In a remarkable turn of events, the LDS church has gone on the offensive against the claims and criticisms of Denver Snuffer and the Snufferite movement in what appears to be an effort to do damage control.
Approximately 22 months ago Denver Snuffer gave his address in Boise Idaho. (which I attended)
On June 13 2015, Apostle Dallin H Oaks and Assistant LDS Church Historian, Richard Turley Jr., showed up in Boise Idaho to address many of the criticisms that Snuffer and other wannabe prophets have leveled against the church over the years.
A recording of this event was apparently sent to John Dehlin who posted it on Mormonstories.
This is a mega historical tipping point in the sense that this type of thing has not happened in modern times that I am aware of. It is almost unheard of in modern times that a General Authority of the LDS Church has ever personally engaged in any kind of debate or LDS apologetics that is specifically directed against a contemporary person or fringe movement. Although Snuffers name was never mentioned during the presentation for obvious reasons, he and some of his outspoken followers appeared to be the primary “false prophets and false teachers” that the Boise saints were being warned about.
The details behind this visit and what meeting this address took place in is not clear to me. It was clearly not a priesthood meeting since a woman gave the closing prayer.
For as long as I can remember, general authorities of the church have always stayed safely tucked away in their Ivory Tower while “scholars” and “apologists” who have written for FARMS and FAIR have attempted to address the really difficult questions from skeptics and apostates.
The format of the presentation was quite interesting with Oaks and Turley doing a tag-team presentation taking turns speaking. Turley would provide historical context and Oaks would provide doctrinal context.
This is clearly a historical event of significance that shows at least some degree of desperation on the part of church leaders regarding the fall out that is currently taking place in the church.
Despite the recent denial from a church leader in General Conference that lots of Mormons are leaving the church, this special appearance of an apostle and a historian, to respond to the criticisms made by Snuffer and others, seems to indicate that the claim at General Conference was disingenuous. It appears that the public acknowledgment from LDS Church Historian Marlin Jensen a few years ago, is true. He claimed that because Google has made it so easy for members of the church to research and become aware of extremely challenging and disrupting historical and doctrinal issues, the LDS Church is experiencing the greatest apostasy since the Kirtland Apostasy,.
One of the questions addressed had to do with the claim that the current corporate church is not the same church that was restored and does not have the same authority.
Oddly, Apostle Oaks answered that question with a question. Then who has the authority? He quipped.
I was shocked to hear Turley imply that the succession issue between Rigdon and the Twelve Apostles was determined solely by the vote of the people and that the nearly unanimous vote was an indication of God’s approval. That seems to contradict what happened during Old Testament times when Israel voted to be led by a king instead of a prophet. Although God allowed apostate Israel to have their King, it was contrary to the will of God and it was detrimental to Israel.
Turley did not spend much time attempting to force some kind of succession protocol scenario to justify the transition of authority from Joseph Smith to the Twelve Apostles, on which the veracity Oaks and his fellow apostles rests. In previous times the official response of the church would have been to do so, however, thanks to Google and a host of Internet bloggers, the masses are more educated now than they used to be and leaders of the church now realize they are dealing with a much more sophisticated and educated audience both in and out of the church.
I am not going to take the time right now to do a critique of the entire presentation but I highly encourage anyone interested in these issues to listen to the address that Oaks and Turley gave. It is really quite interesting and entertaining.
[Editorial Note: I just came upon an excellent review of the Boise Rescue by the “Searcher”. Enjoy
For a follow up article regarding the two types of false prophets that Christ spoke of click on the link below