Second Witness to Denver Snuffer events
March 1, 2017, 3:24:47 AM
This is an image you’re going to see a lot in the news and around the bloggernacle. It’s from a leaked powerpoint presentation that was given to the 12 Apostles in December of 2015. It highlights what Church leaders deem as the most important issues or ideas causing Church members to be “lead away from the gospel.”
. . .
I’d like to spend a minute on what I think is the most important and interesting bubble on the leaked powerpoint: Denver Snuffer.
Denver is unique on this chart. He claims to have seen the Lord. Other people on the chart may be interesting, but in general they are either polygamist (Norman), anti-Mormons, or are LDS progressives (Dehlin) who want the Church to change or adapt to more popular and modern positions.
I personally like John Dehlin. I think he does a great job helping people tell their stories. He encourages and embraces dialogue. While I don’t always align with his ideology, I generally find him interesting, intelligent, and compassionate.
But Denver, on the other hand, seems to want to lead people to Christ and to the Restored Gospel, as it was in its purity. In fact, he, more than anyone else, defends the Restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham and the Lectures on Faith etc.
I always struggled defending the Church narrative when it came to issues such as Polygamy, Blacks and the Priesthood, and Mountain Meadows. I made awful excuses that justified awful things because I believed the Church version of its own history.
But Denver HELPS the Church’s story enormously. He makes a great case that Joseph never had sexual relations with Fanny Alger (14 years old) or with anyone, save Emma for example. One would think that IF this were true, the Church would want to exonerate Joseph from all the awful accusations of pedophilia, polygamy, fornication, and adultery. Can you imagine how many people would be relieved and overjoyed — who perhaps would “Know brother Joseph again” if Snuffer is right?
Snuffer also makes a great case that blacks should have never had priesthood withheld from them. At least not the priesthood the Church has and gives. Can you imagine how much easier it would be IF the LDS Church had not discriminated against Blacks up until 1978? Joseph was campaigning to free the slaves and was giving them priesthood. That all stopped with Brigham, the self-professed Yankee Guesser.
Denver Snuffer also offers a very compelling reason why the LDS Church is still under condemnation, culminating with the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum at Carthage, fulfilling the promise from the Lord in D&C 124 and reflecting the idea of Moses being taken from Israel as is depicted in D&C 84. Joseph is described by Nephi to be like unto Moses is he not? (2 Nephi 3:9) Maybe Joseph was taken because we, like Israel, wanted something less than the Higher Priesthood and the Fulness of His Glory?
Everything I have read from Snuffer suggests to my mind a return to what the Lord was trying to restore through the prophet, seer, and revelator Joseph Smith.
Everything the Church seems to do is with the goal of saving the Church. Admittedly the Church has a very difficult path. If it exonerates Joseph from polygamy, it throws Brigham and ALL prophets and Church leaders up to 1945 under the bus. Wilford Woodruff included, who said, “Keep your eye on the prophet, he can’t lead you astray, the Lord won’t let him.” (Wink, wink.)
If the Church admits that Brigham was the real culprit in polygamy (misunderstanding Joseph’s doctrine of sealings completely), and in denying Blacks the priesthood and in Blood Atonement — the teaching of lawful killing to help save the sinner, i.e. a mixed race couple, then it admits that everything post Joseph is unreliable at best.
And hence the dilemma. Good men generally, who find themselves at the helm of a massive organization, without a Joseph-like connection to heaven. They believe it is the Kingdom of God on Earth as did I for 40+ years. I love them. I am sad for them. Because they rely upon research rather than revelation. And because they simply cannot consider a more beautiful and true narrative that is true to the restoration, because it very may well undo the Church. It certainly would undo confidence in the Brethren, which as Denver has noted is the last doctrine of the LDS Church.
In my view, Denver Snuffer is the most reliable witness of our time.
Many of my questions, many of my concerns, many of my issues regarding deep and important questions about the gospel and eternity HAVE been answered by this obscure and interesting man the Church sees as a threat to the Gospel.
I am a witness that he was excommunicated without just cause, inspired by a “true man hunt” coming from the top. Forget that all Church disciplines are to come from the Stake. I am a witness that this excommunication was forced upon Truman Hunt, Snuffer’s stake president, from Von Keech (Area 70) and from Elder Clayton (70) and from Russell Nelson (Head of the Strengthening the Church Members Committee).
Snuffer’s stake president betrayed my trust as a bishop as I was called upon to offer a “confidential” character witness on his behalf. He told me Snuffer was the most worthy and most spiritual person in his stake.
Truman Hunt is a coward in my book. As he not only excommunicated a man who he believed has seen the Lord (he assured me he believed Snuffer’s account and had read ALL his books) BUT he also broke the confidence that should have existed between priesthood leaders as he solicited my character witness. Hunt immediately reported me and other bishops and stake presidents, who like himself, had read Snuffer’s books and believed him to be credible, to his file leaders, after he promised those confidences would be kept. He has since been promoted to mission president.
Also note that since Snuffer’s snuffing, Von Keech has been promoted from area seventy to member of the first Quorum of the Seventy. Keech is a Kirton & McConkie man. Church lawyer, the registered agent for Mormon, Inc. and a company man through and through.
Clayton was a finalist for the Apostle vacancies. Everyone’s top 5 pick when there were three vacancies.
Truman Hunt told me that THEY wanted Snuffer out because he denigrated THEM in his last book (at the time) Passing the Heavenly Gift. That was the only reason.
I asked the stake president if he had read all of Denver’s books and asked if he believed him. He responded that he had, and that he did believe him, but that he felt that this last book crossed the line. And more importantly he added, “the Brethren want him out.” I told him it would be a grave mistake to excommunicate a man who he believed had seen the Lord and who he believed was telling the truth.
I’m told that Snuffer’s previous stake president refused to act on the demand from the Brethren to excommunicate him. He apparently did not care about his Church political capital as did Hunt. So when he was released, Elder Nelson himself came to reorganize the stake. One of the qualifying questions for the new stake president was would he take care of the business of dealing with Snuffer.
Truman Hunt is a company man and was more interested in pleasing Elder Nelson than in being true to his conscience. Nelson gave Hunt the membership record of Denver C. Snuffer Jr. the day he was called and the rest is history.
Well, as a nobody, and as a former bishop, and as one who has read all of Snuffer’s writings (like President Hunt), I believe there is no person currently more sincere and more honest and more worthy of a bubble named after him for bringing souls closer to the Gospel and unto Christ.
I hope the Church will come to see him as a friend to Mormonism. IF Snuffer has seen the Lord and IF Snuffer has been called to some work in these the Last Days (another dangerous bubble apparently) THEN perhaps we should at least read and consider what he is saying and ask God if it is from Him or not.
When I read his books, it makes me want to be a better person, turns me to scripture and makes me want to come unto Christ. If the Church determines that is “dangerous” then I’m guilty. Guilty of wanting to repent, be redeemed, and to have no more disposition to do evil.
God damn me I suppose, but for now, I’m inspired to hold fast to the gospel, in large part because Denver Snuffer helped me not throw away the restoration along with my many concerns I have with the Church. This is why I see him as unique. One the Church should see as a friend, if in fact they care about people holding onto the Gospel.