A Time of Reflection, Part One

As I reviewed the agenda for the upcoming April Conference, I noted the invitation for us to reflect on what we have received over the past few years. I decided to make a list of a few of the things of which I’m aware and share some thoughts on each of them in this and a few succeeding posts. I start with the idea of latter-day messengers sent from God.

Please forgive me for referencing myself in these musings. I am as one of you, a traveler in this lone and dreary world, a sojourner seeking safe refuge from storms and coming catastrophes. I am simply reflecting back on how my journey has changed over the past seven years in ways I had never anticipated, but as a result of diligent study and prayer.

Also, a note on the paintings, drawings and photos that illustrate the post: I do not own them, nor am I always certain who does. However, they do add color to the post and help communicate what I am trying to share. I found the featured image of Elijah calling down fire from heaven on the Jehovah’s Witness site. I am a believer that Elijah has not yet returned, as is taught in the LDS church, thus this painting has significance for me.


The Davidic Servant

Growing up in the LDS faith, I did not hear the phrase, The Davidic Servant, used from the pulpit or taught in the classroom. It wasn’t until I was an adult, seeking out the depth of the gospel through the teachings of Joseph that I was introduced to the concept. Joseph Smith referred to a servant or Davidic King on page 339 of TPJS, which I read while I was preparing for my mission in 1976. The original source is the Wilford Woodruff journal which references the fall of King David and the loss of his kingdom to a latter-day David.

“Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the Priesthood; and the Priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.” I have read much commentary by others about this teaching from the Prophet Joseph, but none compare to this statement:

“On the 10th day of September, 2011 the word of the Lord said to me, You shall no longer be called Denver, but your name shall be called David.” And concluding that section, “I expected to keep this private, and after doing so for six years, I have been commanded to make this known.” Source: T&C section 182. Thus, I became aware of this rather startling declaration in 2017, along with anyone else who happened to be paying attention.


Know Them by Their Fruits

I’ve related previously how I was introduced to the writings of Mr. Snuffer. A casual comment in a sacred place led to weeks of pondering and individual research until I decided upon a course of action – to read the writings of this man so I could judge for myself. After completing PtHG, and discussing it with the Lord in prayer, I decided I ought to read all of his books. I obtained and read each one, writing about them on my blog. I especially appreciated his first book, Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil.

Reflecting on this as I have for the past seven years, I find it amazing so few have been interested enough to pursue a serious investigation of Mr. Snuffer’s claims, especially among those who should be most open to the idea of messengers sent from outside the orthodox hierarchy. Having attended several of the presentations or lectures in 2013-14, I felt to ask the Lord directly if Mr. Snuffer was an authorized messenger sent from God. The affirmative answer was clear to me each time I asked, and even now as I write this.

The Lord has said we can know a prophet by his fruits. Mr. Snuffer has brought forth a tremendous number of fruits, works of labor, that we can use to know if this man is sent forth from the Lord to deliver a message for our day. I’ll discuss some of those in the next few posts, but ask the reader to focus on just one for this moment of reflection: the written and spoken word recorded for us to read and ponder. We have no excuse to say we don’t understand the message being delivered. It’s clearly available for all to review.


A Teacher of Righteousness

While not desiring to call attention to himself, Denver has not shied away from doing difficult things required of him. Years of training, mental exertion and faith are clear in the millions of words recorded and shared though blog postings, books, talks, lectures, conference addresses and podcasts. Since 2012, I have been a witness to and beneficiary of this man doing what the Lord has asked of him despite the criticism, opposition and misunderstanding by so many who should have welcomed what he has openly shared.

I’ve made it clear, as has Denver, that we do not follow him. It is sad to see so many who have never bothered to read more than a few words, if any, of what he has offered to the world, then jump to conclusions about his intentions. Even from Conversing With the Lord, Denver has always pointed us to Christ. Not only has he been prolific in written commentary, but he has also been focused on restoring much of what Joseph had begun. Even in the declaration of 2017, Denver has not referred to himself as the Davidic King.

When I interviewed Denver in 2015, I asked him if he considered himself a prophet. He responded, “I view my role only to be a teacher at this point. I hope to remain in that role alone.” As a beneficiary of Denver’s efforts to teach truth, I have been more motivated to stand a little taller, reach a little higher and repent more completely than ever before. You’ll find no idol worship here, but I do want to make it clear I appreciate Denver’s courage to deliver the message given him by the Lord, often at great personal sacrifice.

Additional Items to Consider

This is the first in a series of seven items I have chosen to reflect upon in preparation for the upcoming April conference. I hope you are able to ascertain I consider it a gift and blessing from God to have the work of the restoration continue through Denver Snuffer, whom I consider to be the latter-day Davidic servant prophesied by Joseph Smith. In the next installments of this post, I hope to reflect upon the work of the scripture committee, the receipt of new scripture, baptism, a new covenant, preparing for Zion and a temple.

33 thoughts on “A Time of Reflection, Part One”

  1. Thank you Tim. I have long appreciated your courage and forthright expressions of goodness and truth.
    You have also paid a significant price for your efforts.
    I admire your gentle kindness and courage. Thank you for your support of Denver Snuffer, Jr., whom many of us have studied, hearkened to, and thereby received additional light and truth regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    We love you brother!
    James Russell Uhl

  2. I have always enjoyed your blog Tim. I’m so glad that you are sharing your wisdom once again. May the Good Lord Almighty bless you with all that you desire.

  3. What if someone has read thousands of pages of what Denver has written and has found that some of what he teaches cannot be correct because it contradicts things taught in the scriptures and by Joseph Smith?

    Can Denver be the Davidic Servant while also teaching false doctrine?

    If you have been following Denver for the last 7 years then you would know that much of what he is currently teaching contradicts things he taught on his blog prior to his excommunication, in his book PTHG, and in his 40 years in Mormonism lecture series. Contradicting what he taught in the lecture series is problematic since he said the contents of those talks were given to him directly by Christ Himself.

    Just a few examples:

    Denver used to teach that Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage. Denver also used to teach that the angel who appeared to Joseph Smith was Moroni.

    Denver also teaches not to ordain men to a specific priesthood office. This violates the scriptures.

    Denver’s TSJ revelation contradicts changes Joseph Smith made to the gospel of John in the JST.

    Denver’s teaching that 7 women including a man’s wife must sustain him before he can exercise the priesthood has no scriptural support.

    Denver calling for the organization of fellowships without any organization or leadership is contrary to the scriptures as the Lord’s house is a house of order.
    If there are elders or high priests then they are to preside. If only aaronic priesthood holders are to be found, then priests are to preside.

    By not ordaining men to a specific office, how can a man know if he has the authority to administer the sacrament as the scriptures say that one must be a priest or elder to administer the sacrament?

    Furthermore, if Denver is correct that the LDS church only had the aaronic priesthood at the time of his excommunication in 2014, and the lost it when he was thrown out, how can any man see the face of God and live? Don’t the scriptures clearly teach that a man must have the Melchizedek priesthood for this?

    I have posed these questions to a number of people who accept Denver as the Lord’s servant and have yet to get a satisfactory answer.

    Any thoughts?

  4. Hi ldswatchman,

    Thanks for stopping by and adding to the dialog. I do have a few thoughts but I’m not sure if anyone will be able to provide you a satisfactory answer. But, for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts:

    Just as much of what I now believe contradicts with what I used to believe and taught, I am aware that some of Denver’s current teachings do not jive with some of his earlier writings. You’ll find the same thing on my blog.

    I used to teach that Joseph practiced plural marriage. I don’t any more.

    I’m aware of the controversy or discrepancy with the identity of the angel that appeared to Joseph. Was it Nephi or was it Moroni? I don’t know and I’m not sure I really care.

    Ordaining to an office is not necessary for the purposes of administering in a fellowship. Offices are part of a formal church hierarchy. We have none.

    I think what Denver has shared in the Testimony of St. John is wonderful. I have no problem with the revelation as revealed to Denver. I have accepted it as scripture.

    In the same manner, I have no problem with the necessity of having seven women, including a man’s wife, sustain him before he can administer the ordinances for others. Doesn’t affect what he can do in his own home.

    You might want to go back and read the Phoenix lecture to understand better the concept of a house of order. I am satisfied with the order we are following in our fellowships.

    It also might be helpful if you re-read the lecture on priesthood in order to understand offices in the LDS Church compared to our understanding of priesthood.

    Don’t conflate offices in the LDS Church with authority to administer the sacrament. Doesn’t require an office. Just requires priesthood.

    Not sure you have a clear understanding of the higher priesthood, which is only received directly from the Lord, and cannot be passed from man to man.

    By your questions I assume you are orthodox LDS. Good for you. If you are satisfied with your religion, may God bless you to practice it with exactness.

    Take care my friend.

    1. Thanks for the reply Tim.

      I wouldn’t say that I am Orthodox LDS. I believe the scriptures, not the teachings of men. Orthodox LDS doctrine these days requires the opposite sadly.

      I see that the LDS church is in a state of apostasy, exactly to what degree I don’t know, but it’s serious.

      I’m a member of the church and relatively active as I haven’t found a satisfactory place to go outside of the church and believe that the best place for me is within the church unless the Lord sees fit to direct me to something better, which he has not.

      Not to be contentious, but I believe the situation with Denver is different than most men.

      In Denver’s case he was promoting and defending Joseph’s plural marriages long after he claimed to have received the second comforter and thus had his calling and election made sure.

      If polygamy is as evil as Denver now claims, you would think he would have known that if he really was at such a high level of spirituality as one would need to receive the second comforter.

      You really don’t find it strange that Denver defended plural marriage in PTHG and in his 10 lecture series? I mean at this point he was already claiming to be the Lord’s servant.

      Are there any scriptural examples of a true servant of God doing such a 180 on a doctrine? First declaring it true and going to great lengths to defend it and then saying it is evil and a doctrine of the devil?

      It seems you are willing to overlook this issue and many others with Denver, and have made your peace with him being the Davidic Servant.

      Let me ask you this. What if you are wrong and Denver is not the Davidic Servant, then what?

      What if it could be shown from the scriptures that Denver does not fit the profile of the Davidic Servant in the scriptures?

      Are you that confident and secure in your conviction that Denver is a true servant of God that no amount of evidence could cause you to question this?

      Our faith should be in Christ and in his word in the scriptures and not in man or our feelings and desires should it not?

      Just something to consider.

      I’m not trying to contend with you or shake your faith in Christ. I’m just trying to understand how so many people can read the same scriptures and have the same LDS roots and yet reach such different conclusions as to what is true and what isn’t.

      There are many who see the apostasy in the LDS church and yet choose such different paths in response to this knowledge.

      Anyway if you don’t feel comfortable with this type of discussion I understand and wish you the best.

  5. Denver frequently says, read what I have written and then you can make an opinion.

    He actually addresses this very subject (Joseph and plural marriage) in his blog. He talks about how to understand Joseph’s situation you would have to understand Joseph was in an ancient form of Kingship, and only a handful of people on the earth can talk intelligently on this subject. If you can talk intelligently on the laws,rules and conditions that Joseph was under, then you can understand why Denver has approached it the way he has approached it.https://denversnuffer.com/2012/02/interview-by-my-wife/

    1. skylighttheway: I especially love Denver’s response to the last question. I chuckled when I read it way back when and again just now:

      17. Do you love your wife?

      A: Beyond all reason and forevermore. Apart from the Lord, there is no friend or other companion whose company I long to retain for all eternity than hers.

  6. Hi again ldswatchman,

    I like your approach to the church. I continue to attend LDS meetings each Sunday. I find fellowship there with my wife. I have many friends there. It is a good place for me to be right now.

    I agree with your point that our faith is and should be in Christ alone. In many ways Denver is irrelevant. He cannot save us. He cannot redeem our soul from hell. Thank God for our Savior Jesus Christ.

    I think Denver’s focus in his teachings about polygamy is that it is adultery. I feel the same way. Those who encourage and participate in polygamy or plural marriage today are adulterers.

    Of course, that’s easy for me to say, never having had more than one wife. I was never comfortable with Brigham’s directives to the members of the church in his day about the practice.

    And of course, it is a difficult subject for those who are descendants of plural marriages, either in 19th century mainstream Mormonism or in more recent or current fundamentalist groups.

    How do you feel about the practice?

    1. Tim,

      If plural marriage is always adultery, then why would Christ have his servant, even the Davidic Servant defend adultery at the beginning of his ministry?

      In lecture 2 of Denver’s 40 years in Mormonism series Denver defended Joseph’s relationship with Fanny Alger, saying that it wasn’t adultery but a marriage. Not long before his excommunication Denver did an entire series on his blog defending D&C 132 and Joseph’s practice of plural marriage as a commandment of God. Now he says plural marriage is adultery and Joseph never did it.

      Of course dozens of eye witnesses testify that Joseph did practice plural marriage and not all of these people could have been brainwashed or manipulated by Brigham Young.

      Some are from the RLDS tradition and others left the church over Joseph’s practice of polygamy.

      Also if plural marriage is always adultery, then why were their laws dealing with it in the law of Moses? Why was Abraham permitted to have more than one wife or Jacob? Why do the scriptures say that David was given many wives by God and that after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband that his wives would be given to another?

      Here’s my take on plural marriage.

      Plural marriage is adultery unless specifically authorized or commanded by God. Jacob 2 is clear that taking more wives on one’s one accord is an abomination, even a whoredom.

      I have no desire to practice plural marriage. I would however be willing to do it, should God command me to do it.

      Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac. That would normally be murder, but since God commanded it it was right and he had to do it. I see it the same with plural marriage. If God commands certain people to do it, or even authorizes it for the entire church for a time, then it is right end of story. If not, then it is adultery or whoredoms depending on whether or not the second wife his married or not.

      So my question again is why the Lord would have his Davidic Servant, the greatest prophet in history, defend the practice under certain circumstances as outlined in the scriptures and then renounce in all cases as adultery?

      If there isn’t a scriptural example of such a flip flop by a prophet, then I think we might have a problem with Denver’s story. Are we not to examine the fruits of a prophet and compare them to God’s word in the scriptures?

  7. Hi ldswatchman,

    Good points. So your thesis is that someone who changes what they teach cannot possibly be a true messenger. Is that correct? Makes sense.

    Perhaps we need to get into specifics. As I pondered this, it came to me that we haven’t established proof texts or reference quotes just yet. Shall we do so?

    I’ll start with just one – lecture nine on marriage and family, given in St. George on 26 Jul 2014. I was there. So was Carol. We both enjoyed the lecture.

    In that lecture he states, “Take heed to your spirit that you deal not treacherously. Only a fool will practice plural marriage. There is only one, if that, on the earth who can have the required keys. If you err, it is an offense and adultery and an abomination. Your first wife, the wife of your youth, must be unaffected in all her rights.”

    This is found on page 24 of the PDF located at this link:


    Also found here:

    You stated in a previous comment here that “In lecture 2 of Denver’s 40 years in Mormonism series Denver defended Joseph’s relationship with Fanny Alger, saying that it wasn’t adultery but a marriage.”

    I searched all through lecture two, which is on the subject of faith, more specifically, the lectures on faith, and could not find any reference to polygamy, plural marriage or Fanny Alger.





    So I thought perhaps it might be in another lecture. I searched though a PDF of all the lectures combined found at this link:


    I found a single reference to Fanny Alger in talk one, Be of Good Cheer, delivered 10 Sep 2013, which can be found at these links:




    Here’s the entire paragraph, found on page 17 of the PDF:

    “Remember this testimony Joseph Smith wrote in 1838 following the trial earlier that year in April at which the allegations of adultery were leveled against him by Oliver Cowdrey. The minutes of the High Council said they dealt with “the girl business” or Oliver’s allegations about the girl business. Joseph was exonerated. We entertain a lot of false notions about Joseph Smith and the practice of plural marriage. Hales has completed and is now out with a three volume set. In his books he gathers together every single one of the existing source materials involving Fanny Alger. In the account dealing with Fanny Alger and the incident in the barn, which some people have blown up into Emma Smith catching Joseph Smith in the very act of intercourse with Fanny Alger, he tracks down. When all the source material is gathered what you learn is that Emma Smith witnessed “the transaction.” The “transaction” consisted of Levi Hancock performing a wedding ceremony in the barn, with Joseph Smith telling Levi the words to use and Levi performing the ceremony. Emma was at the door listening, or witnessing “the transaction” in the barn. This is the “transaction” which has become subsequently embellished into all sorts of libido-driven license for those who would like a less virtuous prophet than the one we actually had. We want more weaknesses in him to allow us to enjoy greater weaknesses.”

    So there’s the proof text or reference quote I would use. I’m not sure Denver is defending Joseph’s relationship with Fanny, as you stated. I just don’t read it that way. What he is doing is clarifying the nature of the “transaction” as a marriage. So yes, I’ll grant that Joseph may have entered into marriages, but in all the years I’ve studied early Mormonism, I’ve yet to find conclusive evidence that Joseph committed adultery.

    This debate on plural marriage, polygamy and adultery has been hashed out over and over on the Internet over the years. It’s not worth our time to dredge it up again here. So back to the thesis of Denver flip-flopping, assuming I’ve got it right that this is the heart of your argument.

    Perhaps you can present a proof-text or reference quote demonstrating that Denver has flip-flopped on this issue (or any other issue). As much as I loathe the subject, I’ll do some digging again, if you wish, and see if I can locate where Denver defended adultery. If he did, then I’ll concede your point that Denver has flip-flopped.

    By the way, from a personal reference so you know better where I come from, I also at one time stated I would practice plural marriage if commanded by the Lord. I have since decided it would never happen unless the invitation came from Carol. Trust me, that will never happen, which makes me very happy.

    Another by the way: Are you Brian C. Hales? I never did buy or read the book. I kind of lost interest in the subject right about the time it came out.

    Reference: https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Smiths-Polygamy-1-History/dp/1589586859

    God bless…

  8. Tim,

    Thanks for the thorough response. You are right, I meant lecture 1 not 2 for the Fanny Alger reference. I had forgotten to double check. You found the quote I was referring to.

    I wasn’t suggesting that Denver was defending adultery previously, only that he was defending plural marriage and Joseph’s practice of it. Since he now denounces plural marriage or that Joseph received a revelation commanding it, he would have to be renouncing something as adultery which he previously defended as a legitimate authorized practice.

    That’s my point on the flip flopping.

    While I am firm in my belief that Joseph Smith is the one who introduced plural marriage as a commandment in Nauvoo and that he practiced plural marriage himself, beginning with Fanny Alger in Kirtland, I don’t consider this to be adultery.

    So no I don’t believe Denver was ever defending adultery. I believe that he is now denouncing what was an authorized and commanded practice of God, thus speaking evil of many thousands of people who were polygamists beginning in Nauvoo.

    I believe that if Denver is correct that polygamy is adultery, then Joseph Smith is a fallen prophet. If Joseph was a fallen prophet, that creates even bigger problems for Denver’s narrative.

    No I’m not Brian Hales, but I am pretty familiar with his work. I haven’t read everything he has written, but enough to have a pretty good understanding of the primary sources which support Joseph Smith being the origin of plural marriage as a commandment of God in this dispensation.

    I’m just a regular Mormon if no consequence, who is on a continued search for the truth, and believes in trying all alleged servants and prophets by their fruits.

    I’ll try to dig up some of Denver’s previous quotes defending Joseph in his practice of plural marriage and get back to you.

  9. ldswatchman,

    I’m intrigued by your statement that Denver “was defending plural marriage and Joseph’s practice of it…” and that :…he now denounces plural marriage or that Joseph received a revelation commanding it.”

    Are your referring to the discussion around section 132 being modified or added to by someone other than Joseph before it was published? I assume you’ve read the replacement revelation from 2017, right?

    Source: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/157.33-43#33

    I guess what it comes down to is this: Do you accept what Denver shared as having been revealed by the Lord? I assume not. Whereas I do. In fact, I have accepted it by entering into a covenant with the Lord.

    I’m still not so sure I would characterize Denver’s statements about plural marriage as defending Joseph, but I’ll await the sources you might share and continue to review the series on D&C 132 from 2010 on Denver’s blog.

    I’m assuming these are the ones to which you are referring:







  10. Hi Tim,

    Yes those are the links from Denver’s series on D&C 132 I was referring to.

    I didn’t have a chance to hunt them down, when I replied to you earlier.

    I don’t have a copy of Passing the Heavenly Gift, but I read it several years ago.

    As I recall Denver spent an entire chapter talking about plural marriage. I believe the chapter was called “In that day shall seven women take hold of one man.”

    It sounds like you likely have a copy of PTHG and can take a look. As I recall, Denver had the exact same argument in this chapter of PTHG as he does on those posts from April 2010. If my memory serves me he actually went into even more depth in PTHG quoting from some of the accounts of Joseph’s plural wives regarding an angel with a drawn sword commanding Joseph to enter plural marriage. He also expounded on his belief that Joseph actually received his first revelation on plural marriage in 1829 while translating the BOM with Oliver Cowdery. This is all from memory, so if I got something wrong please correct me.

    Since I don’t have a copy of PTHG I can reference and quote from, I would suggest that you look at that chapter again to see if Denver was in fact defending Joseph’s practice of plural marriage or not. If he was then I think you’ll agree that Denver has done a complete 180 on this.

    In the mean time lets look at a few of the things Denver said in those posts from April 2010.

    April 4, 2010

    “I have written that it is my view that Section 132 is not a single revelation, but as many as five. I was asked about how I divide Section 132. Before I respond a few words of explanation:

    First, the version we have was written in 1843 at the request of Hyrum. He (Hyrum) intended to take it to Emma and persuade her it was from God. Hyrum knew this revelation had been a continuing source of friction between Joseph and Emma and he offered to try and get Emma to accept its truthfulness. So Joseph agreed to dictate it. The scribe was summoned, and Hyrum asked if he should retrieve the Urum and Thummim. Joseph responded that he could recite it from memory, and then dictated it as it now appears in Section 132.

    There were two copies made. The one Hyrum took to Emma was burned by Emma. The second came west and was ultimately made public in the 1850’s and added to the scriptures.

    The dating of the revelation is uncertain, but the headnote to Section 132 notes that “the principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.” (Section 132, headnote.) Given the uncertainty of dating, the typical approach by scholars has been to date it from when the first practice began. I think that is wrong. I would date it from the time Joseph translated Jacob, Chapter 2, in 1829. Joseph prayed during the translation of the Book of Mormon to receive the visitation of John the Baptist and the ordinance of baptism. I see no reason why the translation of Jacob ‘s comments on plural wives would not have provoked a similar inquiry and revelation.

    We know the information was suppressed from at least 1831 to 1843. What we do not have is an earlier version from which to reconstruct the entire process; we only have the finished product in 1843. With that, I think the revelation divides into sections as follows:

    First, the original revelation begins in the first verse and continues until verse 40. This is concerned with one subject and provides the doctrinal and historical basis for the practice of plural wives. However, the subject changes in verse 41 and comes in response to another inquiry regarding the subject of adultery.

    The answer to the question on adultery is a separate revelation beginning in response to Joseph’s inquiry in verse 41 and continuing through verse 50. That revelation confirms upon Joseph the sealing authority by the voice of God (a separate issue altogether) and pronounces Joseph’s calling and election sure. This is the voice of the Lord to Joseph confirming his exaltation and it is unlikely to have happened at the same time as the original revelation in 1829 or 1831. [It is important that this conferral of authority to seal, and his calling and election are contemporaneous events. This is not well understood by the church today, but nevertheless true.]

    Verses 51 through 56 are a revelation to Emma which appears to be separate as well. It makes no sense to have this revelation given to instruct, warn and counsel Emma until after she learns of the first revelation and has reacted to it. Once that has happened, a separate revelation to her about her reaction makes sense.

    Because of Emma’s refusal after her warning, the final section from verses 61 through the end is a new explanation of the law. It talks about how to proceed in light of her (or any woman’s) rejection of the principle.

    These are four of the potential five sections which appear to me. It is possible that verses 64-66 are also separate from verses 61-63, which would then make five total revelations which are grouped into this single section of the D&C.

    Now, what is important about this revelation being in separate parts (to me at least) is that first, the subject was not fully understood by Joseph when first received. He encountered practical and doctrinal questions even after the first revelation came on the subject. That is commonly experienced by all who receive revelation from God. Additionally, it is important that the sealing authority was given to Joseph by the word of the Lord, in revelation to him, apart from the events in the Kirtland Temple. This is consistent with how that authority came to Helaman in chapter 10 of Helaman, as well. The voice of the Lord speaking about exaltation and conferring authority at the same moment is the Lord’s way of doing things. It was no different for Joseph.

    Now, least anyone be confused or begin asking questions about plural wives, I do not believe in the practice. It was discontinued and we do not practice it. I have addressed the polygamists’ claims to the right to continue the practice in Beloved Enos and my position is as I stated there.”

    The way I read this post, Denver is saying that D&C 132 is an authentic revelation from God as written in the LDS version of the D&C.

    He believed it was received in sections as further instruction was needed. He even mentions the part addressed at Emma for refusing to comply with the commandment given earlier in the section. He goes on to say that he doesn’t agree with the current practice of plural marriage by fundamentalists as the practice was discontinued.

    I actually completely agree with Denver’s post here. I think he hits the nail on the head. Not sure about the whether or not Joseph first received part of section 132. Could have been any time between 1828 and 1831.

    April 8, 2010 (part 2)

    “When plural marriage was first introduced publicly in the 1850s, the brethren were rather candid about the history of monogamy. They explained that the societal and governmental institution of monogamy was intended to exploit women. By depriving women of husbands, it resulted in an excess number of women who could be prostituted. Men could then have one wife, for whom they bore the burden of support and shared parenting responsibilities, while other women could be used without any burden of support or shared parenting duties. The brethren also explained that one of the reasons Rome was originally opposed to Christianity was because it was a cult that threatened to spread the practice of plural marriage throughout the Empire. Their comments are in the Journal of Discourses and you can read these explanations there if you are interested.

    So as the practice of plural marriage was introduced publicly, it was accompanied by an attack on monogamy; claiming that women were exploited and disadvantaged by the practice of monogamy. This inverts the argument against plural marriage. The claims against it were based in large measure upon the notion that it exploited women and made them subservient. So the argument turns on its ear the “exploits women” card.

    When introduced, the practice of plural marriage ran counter to nearly two thousand years of cultural practice. It was decidedly counter to the Elizabethan mores of the age. It was shocking to the Latter-day Saints who learned of the practice. Not only was it foreign in concept, but the Saints had absolutely no basis for implementing it successfully. They had no history, no example, no trial-and-error wisdom. There were no previous examples that they could select behaviors from that would help solve obvious issues arising from the practice. So they began the whole trial-and-error sorting out.

    Unfortunately. the practice was introduced in 1853 (publicly) and died in 1890 (publicly). It began secretly in 1831 and died secretly in 1904. Whether you take the public bracket of time or the secret bracket, that isn’t enough time for the process to have resulted in handed-down wisdom gained by living that kind of lifestyle.

    Those who are outside the Latter-day Saint community (fundamentalists, etc.), and have continued to practice of plural marriage do not really provide a basis for inter-generational wisdom. They live a “bunker-like mentality” – always under siege and never allowed the social and cultural opportunity to practice this form of marriage freely and openly. The results of these efforts are tainted by the hostility, rejection and prosecution by the population at large towards those who try to live this kind of marital relationship.

    How the view of women changes under this practice is something that we are not in a position to evaluate accurately. We have a cultural bias, an historic bias and religious bias that colors our view. We do not have a reasonable framework from which to make a neutral evaluation of the subject. The only contemporary societies that have plural marriage in any significant numbers are so socially ill, so backward and violent that a liberal, democratic and open society cannot take any wisdom from them to judge this matter. We are left to look backward into biblical times for clues about the practice. Unfortunately, even there we do not get much guidance or many examples of happy outcomes. Hagar, a princess from Egypt, was at odds with Sarah and ultimately so incompatible that one had to leave. Jacob’s wives were competitive and jealous. The account we have seems to make Jacob responsible for exploiting these ill-feelings. David’s relationships were unsteady. Solomon was ultimately led into idolatry by his foreign, political marriages. The biblical record does not seem to give any hope of a happy outcome (or at least not much hope). So when trying to evaluate it, there is little happy news or basis for celebrating it as a triumph of matrimony…

    …All in all the practice does not seem to offer (in this life) much advantage to either husband or wife. Nor does it seem to produce happiness here. You can read the book In Sacred Loneliness as an account of our own history with the difficulties of the practice.

    Now that doesn’t address the “doctrinal” question asked. I’ll post again on that issue. However, when you consider the revelation, this is the first point that should be on the table. It is a terrible sacrifice. No society appears to have had much success in implementing it. The “practical” verses the “ideal” is something that tells us important information…”

    Denver Snuffer April 8, 2010 at 10:29 PM
    “From infant mortality to adulthood, males die at rates far higher than do females. This was even more pronounced a discrepancy during the first centuries as Christianity was gaining a foothold in Europe. By the time you reach marital age, the female population was significantly greater than the male population.”

    Denver is here again defending plural marriage as an authentic authorized practice, by explaining the reasons used to defend the practice by the brethren in the 1850s and 1860s. He also mentions that plural marriage was very difficult and a major sacrifice for those involved.

    I again agree with his take Though I would suspect that some plural marriages in the early Utah faze may have brought happiness to the parties involved.

    April 8, 2010 (Part 3)

    “Joseph taught that we can’t expect to achieve the same glory as the ancients if we do not make a similar sacrifice as they did. It’s all in Lecture 6 of the Lectures on Faith. I’ve quoted that stuff in several books and won’t repeat it here. If you don’t have a copy you should get one. And read it.

    Anyway, it is quite important to note the necessity of sacrifice to produce the kind of faith which saves. Joseph’s explanation required us to sacrifice all things to be able to lay hold on saving faith. Without the knowledge that we would give up everything, even our own lives if necessary, we cannot receive eternal life. We have to trade this life for the next. No trade, no exaltation.

    So when a man or woman reaches the point where she/he can be tested, the Lord will supply a test to them to prove (to themselves) that they will sacrifice all things. [The Lord already knows, but we don’t. And it is OUR faith which is required to be tested.]…

    …Joseph Smith succeeded in receiving his calling and election. His promise of eternal life appears within Section 132. That is no accident. If the revelation is a series of communications, beginning in either 1829 or 1831, and continue through nearly the time of the recording in 1843, all of which are on the same subject, then they are all interrelated.

    Joseph’s sealing authority is confirmed in verse 46 and his calling and election is confirmed in verse 49. This would have been after Joseph had received the beginning of Section 132 and had actually begun to live it. Meaning that Joseph was doing what he was commanded to do, and that in so doing he was sacrificing everything. Even his own life was being sacrificed. He was developing the faith necessary to know he would surrender everything to God by this principle. Later, when he would go to Carthage and die, it was not as difficult for him to do because he had earlier lived a principle which proved to him that he would obey God at all costs. Death under such circumstances was not a test, merely a confirmation of what Joseph already knew.

    Plural marriage was so difficult for Joseph that it was THE means by which he advanced in faith to the point he knew he would surrender all things to God. It was the key to his exaltation. Not because plural wives are needed, but because of the difficult sacrifice this practice imposed upon him.

    Now if that were true for Joseph, then we should not think the practice of plural marriage, with all its difficulty and sacrifice, something desirable to undertake. Nor should we be fooled into thinking that Joseph wanted or welcomed it. The revelation belies this notion.

    Therefore I take it as a given that plural marriage was introduced as a test. Not as a reward or as a holiday for Joseph Smith and his close associates. It was a difficult, trying ordeal.”

    Denver talks about how if we want the same reword as the ancients we must be tested like they were. Plural marriage was this test for Joseph and others (notably his close associates which would be men like Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, William Clayton, etc.).

    Everything Denver says here I completely agree with.I think he spot on. Not sure about his comment that women are already tested to this level through marriage and child birth. He could be right.

    April 2010 (part 4)

    “This brings us to some details that need to be understood. The clarifications in verses 41-44 were a result of the “mechanics” of how the practice was implemented. The various efforts to “fulfill the law” while still keeping up Elizabethan appearances included performing a “sealing” for time and eternity to one man, while the woman was married for time to another man. This relieved the eternal husband/companion of any duty to have conjugal relations with, or provide financial support for the woman while here. It allowed her to live a “normal” married life with her husband, while still committed eternally to another. A sort of nod in the direction of the plural wife revelation, without any real commitment to actually practice it here. There were other forms of compromise attempted, as well.

    The defining of what was and what was not “adultery” was necessary in light of the troubles on the ground, so to speak. Confusion began to multiply as these compromise efforts were attempted by people who really didn’t want to get this thing going in the way David and Solomon had done.

    Also, verse 51 grew out of a specific incident in which Joseph and Emma were arguing. She protested his secret addition of more wives (beyond those she had approved) and was complaining to him about it. In response to the arguments, Joseph offered to have her marry William Marks (the Nauvoo Stake President) as well. This is what is referred to by the oblique reference: “that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her.” This, again, was an event in the 1843 time frame. It could not possibly have been part of what was happening in either 1829 or 1831 when the first part of the revelation was received. Showing once again this was an amalgamation of several revelations, and not a single transcript.

    Not everyone in Nauvoo knew what was going on. Nor was everyone who practiced this principle discrete enough to escape notice. Enter John C. Bennett, who had abandoned his wife and children and come to Nauvoo pretending to be something more than he was. He got added to the First Presidency and elected mayor of Nauvoo. He learned of the commandment, and then began to let his libido go in Nauvoo. He produced a system of seducing other men’s wives under the practice of “spiritual wifery” which he would later blame upon Joseph Smith. Indeed, John Bennett’s account of Joseph’s exploits seem more autobiographical of Mr. Bennett, with Joseph given credit for Bennett’s wrongdoings.

    As I said before, this was not a culture into which this commandment fit neatly. It was awkward. They just didn’t know how to do it, nor what would work or not work. Even so basic a matter as the definition of “adultery” became hard to sort out. The half-way measures Joseph tried to implement in order to avoid the outright practice were not working. They were producing such confusion that these verses were needed to sort the mess out…

    …Look, we should have compassion and empathy for these people. They didn’t want it any more than a normal, mature and moral person living today would want this. They were draftees, not volunteers. It was quite hard for them and even harder on them.”

    Denver is again defending Joseph’s practice of plural marriage as well as those he introduced it to. He even touches on some of the bizarre things Joseph did like being sealed to other men’s wives. It all looked to the people at the time as well as people today.Denver talks about this more in PTHG as I recall.

    April 9, 2010 (part 5)

    Referring to the reference in D&C 132 warning that Emma could be “destroyed” Denver states,

    “The role or importance of the woman in the eternal family unit is not diminished in any respect by the confusion and sorting out being done in the later verses of Section 132. The information there is attempting to restore order to the chaos that had developed through the half-hearted attempts to comply with the new order without actually engaging in a fully public, acknowledged marital relationship involving a man and multiple wives.

    As to the reference to serial marriage of “virgins” in the later verses, this was a return to the original intent. When you marry a virgin, you are getting someone who does not already have a spouse. Using innovations, like sealing a second “wife” to a man when she was already married to another, was never the intent. These verses about marrying virgins returns to the foundation of a first marriage for the woman. She was to be involved with a direct, actual marriage, not to be in some half-hearted compromise relationship where the relationship was not truly and fully a marriage for her. She was to acquire a husband and mate. She would have all the rights and the husband would owe all the obligations, as if he were married to her alone. She was “his” and therefore he was obligated to her for support, maintenance and duties as a husband. There could be no sharing. There could be no half-way measures. This was to be his wife in very deed.”

    This is really all more of the same as Denver defends every aspect of D&C 132 as contained in the LDS D&C as well as Joseph’s practice of plural marriage. I completely agree with his take here.

    April 9, 2010 (conclusion)

    “Which brings us to the question of why Section 132 would be given in the first place. I don’t think it is enough to say “Joseph asked the question” as the full reason for it being revealed. Joseph could have received the revelation without the requirement to live it. We could have an understanding that this was a correct principle, but that we had no obligation to comply with it (just as we do now). However, we were at one time given it and, commanded to live it. So the questions is “why?” Here’s my take:

    We are witnessing the end of the times of the Gentiles. There is a worldwide collapse of the Gentile populations. (Gentiles being the white, European populations.) Although we have scattered Israelite blood in us, the LDS Church was founded by those who are “identified with the Gentiles” (D&C 109: 60). But their (our) time has run its course…

    …Well, as with all things in the Gospel, we are handed opportunities. What we do with them is up to us. However, these opportunities are gifts from the Lord. We are now a tiny fragment of what we might have been at this point in history. We are vulnerable as a people in a way that we could have avoided with living the principles in Section 132. The results are going to play out in conformity with the rather pessimistic view of the Gentile’s failed stewardship foretold by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and modern revelation…

    …Now Section 132 was an opportunity, not a burden. We never got enthusiastically behind the opportunity and the earlier posts explain why. I think the reasons for the failure are perfectly understandable. I think it was reasonable. But it is a fact that we failed with the opportunity. Worldwide we have a little less than 4 million active Latter-day Saints and an estimated total population of approximately 14 million. Those results are not what might have been. The Gentile Saints are vulnerable in a way they would have avoided had they taken the opportunity and done more with it.

    But of course, that is true in a much larger sense, as well. The promise of an “innumerable posterity” presumes that the one receiving the promise realizes that it is a great blessing, and not a curse or burden.”

    In this last post Denver is suggesting that the church might be in much better shape had we successfully lived plural marriage instead of failing. He said section 132 was an opportunity not a burden.

    So I guess the question is this:

    Since it is obvious that Denver has completely flip flopped on the doctrine of plural marriage, can he still be a true servant of the Lord, let alone the Davidic Servant?

    Personally I believe that the scriptures and church history support Denver’s previous views on plural marriage as expressed in these posts, while refuting his current teachings on it.

    Here’s what I think. I think Denver had some great things to say and may have at one point been a servant of the Lord, albeit no where near the level of the Davidic Servant, but then he fell. Provided he was ever actually a true prophet.

    True prophets falling is actually a really common thing according to this scripture in Mosiah 15:13

    13 Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed.

    What do you think? Do you really think that the Davidic Servant, or any servant of the Lord for that matter, would flip flop on such an important doctrine as plural marriage?

    I can’t see it happening.

    Then when you add some of the other issues with Denver’s teachings and fruits, I see a real problem with the idea that Denver is the Davidic Servant.

    Then there is also all of the scriptures on the Davidic Servant that I don’t believe match what Denver is doing at all.

    Is this something you are willing to consider or is your faith in Denver such that you are unwilling to reevaluate it no matter what evidence you are presented with?

  11. ldswatchman,

    I re-read the series on section 132. You’re right. The argument was a compelling defense of plural marriage, in spite of the obvious warning about the extreme difficulties caused by such a practice. It was not done well, that is, the practice.

    So now I’m pondering the point you’ve made that Denver is now teaching “that Joseph never received a revelation commanding it.” I haven’t been able to find those statements but am happy to entertain whatever you care to present.

    Of course we must consider Denver’s June 2015 post on section 132: https://denversnuffer.com/2015/06/section-132-2/

    And the Dec 2015 post on revising section 132 before it was repalced: https://denversnuffer.com/2015/12/revising-dc-section-132/

    Thanks for the enjoyable dialog.

    1. Tim,

      You stated earlier that Denver calls plural marriage adultery.

      I’m actually not that familiar with Denver’s more recent teachings, as I stopped reading most of what he writes after I determined for myself that he’s not the servant he claims to be.

      So I don’t know if I’ll be able to find such a quote. I’ll see what I can dig up. I read Denver’s lecture on polygamy a while back, too and as I recall he was already backing off of what he wrote in these posts and in PTHG.

      The burden of proof really isn’t on me anyway. You’re the expert on Denver’s teachings. What do you think? Is Denver still teaching even remotely the same thing about plural marriage now as he did in these posts and PTHG?

      If not, do you really not see a problem with this?

      On a different note here’s an interesting exercise for you.

      Do a verse by verse comparison of the first chapter of the KJV of John, JST of John, and Denver’s TSJ.

      You’ll see that Denver actually changes some of the changes Joseph Smith was inspired to make back to what they were in the KJV.

      Any thoughts on why that is? Why would God have his servant Joseph Smith correct something only to have his Davidic Servant change it back?

      What is the correct version of the gospel of John? Is it the JST of John or Denver’s TSJ, because it can’t be both as they contradict each other (in multiple places).


      1. ldswatchman: I like what you’ve shared. Very thought-provoking. I also took a look at your blog. You seem like an honest searcher of truth.

        I’m going to refrain from responding to your thought exercise on TSJ until the next post, which is specifically about this topic of new scripture.

        Also, it seems like you’ve made up your mind and are quite adamant in defending your position so I won’t antagonize you any further.

        I don’t claim to be an expert on the teachings of Denver Snuffer. I don’t think anybody could claim to be an expert except Denver and the Lord.

        However, I do plan on obtaining and reading the recent publication, Teachings of Denver Snuffer, which just came out this month:


        I tend to lean more toward the approach of arelius11: I look at Denver as a mere mortal, not a god, and like me, can obtain further light and knowledge over time.

        So I don’t believe he has waffled or flip-flopped, but that’s just me. You’ve made up your mind and I wish you God speed on your journey.

      2. Besides, you apparently have made your mind up regarding Denver. So, as Tim stated above, it is doubtful that anything anyone says here will have any bearing on your views.

  12. This discussion seems to ignore the fact that the prophet Joseph Smith himself learned and developed, changed and modified his views over time.
    Just because someone is an authentic messenger doesn’t mean that he understands all truth all at once.
    Both Joseph Smith and Denver Snuffer have continued to learn and expand his understanding on many issues.

    1. Arelius11,

      Yes it’s true that Joseph learned line upon line.

      Can you provide an example were he completely flip flopped on a major doctrine or substantial teaching?

      Did he ever go to great lengths to defend a false practice only to condemn it later?

      1. It isn’t a problem for me that at some point in time Denver “saw the light” and began teaching about plural marriage differently.
        If, in fact, he has received greater light and knowledge on the issue it shouldn’t surprise us that there is an inflexion point where he pivots on his teachings based on new light and knowledge.
        Denver happens to be a product of the LDS tradition, which states that plural marriage was commanded by God and which states that Joseph Smith was a polygamist and which views D&C 132 as authentic scripture.
        So, it shouldn’t surprise us that Denver’s default position was the same (or similar) to the LDS position until he received greater light and knowledge.

      2. In March of 2015 Denver provided his understanding of plural marriage:

        In it he stated, “I am not going to make any attempt to reiterate what I have already covered in Passing the Heavenly Gift, or what I have written previously on my blog. When I checked, I was surprised at the volume of material I have written already on plural marriage. I have not attempted to fully address the topic. Even in this paper I will only deal with a small fraction of what I know about the topic. My current understanding is consistent with what I wrote before including what is in Passing the Heavenly Gift.”
        So, apparently Denver doesn’t feel like he has flip-flopped.

        He goes on to say, “There are people who like the subject of plural marriage for a variety of reasons. I have never been interested in or attracted to the subject. Over the years it has produced a lot of conjecture by friends and church members. But I have tried to reserve judgment on the subject until after reading enough to understand the history, and more importantly, to understand the theology.
        “I came to the subject of plural marriage very slowly and very cautiously, and as someone
        completely indifferent to the idea. I have no ancestors involved in the practice. I had no dog in the fight over its legality. I did not care if it was right or wrong, nor if it was “true” or “untrue” as a principle of eternity. The only thing I was interested in was trying to understand enough before forming an opinion. What became remarkably apparent to me is that what we think we know on the subject of plural marriage has been informed almost entirely by events that occurred after the death of Joseph Smith, and very little by what we know from the life of Joseph Smith.”

        By the way, this paper is 48 pages with 168 footnotes.
        How easy it is for keyboardists like us to criticize Denver for supposed shortcomings.
        But Denver has forgotten more than any of us have ever studied about this and a myriad of other topics.

      3. Typos corrected on the previous two posts:

        “So, it should surprise us that Denver’s default position was the same (or similar) to the LDS position until he received greater light and knowledge.”

        …it shouldn’t surprise us

        “Denver has forgotten more than any of us have every studied about this and a myriad of other topics.”

        ..more than any of us have ever studied

  13. So are like which is it? Did Denver “see the light” and now teaches plural marriage differently or are his teachings on it consistent throughout his entire ministry as the Lord’s servant?

    Denver use to defend plural marriage as a commandment from God. He suggested that had we lived it correctly we would have a much larger active and faithful LDS membership. Does he still do this?

    Does he still teach that Joseph introduced plural marriage as a commandment from God to those really close to him in Nauvoo like Brigham Young?

    Does he still teach that Joseph was sealed to other men’s wives because he was trying to fulfill God’s command to take other wives without actually having to go all the way and be married in the fullest sense?

    Does he still teach that plural marriage was a huge test and sacrifice required by God for Joseph Smith and others because God requires those who will be exalted to prove that they are willing to sacrifice anything and everything for God?

    If not how can what Denver now teaches be consistent with what he previously taught?

    If there’s something I’m missing please fill me in,.

  14. Arelius11,

    Look at the quotes I shared with Tim from Denver’s series on D&C 132 back in April 2010.

    Everything I said in my last comment to you is substantiated in those posts. If you look at the chapter on plural marriage in PTHG you’ll find more of the same.

    What other reference would you like me to provide?

    I’m not trying to prove anything with Denver one way or the other. As I said to Tim, the burden of proof is not on me.

    If you want to believe that Denver is the Davidic Servant prophesied in the scriptures, then you might want to make sure this belief is justified. Your soul may be at stake. Denver said so himself in lecture 10 I believe. He said that we ought to be damned for making the wrong choice on whether or not he is a true servant of God.

    I see Denver’s changed teachings on plural marriage as problematic to him being the Davidic Servant. I see other issues as well.

    Apparently it doesn’t bother you or Tim. That’s your call not mine.

    However if Denver was right in lecture 10 and he is the Lord’s servant, I’ll be damned for my choice not to accept him as such.

    The opposite is true for you and Tim.

    It appears that you have both made up your minds and I have, too so either one side will persuade the other to back off from their position, or will just be spinning our wheels in the mud.

    Either way I think obtaining the truth in regards to Denver is very important and I don’t know that we should all just shrug our shoulders and agree to disagree.

    But we might have to do that I suppose.

    1. I make no claims about Denver’s status as a messenger.
      I only know that his teachings are full of light and truth and have made a difference in my life.
      That is sufficient for me.

  15. Tim,
    I get where you’re coming from. Of course Denver is a mortal and thus shouldn’t be expected to be perfect or know everything.

    Then again on the other hand he has made statements on many many subjects and doctrines, while claiming to be the Lord’s servant.

    Are we not expected to weigh his teachings against the word of God in scripture and known history?

    Denver made comment a while back that everything he teaches he has on good authority, if he is only expressing his opinion he’ll say so. Thus implying that we must accept nearly everything he has ever taught or said as coming from God.

    Anyway, that’s my take. All the best.

  16. “Denver made comment a while back that everything he teaches he has on good authority…” That has profound implications. I’m going to dig for that statement. It almost smacks of infallibility, which as we know, is rampant in the LDS Church, even though it is officially denied. Contrast that with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of popes, which is officially taught but nobody believes.

    Thanks again for the enjoyable dialog. I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog and share your thoughts. I look forward to reading future posts you might share on your blog and hope you’ll continue to visit and add to the conversation on the upcoming posts on the things we have received in the past few years.

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