Attending a Wilderness Religious Retreat

After several kind yet firm invitations from a good friend, I decided to accept an invitation to join him and five or six hundred other like-minded individuals to leave the comfort of my Southern California home for a weekend in the wilderness somewhere south of Mesquite, NV. This place is out in the wilderness, away from the city lights, a place that reminds me of where someone would go of they wanted to get away from all the comforts of civilization.

I’m a city boy, born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Lived here all my life. Except for two years in Central America in the late 1970’s, I have known nothing but a life of ease and relative luxury, especially compared to what I saw during those two years in Central America as a Mormon missionary way back when. My family comes from dirt farms in Tennessee and Oklahoma just two generations back so I’m quite happy to live my days in Los Angeles.

Getting Back to Nature

Back in the day, meaning my great grandfather’s day, sleeping out in the field around a campfire on a regular basis was a normal part of life. He was either part of a crew building a railroad or digging wells on a neighbor’s farm. He knew how to find water, probably used a divining rod and in general, felt comfortable living out of doors. So did my father and grandfather, who started life as farmers. Most of their early lives were lived in the fields.

Some families grow up with a history of camping and have great memories of weekends or a week’s vacation visiting some beautiful spot in nature, far away from the bright lights of the city. Carol has shared with me many of her happy memories camping in the mountains of Northern Utah, as well as boating and fishing in one of many lakes of Southern Utah. I’ve often wished I had such childhood memories of relaxing evenings by the campfire.

Faith of my American Fathers

The closest I came to the campfire experience was in YMCA or Boy Scout camps, during both of which I mostly wished I was back at home in my warm bed. I do not envy my ancestors who lived before the days of electricity, who lived off the land and knew how to hunt for food and find water. They thought nothing of traveling for weeks at a time to migrate from the Carolinas and Tennessee to their eventual homes in Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.

There was a lot of illiteracy on my father’s side of the family, going back to the early 1800’s, which is where we lose track of the original Malone line. So most of the history of why they migrated as they did are a matter of conjecture. The reasons are much clearer on my mother’s side. They came West for land and the opportunity to build a better life. There were a number of preachers of both sides, but clearly a majority among my mother’s many ancestors.

Faith of the Original Fathers

Somehow, to this city boy, sitting in the luxury of my beautiful home with my high-tech job that allows me to work from home, it seems like a step backwards to go out to the wilderness to reconnect with the faith of my fathers. I know their faith. They were Baptists and Presbyterians and damned good ones at that. I’ve read hundreds of their stories over the years and am right pleased to be descended from these early good American pioneer families.

However, my American fathers is not the focus of this religious retreat I’m going to be attending in a couple of weeks. By the end of the day two weeks from now I hope to have learned a whole lot more about the faith of the original fathers, meaning, Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalalel, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem or Mechizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Ephraim. Some of these right now I only know as Old Testament names.

If you look at the schedule below (also found on the official website of the retreat), you see that Denver Snuffer is scheduled to present about four hours of instruction on the “Religion of the Fathers.” If you’re no stranger to my blog, you know I’ve read, studied, prayed about and written about much of what Denver has shared over the years, although that’s an almost impossible task as his published works are well into several million words so far.

I am looking forward to what Denver has prepared and will be sharing. I also hope to learn a few additional things about how the Lord intends to bring about Zion in the last day. I know the ancient fathers lived mostly in the desert but does that mean we are going to live there someday? I don’t know. but it s a great way to get away from all the distractions of modern life with all this distracting technology that consumes so much of our time and energy.

See you there


  • Friday, March 26
    • Arrive at camp and set up 5:00 – 9:00 PM
    • Dinner – Soup, chili, stew, and bread when you arrive
    • Stargazing – 10:00 PM – McKay Platt
  • Saturday, March 27
    • Breakfast – on your own before 9:30 AM
    • Welcome – 9:30 AM – Kyle Walter
    • Taki- A Token Sacrifice – 10:00 AM – Rob and Q Adolpho
    • Lunch (Provide your own), Breakouts, and Whiteboard Gatherings – 12:00 PM
    • Music and Worship – 2:00 PM
    • “Religion of the Fathers” – 3:00 PM – Denver Snuffer
    • Dinner Break – 5:00 PM – Camp Provided
    • “Religion of the Fathers” – 6:00 PM – Denver Snuffer
    • Quiet time – 10:30 PM
    • Note: Denver’s talk will also be shared on YouTube immediately after and/or broadcast live if the network allows
  • Sunday, March 28
    • Breakfast on your own – Before 10:00 AM
    • Sacrament Meeting – 10:00 AM
    • Spiritual Gatherings in smaller groups and whiteboard gatherings – 11:00 AM
    • Feast and Festival of Remnants – 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Camp Provided and Shared
      • Navajo Tacos – Native American Meal
      • Burgers, Hot Dogs – Gentile Meal
      • International Potluck – Bring something to share from your own heritage
    • “Passovers Past, Present, and Future” – 3:00 PM – Adrian Larsen
    • Passover Sedar Dinner – 5:00 PM – Brian and Jennifer Bowler
      • Optional – Others provide their own dinner
    • Fireside Prayer Service – 8:00 PM
    • Star Gazing – 10:00 PM – McKay Platt
    • Quiet Time – 10:30 PM
  • Monday, March 29 – Weekenders Depart
    • Mornings – Group Breakouts and planning the day
    • Afternoons – Recreation Activities
    • Evenings – Fireside Gatherings
    • All meals are potluck
  • Tuesday, March 30
    • Mornings – Group Breakouts and planning the day
    • Afternoons – Recreation Activities
    • Evenings – Fireside Gatherings
    • All meals are potluck
  • Wednesday, March 31
    • Mornings – Group Breakouts and planning the day
    • Afternoons – Recreation Activities
    • Evenings – Fireside Gatherings
    • All meals are potluck
  • Thursday, April 1 – Depart no later than 9:00 AM

1 thought on “Attending a Wilderness Religious Retreat”

  1. Hi Tim,
    Would you please resend me your private email address and I will send you links to the messages about Mormonism received by two mediums. One of the messages is from Jesus and the other from Joseph Smith himself.

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