Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

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nibbler
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Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by nibbler » 10 Dec 2013, 07:09

No longer being content with remaining in limbo any longer I've been reading and pondering quite a bit over the last few months in an attempt to establish what I do believe. During that process I ran across the story of Denver Snuffer.

Full disclaimer, I have not read his book and I haven't dedicated a lot of time on studying out his situation. Each case is individual and only the parties involved know all the specifics. The only reason I created this thread was to better understand a statement recorded in his appeal letter. A statement that hit me like a dagger in the heart.

Bolded section for added emphasis:
When we met again he said it didn't matter what anyone thought of the book because it was "faith destroying." I responded that there were actual people whose faith had been rescued and whose activity in the church had revived because of reading it. He responded to me: "What makes you think the church is interested in having such people anyway?" I took that response to be coming (as everything else) from higher up.
I don't necessarily agree on his interpretation that the bolded portion of the quote was coming from higher up (above the SP level in this instance). Given the lengthy interactions between Snuffer and his SP I'm willing to accept that the statement may have been made out of frustration. In other words the SP was tired of having to "deal" with this brother and was "shooting from the hip" with his statement.

Note that the bolded portion of the quote doesn't refer to Snuffer, but refers to people whose faith had been rescued. Years ago my faith fell like a house of cards, I've only recently been trying to rebuild. I don't think I can go back to believing things like I believed them before. My faith has to evolve to rationalize remaining active in the church. Will this evolution make me become something the church would not welcome? Something or someone that the church feels better off without?

I'm not out there trying to change people's beliefs or to mold them to my way of thinking. If I ever started to feel like I was playing the role of wolf in sheep's clothing I hope I'd have the presence of mind to remove myself from the situation. I'm really at a point in life where I want to help others meet their own spiritual goals regardless of creed. If someone is TBM then I'd want to help them to get as much enjoyment as possible out of being TBM.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
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Eric Merrill
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by Eric Merrill » 10 Dec 2013, 09:38

nibbler wrote:My faith has to evolve to rationalize remaining active in the church. Will this evolution make me become something the church would not welcome? Something or someone that the church feels better off without?
I admit, when this all went down, I was pretty upset inside. It seemed like the days of the september six were past. But alas, not every bishop and SP knows the history and therefore are doomed to repeat it. :(
nibbler wrote: I'm really at a point in life where I want to help others meet their own spiritual goals regardless of creed. If someone is TBM then I'd want to help them to get as much enjoyment as possible out of being TBM.
That's a great attitude nibbler! I really like this and follow a similar ideology.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Dec 2013, 10:41

Personal opinion, I know, but:

I have followed this situation with interest for a while and I have almost NO sympathy for the man - and I say that about almost nobody. I also have NO confidence that he is being honest in what he says.

I really liked his books up to and including "The Second Comforter". I really dislike "Passing the Heavenly Gate". I see a man who claims to have been visited by God, and I have no reason to believe or disbelieve him about that. Seriously, I am completely neutral on that question. However, I also see someone whose actions after writing "Passing the Heavenly Gate" have been diametrically opposite of his counsel in "The Second Comforter". I see someone who preached one thing to others when he was "secure in the faith" (and AFTER his claimed visitation) and then rejected it completely when the time came when he faced it himself. In a sense, he encouraged others to put up, and then he refused to do so when it became personal.

I see someone who was fine when he was talking about spiritual matters, but, as a history teacher myself, I see someone whose historical interpretations are deeply flawed - and I believe his "downfall" is that he thinks he sees historical things clearly but is WAY out of his depth in that arena. I see someone who was insightful when he was focused on oratory and inspiration but who dove into the historical deep end without the ability to swim well enough to see clearly - and who is flailing around not accepting attempts to pull him out.

I see someone who is flat-out, no question about it, in blatant opposition to the Church. I think that is undeniable in light of "Passing the Heavenly Gate", his blog over the last couple of years, how he handled the disciplinary council, his posting of everything online, his claims about his conversations (like the one in the post), etc. Again, I have zero confidence that he is being objective and honest - and the quote that concerns you simply is not consistent with the messages that have been coming from the top church leadership.

I don't believe him - plain and simple, because the evidence I have seen from both sides (the top leadership and him personally) doesn't support his conclusions. I have no idea if his Stake President said that, and I have no reason to believe he didn't - and I certainly know there are local leaders who would say something like that. It just isn't consistent with everything Bro. Snuffer said about that same man in every comment he made about him prior to that moment - so, if he did say it, I agree it probably was out of deep frustration and "in the spur of the moment" and not delivering a message from above.

More personal opinion, but I will be totally open here:

I see Bro. Snuffer, right now, as an agent of conservative, fundamentalist apostasy. He yearns for the days of Joseph, and he appears to want everything to go back to those days. He talks as if every change has been a result of rejecting God - and, by implication, that includes polygamy and, possibly, the Priesthood ban (since it appears he believes it started with Joseph). The active members I know who are the most strident supporters of Bro. Snuffer (and I know it's a limited sample), seem to be almost exclusively conservative hardliners - with the others being ex-mormons and disaffected members who have latched onto him as part of their cause.

I don't know the man personally, and I've heard he is a very compelling speaker, but every red flag possible has waved as I've studied him and his situation.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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nibbler
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by nibbler » 10 Dec 2013, 10:48

Thanks for the insight. He's not a topic of interest at all in this area, I just came upon bits and pieces of the story and thought I'd ask.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
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Jazernorth
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by Jazernorth » 10 Dec 2013, 11:51

So, I'm a bit niave on this. Who or what is Denver Snuffer?

Sorry, I just have no idea. I searched on Google, but I find lots of references to "Denver Snuffer".
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by Jazernorth » 10 Dec 2013, 12:00

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness!
I will fight for all of them, will you join me?
http://www.jaynorth.net

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nibbler
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by nibbler » 10 Dec 2013, 12:07

Yes.
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
— Rumi

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mackay11
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by mackay11 » 10 Dec 2013, 13:24

nibbler wrote:No longer being content with remaining in limbo any longer I've been reading and pondering quite a bit over the last few months in an attempt to establish what I do believe. During that process I ran across the story of Denver Snuffer.

Full disclaimer, I have not read his book and I haven't dedicated a lot of time on studying out his situation. Each case is individual and only the parties involved know all the specifics. The only reason I created this thread was to better understand a statement recorded in his appeal letter. A statement that hit me like a dagger in the heart.

Bolded section for added emphasis:
When we met again he said it didn't matter what anyone thought of the book because it was "faith destroying." I responded that there were actual people whose faith had been rescued and whose activity in the church had revived because of reading it. He responded to me: "What makes you think the church is interested in having such people anyway?" I took that response to be coming (as everything else) from higher up.
I don't necessarily agree on his interpretation that the bolded portion of the quote was coming from higher up (above the SP level in this instance). Given the lengthy interactions between Snuffer and his SP I'm willing to accept that the statement may have been made out of frustration. In other words the SP was tired of having to "deal" with this brother and was "shooting from the hip" with his statement.

Note that the bolded portion of the quote doesn't refer to Snuffer, but refers to people whose faith had been rescued. Years ago my faith fell like a house of cards, I've only recently been trying to rebuild. I don't think I can go back to believing things like I believed them before. My faith has to evolve to rationalize remaining active in the church. Will this evolution make me become something the church would not welcome? Something or someone that the church feels better off without?

I'm not out there trying to change people's beliefs or to mold them to my way of thinking. If I ever started to feel like I was playing the role of wolf in sheep's clothing I hope I'd have the presence of mind to remove myself from the situation. I'm really at a point in life where I want to help others meet their own spiritual goals regardless of creed. If someone is TBM then I'd want to help them to get as much enjoyment as possible out of being TBM.
I think I'd be more inclined to take Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Holland at their word. I'd never heard of Denver Snuffer until his discipline hit the boards. I don't know enough to comment in detail, but it seemed like a bit of a drama that was blown up for publicity.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Dec 2013, 17:39

I had the same thought -- I'd take the words of Uchdorft over Denver Snuffer. Uchdorft made it clear there's room for non-traditional believers or doubters.
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Orson
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Re: Observation on the Denver Snuffer's appeal

Post by Orson » 10 Dec 2013, 19:14

nibbler wrote:My faith has to evolve to rationalize remaining active in the church. Will this evolution make me become something the church would not welcome? Something or someone that the church feels better off without?
I just wanted to answer this question directly. The church does not care about specific details of your personal faith, the church only cares about how you influence, direct, or lead others. If you start trying to steer other members to be in direct opposition to what the church teaches "then we will have a conversation" is how I think Elder Holland put it.
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