The Record of John the Baptist: Deconstructing the Denver Snuffer Revelation on St. John

I owe a debt of gratitude to Denver Snuffer.

My understanding and clarity of many tenets of the gospel have been made greater because of him and his ministry.

Before he emerged as a popular author with his “how to ” book on receiving the “second comforter” I had been negligent in deeply searching the meaning of the term and associated doctrines.

Because of Denver, I felt compelled to do extensive research into the topic to see if his claims and the doctrine he teaches is true.

After researching this doctrine as a result of his  claims, I feel that I now have a much deeper and richer understanding and appreciation for the true doctrine that is taught in the scriptures and clarified by Joseph Smith.

I feel that I now have a much better understanding of what the two comforters do in manifesting the truth of all things and how they related to each other and fit into the plan of salvation presented in the scriptures.

Before Denver began publicly questioning the historicity of the amazing visitation of Christ, Moses, Elias and Elijah that is documented in Section 110, I knew it was true. But I had not searched out just how integral the visitations were to the restoration narrative.

I had not realized how many questions it answers and how many other passages of scripture in both modern and ancient scripture it interrelates to the event.

Before Denver proclaimed in his book that priesthood authority was not necessary in administering a valid baptism, I already understood that priesthood WAS necessary.

However, as I scoured 3rd Nephi and Sections 13, 20, 22, 42, and 107 to see what he was seeing that I wasn’t, I gained a much deeper and renewed appreciation for priesthood authority and how God always administers his church and kingdom through human priesthood guides.

I now have a deeper regard for the necessity of the various orders and divisions of priesthood and priesthood offices in the church. I now appreciate to a much fuller degree why priesthood restoration is one of the trademarks of the LDS restoration movement.

When Denver declared that Abraham’s patriarchal priesthood was greater than the Melchizedek Priesthood, I already knew Denver was wrong about that. However, by being forced to document and articulate why I disagreed with his conclusion, I personally gained a much deeper clarity in my mind on the issue.

Numerous other false doctrines that he has taught have caused me to reevaluate and dig deeper in the scriptures to verify and validate the truth.

Several Snufferites have contacted me and acknowledged that they agreed with me that Denver had taught many false doctrines.

Curiously, most of them have concluded that they should accept him as a valid priesthood guide anyway solely based on his claim to be speaking with and being taught by God.

These conclusions seemed somewhat illogical to me but once again motivated me to ponder and do additional research on the relationship between the teaching of true doctrine and the role of prophets.  I had to scripturally validate the supposition that true prophets must teach true doctrine unless and until they fall from their calling.

I have been asked by one of the Snufferites to dedicate an entire blog to cataloging all of the major false doctrines taught by Denver Snuffer and providing a detailed analysis of and comparison of what the corresponding true doctrine is and how he has corrupted it. I may do that some time this year if I can find the time.

This four part series will simply detail the most recent false revelation that Snuffer has presented.

With the advent of the new revelation Snuffer claims to have received called the inspired version of the testimony of St John, Denver Snuffer has once again blessed my life by directing my attention to , and motivating me to revew a topic that I have previously given very little thought about, namely, the record of John that is spoken of about in Section 93.

Part One of this series will demonstrate that the record of John in Section 93 is speaking about the record of John the Baptist, not the record of John the Evangelist as the Snufferite community has been claiming.

Part Two will explain what the fulness of the record of John really is. It might surprise you how obvious it was all the time.

Part Three will detail the major changes to the gospel of John the Joseph Smith revealed in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. It will show that Denver Snuffer has rejected and deleted and/or completely changed the wording and meaning of many of the clarification that the JST had provided in the Gospel of St John.

Part Four will detail many of the other false teachings in the Snuffer revelation, including  the insertion of the King Follett theology of God the Father having once been a mortal  man and the false doctrine that their are many saviors who have created many worlds and provided atonement’s for the worlds they have created.

The Record of John

Section 93 makes reference to the fulness of the record of John that is to come forth at a later time in verses 6 & 18:

6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.

18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.

Denver Snuffer has unobtrusively posted his new revelation on the Gospel of St. John on his blog without saying very much about it publicly.

Nevertheless, the Snufferite community is buzzing about it and someone has even created a webpage that is dedicated to the study of this new revelation.

Again, I have Denver Snuffer to thank in motivating me to research this topic. I confess that I had never done a deep search and the whole topic was rather ambiguous in my mind.

This topic was brought to my attention one day when I got the following email from a subscriber

Today on one of the Facebook groups Bob Sontag (I don’t know him) posted this about the origin of this Testimony of St John:

This is Denver’s full response to my email this morning asking him for any information he could share about how and why it came to be. Shared with his permission:
There is a new edition of the scriptures being prepared which will use the JST of the Bible. That will result in both the Book of Moses and JS-Matthew being removed from the Pearl of Great Price. When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John’s Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts. I asked a qualified Greek Scholar to undertake that project and he declined. But the impression remained that it needed to be done.
I made it the subject of prayer and was told to do the work. I spent a few days working with an English-Greek New Testament, the JS Translation of John, and a Greek Lexicon before becoming hopelessly discouraged by the many options and choices. I prayed about it before retiring for the night and essentially quit. I explained that it would take years for me to accomplish this, and that I was not going to be able to solve the riddles of the text. I went to bed assuming I was done with it.
In the middle of that night I was awakened and given the solution to every dilemma I had been facing in the work on the text. So the next day I continued on from where I had abandoned the work and, to my surprise, everything was opened to my mind so clearly and continuously that the entire project was completed in less than three weeks. The light of heaven opened the material in a way I had never thought of nor had previously attained to in considering the Gospel of John. At times it progressed so rapidly that I was unable to finish one part before the next came rolling out. Many new and different things were added, and at least one thing was dropped entirely because it was not part of John’s original composition. Because of the rapid way it rolled out, once I finished the text I went back to clean up a lot of what had been left as incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing words (particularly conjunctions) and cryptic or inadequate explanations. The intent of the writer, John, was revealed, including why some things were included in the text and the manner he wrote.
When it began it was an attempt at a “translation” but by the time it was completed it was clearly a “revelation” and not merely a translation of a text. Therefore the result does not have my name on it, because I cannot claim any credit for the content. I failed in what I was attempting. What resulted came from heaven

As you can see, Snuffer claims that while trying to translate a more revelatory and accurate version of the text in the Gospel of St John, he was given a revelation from God that explained what he considered to be the “cryptic or inadequate explanations” in it.

Sadly, several of the “inadequate explanations” that he refers to were are directed at clarifications provided by Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible. Hence, Denver simply deleted them or replaced them with a completely contradictory explanation.

When I quizzed one of the Snufferites about this latest development he gave the following response:

“evidently this is supposed to be a fulfillment of the D&C 93:6 prophecy which reads, ” And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.”

As similar belief was expressed by Adrian Larsen on his blog.

One such record has recently come forth. The Testimony of St. John has been revealed and published to begin the fulfillment of the prophecy we’ve discussed above. I believe this record is also a partial fulfillment of the promise contained in section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed…And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. (D&C 93:6, 18)

I have since noticed other Snufferites declaring that this new revelation is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Section 93 about the future coming forth of the fulness of the record of John.

Although it is unknown to me if Snuffer has come out and claimed that his revelation on the testimony of St. John is in fulfillment of the prophecy in Section 93, he seems to be implying it in the following statement:

When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John’s Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts.

Why else would Snuffer single out the Gospel of John has having missing texts instead of all other books in the New Testament unless he was interpreting Section 93 the same way his disciples are?

In his inspired revelation Snuffer changes the text to substantiate his belief that the “record of John”spoken of in Section 93 is referring to the record of John the Evangelist:

“And I, John, bear record, and lo the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the form of a dove and remained upon Him. There came a voice out of heaven saying: You are my Beloved Son, this day I have begotten you; for I was there with John the Baptist when he baptized Jesus.”

The above passage completely contradicts the inspired Version which clarifies that  it was only John the Baptist that heard the voice and saw the Holy Ghost descending like a dove. None of the spectators saw or heard what John the Baptist heard and saw.

This new revelation from Snuffer takes his ministry to the next level in that he had not previously produced a written revelation from the Lord that will be canonized. Apparently this new revelation will be canonized in a new edition of LDS scriptures that will be coming forth from the Snufferite movement.

Obviously, if his revelation was a valid one, it would establish him as a revelator.

If Denver’s revelation can be shown to have significant errors in it, it would be a clear sign that he is not a true prophet, or at the very least, he would be a fallen prophet.

Section 43 warns us about accepting the teachings of anyone claiming to be a revelator who had not been duly appointed by the Lord.

Producing a written revelation from the Lord is a tricky business because it enables scholars and students of the gospel to really scrutinize and dissect the content in the revelation instead of some ambiguous second hand statement regarding something the Lord had said.

There was an interesting event in the early history of the church that included the challenge of fabricating a revelation that could meet the scrutiny of critics that are weighing the content against the existing body of scripture in the  accepted canons of scripture.

Some of the leading authorities of the church were called upon to bear solemn testimony that the revelations that had been compiled for publication were true.

[In the afternoon session of the Hiram Conference on 1 November, following the reception of the Lord’s preface to the Book of Commandments (D&C 1)] Br. Joseph Smith jr. said that inasmuch as the Lord had bestowed a great blessing upon us in giving commandments and revelations, asked the conference what testimony they were willing to attach to these commandments which should shortly be sent to the world. A number of the brethren arose and said that they were willing to testify to the world that they knew that they were of the Lord.

Ultimately, a few of the leading brethren including William E. M’Lellin, took issue with some of the revelations because of the language used in some of the Sections.

This prompted a challenge from the Lord for that person who considered himself the “most wise” among the group, to see if he could manufacture scripture that could pass the scrutiny of the others.

1 Behold and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.

 2 Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

 3 Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

 4 And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.

 5 Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.

 6 Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;

 7 Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;

 8 But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.

 9 For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.

 10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

The challenge from the Lord proved to be a humbling experience for Elder MLellin:

After the foregoing was received, William E. M’Lellin, as the wisest man, in his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord’s, but failed; it was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord.

The Elders and all present that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the Gospel, and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the Elders signified a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world.

In this post I am going to detail why the fabrication of scripture will ultimately be much more humiliating to Denver Snuffer than it was for William E. M’Lellin.

Imitating the “language of Jesus Christ” entails more than just trying to sound like Jesus Christ, or one of his servants . The content must be consistent with other scriptural content. It must square with history and doctrine and prophecy that has already been revealed in scripture. Obviously, fabricating a few passages of scripture is much easier than fabricating several chapters.

The only way a person can actually know if a book of scripture is true is though the spirit. On must study the content and pray about it.

By producing this revelation, Denver has invited the world to parse and vet the content for consistency and accuracy. The difference between the attempt of William E. M’Lellin and the attempt of Denver Snuffer is that M’lellin was simply attempting to fabricate scripture at the invitation of the Lord to see how difficult that task is and to validate the revelatory nature of the scripture Joseph had brought forth.

Snuffer, on the other hand, is seriously trying to convince people of his revelatory gift to prove he is a prophet of God. He is using the new revelation to gain credibility and to generate additional followers.

Although I had done some surface reading about the topic in years past, I decided to begin my investigation anew.

I began by simply googling to see if the Church had taken an official stand on whether Section 93 was refering to the “record of John the Baptist” or the “record of John the Evangelist” (also referred to as John the Beloved and John the Revelatory)

I had somewhat of a bias going into this project because the revelation clearly states up front that the testimony of John had to do, at least in part, with seeing Christ receive the fulness of his glory. It is well documented that John the Baptist is the one who bore record of this at Christ’s baptism.

Nevertheless, I wanted to be open to all of the information available.

I began by searching out what the official position of the church is and what LDS general authorities and gospel scholars have concluded.

I had assumed that it was commonly believed that it is not clear which John was being spoken about in Section 93.

To my surprise, I found the following declaration by apostle Neal A. Maxwell:

The record of John referred to in Doctrine and Covenants 93 is a record kept by John the Baptist. The full record of John the Baptist is yet to be revealed, but it will come forth in the future. This record is not to be confused with the writings of John the Revelator, the Apostle, found in the New Testament. ( Neal A. Maxwell,“Not My Will, But Thine”[1988], p. 44.)

The online Gospel Doctrine Manual agrees with the declaration made by Neal A. Maxwell:

DC 93:6  John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory

The Lord doesn’t identify which John this is.  The doctrine of section 93 is similar to the first chapter of John’s gospel.  The assumption that the John spoken of is John the Beloved is natural.  However, the student must read the text of D&C 93 and John 1 very carefully to correctly identify this John.  John the Beloved hints that the first chapter of his gospel actually comes from the lost record of John the Baptist.  He declared, “this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?… He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:19-23).

Apparently, in the lost record of John the Baptist is a testimony of what the Baptist saw upon baptizing the Son of God!  What did he see? Read verses 7 – 17 of section 93; he saw that Christ was the Word in the beginning; he saw that the worlds were made by Him; he saw that He received grace for grace; he saw the Holy Ghost descend upon Him in the form of a dove; he heard the voice and witness of the Father; he saw that Jesus received all power both in heaven and on earth.  Fortunately, we have the promise that someday we will enjoy more than 11 verses of the record of John the Baptist, for “the fullness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.”

Again, tThis kind of surprised me because I had been under the impression that it was not clear which John was being referred to in Section 93.

I found yet another authoritative declaration from Bruce R. McConkie that agreed with Neal A. Maxwell and the online manual above:

From latter-day revelation we learn that the material in the forepart of the gospel of John (the Apostle, Revelator, and Beloved Disciple) was written originally by John the Baptist. By revelation the Lord restored to Joseph Smith part of what John the Baptist had written and promised to reveal the balance when men became sufficiently faithful to warrant receiving it…Even without revelation, however, it should be evident that John the Baptist had something to do with the recording of events in the forepart of John’s gospel, for some of the occurrences include his conversations with the Jews and a record of what he saw when our Lord was baptized-all of which matters would have been unknown to John the Apostle whose ministry began somewhat later than that of the Baptist’s. There is little doubt but that the Beloved Disciple had before him the Baptist’s account when he wrote his gospel. The latter John either copied or paraphrased what the earlier prophet of the same name had written. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 71.)

Additional Googling did in fact show that not all LDS manuals are in agreement on this issues.

Notice the following statement in an LDS student manual:

ADDITIONAL RECORD OF JOHN. In another revelation to Joseph Smith on May 6, 1833, an excerpt of eleven verses appears from what is called the “fulness of the record of John” (D&C 93:7-18). Important similarities exist between these verses and the opening verses of John’s gospel (John 1:1-34), but links to the experiences of John the Baptist are also apparent (cf. D&C 93:15John 1:32-34). Since Doctrine and Covenants 93 mentions only the name John, without annotation, it is unclear whether John the Beloved or John the Baptist is meant (cf. McConkie, 1979, Vol. 1, pp. 426-27).

Clearly, there is reason for some to believe that it is not known for sure which John is being spoken about.

Oddly enough, the above quote is also from McConkie, although I am not sure which one.

As you can see, the manual suggests that it is unclear which John is being spoken about. It is apparently because of the above statement and others like it that some have assumed that perhaps Section 93 is speaking about the “record of John the Evangelist”

It is unclear why the Denver Snuffer movement has assumed that Section 93 was referring to the record of John the Evangelist instead of the record of John the Baptist. However, in a recent post by Adrian Larsen on his blog, a commenter put a chill in the conversation by making the following comment:

John is one of my favorite books of scripture. I studied the Greek New Testament in college and later on studied John 1 extensively and came to the conclusion that most of John 1 was taken from the record of John the Baptist, that John the Beloved was originally a disciple of John the Baptist, that John the Beloved included a portion of the record of John the Baptist as the preface to his testimony, that the record of John referred to in D&C 93 refers to the record of John the Baptist, not John the Beloved and that the fullness of the record of John would be scripture written by John the Baptist and an expansion of John 1. For this reason I don’t see TSJ as the fullness of the record of John.

Also TSJ mentions Mary cutting Jesus’ hair which had not been cut because of the vow. I assume this refers to the Nazarite vow. This vow has three main restrictions, not to cut your hair, not to drink wine and not to have contact with unclean things including corpses. Jesus was a Nazarene (from Nazareth) but it is doubtful he was a Nazarite. I find this section of TSJ problematic.

Interestingly, we have someone who appears to be a Snufferite who had previous done a significant amount of research on the topic and he is agreeing with Apostles Maxwell and McConkie that the text in 93 is referring to John the Baptist. It is unfortunate that Craig did not share his personal research.

Although a surface reading of Section 93 and the testimony and logic provided by modern church authorities and other scholars seems rather compelling to me that it is the record of John the Baptist, I have learned to not take anything for granted. Modern LDS authorities do not have a lot of credibility with me anymore. So I decided  to do a contextual and intertextual keyword search on the word “record” in the related scriptures to see if it would back up the accepted teachings of the church on this topic.

My keyword search first led me to the third chapter in the Gospel of Matthew verses 1-8. Notice the comparison between the JST with the KJV

Joseph Smith Revision

King James Version

Matthew 3:27-35

Matthew 3:1-8

Matt 3:27 And in those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
Matt 3:28 And saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matt 3:29 For I am he who was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.
Matt 3:30 And the same John had his raiment of camels’ hair and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Matt 3:31 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,
Matt 3:32 And many were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Matt 3:33 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O, generation of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Matt 3:34 Why is it that ye receive not the preaching of him whom God hath sent? If ye receive not this in your hearts, ye receive not me; and if ye receive not me, ye receive not him of whom I am sent to bear record; and for your sins ye have no cloak.
Matt 3:35 Repent, therefore, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance;

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judæa, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 ¶But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Notice the clarification in the JST that it is John the Baptist that was sent by God to “bear record” of Christ. The KJV omits the critical declaration that it is John the Baptist that has that commission from God.

I was next led to Matthew 3:11-17

Joseph Smith Revision

King James Version

Matthew 3:38-46

Matthew 3:11-17

Matt 3:38 I indeed baptize you with water, upon your repentance; and when he of whom I bear record cometh, who is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear (or whose place I am not able to fill), as I said, I indeed baptize you before he cometh, that when he cometh, he may baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.
Matt 3:39 And it is he of whom I shall bear record, whose fan shall be in his hand; and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner, but in the fullness of his own time will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.Matt 3:40 Thus came John, preaching and baptizing in the river of Jordan, bearing record that he who was coming after him had power to baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Matt 3:41 And then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him;

Matt 3:42 But John refused him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee. And why comest thou to me?

Matt 3:43 And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Suffer me to be baptized of thee, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Matt 3:44 And John went down into the water and baptized him.

Matt 3:45 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him; and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus.

Matt 3:46 And lo, he heard a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 ¶Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

In the above passages, the JST inserts the declaration that John the Baptist is the one that “bears record” of Jesus. It makes this insertion three times.

Those same passages in the King James Version do not mention that John bears record. The JST is making sure this very important distinction is made and that it is clear that it is the calling of John the Baptist to BEAR RECORD OF THESE EVENTS

Also note the clarification that “John saw” the heavens open and the spirit of God descending like a dove. The King James implies that the whole crowd saw it. It was John’s calling to bear record of the spirit descending like a dove!

Continuing on about the specific calling of John to bear record, “he heard” a voice from heaven saying “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him”. Again, the KJV implies that the entire crown heard the voice but this clarification assures us that it was John the Baptist who bears record of these things. 

Those above changes are very important. Later in this presentation I will demonstrate from scripture that the entire world must accept the record of John the Baptist in order to believe in Christ.

John bears record that Jesus has the authority to baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost

As you can see, the JST provides numerous clarifications in the Gospel (Testimony) of Matthew that John bears RECORD of Christ.

Now lets make note of the fact that the testimony of Mark does the same thing . The King James version of the testimony of Mark never mentions that John the Baptist bears record of Jesus, however the JST makes this clarification in the two following passages:

Mark 1:9 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And John bare record of it.

Mark 9:11 Again I say unto you that Elias is indeed come; but they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, and even as it is written of him. And he bore record of me, and they received him not. Verily, this was Elias

Are we seeing a pattern here?

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is going to great lengths to restore the numerous testimonies that John the Baptist is the one who bears record of Jesus and the fulness that he obtained.

The reason Section 93 does not clarify which John is bearing record of Jesus at his baptism is because the scriptures are very clear about who it was.

Now lets take a look at the JST of the gospel of John

It is important to note that the inspired version renames the “Gospel of John” as “John” followed by “His Testimony of Christ”.

This is true of all four gospels. Joseph Smith essentially changed the “Gospel of” to the “Testimony of”.

This is because all four writers of these four gospels, two of which were apostles, were called to bear testimony of Christ and his ministry.

That is very significant.

Even though the definitions of “bear testimony” and “bear witness” and “bear record”  overlap, there is a subtle distinction between the calling of John the Beloved to bear testimony, and the calling of John the Baptist to bear record.

In the KJV of the Gospel of John, it is noted in three different places that John the Baptist bore record of Jesus. However the JST of the Testimony of John, it inserts this fact three additional times for a total of six!

Interestingly, in John 1:7, the KJV says that John the Baptist bears testimony, however the JST changes the word testimony to RECORD!!!!!

As you can see, a simple keyword search in the Inspired Version provides overwhelming evidence that it was the mission of John the Baptist to bear record of Christ while it was the mission of the Twelve Apostles and the writers of the Gospels that were tasked with bearing witness of Christ.

What about the Book of Mormon?

Is it congruent with the JST in declaring that it is John the Baptist that bears record of Christ?

Yes

7 And he spake also concerning a prophet who should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord—

8 Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing.

9 And my father said he should baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also said he should baptize with water; even that he should baptize the Messiah with water.

10 And after he had baptized the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record that he had baptized the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world.  (1 Nephi 10 & 11, )

Conversely, the Book of Mormon does not speak of John the Evangelist as being the one that bears witness of Christ at the time of his baptism as mentioned in Section 93, rather, it identifies his role in writing about the events of the end times and in his role in being translated and bringing souls unto Christ during the end times along with others. (See 1 Nephi 14, 3 Nephi 28 & Ether 4)

Even though the scriptures speak of many prophets and apostles that “bear witness” and “bear testimony” and “bear record” of Christ , the evidence is overwhelming that the person named John in Section 93, that bears record of Christ and his fulness, of whose record was to come forth in its fulness, was clearly John the Baptist.

It Is Through the Record of John the Baptist that All Men Might Believe

One of the most remarkable things about the Record of John the Baptist that I discovered during my keyword search, that differentiates him from John the Evangelist and all of the other prophets and apostles, is that his record is given that all men might believe . This is revealed in JST John 1:6-8

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came into the world for a witness, to bear witness of the light, to bear record of the gospel through the Son, unto all, that through him [John the Baptist] men might believe. He was not that light but came to bear witness of that light

As previously mentioned, the second use of the word “witness” in the above passage was changed to “record” in the JST.

In addition to showing that there is a subtle but profound distinction between the definition of bear witness and bear record, the above passages reveals that it is the record of John that goes to ALL people and that it is through his record that all men might believe on Christ.

That is a profoundly notable distinction.

It is not necessary that a person hear and believe the testimony or record that any other prophet or apostle has given, in order to believe in Christ, but the record of John the Baptist is essential.

It is from the testimony of John the Baptist that we know that Christ was the Son of God, that he was sinless, that he was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and that he received the fulness of his Father.

The implication of the above passage seems to be that it is impossible to gain a testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the redeemer of the world, without hearing and believing the record of John the Baptist.

This no doubt is at least in part why Christ identified him as the greatest prophet that ever lived. John the Baptist was sent into the world to bear record of the LIGHT.

This remarkable prophet had the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb and had been baptized before he came forth out of the womb. Although many of the Jews ultimately rejected Christ, they all knew that John the Baptist held the priesthood power.

He was the Evangelical High Priest of the Law by birthright and by ordination by an angel.

The Jews did not questioned his authority although they rejected the record he bore of Christ. Even though they did not accept Christ’s authority, they did accept the authority of John who was bearing witness of Christ.

Having established the fact that Section 93 is clearly speaking about the fulness of the record of John the Baptist that was to come forth at a later time, it is obvious that those claiming that Denver has prophetically brought forth the record of John the Evangelist that they assumed was prophesied of in the Gospel of John, have egg on their face because they completely misinterpreted the prophecy in Section 93.

Again, it is not clear to me whether Denver ever specifically made the claim that Section 93 is referring to the record of John the Evangelist, but his following statement certainly seems to imply that he was making that connection:

When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John’s Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts.

Why replace the missing texts in the Gospel of John and not the other Gospels unless Denver was interpreting the prophecy in Section 93 erroneously? Furthermore, if Denver knew the truth about what the prophecy in Section 93 was referring to, wouldn’t he have corrected all of his disciples when they began making the false interpretation and attributing the fulfillment of it to Denver?

It is also noteworthy to point out that some of Denver’s disciples who have misinterpreted the prophecy in Section 93 claim to have received the “Second Comforter” of Christ appearing to them. Joseph explained that the Second Comforter is to have Christ continually appear to you from time to time and teach you the mysteries.
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“Now what is this other Comforter. It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God..”
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This begs the question, if Denver and many of his followers are continuously being visited and taught by Christ, and having the heavens opened and taught the mysteries of the kingdom, why are they all incapable of understanding the basic things? Why are they incapable of teaching sound doctrine?

Why are they collectively misinterpreting the prophecy in Section 93 as an entire group?

If Denver really was the Lord’s servant called to usher in the events of the last days and lead the saints in building a temple and establishing Zion, why does he get so many things wrong? Why does he and the other false prophets spawned by his movement teach so many false doctrines?

Having shown that the Snufferite claims about Denver’s revelation being the fulfillment of the prophecy in Section 93 to be false, in part two of this series I will share my understanding of what the fulness of the record of John really is.

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