The Controversy of Zion

In the 34th chapter of Isaiah, we are informed that when the indignation of the Lord falls upon the nations, it is referred to as the day of the Lord’s vengeance.

It is also described as the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

I believe we are quickly approaching the great controversy that Isaiah speaks about.

Many people that have studied prophecy realize that virtually all prophecies have multiple fulfillments. One is a literal fulfillment while others are shadow fulfillments that are typological to the literal fulfillment.

I agree with this observation that was made on a prophecy website-

The Hebrew idea of prophecy is a pattern that is repeated, multiple fulfillments with one ultimate fulfillment. Each of the multiple fulfillments is both a type of, and a lesson on, the ultimate fulfillment

People who reject section 110 because they think the Elijah comes in the future need to understand that he did come and fulfill the prophecy in Malachi, AND, the prophecy will be fulfilled again, a second time in the end times.

More on that during this series. I plan on detailing what the true doctrine of Elijah really is and how it demonstrates just how true section 110 is. I guarantee it will raise a few eyebrows.

Getting back to the Controversy in Zion-

I believe there was a great controversy in Zion at the time of the succession crisis in Nauvoo when there was great debate and confusion over who the rightful successor to the prophet Joseph Smith was. I believe that controversy was very possibly a type of the controversy spoken of by Isaiah, only on a much smaller, narrower scale.

I am also open to the possibility that the great LDS google apostasy that has been spoken of in the media lately is bringing about another preliminary controversy, one that could very possibly be a sign of the impending return of God’s properly ordained and anointed servants back into the vineyard to bring about the redemption of Zion during the work of the Father.

Perhaps one of the most significant contributors to the Google apostasy is Denver Snuffer because of his controversial book, Passing the Heavenly Gift.

In the book, he does a remarkable job of accumulating and cataloguing much of the disruptive historical and doctrinal data that has been mined by numerous other authors and researchers over the last several decades. Because of the Internet, much of this information has been posted or paraphrased on the Internet for all to see, causing a crisis of faith for many Latter day Saints.

Much of what is in the book is accurate and valuable. Nevertheless, I have found numerous things that I feel are problematic.

The Redemption of Zion has been Predetermined

The book and the associated lectures being given, seem to promote the belief that the redemption of Zion will not literally take place the way that the Lord has promised it will,  in the parable of the redemption of Zion found in sections 101 and 103.

We have the unconditional promises from the Lord God of Israel that the voice of warning that will begin the Marvelous Work will be given by the Lords disciples that published the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.

When these servants return, they will go forth in the unstoppable power of the fulness of the priesthood.

The premise given in PTHG does not appear to support the unconditional promises in modern revelation, that assure us that Zion will be re-stablished on earth under the direction of first laborers of the last kingdom who have been properly ordained and anointed to do so. We have been promised that they will go forth for the last time  to  bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come.

Rather, the book, and statements made by the author during his first lecture on Zion in Boise, seem to imply that inspired mortals will need to finish what Joseph started. Needless to say, I disagree with that premise. More importantly, I believe the scriptures disagree with it.

Joseph and his associates will finish the work that Joseph started under the divine guidance and power of the Lord God of Israel !

A Spike in Traffic

After I announced that I was going to provide a rebuttal on Passing the Heavenly Gift, the author of the book boldly put a link on his blog to my blog informing his followers that I would be doing a critique.

It appears that he is confident about what he has written and wants his readers to evaluate my critique .

This is consistent with a comment he once made wherein he encourages all of us to speak up and correct someone that is teaching false teachings.

It is reassuring to know that the author believes that we should all be vigilant in correcting each other when a false doctrine is presented, and is therefore supportive of my attempt to do so.  He believes that we each have an obligation to speak up when we see something false that is being propagated.

If there is an error in doctrine or practice, everyone has an obligation to speak up, from the least to the greatest. (D&C 20: 42, 46-47, 50-51, 59, among other places.)… Therefore, if someone should say something that is untrue or in error, then correct their doctrine, show the error

The link that he posted to my blog resulted in an obscene amount of traffic to my site as depicted below by my wordpress analytics graph.

snuffer stats

Within the first five days his site had sent 1734 unique visitors.

During that period of time, my site experienced over 7,200 views.

I point this out for two reasons.

Popularity Contest

One is that if people judge my rebuttal and any responses that the author might offer, based on who their favorite writer is, making the event a popularity contest, I will clearly be the looser! LOL

As you can see, my site normally only gets one or two hundred views per day.

That is pretty pathetic for a blog that has been around as long as mine has been around.

In my opinion, very few people can handle the bold truth that is contained in the scriptures that are highlighted on this blog.

I don’t sugar coat anything and I am not here to tickle anyone’s ears.

I don’t tell people that even though the church has been condemned, cursed and rejected with their dead, there is nothing to worry about because anyone can simply open the heavens and enjoy open communion with the Savior and legitimately expect to receive the second comforter even though the person is not living the fulness of the Gospel.

If you are here for a warm and fuzzy feeling, you are at the wrong site.

When you get done reading some of the articles on this site you may well be curled up in the fetal position whimpering like a little girl.

Nevertheless, if you persevere, you will find much reason to be hopeful because God, in his infinite wisdom, justice, and mercy, has provided a remedy for the awful situation we are in.

Are you ready for what is about to happen?

Interestingly, even now that the traffic has slowed way down to a trickle from his site to mine, I am still getting two to three times the volume I normally get in page views.

This is a good sign. It indicates to me that some of his followers are not mesmerized by the messenger but rather they want to discern the message.

They are open to hearing other points of view and want to make sure they test the doctrines in PTHG against the scriptures and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. They want to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.

I appreciate the authors confidence and generosity in publicizing my intention to provide a rebuttal.

I hope he will provide another link on his blog when my final work of rebuttal is published.

The Possibility of a Huge Movement

The other point I want to make, with reference to the large amount of views that his blog generated for my blog, is that the following of loyal readers that the author has amassed, is formidable.

Clearly the number of his followers that actually follow his blog and clicked on the link represents only a small fraction of the readers of his book and the believers of the doctrines that he teaches.

If the approximately 2,000 people that he has sent to my site represents 10 percent of his following, that is 20,000 people!

I don’t know if 10% would represent a modest or liberal guestimation of his total readership, however, one can appreciate why the brethren labored with him so long, trying to do damage control.

There is a lot at stake here.

Consider the fact that the average person has a sphere of influence of about 98 friends, relatives and work associates that they associate relatively closely with. 20,000  times 98 is a significant influence that has the potential to grow exponentially.

You can see what a tremendous impact the author can have through his passionate followers that are sharing their beliefs with other friends and relatives.

This is why I feel I need to speak up and challenge some of the things in the book that I know to be erroneous.

Listing of Rebuttal Points

I have decided to post most of the rebuttal points that I will be addressing before I even address them.

I suppose that from a debate strategy point of view, what I am doing is foolish, but this is not about winning a debate. This is about exposing the truth and getting people engaged. I want the doctrinal teachings that I espouse to be just as challenged as the ones that I am challenging in the PTHG.

I want a lively discussion and debate. I am openly challenging the author of PTHG and/or any of his followers to test what I am saying if sound doctrinal arguments  against them can be brought forth.

Let the discussion begin and the truth prevail.

Salvation is at stake. We need to avoid being deceived.

The scriptures inform us that there are only two ways to avoid being deceived.

One is to treasure of the word of God in the scriptures.

The other is to take the Holy Ghost as our guide.

Most of the doctrinal rebuttal points that I will be addressing in future posts are listed at the end of this post to enable people to know what the main issues will be and to allow the author and his supporters to begin preparations for a response to each rebuttal point, should anyone choose to tender any.

I will be posting each rebuttal point in a separate blog post to enable everyone who is interested to comment and produce any evidence they desire to support and challenge my rebuttal.

I will not be allowing responses to the rebuttal points below, on this blog, until I have had the chance to complete the associated post on it, demonstrating what was taught in PTHG along with my corresponding evidence that disputes it.

Before I begin posting on each of the rebuttal points, I will present a post titled “priesthood Primer” that will help readers to better understand my first five rebuttals having to do with priesthood issues.

Following that post, I will begin addressing each of the individual rebuttals independently.

I am also going to produce a PDF that contains ALL of the rebuttal points and supporting evidence in one document. It will be posted on the Internet. The advantage of the PDF is two fold. First it provides one comprehensive article that contains all of the rebuttal topics and associated evidence. Secondly, it enables me to provide footnotes containing greater context and clarification.

The online PDF will be a work in process that will be updated as more documentation is added from any comments that are made on each post. I will show the current “version” under the heading so that people will know if there have been updates.

If I am ever convinced that one of my rebuttal points is without merit, and has been adequately debunked by the author or anyone else, I will humbly apologize, eat a little crow, remove it from the PDF, and crawl under a rock and hide for a few days to hide my profuse shame and embarrassment for having made a doctrinal mistake and demonstrating that I am human and fallible. LOL

 Conversely, if commenters bring up valid and compelling points of rebuttal that I missed, I will add them to the debate as well, and to the PDF.

By the time the blog series is finished, the PDF will be hopefully be finished as well.

Naturally, it is not just the doctrines contained in PTHG that are on trial here.

Many of the doctrines contained in PTHG are just rehashed  and in some cases, re-spun doctrines that have been or are currently taught in the corporate church.

Hence, many doctrines taught by the corporate church are also being challenged in these rebuttals.

The listing of some of the upcoming rebuttal points are listed below-

Is an honest Rebuttal Possible?
Weighing the Doctrines Postulated in Passing the Heavenly Gift

Rebuttal Point #1: Joseph Smith was Instrumental in Restoring Three Priesthoods not just Two

Rebuttal Point #2: Peter James and John did NOT restore the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1829, the Lord restored the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1831

Rebuttal Point #3: The Patriarchal Priesthood is NOT the “third order of the Priesthood”

Rebuttal Point #4: The First High Priests were ordained in June of 1831 NOT June of 1832

Rebuttal Point #5: Priesthood IS necessary to officiate in the Ordinances of Salvation

Rebuttal Point #6 The Twelve do NOT have Equal Authority with the First Presidency in Governing the Church

Rebuttal Point #7 Hyrum was NOT just next in line at the time of the martyrdom, He WAS the Sole Prophet

Rebuttal Point #8 It WAS clearly documented who the Lord had Previously Conferred the Keys On at the time of the Martyrdom

Rebuttal Point #9 It WAS Rigdon’s Right to Claim Leadership in Joseph’s Absence

Rebuttal Point #10 Section 132 could NOT have been received as early as 1829

Rebuttal Point #11 The Book of Mormon does NOT necessarily reaffirm that the rejected Gentile Church will remain part of God’s Plan leading up to the New Jerusalem

Rebuttal Point #12 The Doctrine and Covenants DOES clearly Detail When and Why the Fulness was Lost

Rebuttal Point #13 The First 33 verses of section 132 ARE about Polygamy

Rebuttal Point #14 The Book of Abraham was NOT translated in 1842

Rebuttal Point #15 Joseph Did NOT Receive a Revelation about Blacks and the Priesthood after ordaining Elijah Able

Rebuttal Point #16 The Masonic Temple endowment is NOT part of the pure and simple Gospel of Jesus Christ

Rebuttal Point #17 After the Gentile Rejection, the Remnant of the Book of Mormon was NOT given the Fulness

Rebuttal Point #18 The Fulness of the Gospel is NOT available when God Rejects the Church with its Dead

Rebuttal Point #19 The Church HAS Changed the Ordinances of the Gospel

Rebuttal Point #20 Rigdon is NOT the Reason the Restored Church had an objective of restoring the pattern of the New Testament Church

Rebuttal Point #21 The Gospel Law of Marriage in Section 132 Categorically Contradicts the Gospel Law of Marriage in section 42. Reject the Law of the Gospel contained in section 42 at your Peril!

Rebuttal Point #22 Zion can only be established by Those Who Have Been Appointed

Rebuttal Point #23 What Constitutes a Testimony?

Rebuttal Point #24 Elijah Did come AND Will Come

Rebuttal Point #25 Section 110 IS a true Event that Literally Took Place as Described. The Evidence is beyond Overwhelming.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
The Marvelous Work is about to begin.
Praise God.

29 Responses to The Controversy of Zion

  1. Fusion says:


    Fantastic list. I’ve already been primed on all of them through my individual research, and am looking forward to your detailed elaboration of each. Equally, I am keen to see how Denver stages a comeback on all of them.

    Thank you for this depth of effort. By the way, do you sleep?! Bet with the amount of writing you do, Mrs watcher exiles you to sleep alone on the couch frequently! LOL


    • I suspect that Mrs. Fusion has the same complaint.

      I really appreciate the fact that you have studied these things out and have viewed many perspectives besides the ones I have lighlighted in my posts, and am passionate about.

      I have seen you on many other blogs and I know you have searched far and wide to understand these things.

      I suspect that you will already be familiar with most or all of my rebuttal evidence and I look forward to any challenges or agreements that you might bring to the table.

      May you be blessed for your diligent study of the Gospel


  2. Here here! Well done watcher, I will be looking forward to it. I first said to my wife, back when I read the book the first time, that Watcher will have something to say on this. It appears that I was right 🙂 Admittedly, even this rebuttal list likely falls short. Heistory always went to the victor, which never favors the entire truth.

    Thoroughly looking forward to your posts, as well as the Day the First Elders are again known publicly and the work of the Father begins in the open. May it be soon!

    Denver fills a lot of Book of Mormon and Biblical types… and that doesn’t favor the message at all.

    • It is always good to hear from you Milkman.

      I really enjoy your work. I am sure Mrs Milkman is also a couch widow.

      When I grow up I want to be able to write as deep and poetically as you.

      Thank you for all of your great insights into the scripts


  3. Thanks for the praise and admittedly, the spirit has taught me much through your writing as well.
    Much of your writing has thoroughly expanded my understanding and worldview, especially considering the turbulent succession times. And then to go do the research and find that what your saying about those historical moments checks out… keep it up.

    By the way, I do believe Joseph is here and Sidney, and all of the 24. May the Work move forward that we call can see again Eye to Eye! You’ve created alot of work for yourself here. Better get busy, looking forward to it.

    God speed, Dan

    • Wow.. talk about goose bumps and an adrenalin rush!

      I hope you are right.

      I have actually speculated that that, might be the case for several reasons I will not mention right now.

      Praise the Lord God of Israel.

  4. Lee says:

    I must admit I am disappointed how long you are stretching this out, you are beginning to sound like all the other critics of Snuffer…I was going to take you more seriously.

    • Lee

      I am sorry you think I am stretching this out. One week ago I offered to let Denver review my rebuttal points before I posted them.

      I gave him one week to respond.

      He didn’t respond to accept or decline.

      I had to wait the full week to see if he wanted to have that opportunity.

      Now that the week has expired, I have now begun the process by giving most of the rebuttal issues to everyone that is engaged in this controversy.

      The reason I did it is so that YOU could do your own preliminary research before I publish my the evidence for my rebuttals.

      If you are so well read and doctrinally astute that you know all of the answers, then this site is a waste of your time and there is nothing for you to be impatient about.

      On the other hand, if you don’t understand why I am challenging the twenty five issues that I have posted, then you have a pretty big homework assignment don’t you?

      Nevertheless, if you are unhappy with the service I am providing, I am willing to give you your money back. 🙂

  5. McKay Platt says:

    I applaud your effort. Make it about the truth as you see it. If this becomes about two men, you’ll loose my interest quickly. I want the truth as you see it, untainted by ego.

    McKay Platt

  6. Fusion says:


    I can’t wait to see your own rebuttal on those 25 points.

    Also, kindly elaborate on where I can find links to those other critics that sound similar and have done a detailed criticism of a similar magnitude.

    I’ve looked rather deep on the net but have not found what you purport.


  7. Ty says:


    I got goose bumps reading your list. I remember coming across your blog over a year ago. I was a beaten down confused mess. Many things on this list I had been struggling with for a very long time, not knowing if I’d ever find the truth. My heart and mind just couldn’t accept some of the things being taught in the church and by others.

    I still remember the excitement, relief, and peace I received after learning some of the truths you presented. I hope this series will do for others what it has done for me.

    If I may just give some advice for the readers. Don’t base your belief and faith on what Denver has said, or on what Watcher has said or what anyone has said. Test everything for yourself – hold to the iron rod (scriptures) and let the Holy Ghost tell you in your mind and in your heart what is true. Don’ rely on any man for salvation.

    Now Watcher, you’ve got to let me in on this speculation about the first laborers being here. Fill me in my friend. This is something that is constantly rolling around in my empty brain.



    • “Don’t base your belief and faith on what Denver has said, or on what Watcher has said or what anyone has said. Test everything for yourself – hold to the iron rod (scriptures) and let the Holy Ghost tell you in your mind and in your heart what is true. Don’ rely on any man for salvation.”

      Praise God.

      That is the bottomline, thank you for reminding us of that Ty.

      Regarding your question, I wish I had earth shattering news about the servants being back. Unfortunately, I don’t.

      I have personally been speculating that they may be back for a number of reasons.

      One reason is that we are informed that when the servants return, they will cause the ice to melt.

      “and the ice shall flow down at their presence”

      According to some sources, there has been monumental melting for quite some time now.

      Another reason I am anticapatory is that I have a timeline that I posted in 09 that identifies NOW as the time when something should be happening.

      It is total speculation.

      The other day on a chat board, on SEPTEMBER 21 2013, there was blurb about lots of police cars at the White House. Couldn’t help but wonder if there was a “let my people go!” warning for Pharoah from the one like unto Moses LOL

      Anyway, I am antsy for them to get back so I am ready to find any excuse to think they are back.

      As far as Dan’s comment, I don’t know what information he has.

  8. Lee says:

    Hey I do want my money back!

    Check on LDS Glo LDSFF plenty of critics on those sites but on LDSFF you will more of a back and forth between the pro Snuffer and the anti Snuffer people.

    Fusion I have not read pthg yet but I will say from what I have read from the pro Snuffer people they seem have more solid reasoning in their positions, the anti Snuffer people seem less rational and more emotional about holding to their old paradigm. I want to read the watchers rebuttal and I was hoping there would be a exchange between him and Snuffer based on solid doctrine and facts. Check the emotional ramblings and unfounded bias at the door so truth come forth. I got the book now and I am planning to read it soon… Tons of footnotes I don’t know if I will have the ability to check out all of Snuffer’s sources, anyway the details matter.

    Watcher man, you are good, I was just hoping to see your rebuttal so I could read the book and compare your points to Snuffer’s at the same time. I just got the book yesterday and I am hoping i will have sometime this weekend to start reading it.

    • From here on out I am only allowing doctrinal comments and questions that add to this series or to past blog posts.

      I really don’t want the comment section to deteriorate.

      I realize lots of people are frustrated that I am not moving forward faster.

      I just got another nasty comment from someone that I chose to block, who is critical because I am dragging this thing out too long. Whats the hurry?

      I am doing the best I can. I have other obligations and responsibilities.

      Lets all try to be nice to each other.


  9. Fusion says:

    Yes, Watcher, I snoop around a ton of blogs and try to feed my insatiable hunger on all things to do with what I believe in. I would love to open up more and share the things I feel and discover in a blog of my own, but life is so darned busy with work and children that it is virtually impossible to commit to anything else. Maybe someday…

    So, for the moment I am happy to be the student. I don’t always agree with you, or Rock or Dan…or all the other fantastic bloggers out here. But I am sure to always give you guys, and others, the time and respect to read what you have spent your valuable time, respectively, to orate on, as these things are so close to my heart.

    So while I read a tonne and seem to agree with every morsel, the truth is that I don’t need to officially disagree and get into conflict over those things I do not feel are right. On the contrary, I just have no interest in throwing uppercuts and ducking left hooks with folks who are just trying their best, like myself, to hold onto the iron rod, with all our collective weaknesses and blunders as part and parcel in this whole affair.

    Don’t worry about me ever having you or anyone else for that matter, as my arm of flesh- that will NEVER happen. It is something that is just not in me. I’m way too much of a Lone Ranger, a One-Man-Band groovin’ to the beat of my own rather eclectic drummer. Perhaps this is what attracts me to some people…people who are just as stubborn and independent as myself.

    Keep up the great work…and get some sleep! I finally will- it’s 240am here and Mrs. Fusion has latched the door and put up the KEEP OUT sign!

  10. Lynne McKinley says:

    I’m still new to this – have been reading Denver Snuffer’s books, and blogs which add insight, like yours since this controversy was first brought to my attention two weeks ago. I was at the Idaho Falls and Logan talks, but don’t think I will go to any more. Don’t need to. One of the key points in tracking his premise is that I must detach from all the myriad distractions that take me away from deep, focused personal study of the scriptures myself, that distract me from next level repentance, and I need to ask the Lord myself when I have questions rather than looking for answers from blog writers. All of us have only 24 hours in each day, and lives full of responsibilities and commitments. Dedicated personal study and prayer time usually falls by the wayside in any normal competition for dayplanner space. Putting those things at the top of the list, not at the bottom, is what I have come away with in Bro. Snuffer’s stuff. So I won’t be here for all the debates back and forth, but wish you all well. Lynne McKinley, Orem

  11. SteveF says:

    A link was to this site was provided in the comment section here: .

    If it interests you, a few others and I have engaged in a somewhat lengthy debate over the contents of PTHG, quoting and referencing the book itself and scripture where possible. It may offer some additional perspective for anyone looking for alternate perspectives.

  12. Apparently there are a few people who are anxiously awaiting the first portion of my rebuttal and feel a little frustrated to have to wait.

    I will not be able to post it until Monday.

    There is no need to keep checking back at this blog until then.



  13. […] over 300 comments, and Tim Malone’s Q&A about Snuffer also got over 300 comments.  One Who is Watching noted “an obscene amount of traffic to my site” when he advertised that he was going to […]

  14. […] over 300 comments, and Tim Malone’s Q&A about Snuffer also got over 300 comments.  One Who is Watching noted “an obscene amount of traffic to my site” when he advertised that he was going to […]

  15. A. Pulsipher says:


    I appreciate your efforts to articulate your understandings of gospel truths in this blog. I also appreciate those of Mr. Snuffer to publish his books, maintain a blog and execute his speaking tour. Little question that considering that each of us has bills to pay and family obligations to meet , “if (we) should leave his employ, what will become of (us), it is a wonder we have time to even engage in this sort of exchange in the first place. So I applaud Mr. Snuffer’s diligence in attempting to share his enlightened perspective, and from my reading of your site, I applaud your efforts as well. I believe each of you and many other bloggers out there are doing an admirable job sharing light and knowledge.

    I just finished reading PtHG for a second time as a result of the church action taken against Mr. Snuffer. Reading your post here, I look forward to your perspectives as well. I have to admit I am somewhat bewildered that the church I have supported, sustained, financed, served a mission for, and have dedicated so much to would hazard to move against a person who effectively states he has received similar knowledge as did Joseph Smith. Certainly, Mr. Snuffer writes with power, as did Hugh Nibley and James Talmage before him. Though I don’t look at your response necessarily as a contest, I do look forward to additional light and knowledge that can result. And since I’m presuming you have a life and somehow has to make a living in Babylon, I am perfectly content to wait with patience your developing that thoughful and hopefully prayerful response.

    God be with you

    A. Pulsipher

    • A Pulsipher

      Thank you for your kind, thoughtful, and compassionate remarks.

      Sadly, I haven’t been able to provide as well I would like to have done for my family. I am hoping things will turn around or that Zion will take away the need to labor in Babylon.


  16. A. Pulsipher says:


    I’m presuming you mean to say that “Zion will take away the need to labor in Babylon”? Also, I meant to say above, that “if (we) should leave his employ, what would become of (us)”. I suppose that observation is obtuse to most, but it does describe our exchanging our time (which equals life) for means in this Telestial existance.

    Kind regards,
    A. Pulsipher

  17. Awesome! BaurakAle Ahman on Facebook!

  18. […] should be noted that the Watcher greatly disputes Snuffer’s narrative about D&C 110.  (Watcher has written several posts on Snuffer’s book, if you’re interested.) Snuffer […]

  19. […] should be noted that the Watcher greatly disputes Snuffer’s narrative about D&C 110.  (Watcher has written several posts on Snuffer’s book, if you’re interested.) Snuffer […]

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