I would like to give a shout-out to the folks who maintain the Restoration Archives website. I know a little bit about maintaining websites and know how much work goes into them. I have been using the website since it was introduced in 2017.
The Restoration Archives site has been my “Go To” source for all things related to the Restoration Recovery movement. I have watched it grow over the years. It is full of links to announcements, scriptures, talks, conferences, podcasts and more.
The amazing thing to me is that these folks provide this free website and their labor to maintain it out of the goodness of their hearts. It is surely a labor of love and sacrifice, demonstrating their devotion to the Lord. Websites cost money to register and host. So, thank you to the Restoration Archives team. You know who you are. I appreciate your work.
I would also like to place an emphasis on the phrase “Restoration Recovery.” You may or may not have heard it before. To me, it focuses on the purpose and meaning of what is a loosely organized group of people who have come to the conclusion that the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ begun in 1820 faltered after the passing of the prophet Joseph Smith.
I am one of those individuals who identifies with this group of people. I remain convinced the restoration was in need of recovery and rescue. I owe a lot to the LDS church which was and is a large part of my life, but which is losing the hearts and minds of the people.
A number of folks who identify with this movement published a book that explains it so much better than I could. I wrote and shared a review of that book in a previous blog post, Rescuing the Restoration. If you want to know more of my story and why it is that I united with this movement, you can read my interview with Dr. Jana Riess as found on my blog under the heading of “My Story.”
As I pointed out in that page, a book that does a wonderful job in identifying my main disagreement with the standard LDS narrative of what happened in Nauvoo, and ultimately why I resigned from the LDS Church can be read in this post about Joseph Smith and polygamy. A number of LDS folks who have reached out to me in an effort to help me reconcile back to the church might find this link helpful.
In the archives, under announcements, you can find a link to upcoming conferences such as the East Coast Regional Conference being held this weekend in my ancestral home of Tennessee (I have more relatives in Tennessee and Texas than other states). I wish I could go, and hope the conference will be uplifting to all those who attend.
The theme of the conference is “Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity.” In the conference site under the section Program, you can find this, which I fully endorse: “Instead of a speaker schedule, all meetings will be group discussions. We felt led to focus on each individual standing on equal ground and learning from each other, as we seek one heart.”
This particular conference is a regional conference as opposed to a general conference. The archives site usually provides copies of prepared talks and papers, which are mostly found under the general conference section. They also have video of many of the past conferences on their YouTube channel. I find this especially useful as I am in California and most of these conferences are in Utah.
Of course, the main reason I go to the archives is to read the papers and talks of Denver Snuffer. I have my own collection, most in PDF and MS Word format, but find I have occasionally missed one so I check the archives often. A lot of people I talk to in the LDS Church, which I still attend each Sunday, get hung up on why Denver Snuffer. Well, somebody had to do it (start the recovery of the restoration), and the Lord chose him.
Of course, my LDS friends always seem to shake their heads when I bring up that the LDS Church is in apostasy. They claim that Denver is a false prophet and is leading people astray. I suppose those who heard Joseph Smith in his day were faced with the same thing. “How can you give heed to the message this man has delivered?” That message was the Book of Mormon. Denver’s message is contained in the Ten Talks, delivered in 2013-2014. I attended four or five of those talks in person.
As we often told folks when I was a missionary, don’t get hung up on Joseph Smith. Instead, focus on the message. I did. I fully accept Joseph as a prophet and the Book of Mormon as the word of God, and was a member of the LDS Church for over fifty years. However, I also accept Denver as a servant of the Lord, as evidenced by the Ten Talks and personal revelation when I prayed about the message. Of all people, the members of the LDS church should be open to the Lord sending a messenger.
Excluded and New Revelations
I end this post as I began, with a shout-out to the folks who maintain the Restoration Archives. I am grateful for their work. I am also grateful to the many people who worked so hard to recover the words of the restoration, meaning those who worked on the scriptures found at scriptures.info. It is wonderful to have a cannon of scripture that has been checked and verified with original sources as much as possible.
Anybody who has visited it will note that some sections of revelations found in the LDS church have been removed and others added. That may be another hard thing for those looking into the remnant movement, which I like to call the restoration recovery movement. “How convenient,” they say to me. “You have removed some critical pieces of revelation pertaining to authority and doctrine.” My answer has always been to read this: “Excluded Revelations.”
If you are serious about understanding why people are leaving the LDS church, please consider this: Many of those folks leaving are not going away because they do not love the members. I continue to associate with my friends in the LDS church each week with my wife. I am not a member. Carol is. We love the people. We love the music. We love to worship together. We love the testimonies and the good works. I just don’t agree with the official historical narrative.