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Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 16:21
by startpoor
So, I have been caught in a whirlwind of confusing and contradictory ideas lately. When I had my faith crisis, it was due to the new perspective as told by mainstream mormon studies authors like Bushman, Palmer, Brodie, etc. Basically I learned that there is an alternative version to the history of the church that has been hidden and cleaned up. This lead me to view the church as maybe possibly being some sort of restoration or inspired movement with imperfect leaders and has made me cynical about things I hear in the church.

More recently, however, as I have tried to stay active and look for the good in the church, I have slowly been lead to a series of ideas that are mostly critical about the current corporate governance of the church, which has brought the church away from its mostly pure beginnings. These ideas seem to be from Denver Snuffer. It's a nice idea: that there is a pure form of mormonism that can be followed while taking the church less seriously. That's what I want. But when I reflect on that I'm thinking, wait a minute, the early church wasn't pure, it was rife with magic, polygamy, violence.

Can anyone shed some light? I like the ideas put forth by Snuffer (thought I've read very little of his), but I worry they are simply taking the good and ignoring the bad.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 16:33
by hawkgrrrl
One analogy about the institutional church vs. going it on your own is living in a house you hate vs. being homeless (or conversely, camping out in the open). A good friend on By Common Consent is going to put out an OP this week about the problems with organizational churches that have existed basically since Jesus' death. Very quickly, the Christian church started to become more and more like a corporation. That's the nature of human communities. Whenever people at church say Jesus founded a church, I always think "Not really. Paul seems to have done that. Jesus was an itinerant preacher." But still, a community of believers is in many ways better than eating locusts and honey in the desert wearing a hair shirt. There is power in community.

For my own experience, I like to be in the community but not OF the community. Still my own person. Unconcerned with being a "good Mormon" or being perceived as great within the borders of the community and all their limits, but rather with being a "good person" or a "good Christian," even when that means I am not defending the borders against infidels or being too willing to let free riders hang on. That's my preference.

The other complaints about institutional churches have to do with the administrative decisions that are made. I tend to see these as 100% human, exposing (usually) our leaders' political views and financial assumptions to view. I try very hard to see what they are trying to do in these endeavors without assuming it's literally under the direction of Jesus Christ. The church has investments. Jesus wasn't a day trader.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 17:22
by Curt Sunshine
There is an older thread here about Denver Snuffer. The consensus here is not positive or supportive of him, frankly.

"Observation about Denver Snuffer's Appeal" (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4910&hilit=snuffer)

If you want to comment on that thread and bump it up for more discussion, go ahead.

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 18:02
by cwald
I don't think it is fair to compare Palmer to Snuffer.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 18:20
by Curt Sunshine
I don't think it is fair to compare Palmer to Snuffer.


I agree.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 18:28
by mercyngrace
Mr. Richard,

One of my favorite non-LDS Christian speakers/theologians said "The church is a whore - but she's our mother." The scriptures bear this out. Time and again the bride goes a-whoring with idols and false gods. Time and again, the Bridegroom promises restoration and reconciliation.

Hosea is one of my favorite books of scripture in this regard.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 17 Feb 2014, 18:46
by Curt Sunshine
This is a great example of why I have a friend crush on mercyngrace.

That's all.

Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 18 Feb 2014, 06:31
by Cadence
I grew up in a household where it was believed the early church was good and the current church was going astray. I fought that idea so I could fit in my ward. Then on my mission I came to believe my parents were idiots for the things they believed. Then latter in life I realized the current church is full of less than honest dealings. Point being there was no grand time in Mormonism that everything was perfect. If you go searching for Pure Mormonism you may be disappointed.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 18 Feb 2014, 08:34
by Orson
Cadence wrote:If you go searching for Pure Mormonism you may be disappointed.
I agree if you go searching for a pure time period in Mormon history you will be disappointed. If however you go searching for the "pure" principles that have been expressed in Mormonism through the ages you may just find a few nuggets of gold.

Re: Denver Snuffer vs. Grant Palmer

Posted: 19 Feb 2014, 06:39
by mercyngrace
Thanks Curtis ;) The friend crush is mutual. LOL.


Orson - you said exactly what I was thinking. The most beautiful principles (to me) in Mormonism are also in early Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy. Others are in nearly every faith. I have such holy envy for many other faith traditions but find myself drawn time and again to the same core principles that fill my life with light and hope. That these principles are a part of Mormonism is a primary reason I stay.