to possess the sealing power. He had been asked by Joseph to formalize the temple rites and ceremonies, including the sealing ordinances, but did he have the sealing power himself?

    That’s where my pondering has led me today. I have resolved the idea of an authorized church. I believe the LDS Church is authorized, even commanded to do what it does – preach the gospel, publish the scriptures, build temples, and perform ordinances. I accept that the church has the authority from Christ to act on his behalf. This is His church and he inspires those who lead it.

    But who has the sealing power and why is it so critical to my salvation? If it’s only received directly from the Lord, as Denver teaches, then what must I do to receive that power for myself? Is it even possible to receive that power? What about the scripture that says only one man on the earth will have that power at one time? If not sealing power, then what should I be seeking?

    1. Great questions. A good question is often times better than an answer. A question promotes thought, pondering, meditating. Sometimes the “answers” we have just close our minds to what else there is.

      The only thing I am troubled about with this great discussion, are the many references to “Denver”. He really doesn’t matter. In fact, we know very little about him as a person. What is important are the ideas and questions that he has raised. Those are worth discussing.

      The one thing that I have found, is that those who have read his books, have become better people. More family devoted, less worldly, more prayerful, more fasting, more diligent scripture study. I have not met ONE person who actually read his books that was not enriched by them. By your fruits…

      1. Yep, he also says he doesn’t matter. He calls himself a fool. But, the bottom line is, he is the one who has brought the subject of power vs authority into clearer focus for me. I’m not a great gospel scholar but I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that for the priesthood blessings I give to be effective, they have to be a) accompanied by personal righteousness, b) accompanied by great faith (both mine and the recipient) and c) have to be the will of the Lord and ratified by His spirit. That’s why I make a great effort to “hear” the voice of the Lord when I give priesthood blessings. I want to be a conduit for his spirit to bless the lives of others.

        I agree with you that since being introduced to the writings of Denver Snuffer earlier this year I have spent more time in the scriptures and studying what others have said about the many subjects he writes about. I’m one of those who does not get enough intellectual stimulation in Gospel Doctrine class or High Priest group meeting. Besides, discussing the mysteries of the kingdom in chuch has a tendency to make some prople uncomfortable. That’s the last thing I want to do. Thus, I blog and enjoy great input from people like you.

    2. “The title of his latest book is very appropriate as is the illustration on the cover – a candle that has been recently been snuffed out.”

      I think it is also interesting to note that the candlestick has a design on the bottom that Bryce Haymond says is the “Seal of Melchizedek”. Why would that symbol be included?

    3. I think that is so curious that you brought up that question. I was in the temple today and was pointed directly to Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This should clear up a lot of your questions as it did for me.

    4. The Sealing Power being spoken about in Doctrine and Covenants 132 is specifically sealing multiple women to one man. The Sealing Power that Denver is talking about is the promise that what you seal on Earth will be sealed in Heaven and what you loose on Earth will be in Heaven. There is subtle and yet distinct difference between the two which I cannot really explain.

      What you need to do to get the 2nd is follow the example set out in the Temple – also what Denver teaches about invitation rather than receiving is layed out quite clearly at the beginning of the Endowment. Due to the sacredness of that which is received in the Temple, I will not attempt to explain them on a public forum.

    5. You said “The heavenly gift of the sealing power was given to Joseph. He received it from the Lord. He also lost it a few years before he was killed.”

      What exactly do you mean he lost the sealing power a few years before he was killed? How did this happen and why?

      1. Hi Chad. See D&C 124:28 – “For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.” The big question is “what is the fullness of the priesthood and does it include the sealing power?” We’re currently discussing that on “Defining the Heavenly Gift” if you would care to join the dialog there.

  9. “I accept at face value when you wrote the Lord asked you to write your books.”

    Does Denver Snuffer claim the Lord asked him to write his books? As far as I know DS only claims the Lord asked him to write The Second Comforter. I haven’t seen that same claim about his other books or his blog. Will you point me to it if he has?

    By the way, DS says he didn’t come to a resolution about polygamy until after he had received the Second Comforter. When I heard him say that (at the “Elijah” talk last year) it made me realize that just because he has received the Second Comforter (and I believe he has) doesn’t mean he’s got everything figured out.

    1. Good catch, Charlotte. I believe you are correct about the books. Only the first book was requested as far as I now remember. My mistake. Love your comment about not having everything figured out. I remember him saying that about polygamy as I listened to the talk. I also read his recent series of blog posts on that subject very carefully. It seemed to me was directing his comments to someone in particular. That’s where I picked up on his reaffirmation that there is only one man on the earth at a time with the sealing power. It’s important for us to know who it is. Thanks for adding to the dialog.

    2. I believe that he said that the Lord helped him write Passing the Heavenly Gift. If I can remember where I heard him say/write that, I’ll follow up with a post.

      1. From his blog regarding Criticism of the Church

        “There are answers to the problems. I offer my conclusions as a consequence of my own search and discovery. It is my belief the Lord is pleased by this effort, and has ACTIVELY ASSISTED me in doing so. I also know there are a great many who are offended by my work, and that I am unpopular among many of the saints. The Strengthening the Members Committee does not approve of what I am doing. I believe myself more accountable to the Lord than to them.”


      2. Thanks for finding that, Rob. That does give his writings more weight. Still, the Lord being pleased by and assisting in his efforts is not as strong as asking him to write something in the first place (in my opinion).

        The Second Comforter certainly has a different feel to it than the other books, don’t you think?

      3. Does it give his writings more weight? Not at all. This is simply a declaration from a man. A declaration that I find fascinating.

        Now if the Spirit confirms the veracity of this, then it ought to be taken more seriously.

        And to me, the Lord ACTIVELY helping him, means even more that just receiving an assignment.

        Did the Lord tell him where to go to do research? Where he’d find answers and explanations? Did the Lord proofread? Who knows? And really who cares, if the Spirit doesn’t confirm this is true?

        But if anything, an incredible assertion has been made by Denver. One that, in my opinion, should be taken seriously. He has seen Christ. He has a message. He’s not crazy, or at least doesn’t appear to be. We ought to at least test the message and see if it bears good fruit.

        So one asks, should all people who claim to have seen Christ receive our attention? Why not? Usually false prophets are quickly recognized. The truth is, there are not many people out there making such amazing claims. And not ones with established careers.

        And on that point. If Denver is a fraud, he could loose his law license. The bar is held to a higher standard of integrity/honesty–well, in theory. But if he ever were to be proven wrong, one could file a complaint with the Utah bar and he could lose his law license.

        Again, I just don’t see that much money in a small market for his books to risk his entire career. He doesn’t promote the book. He doesn’t promote himself. I think there are only 2 pictures of him on the internet. He just doesn’t strike me as a guy who’s trying to draw attention to himself. If you listen to his talk he gave last October, for the temple conference. He really seems like a man that does not want attention. He seems sincere. He seems humble. He also seems very cheerful and just a happy guy.

        All of that adds to his credibility. He and Joseph are either the greatest con-artists, or they’re legit.

        ONLY the SPIRIT will tell you.

        And that’s the hardest part of all. I think that’s why people struggle to receive his message. You actually have to have a relationship with the Spirit. And we have all tried and failed to get answers. Some of us succeed from time to time. But it is so hard. The paradigm of just following another who has been successful in connecting with heaven is SO alluring, so tempting, so much easier. But that is not what God wants. He wants US to connect with him. Well. sorry for rambling.

  10. This brings up another point I’ve been thinking over a lot lately. I think Denver pointed out at one time (someone can check me on this) that we shouldn’t think that LDS members are the only ones that have claim to the Second Comforter. I believe this is true. I believe that there are others who have seen Christ that are not of our church. With this said, I’m not quite sure how to reconcile this understanding to the role of the church. How is it possible to have the Second Comforter without an institution with keys? How is there a proper baptism?

    On another note, I have the feeling that the fullness of the Gospel is yet to come. Am I correct on this?

    If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. These questions aren’t my primary concern, just something I’d like an answer for.

      1. What he DID say in his Mormon Stories interview, was that he believed that good people would survive the destruction of the last days and live in the millennium, even atheists.

        I don’t recall precisely, but I think this was also extrapolated to say that they would receive good judgement, upon death, if people are good.

        He also said that meek, humble, charitable people like Mother Theresa are also very near to God. But I don’t recall him saying that they could receive a fulness of the Gospel without the ordinances of the church. But I also don’t think he said they had to.

      2. Thanks for that, Rob. That very well could be what I was thinking of. I’ve listened to that myself, but I’m not 100% sure if that is what it was. Anyways, I think what really brought this about was when I was reading Alma 33:2 where the poor were cast out of the synagogues. I started wondering if the church–as an institution–was really needed; but I guess in context, one of the main purposes of synagogues is to pray (or worship). It is different than the church. So, I don’t think that means that they weren’t aloud to be baptized or anything, either. Or maybe I’m wrong? This has been something I’ve put on the backburner to think about later. Nevertheless, I do think the church is needed as long as we don’t use it as a means of idolatry; rather it is a tool for us to practice becoming more like Christ (as well as other things, like holding keys).

    1. And from the preface of Passing the Heavenly Gift, page xv: “The fullness of the Gospel and the fullness of the priesthood are not synonymous terms. But they are related. The objective of the fullness of the Gospel is to bring people back into Christ’s presence. When in Christ’s presence, the fullness of the priesthood is bestowed. The one leads to the other. But they are not the same.” He elaborates more in later chapters.

  11. One thing that bothers me these days in the endless back and forth over the internet is that ones “fruits” are seen mostly as his or her words. Denver is a lawyer- he has s gift for writing and speaking. I agree the guys has some good things to say but at times wonder about his life outside of his writing- the real fruits of the man.


    “WWJD?” (What would Jesus drive?) It’s environmentally friendly, leaves a small carbon footprint, quick, high-mileage, ….fun as hell, and pretty badass, too.”

    “Since He went out of His way to be common, to fit in among the least, to be welcomed among the taxpayers, the harlots and the sinners, I suppose I am serious. In our day that means He would fit in among the tatooed, the pierced, the promiscuous, the drug-addicted and the outcast. So why wouldn’t He drive a Harley?”

    Call old fashioned but I have a hard time believing this man has “seen” the Savior when he is prone to this type of language and feels that the Savior would “fit in” with the promiscuous and drug-addicted”. Love them? Yes. Reach out to them? Most definitely. “Fit in”???

    I’m sticking with the other prophets.

  12. I’ll have to read some of Denver’s stuff… sounds interesting. I remember doing the priesthood preview presentation for 11 yr olds back in 2001 to illustrate a point. I gave similar pocket knives (representing priesthood authority) to a boy and his dad. I had the dad cut a piece of paper with his knife. No problem. Then the boy tried to cut with his knife, but the boys knife wasn’t sharp like his dads. Then we talked about the difference between authority (knife) and power (cutting with the knife). I think they went home understanding that they had some work to do to sharpen their priesthood to make it effective. It helped that the boys all looked up to their dads.

  13. Tim, your blog here is the first I had ever heard of DS. I was intrigued and started doing some research on him a couple weeks ago. The reviews on Amazon are mixed as well. Part of me really wants to read his books because of what many have said about his uncanny ability to shed light on the scriptures. But part of me felt really uneasy about it as well. The two big red flags were 1) He claims to have seen the Savior and 2) He is critical of the Lord’s anointed servants. HELLO! Kind of a big red flag regardless of what else he has said.

    So I’ve been praying about it and I spoke to my brother in law who I greatly respect. He is a seminary teacher and a bishop and one of the most spiritual people I’ve ever met in my entire life. He said “STAY AWAY”. He’d never heard of him and he reads a lot and hears of most of the good LDS books that are written either from his own research or from other seminary teachers.

    I wasn’t quite convinced though and I was still intrigued and wanted to find out more. But today I got my answer in the strangest way. About a month ago (before I’d ever heard of DS) I set a goal to listen to ALL of the general conferences that are on LDS.org. They go back to 1971. It’s been kind of a cool experience hearing all of the old stalwarts talk. Some of these talks were given before I was born and it’s been really neat so far. So here I am listening along and then all of a sudden, WHAM….I get my answer as clear as day and felt the spirit at the same time that it was true. Boyd K. Packer basically said that anyone who has ever seen the Savior certainly wouldn’t tell anyone else about it and it would be far too sacred of an experience to share with anyone. He even goes so far as to say that it would be an inappropriate question to even ask of someone else. Here is the talk:


    This was a really cool experience for me how the Lord answers our prayers. Maybe someone else would get a different answer than me, who knows. Maybe others would criticize me for being paranoid. Who knows. The bottom line is that I’ve got to follow what I PERSONALLY feel is right. Ironically I think that’s exactly what Denver would teach. As I was researching him, I came across many anti Mormon sites and some “soft core” anti Mormon sites of people being critical of the church (Stuff like….”why did the church build a 2 Billion dollar mall”?, etc.) Whether these people have valid points or not isn’t the issue. The issue is that they are being critical of the Lord’s anointed and taking it upon themselves to be a light to the world and to set us straight. Suppose Denver really has seen the Savior? Well why in the world does he feel like he needs to TEACH the rest of us how to do it? As good as his intentions may be, a BIG caution sign goes up for me. I think he’s walking on thin ice and he may actually be the “very elect” that is being referenced in the scriptures. In my research I found another good site that you may find of interest. A gospel doctrine teacher wrote a good blog about how to tell if you are heading towards apostasy. Highly recommended read:


    1. Dan, you should spend less time reading about DS on the internet and find a copy of The Second Comforter. The way in which he shares that he has seen the Savior is so understated and benign, I find it interesting that people find it problematic. I respect Boyd K. Packer’s statement, and I believe that there is an exception in that if Christ commands you to testify, then you testify. I doubt Elder Packer would disagree with that. The scriptures give plenty of examples of people testifying of seeing Christ (start in the first chapter of the most correct book, verse 9). We’re currently studying Lorenzo Snow in Priesthood/RS, and it clearly indicates that he saw Christ. He didn’t broadcast it widely, and DS similarly does not make his personal experience the center of his books. You have to read 300-400 pages before he states it clearly, and he doesn’t describe it in any detail. The book is really about gaining a deeper understanding of the process of obtaining the Second Comforter.

      If you really find DS problematic, I’d suggest reading John Pontius’ The Triumph of Zion. He is much softer in his approach, yet is equally edifying and convincing that we must seek higher blessings, gifts, and experiences than we commonly do (and he makes it clear it is not the fault of the Church or leadership who are fulfilling their roles). I’ve found both Pontius and Snuffer to be in harmony with the gospel, and have felt my faith increase (along with spiritual blessings) as a result of their writings. Neither is trying to steer anyone away from the Church. They both just seem to be re-iterating things that the Church has already taught, yet under the current culture some of these concepts are not emphasized. The fact that these books are being published over the last several years (and btw Pontius was at one point defended by Gordon B. Hinckley when an Area Authority took issue with his first book in the ’90s), is an indication that some saints are ready to re-embrace some of the earlier teachings about Zion, calling and election, the Second Comforter, entertaining angels, translation, etc.

      Since you seem to respect seminary teachers, we studied this week in seminary about Agabus who was a prophet in the New Testament. He was not the prophet, or even an apostle, yet he at least had the gift of prophecy (as Alma 32:23 indicates many can have such spiritual gifts … even women and children). It is my opinion that Pontius and Snuffer have a spiritual gift of teaching spiritual concepts. But you need to read their writings outside of the noise of the internet, in the full context of their carefully composed texts. Sure, you can get scraps of it on their blogs (and other sites/forums), but to really understand and feel of the importance of what they’re expounding on, you need to read the unabridged and unfiltered texts.

    2. Dear Dan,

      Please read this: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/approaching-mormon-doctrine.

      Please look through the following Book of Mormon scriptures, and ask, if the truth is that one would not share a witness of the Second Comforter if there are already all of these many witnesses:

      1 Nephi 1. Nephi’s account of Lehi
      1 Nephi 2:16. Nephi
      2 Nephi 2:4. Father Lehi acknowledging the witness to Jacob.
      2 Nephi 11:2-3. Isaiah, Nephi and Jacob
      Enos 1:27 Enos – indicates that they have already met.
      Alma 26:27. Ammon relating Alma 17:10. Remember that this is pre mortal ministry. Ammon Aaron Omner Himni, and brethren.
      Alma 19:13 King Lamoni
      Alma 36:22 Alma II
      Alma 45:19 Alma II
      Helaman 8:22-23 Nephi says that Christ manifested himself unto almost all of the fathers of the Nephites
      3 Nephi 7: 15-end Nephi
      3 Nephi 11 Everyone present
      Mormon 1:15 – Mormon
      Ether 3 – Brother of Jared (premortal Jesus)
      Ether 12:19 – “many” – prophets
      Ether 12:39 – Moroni
      (‘m sure there are many other’s- if anyone wants to add to the list, I would be obliged.)

      I believe that President Packer in 1971 was mistaken and his words then deny the scriptures and the many witnesses therein.

  14. Dan,

    I appreciate your sincere desire to learn. However, I’ve always been puzzled by reactions such as yours.

    When I first saw “The Second Comforter”, I went into it very skeptical. But I thought that either, 1) the author is telling the truth and can help me, or 2) he’s not. Is there another possibility I’m missing?

    I was so intrigued by the assertion that someone had seen Christ, that I wanted to hear what he had to say. Plus, I figured that if he was a deceiver, I could discern that myself.

    Do people fear not being able to discern? Help me understand this. What is it you fear? Learning another paradigm. Hearing something new?

    Let me suggest something. I know of NO ONE who has read Denver’s books and have left the church. Most people that I know have read his books have a renewed commitment to the gospel. NEARLY ALL criticism (Amazon included) of The Second Comforter comes from people WHO HAVE NOT READ IT.

    I feel like I’m on my mission again. Why is it that people can know all about the Book of Mormon yet not have read it? Why aren’t they willing to TEST IT?


    Dan, where does fear come from?

    What if…just what if… Elder Packer was wrong? Does his opinion square with the scriptures? Nearly all the prophets testify that they’ve seen Christ. Joseph Smith testified of seeing Christ. Many of the early Saints did too. This idea that testifying that you’ve seen Christ is so foreign to scripture, yet it’s a tradition that we keep holding to. (However, it is true that WHAT Christ teaches is sacred and should not be shared. That is the point. We all have to receive Him to learn what we must do to receive the Father. Line upon line.)

    The apostles’ opinions sometimes change with time. He said that a long time ago. I’d be curious if he’d say the same thing now.

  15. Rob,

    I’m not afraid of anything. I just don’t want to associate with people who are on the fringe of apostasy. (Now granted, since I have not read his books, my opinion is limited. I’ll give you that). But from everything I have read about him, he is very critical of the leaders of the church and he shares sacred things that should be kept to himself.

    I ask myself WHY? What is his motive for telling us these things? The only thing I can think of is 2 Nephi 26:29

    “He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion”.

    So I guess he’s a light to the world! We (and the leaders of the church) have it all wrong and he has it right apparently.

    1. Dan,

      That (2 Nephi 26:29) is a good concern.

      However, to show that he has not set himself up as a light, you find it difficult to find a picture of him. He does not use his picture on any book or speech or interview he has given. Even his law firm website does not have a picture of him (which is the custom.)

      He frequently says that he is only sharing his opinion and no one is bound to anything he has to say. (Obvious for sure, but most people who set themselves up as a light to not talk this way.) He donates his books to the church.

      People say that he criticizes the leaders, but I wish we could all respond to that as Paharon did. Moroni had some concerns. He shared them. And Paharon replied, with explanations. I don’t think having concerns is equivalent to criticism. When there are concerns, there should be a dialogue. There is nothing to fear.

      Additionally, Denver just up and stopped his blog, for now. He says, he’s communicated the message he was asked to communicate and is done. I think someone seeking an audience/following would ride on this wave of popularity for as long as it lasts.

      Lastly, the idea that someone would spend as much time as it takes to write 8 books and maintain the blog he has for profit is somewhat laughable. There is simply not the market for this. He’s a good writer and he’d make more money writing things that please everyone to hear. He’s an attorney and makes plenty of money (as you can see from the house he lives in–his books didn’t pay for that, it was purchased before the sales of his books.)

      I tell you all this because I was skeptical too. This is my reasoning HAVING read his books. And would encourage everyone who desires to see the Lord to read them (at least the first seven). And if you don’t want to see the Lord, well, really you should.

    2. Dan, when you wrote “he shares sacred things that should be kept to himself”, I’m curious, what exactly is your perception of what he’s shared that he should have kept to himself?

  16. “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy.”

    1. Do statements like these constitute “rising up to condem others” and “finding fault with the Church” and proof of being on the “high road to apostasy”?

      “Distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood.”

      “How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations-—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God”

      “They [FP & Q12 from BY to HBL], I’m sure, in their own way, were doing the best they knew to give shape to [the policy], to give context for it, to give even history to it. All I can say is however well intended the explanations were, I think almost all of them were inadequate and/or wrong.”

      For those who haven’t read Denver, don’t worry… those quotes are from Boyd K. Packer, Joseph Smith and Jeffrey R. Holland respectively.

    2. I probably should have left a comment rather than just leaving Joseph Smith’s apostasy warning quote alone as my comment. I did not have a whole lot of time, and I left it as a sincere warning, and did not intent to incite conflict/contention.

      @ Bryan. I was initially intrigued by DS claims, and went to read several of his books, but only have made it through portions of a few of them. I stopped because I am busy like most people, and I recognized an all too familiar spirit in Denver’s words, a spirit which has caused a lot of damage to my family. It is a spirit of exclusivity/superiority and condemnation. It has the appearance of righteous fervor, but unrighteously judges weakness and mistakes in people and in the church, and assumes that the select few “elect” which they themselves are among are in the right and it is their duty to bring these weaknesses or mistakes to light, almost or actually presupposing the Lord does not have His reigns on His church. It often views dead prophets as superior, and usually wants to return to a supposed glory days in the church. It sees digression instead of progression. It uses the true principle that we must strive with our might towards perfection to justify itself, and sees current imperfections as evidence to presume others are not in fact doing the best they can with what they were given to promote such beliefs.

      I feel the world did not and cannot go from a state of apostasy to Zion overnight. For what it’s worth, I have gained a testimony that the church has been on a steady but difficult path of progression towards Zion from the days of Joseph Smith until now, and that Christ has at no point lost control of His church along the way. Sure, there is still a lot of work and progression to be done and revelation to be had rooting out errors in ourselves and in the church as a whole to get to a full state of Zion one day. But I know that such errors are not evidence of fallen leadership, a fallen church, digression, or anything like unto it, but rather part of the natural process and birthing pains of establishing Zion.

      In contrast, in “Passing the Heavenly Gift” Denver separates church history into 4 phases (the first during Joseph Smith’s lifetime and the remaining 3 after his death leading to the present day) that portrays a very different tale. On the back of the book in summary, it says, “The first phase [during Joseph Smith’s lifetime] was innovative and expansive, continually adding doctrine, scripture, teachings and ordinances. Subsequent phases have curtailed, abandoned, even denounced earlier teachings and doctrine. Phases two through four have all abandoned doctrine. Growth in these subsequent phases has been defined in terms of political influence, financial gains, cultural inroads, and population growth; while the underlying religion has been curtailed.”

      I think Denver is a smart person, and very sincere, and I think there can be a lot of good and uplifting takeaways from the depth of his research in his books, much like members in my own family and their writings (not published). And I am not offended if anyone believes differently than I do. But I do feel along side the good, that I have recognized a false spirit woven throughout much of Denver’s writings, one that I have been around for a long time and have seen the resultant bad fruits. It is my belief that this very spirit falls under the apostasy warning that Joseph Smith gave in the quote I originally posted.

      @ Michael. No, to me those quotes do not fall within the same category. Not only are they from proper church channels of authority and thus are more appropriately said, but to me they are given in an entirely different spirit than what I describe above. If they do not seem different to you, I am not offended if you view this differently than I do.

      All the best to everyone!

      1. Steve, when you speak of a “false spirit” are you referring mainly to the most recent writings of Snuffer, or do you find that same “false spirit” in his earlier writings? I’d be particularly interested in your feeling on The Second Comforter since that is the one book (I believe) that he indicates he was specifically “imposed upon” to write. Since he claims to have been visited by Christ and states that the book was “a responsibility,” it seems that either he is on the Lord’s errand or he is greatly deceived. So, I guess I’m wondering if you feel that “false spirit” has entered into his writing as he changed perspectives (I can’t find it right now, but he does indicate that the last book was written from a different perspective … and others have implied it is thus targeting a disaffected audience), or if that “false spirit” has been with him since the first book?

      2. I don’t want to weigh in too heavily on The Second Comforter because I did not finish reading the majority of the book. If someone feels good about what they have read there, I would think by all means continue to seek light and knowledge and do what feels right, and the Spirit will direct that person line upon line even if there are errors mixed in with truth.

        I will say however, that it is interesting that my family when I grew up was also very preoccupied with the ideas of having one’s calling and election made sure and the need to seek the face of Christ and receive personal visitation from Him in this life and not the next. I felt the Spirit teach the truth of these things from a very early age. However, I do think an unbalanced preoccupation with these doctrines does indeed tie in with ‘false spirit’ I spoke of in my earlier post. I think this is because focusing so much on individual salvation and individual experience with the divine tends to make us forget that salvation also has just as much of a community component as an individual (“we without them cannot be made perfect”). No person could achieve true joy if he/she were alone in the universe. Joseph Smith was indeed teaching us that each of us could and should approach God individually, and that each person is entitled to great revelations and manifestations when he seeks the Lord in righteousness. But it can be argued that Joseph’s greatest preoccupation was the establishment of Zion, spending the bulk of his life as a prophet building communities, and even teaching us that our greatest object is Zion. Along side seeking light and knowledge were teachings of being bound together in bonds of love and true brotherhood and sisterhood. He envisioned a full nation of Kings and Priests, Queens and Priestesses and a heaven where we would be welded together by the sealing power experiencing the same sociality that exists here coupled with eternal glory.

        While I don’t think I can explain it well, I feel I can see from experience how focusing only on the individual side of things, especially a preoccupation with the greater individual blessings, may lead one to turn their thoughts away from others, and instead of a people focused religion, turns our religion into one focusing on the blessings themselves. But it forgets that blessings are nothing without people. It becomes a problem when suddenly those in the “club” who know and seek these higher blessings are worthy of praise, and we discard the many and worship the few. But I know God is a God that is mindful of all his children. The true Spirit of God tends to make us want to overlook others faults, and to carry those who suffer from sin on our backs to safety. If we find ourselves finding greater fault with others, the saints, or the leaders of the church… it may well be that we are under the influence of a spirit other than God’s. This has been my experience.

      3. Steve,

        I can appreciate that you have a different perspective than me. I don’t know a lot of people that are “very preoccupied with the ideas of having one’s calling and election made sure and the need to seek the face of Christ and receive personal visitation from Him in this life and not the next” that hasn’t caused them to serve and love others.

        If you are preoccupied with meeting Christ, that ought to cause you to forgive one another, love one another, and serve one another. It ought to cause you to do it unto the least of these, because that is doing it unto Him.

        I think if anyone is interested in having their calling an election made sure and is not doing these things is off the mark.

        “The Second Comforter” only encourages people to forgive others, pray more, serve more, do more home teaching, go to the temple more, love others, love your family.

        I don’t really understand how else to go about seeking Christ.

        When Peter admonishes those to receive their calling and election he says: 2 Peter 10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

        Well, what are “these things” that we should do?

        5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;

        6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

        7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

        I don’t see how preoccupying ourselves with these godly attributes can be a bad thing.

        I’m not suggesting that you are saying that. I’m guessing that the people you observed “preoccupied with C&E” were not doing it right.

  17. @Steve. Excellent points. I agree completely. I especially like your statement about “an unbalanced preoccupation with these doctrines does indeed tie in with ‘false spirit’.” So I guess that leaves it up to us individually whether the writings of Snuffer (or others) create that sort of imbalance. I personally am finding great worth in some of these writings as I didn’t grow up in a family or ward culture that dared even mention some of the greater blessings. So, I find that Snuffer, Pontius, and others are helping me with the process and possibility of coming more fully unto Christ. But I should watch myself carefully that I don’t become overly focused on my individual salvation and experience. Thank you for the wise insight.

  18. But how can you help build Zion if you haven’t even qualified for it yourself? I think we can learn a lesson from Enos, who prayed for his own salvation, and only after he attained it, he turned his prayer towards others also receiving great blessings.

  19. Pingback: Remembering the Covenant | Latter-day Commentary

  20. I have read Denver Snuffer’s books, his entire blog, listened to his public talks as well as coresponded with him for ten years now and met him in person several years ago. I believe him to be the real deal. I believe what he teaches is true and right. I have found him to be honest and sincere and do not believe he is out for fame, fortune or the praise of men. In fact I don’t believe he does much of anythng for the praise of men. What he teaches should be carefully and prayerfully considered.
    Tim Oaks
    Somerville, TN

  21. Denver Snuffer is just another false prophet making claims about a false Christ. Snuffer, even if sincere, has received a false spirit. “…if any man shall say unto you, Lo , here is Christ, or there; believe it not” (Matt 24:23). Did you catch that commandment from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “believe it not”. He warned his disciples to discern from among the many false Christs and false prophets that will deceive many, even the “very elect”, if possible. If you believe Snuffer you are ignoring the warning of Savior Himself.

    READ YOUR SCRIPTURES! All of Snuffer’s musings are a distraction and a side-show from the Gospel. We have the word of God and we have not studied it sufficiently that we should need to turn to the wisdom of a man. READ YOUR SCRIPTURES! It is all given there plainly to all men equally to understand if they would just read and ask for wisdom, having real intent, and faith in Christ. Anything more or less is not of Christ.

    1. “…if any man shall say unto you, Lo , here is Christ, or there; believe it not” (Matt 24:23)

      Your interpretations would assume that Joseph Smith History 1 and Doctrine & Covenants 76 are false. Indeed all of Joseph Smith Jr’s claims would be false with such an interpretation.

      Please read the entire chapter to place the verse in context of former verses. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-m/1?lang=eng

      Matt 24:5-6
      5 And Jesus answered, and said unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you;

      6 For many shall come in my name, saying—I am Christ—and shall deceive many;

      Denver has no claim of being Christ, only that he is a witness of Christ -no less than and no more and no different than Paul, Alma, Lehi, Moroni etc.

      God Still Speaks with Man. Christ is still to be found.

      1. “Indeed all of Joseph Smith Jr’s claims would be false with such an interpretation.”

        That statement is a false choice fallacy. It is possible that Joseph Smith Jr was an instrument in God’s hands for bringing forth the Book of Mormon, and no other gift, as an early revelation, received by aid of the Urim and Thummim, made clear. Even Joseph Smith himself claimed to receive a revelation that his ONLY gift was to translate the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith changed former revelations that said he would have no other gift than the gift of translation of the Book of Mormon. He later changed that revelation so that he could pretend to another gift, the gift of prophecy. Just compare D&C with the original Book of Commandments, 1833. Many changes to former revelations were made in order to accommodate new ones. Why would new revelation contradict former revelation?

        By saying that he has seen Christ face-to-face, Snuffer is saying to you and all that “here is Christ”. If he truly saw Christ, then that would be a personal experience that he would gain from personally. By telling the world of this alleged encounter, he receives his reward of attention and seeks to bolster his arguments by having his readers suppose some special insights or knowledge about God. He is just another phony. Only the pure in heart shall see God. Any such visitation would be held sacred and personal instead of being used to get attention and persuade others to follow new doctrines.

  22. In my prayers today, I distinctly received the impression to “follow the Brethren”. This does not mean that Denver Snuffer isn’t right about many things, but he is not the Prophet.

    1. A reader of books

      Good! Denver doesn’t want followers.

      After quoting D&C 68:2-4, Joseph Smith, George Q. Cannon & Brigham Young, Denver writes in Chapter 11 of the Second Comforter (2nd Edition), pages 232-234:

      “When men speak as men, no matter their role in society or church, they are not entitled to your faith. If you give it to them you are an idolator and following a Telestial standard. When prophets speak by the voice of inspiration, then it is the voice of inspiration you follow. We are disciples of the Master not of the Master’s servants. Brigham Young, once again, made the distinction most clear.”

      [… BY quote from JD 16:74-75 omitted here for space …]

      “So you see it is you who are responsible for these things. You cannot defer them to another. Even trusted others cannot be the ones you rely on for exaltation. Following Christ is a rugged and individual responsibility each must shoulder for him or herself. If you elect to defer to another for your source of truth, then you cannot hope to rise above a Telestial inheritance, for you are among those who ‘are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another–some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.’ (D&C 76:99-101.) We must follow the Father and not the messengers of the Son, even if they are truly sent by Him. Worship of anyone or anything other than the true God is idolatry; and, therefore, worthy only of Telestial beings.”

      “The Gospel requires us to proceed carefully, to be sure. We are required to find the voice of the Spirit for ourselves. Every Saint must become, in their own right, a prophet or a prophetess. Not to lead others, but themselves. For each must choose for him or herself to find and follow the Master’s voice in his or her life. The only sure rock upon which salvation remains to be found is that same rock of revelation which Christ assured Peter was secure to trust. [Footnote 195 omitted] If you follow President Hinckley solely because he is the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are following a man. But if you follow President Hinckley because you hear the Master’s voice in his counsel and teaching, then you are following the Lord, and not a man. There is a great difference between the two. One honors the Lord and leads to exaltation. The other misses the mark and makes such followers Telestial. This distinction is pivotal to salvation itself. It is not merely rhetorical, but of such substance if you fail to understand it you fail the test of mortality itself. This is what we signed up for in coming to mortality. We accepted this challenge and expected it. Now it confronts us. So the test is afoot and must be taken with caution and humility.”

      It sounds as though you hear the Master’s voice in the Brethern which is commendable.

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