It has now been about a week and a half since Denver spoke in Boise.
I was in attendance.
He has posted frequently since then, including the posting of the letter he got from his stake president regarding the decision of the church court.
He seems to want to make the drama about his departure from the church quite public and to grow his following.
He seems to be convinced that his book accurately explains the correct doctrine and history of the church and how the church has gone astray.
He really knows how to work the crowd, both in person and in print.
Welcome to the Circus
I have tried to limit the sharing of many of my views about Denver’s teachings over the years for a number of reasons.
I did not believe the claims he was making about seeing the Savior and I did not want to get caught up in the eventual circus that it was apparent he was going to cause.
That circus has officially begun with his public refusal to stop publishing his controversial book, his subsequent excommunication and the beginning of his Zion speaking tour that began on September 10th (or 11th, according to how the Jews reckoning of time.)
Typological of Jim Harmston
I had a front row seat on the Jim Harmston affair as Harmston transitioned from faithful member and supporter of the brethren to a self proclaimed and self appointed prophet that was going to set things in order and usher in Zion.
I believe that Snuffer and his loyal disciples may be heading for the same train wreck that was experienced by many of Harmstons Zion-bound followers.
Creating Doubt about Section 110
The other day one of Denver’s passionate followers graced my comments section with a diatribe composed of Denver Snuffer quotes from his book (PTHG) about section 110.
On another blog, another one of Denver’s followers presented the following challenge:
“The arguments and analysis presented in PTHG deserve a substantive rebuttal, if an honest rebuttal is possible.”
I think it is rather remarkable that a disciple of Denvers is so sure that his writings are infallible.
Furthermore, it is remarkable to me that Denver is so confident.
Here is his reaffirmation after being excommunicated, that his controversial book is accurate.
“The problem with Passing the Heavenly Gift has not been its accuracy. The issue raised in the notice I received from the stake president does not say the book is false, contains errors or makes mistakes in history. Rather, it “contains content which must be withdrawn.” That is not an indictment of the book’s accuracy.”
I think it is unfortunate that the Stake President did not provide clarity as to the false doctrine that is contained in the book.
However, I am not sure the church is as concerned with false doctrine as they are with loosing credibility and maintaining the reputation of its leaders from Brigham Young to Tom Monson.
I think the following statement really sums up what the major concern was regarding the book:
“The book’s thesis is in direct conflict with church doctrine. In your effort to defend the restoration, you have mischaracterized doctrine, denigrated virtually every prophet since Joseph Smith and placed the church in a negative light.”
I am personally conflicted about the Snuffer drama because on the one hand, much of Snuffer’s criticism of the modern church leaders is well founded and accurate in my opinion.
In my opinion much of the documentation that he provides about the latter day apostasy of the church is true.
For years I have been declaring that the church has been condemned, rejected, and cursed, and providing scriptural and historical documentation.
Denver also addresses these topics and in some instances provides a more thorough and compelling case than I do, even though he typically concludes his narratives by saying that the scenarios presented are possibilities and that he does not necessarily personally take a stand on many of the scenarios and issues that he presents in the book.
On the other hand, in my opinion, Denver teaches his share of false doctrine in the book and I have come to believe that he has an underlying agenda of his own that is potentially detrimental to those that put their trust in his teachings.
After doing a little soul searching about my silence regarding Denver’s claims, I have decided to accept that challenge tendered by Denver’s disciple and I am going to do a critique-rebuttal on his book, Passing The Heavenly Gift.
It is only recently that I was made aware of the fact that Denver questions the authenticity of section 110 and the associated doctrine of Elijah. I believe some of his writings on this subject are creating doubts in the minds of his followers regarding it.
Having studied and written about section 110 and the doctrine of Elijah for years, I passionately believe section 110 documents a true historical event that literally took place as described.
I believe it is foundational to the history and doctrine of the church and provides a prophetic context to the doctrine of Elijah and the mission of the restored gospel.
I am concerned that once a person rejects that revelation from God and the doctrine of Elijah associated with it, a chain reaction of disbelief could take place.
I am concerned that it could possibly, ultimately cause one’s faith in the restoration to collapse.
At first I was simply going to address the topic of section 110, but now I have decided I will also review and critique the book, Passing the Heavenly Gift.
Because of the continued warnings that his followers have made that I should not be critical of his teachings until I have read his book to get the full context of what he is saying, I have obtained a copy of PTHG, the controversial book for which he has been excommunicated.
I have read it and I believe it contains numerous serious doctrinal and historical errors.
I shall report on it much like I did on the book “the Savior in Kirtland ” that Karl Anderson wrote.
My critique will not be exhaustive, I am only going to briefly touch on about 20 major issues, claims, and interpretations that I consider to be hugely problematic.
This critique is done for, and directed primarily at, readers of my blog that may have erroneously assumed that Snuffer and I are similar in our beliefs and ultimate conclusions. Secondly, it will be written for followers of Snuffer that are looking for a critical review of Snuffer’s teachings to help them better determine just how inspired and doctrinally accurate his writings really are.
Not Intended for Mainstream Members that are Content in their Faith
If you are a mainstream member of the church that has come across this series from a random search, this series containing a critique of Snuffers book is not written for you.
I suggest you leave this site NOW..
It will be disruptive to your faith. You may want to wait until FARMS, FAIR, The Interpreter, or some independent LDS apologist does a book critique on PTHG based on the viewpoint of the corporate church.
I have largely ignored Snuffer in the Past
Way back when I first became aware of Denver Snuffer and his claims of having multiple audiences with Christ and all of the other associated implications having to do with him having sacrificed all things (See LoF 6:7), being pronounced clean, receiving the second comforter (John 14:16, Doctrine and Covenants 88:3 and having his calling and election made sure, etc., I had no interest in following his blog or reading his books and I just ignored him.
This is because I have a very strong personal belief based on my personal study of the scriptures, that this type of endowment is not currently taking place in the earth.
I believe the scriptures are quite clear about the current collective status of the latter day saints with God.
I believe that the scriptures are clear about why the fulness of the Gospel and associated endowments are not currently being enjoyed by anyone. They clearly identify when they were taken away and even specify when the endowments will be restored to the Gentiles.
I believe Lectures on Faith when it states that one must sacrifice all things before they are counted worthy to be sealed up to eternal life.
I don’t think there is anyone currently living, that has sacrificed all things according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When studied in context, I am not sure it is possible to sacrifice all things without participating in group consecration, once the true church has been restored and the commandment to consecrate has been given.
The Lord warned the saints several times that if the saints did not receive and live the law of the gospel containing consecration, they would be cut off from the fulness.
After the failure took place, the Lord revealed that as a consequence of failing to successfully consecrate and live the law of Zion, the saints must wait a little season for the redemption of Zion.
It is obvious that not only Zion must wait a little season, but also the saints must wait a little season for the “residue” of the “second ordinances” .
I believe that this type of sacrifice is not currently possible since the saints broke the everlasting covenant in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah.
They collectively failed to live the law of consecration, which was given for the express purpose of protecting the saints.
It also documents that the restored Church of Christ had fled back into the wilderness and would need to come forth out of the wilderness at a future time by the time section 109 was given.
The return of the restored Church of Christ back into the wilderness, is documented by countless historical events, including the official removal of the name of Christ from the name of the church in 1834.
At that time the name of the church was changed to the “Church of the Latter day Saints”.
I realize that some people, including Denver, believe that God continues to deal with each person independently in bestowing the second ordinances, despite the group condemnation and the categorical rejection of the entire church that God has pronounced upon the saints.
But I reject that notion.
I believe it mocks the declarations and pronouncements of God and I believe His pronouncements to the collective body of saints would be of no effect if that were the case.
Critics of the above evidences use several of the Book of Mormon passages to support the belief that the heavens are always open and that all spiritual blessings are always available predicated on faith.
What they don’t seem to realize is that the greater faith necessary to part the heavens is a spiritual gift of God that is withheld when the Lord withdraws his spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.
To be continued….