The previous post on this blog asked a series of questions about the upcoming Remnant Family Reunion Retreat in May in Colorado. The questions have troubled me, but I’ve avoided answering the questions for a couple of reasons—mostly because I’m not the event organizer.
But these questions need answers, and so I’ve sought and received permission from the Lord and the event organizers to provide some answers. In doing so, I realize I’m quite imperfect, and ask for your patience and forgiveness of my weakness. I’m doing my best to answer as correctly as I know how.
Disclosure: Bret and Samantha Corbridge are the organizers of this event. I am not. But because Bret has asked me to help with some of the planning and logistics, I have intimate knowledge of the event. I have also done what I can to publicize the Reunion on my blog. I’ve made it no secret that I plan to attend. I’ve been directed by the Lord to do so.
I give the above disclosure because I think you ought to know my intent, where I’m coming from, and why I’m at least somewhat qualified to answer the questions that have been asked.
So here are the questions that were posed, together with my answers:
1 With the limited time and financial resources available to me, what valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to the first remnant retreat/gathering, when the organizer told me that Denver Snuffer was specifically not invited to attend because he would be a “distraction”?
Actually, the correct wording is “Denver Snuffer was not specifically invited to attend.” In other words, this event was not designed or set up to be about Denver Snuffer. It is about Christ. Denver IS absolutely invited to attend, just like anyone else. If he does choose to attend, we hope all the other attendees be willing to not let Denver be the focus.
2 What kind of gathering would Denver Snuffer be invited to?
He’s invited to this one, as is everyone else who wants to come. A more important question is why should Denver’s attendance affect mine or yours? Whether he comes or not should not be the determining factor for anyone else’s attendance. Nobody is coming to worship Denver.
3 What kind of gathering would he attend?
I guess you’d have to ask Denver. I know he’s been to bike week in Sturgis a number of times.
A more important question might be, “What kind of gathering would Christ attend?”
4 How do I get an invitation to that one?
I hope we’d all agree that the invitation that matters most is the Lord’s invitation to gather to Zion. We all hope to be invited to that one. This Reunion in May is NOT that Zion invitation. Those who are led by the Lord to come to the Reunion should come. Those who are not, should not.
5 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering conceived of and organized by a man who told me that he was personally rebuked by Denver Snuffer? Why would Denver Snuffer rebuke anybody?
Bret Corbridge provided the following quote:
“Denver Snuffer is a prophet of God. That’s what real prophets do, they rebuke errors. And since I am a flawed man, I stood in need of being rebuked. I am grateful for the correction, and I have learned that not following this man’s council, when it is in harmony with the Holy Spirit, is unwise.
“What is really sad is that someone would use his rebuke of my weaknesses, to imply that the rebuke related to this Remnant retreat.”
6 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering which the second witness at Denver Snuffer’s Phoenix talk is not planning to attend?
If your requirement is that Denver Snuffer and Keith Henderson attend any event you attend, then this is clearly not the event for you. It might be worth considering why there is this desire to elevate Keith Henderson or Denver Snuffer as the determining factors whether this event is worth attending. Would Denver or Keith be comfortable with people doing that?
7 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where three of the six original speakers (myself included) backed out after praying to know whether or not to attend/speak?
Some were invited to speak, and have chosen not to. The reasons are between them and the Lord. I have no problem with the idea that some have chosen not to speak, and their reasons are not my concern. Those who have consented to speak have received the Lord’s approval to do so.
8 Who are the three substitute speakers?
The speakers have not been announced. They absolutely do not want attention, notoriety or acclaim, nor do they want anyone to attend to hear “them.” This event is focused on Jesus Christ. It shouldn’t matter who speaks, as long as Christ’s word is spoken.
9 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering and listening to a featured speaker who has an active internet blog where they advertise and promote the gathering at which they themselves are scheduled to be a featured speaker?
Several of the speakers have blogs. Should they be excluded from speaking because they blog? Or because they promote an event they believe will be uplifting and worthwhile?
10 Is it possible that they may increase in status among their own blog followers, and attract even more followers as a result of speaking at the Remnant Reunion?
It seems to me that they would be announcing their names if self-promotion were the goal. The fact is, they are specifically trying to avoid exactly what you are speaking of in this question! The speakers do not seek acclaim, position, “followers” or any other worldly honor. All the honor is Christ’s. This isn’t about the speakers.
11 If so, does this fit any definitions of priestcraft?
Steps have specifically been taken to avoid any appearance of priestcraft. I find it perplexing that on the one hand you want to take away the speakers’ self-imposed anonymity and provide them notoriety, but on the other hand question whether they are practicing priestcraft. They certainly are not seeking followers. Each of the speakers is there for the sole purpose of delivering the messages they feel the Lord wants them to deliver. It is a burden and a challenge for each of them. The focus is on Jesus Christ, not the speakers. I don’t know how to make that more clear.
This gathering is about Jesus Christ. Not Denver Snuffer, Keith Henderson, the speakers, or the event organizers. Let’s not make it about men.
I note with some sadness, that despite knowing the above and the speakers’ desire for anonymity, the original questioner has chosen to betray confidences and reveal some of the speakers’ names elsewhere.
12 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where, as the organizer’s wife told me, women and their daughters may decorate themselves in blue and white clothing (similar to depictions of the Virgin Mary) and wear head jewels as they dance together on the mesa?
There is no plan for costumes or jewelry. There is a group dance planned, but it is not on the mesa, and it is not a ritual or ordinance. It is a Jewish folk dance, similar to what you would see at a Jewish wedding. It is fun, exhilarating, and communal. It is designed to honor God, but is NOT a ritual. Also, there is a a regular evening dance planned with country, swing, and waltz music. Any who don’t wish to participate are under no obligation to do so.
But golly, are we really that afraid of dancing?
14 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may perform rituals using honeycombs that they bless in a “sacred ordinance” (which a Utah woman says she has received from the Lord for this purpose, based on Asenath, who used the technique to change her vibrational energy in order to convince Joseph to marry her)?
There is nothing in the plans that has anything to do with what you asked in this hypothetical question. There will be no honeycomb rituals or ordinances. (My sarcastic side wants to add, nor will there be nudity, human sacrifice, incense burning, peyote, or washings and anointings. Please forgive my sarcastic side.)
15 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where decorated women and their daughters may again exclude men from being present while they dance in the moonlight on the Mesa?
There will be no decorated women dancing in the moonlight on the Mesa. I would suggest you look at the agenda again. (I’ve linked to it at the bottom of this post.) The only time the men and women separate is during the day, and it is not for the purpose of performing rituals or ordinances. There’s no reason to ascribe unholy motives to men and women meeting together with people of their own gender (ahem…priesthood…relief society…) I appreciate the opportunity to be with and learn from my brothers, and my wife similarly appreciates the opportunity to do so with her sisters.
16 What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may anticipate that an entity they call Heavenly Mother will again be present and that there will again be physical manifestations of her presence in the clouds surrounding the moon, as there have been in the past when women gathered with the wife of the event organizer (to perform their Asenath honeycomb dance) on the Mesa?
I’m not sure where to even start with this question and its implied circumstances. Nobody will be worshipping or praying to Heavenly Mother. If there are physical manifestations in the heavens, that’s up to the heavens. The event planners do not control the clouds. The focus is Jesus Christ.
17 What is the difference between today’s LDS remnant women dressing up and dancing in the moonlight on a mesa, trying to change their vibrational energy, excluding their men folk, focusing on a female Goddess – and the ancient Israelite women doing the same thing?
I have no idea. Since this will not be happening at the retreat, I’m not sure how to answer this hypothetical. I suppose one could make up any circumstance and ask it as a hypothetical question. Again, if you want to know what’s on the agenda, I suggest looking at it.
18 Is there any difference?
19 How might God view such a gathering?
If you’re referring to the fictional scenario you painted above, I have no idea. If you’re referring to this reunion weekend gathering in general, I would suggest asking God. The event organizers and speakers are doing all they can to follow His will. We all hope for His approval. A great deal of time, effort, planning, sacrifice, fasting and prayer have gone into learning and doing the Lord’s will for this reunion.
20 How has God viewed such gatherings in the past?
21 If some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but others who have prayed about it say that they have been specifically warned by God not to go, what am I to make of this?
My suggestion would be that God guides each person in the way they need to go. Blessed be His name.
23 If some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but the person they have publicly said that they pray to is an entity they call Heavenly Mother, what am I to make of this?
I’m content to leave that between each person and God. I’m certainly not the judge of whether they prayed in the right way, to the right person, and got the right answer. I’m only responsible for myself.
24 If some people say they are just going to this gathering for social reasons, do not plan to pray about it or feel the need to, and say publicly that God is perfectly capable of stopping them from going if that is His will, what am I to make of this?
That’s their business. Is it our place to judge their reasons for going? All are welcome.
25 Will the spirit, approval and protection of God be over this gathering?
Probably better ask Him. I’m certainly praying it will. If you love your brothers and sisters, I invite you to pray it will, too.
If so, how do I personally reconcile all of the above questions?
You have not sought to personally reconcile the above questions. You have sought to do so publicly and in so doing have sowed many seeds of doubt and fear, based on fictional scenarios. You personally know the event organizers, and could have easily asked them these questions privately if your intent was merely to get answers. Your actions and efforts are proof that your intent was to publicize your problems with this event and its organizers.
Bret and Samantha have stated from start to finish what this event is about and have invited all to ask God whether they ought to attend. That is how you get your answer. All the above questions are irrelevant if God directs you to attend.
26 If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the organizer, who says publicly that the reunion gathering is directly commissioned and led by Jesus Christ, who has communicated in person with him about the details of the event on numerous occasions?
And likewise, what might that say about the attendees, speakers, and even the vocal persecutors and detractors? We should all, every one of us, seek God’s favor. Failure to do so does NOT condemn the organizers of this event any more than the errors of the LDS church condemn Joseph Smith.
27 If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the speakers?
28 If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the participants?
29 If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, how might that affect all the innocent, impressionable children attending the event with their parents?
If the spirit, approval and protection of God ARE over this event, how might that bless all the innocent, impressionable children attending the event with their parents?
As to the above 4 questions about the Spirit, approval and protection of God not being there, I would ask what if the Spirit, approval and protection of God ARE there? What would that change?
Which assumption should we start with? And what does our starting assumption reveal about our motives and our faith?
30 How can I find out how God views this particular gathering?
I recommend asking Him. I did ask Him. You’ve asked 29 questions so far, and now, with question 30, you’ve finally hit the nail on the head.
But of course, you already knew the answer to this question. You know that posting questions on the internet is not the way to find out God’s will. Therefore, whatever your intent was in posting these questions, your readers are left to conclude it was not about seeking to know God’s will.
31 Why would I want to do so?
That’s for you to answer. I wanted to do so because I care deeply about doing God’s will. So I asked His will for me in this matter, and I’m trying to do it.
32 Does Denver Snuffer’s April 10, 2015 blog post: “A Reminder” have any relevance to my questions?
That’s for you to decide. Or you could ask Denver.
Now having done my best to answer the questions posed, I’d like to pose some of my own.
- What if this reunion is not what the above fictional scenario questions imply, but rather is exactly what has been represented by the organizers? That is—focused on Jesus Christ, led by the Spirit, and carefully planned to only follow God’s will?
- What if this event turns out to be uplifting, sacred, and wonderful for those who attend? What if they attend with the expectation that it will be so?
- What if Christ is honored, truth is taught, friendships are formed, and the attendees are strengthened in their ability and resolve to follow the Savior?
- What if the speakers deliver messages from the Lord, filled with light and truth?
- What if angels attend?
- What if spiritual gifts are manifested?
- Do you think the Lord wants this positive scenario to take place?
- If those who are planning to attend want the above to happen, how might they prepare?
- If those who are planning NOT to attend also want the above to happen, how might they lend their prayers and faith to the Lord’s purposes?
I ask these questions because the intent of the organizers is the scenario I’ve written above. Hopefully, the intent of most of the attendees is likewise. If the above outcome is worthwhile, I can’t imagine why any follower of Christ would seek to prevent this from happening.
Even if they aren’t attending themselves (especially if they aren’t attending themselves) why would anyone spend their time and effort criticizing, finding fault, or seeking to undermine this event? (There absolutely are those seeking to do so.)
I would ask such people to please search their hearts, consider their motives, and perhaps consider doing what they can to uplift and help their brothers and sisters have a wonderful, Christ-centered experience. I would also warn them, in the spirit of love, that perhaps the best approach is not to fight against this event, lest they should inadvertently find themselves in opposition to God, or responsible for harming others.
I think Gamaliel’s advice is as sound today as it was when he gave it:
“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)
May God bless us all to love one another, make allowances for one another’s weaknesses, and allow one another to obey His will in peace. I invite all who are attending the reunion and all who are not attending to join with me in praying that Christ will be honored and His purposes will be fulfilled in this event. May He bless it to be so.
For those who need it, here’s the link to the information packet where you can find the Reunion agenda and schedule.