Talking to Angels

By: Mormon Heretic
June 25, 2012

Denver Snuffer

Bonnie has written a really interesting post on whether regular people can have access to angels.  Denver Snuffer was interviewed by John Dehlin on Mormon Stories back in February, and Denver has written a book detailing the steps to go through to receive an angelic visit.  John introduces Denver as a “A Progressive, Fundamentalist, Non-Polygamist Mormon Lawyer Who Claims to Have Seen Christ.”  Rather than recount the entire 2 hour interview, I’ve included the last 20 minutes or so of the interview that deals with this topic.

John, “Let’s end.  I don’t want to end, but time is escaping from us. I want to end, well thanking you for joining us, and I want to end encouraging everyone to check out your blog and your books, again http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com .  You know you’ve sort of—one of the things that people sort of really ask me to interview you about was what we’ve already alluded to, which is the belief that man—you know the bold belief that Joseph started with that you’re now sort of encouraging and interestingly enough, I don’t hear this encouraged as much at church.  But can you talk to us about whatever you’re comfortable sharing about your own experiences with the Divine, and how someone who, in my case, I prayed to ask if the Book of Mormon is true. I couldn’t even get the burning in the bosom I was expecting to get, let alone a visitation from an angel or Christ himself.

So, can you (a) tell us whatever you can about your own experiences, and (b) tell those of us who would still be open and interested in having that type of experience, how we could achieve it even though we’re in an age of increasing secularism, agnosticism, and atheism?  Give us a case for why we should even try, and if so, how it can happen?”

Denver, “You know, it took 170,000 words in the book The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord [through the Veil] to lay the entire plan out and I would commend that book to you, but here—let me just tell a little vignette experience dealing with the topic of the Second Comforter.

I have a friend; he’s a former stake president, a former mission president who had an occasion to be alone with Mark E. Peterson, the member of the Quorum of the Twelve who was considered the doctrinal authority in his day.  It was Mark E. Peterson who was asked to identify all the errors Bruce R. McConkie made in Mormon Doctrine. This was the doctrinal go-to man, and my friend had a chance to be alone with him and while alone with him in a private conversation that he repeated to me, he said he raised the topic of the Second Comforter with Elder Peterson, and Elder Peterson’s response to the inquiry about the Second Comforter was this.

Jesus was sent to the Lost Tribes of Israel. He was not sent to the gentiles.  The gentiles are supposed to be converted through the records of the children of Israel.  ‘I (this is Elder Peterson speaking) am a gentile apostle to a gentile church, and the Second Comforter isn’t available to me.’

Now after my friend told me this story he said, what is your response to that statement?  I said, ‘oh, I would have said, Elder Peterson, in 1 Nephi chapter 14 verse 1 it says that if the gentiles shall hearken to the Lamb of God in that day, that is when the Book of Mormon comes forth, he will manifest himself unto them in word and in power and in very deed.  The limitation in 3 Nephi was not a limitation on gentile access to the Lord, it was a limitation on the Lord’s immediate post-resurrection ministry to go and visit with organized bodies of the children of Israel scattered throughout the globe.  Nephi’s prophecy about our day is saying the purpose of the Lord in our day is to manifest himself in very deed.

Look, I do not believe there is anything extraordinary about me, period. In fact, l would say when it comes to basic human goodness and decency, since I am acquainted with all of the mistakes that I have made over the course of a lifetime, my guess is you John, and your listeners, and most of the people I know and everyone in my ward practically are better people than me.”

John, “You’re not saying that to be false-modest.”

Denver, “No, I’m not.  I’m saying if I have to evaluate myself on a goodness meter, I am as wretched a man as you will ever meet, I practice law, I deal with people’s fights, I have not lived a life that has been free from setbacks, errors, mistakes, and my first temple marriage ended in divorce.  There’s nothing about me that says, hey here’s a guy who has lived a life of such virtue that there’s no question God would want to talk to him.  I am not Joel O’Steen, I am not Thomas Monson, I am not some great person.

But I believed God could forgive me.  I believed God wanted to forgive me, and I believed what Joseph said the scripture teach to be true, and I asked.  Then I followed the process laid out in the book The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord [through the Veil] and eventually on the Lord’s timing and in the Lord’s control, not mine, he did in fact make himself known to me.

Now, that was not the only spiritual encounter I had. Earlier I alluded to the fact that there is always the trickster, there’s always the deceiver, there’s always the darkness before the light.  You have to press through that, because there are forces that want to mislead, deceive and hijack us, and I’m acquainted with those forces as well as with the light and the truth, and I can tell you I don’t believe I am a very good student.  I think—you quoted from the blog where I said angels have instructed me.  I’m not a very good student.  Angels have personalities. Angels are real, sentient beings, and I’m confident there are those who have gone back, returned and reported and said, ‘I don’t know what you see in this guy.’

[John laughs]

Denver, “He’s dumb. Look.  We’re about out of time, but I’ll tell you one incident where I was caught up, I was in the presence of an elderly looking gentleman dressed in a white robe with a white beard who gave me some instruction and I heard what he had to say, and when he finished what he had to say, I was a tourist.  I stood there and I looked around and I noticed that the floor we stood on was transparent, and the wall was transparent, and I’m standing there thinking, ‘why would you go to the trouble of building a wall if you can see right through the wall.  That seems kind of self-defeating.’  And then I noticed there was a painting on the wall, and I thought, “Are you kidding me?  People up here have nothing better to do with their time than to paint paintings?  I thought there would be more of an earthly endeavor.  Why are they doing it up here?’

I’m paying attention to everything except the fact that I’ve just gotten a message, I’ve just gotten instruction, and I’ve got someone standing there waiting for me to ask a question, and I never asked a question.  I’m sure that was unimpressive.  I’m sure that from that angel’s impression of me would have been, “this guy’s a dud.  Why on earth would I be sent to give that message to that man, because there’s not enough to this guy to worry about.’

The Divine and the forces that are out there are not limited to inaccessibility to the masses.  Every one of us had within us the capacity for the transcendent.  Every one of us have within us the ability to reach up to God, and I have faith and I have confidence that if we do it, and if we follow the manner, and I try and outline it in The Second Comforter, that was commended to us, that the success stories are not going to be limited to a Joseph Smith, or a Moses, or an occasional, or a Nephi.  It was meant to be the common experience of mankind.  That is the story you hear in the temple, that is the purpose of the endowment.  You and I are supposed to be prepared in all things to receive individually further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil.  That’s what you’re invited to do, that’s what I’m invited to do, and you’re probably a better candidate than was I, and if God can reach down to someone like me, all the more someone like you.”

John, “So give me, I think we need to have—ok, this is going to be a teaser for next time I interview you…”

[Denver laughs]

John continues, “…where we talk about this more in depth.”

Denver, “Yeah, as if you got a willing participant to the interview this time!  You know, you had to talk me into this.  You think you’re going me back???”

John, “I know, I know. It’s true.  I worked hard at it, but that because a lot of people begged me to interview you.  But let me say this.  Give me five steps to being able to have a Divine experience.  Is it pray, read your scriptures, do your home teaching, go to the temple, pay your tithing?”

Denver, “No, see here.  The best example is the one that I used first in outlining in the book, The Second Comforter. It’s Nephi.  Get Nephi in his context.  What he does is he’s now out into the desert, his father has had this extraordinary series of visions, he’s got this message, and Nephi, like the rest of the family, and the mother was leading the charge on this.  Nephi can’t even believe what Lehi is saying.  He looks at what’s going on, and he’s a skeptic, and Nephi begins by praying.  He says—the words he used are majestic. He says he was visited by the Lord, and that sounds like a huge deal, but it wasn’t at that moment.  It would become so, but the very first step was when Nephi prayed and the Lord visited him by softening his heart so that he was able to believe the words of his father.  That’s the first step.”

John, “Softening your heart.”

Denver, “The first step is reaching the point where you say, you know God I want to believe this.  It’s that Lamanite prayer:  Oh God, if there is a God, and if You are God, you know, make yourself known and I’ll follow you.

We are no longer children.  We are no longer soft-hearted.  We are no longer in the garden talking with God.  We have been cast out into the lone and dreary world.  We are out here where everything about us is acidic, and we have to first say, you know I would like to return.  I would like to go back.  I would like to believe, and the place it began with Nephi was extraordinarily humble, limited, and small.  He simply found the ability to begin to believe.

And then, when he began to believe, it was quite some time, and it required quite a good deal more effort before he was able to get what was something in answer to prayer more than ‘I can believe.’  When he got an answer to prayer, he did what he was instructed to do.  See man is so constituted—you’re made and I’m made exactly of the same stuff.  You have to get an answer from God that is, it has all the substance of gossamer.  It’s just an answer that comes into your mind, into your heart, and then you’ve got to take that and bring it into this concrete world, because the answer to prayer is going to lead you to do something, and it’s when you’re led to do something in this concrete physical world that you transfer from the state of mere belief into the point of having faith.  Because you’ve acted consistent with what you believe God has told you to do.

Nephi did that.  Great things unfold after you begin to believe, when you believe enough to be able to accept an answer, and when you act on that answer and you in this physical world begin to alter what it is you do here to conform your behavior to what you believe to be God’s will, because that will lead you to know that it was of God.  After that, Nephi went through angelic visitations and after angelic visitations he met with the Lord.

Nephi took 40 years to compose his record.  If you read carefully the text, it took him that long to think about it.  When he put it together, he really put it together with an explanation of the process back to God’s presence in mind. The Book of Mormon is a book about coming back into God’s presence.  Joseph Smith’s message is the return to God’s presence.  The temple ordinances, in fact all of the ordinances leading up to the conversation at the veil in the temple that Joseph Smith put down here are an invitation back into God’s presence.  If you’ve got that much affirming that you can be back in God’s presence, then trust it.  Act consistent with it.  Experiment upon it, and let it grow within you.  That’s all that Nephi did.  It’s all that I did.

I don’t think my results are as important as the recognition that that is possible for you, that it is possible anyone.  That’s really the story, connecting you back to transcendent.  Every one of us has something within us that is in fact connected to God that is in fact holy. I don’t care if you’re an atheist.  In your core, there is something Divine that longs for reunification with the Divine, and more so the Divine longs to reunify with it, but we have the freedom to choose, and we have the freedom to exclude, and for the most part we bathe in this acidic environment, but we say, Ah, I’ve been cast out of the garden. That was back in my childhood.  I can’t get back there.  There’s angels and a flaming sword guarding the way.  [Denver chuckles]  And though there may be, they’ll welcome you back if you’ll follow the path.”

John, “Wow!  Alright Denver Snuffer, well I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our conversation today.  I will again refer our listeners to http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com, You know books include The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord [through the Veil], and Passing the Heavenly Gift, among many others.  Please join us at mormonstories.org for further commentary and conversation.  Denver, I hope you’ll come up there and read the comments and respond as you have time.”

Denver, “Oh sure!  Yeah.  But you know, I don’t like doing these things, so don’t suggest Part 2 to me.”  [Denver chuckles]

John, “Ok, ok, we’ll only do it if you feel like if that same Divine source that you encourage us to tap into, if that Divine source happens to suggest that you come on for a second episode of Mormon Stories…”

Denver, “Fair enough.”

John, “..will you do it then?”

Denver, “Yeah, fair enough.

John, “Alright my good brother.

Denver, “Good talking with you.”

John, “Thanks for your time, and we appreciate you coming on to Mormon Stories.”

Denver,”Alright, we’ll see you.”

John, “Goodbye.”

My question is what do you think of Denver Snuffer’s claims?  Were you surprised by Elder Peterson’s remarks?  Do you think apostles follow these steps to receive angels?

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27 Responses to Talking to Angels

  1. Howard on June 25, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    The content of this interview is not supported by my experience except this comment: “…there’s always the darkness before the light.”. My understanding of this is when the veil thins the Holy Spirit respects agency by waiting for you to choose the light, you are left vulnerable to dark spirits until you do, although there isn’t much they can actually do to you unless you can be tricked into cooperating in your own demise.

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  2. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 25, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    Elder Peterson gets quoted for a lot of things. ;)

    That said, it is interesting to compare Nephi and his brothers. The brothers were constant critics of everything that did not fit their enlightened world view.

    Nephi, instead, wanted to understand and experience as his father had.

    That is a huge point. I am still thinking of it in the larger context. Very much.

    Of how criticism may keep us from seeing God.

    Between absorbing Sunday’s posts and today, I have my work cut out.

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  3. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 25, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Though years ago I was asked to give the following talk. http://adrr.com/living/ss_4.htm

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  4. Bonnie on June 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    I have to admit to feeling a healthy academic doubt as I began reading. I still feel that, because I generally distrust experiences that aren’t shared personally and privately because you can feel the speaker’s truthfulness of their own experience more clearly person-to-person, and that seems to invite a more clear perception of what may have happened, if they understood it differently than you might. Being in someone’s presence invites you more intimately into his/her mind than reading crafted text. But I suppose an interview is less crafted. Anyway, I find myself completely amusing in saying that as I did the same thing in writing my post.

    But as I read I was convinced of his sincerity. I find his pathway to the divine believable and replicable and I agree that it is laid out for all of us (though I’m not sure we can expect anything concrete, demand anything of the divine, though that’s certainly in tension with the expectation of receiving). I especially agree regarding the effect that Nephi’s text in the small plates being written 30-40 years after the fact had on his retelling of events.

    It’s obviously not good scholarly work to quote private conversations that are impossible to substantiate, especially on an issue of such sensationalistic potential, but this doesn’t sound like it’s billed as particularly scholarly. I too wonder about Elder Peterson’s quote, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I do especially like this:

    You have to get an answer from God that is, it has all the substance of gossamer. It’s just an answer that comes into your mind, into your heart, and then you’ve got to take that and bring it into this concrete world, because the answer to prayer is going to lead you to do something, and it’s when you’re led to do something in this concrete physical world that you transfer from the state of mere belief into the point of having faith. Because you’ve acted consistent with what you believe God has told you to do.

    Nephi did that. Great things unfold after you begin to believe, when you believe enough to be able to accept an answer, and when you act on that answer and you in this physical world begin to alter what it is you do here to conform your behavior to what you believe to be God’s will, because that will lead you to know that it was of God. After that, Nephi went through angelic visitations and after angelic visitations he met with the Lord.

    and this:

    Joseph Smith’s message is the return to God’s presence. The temple ordinances, in fact all of the ordinances leading up to the conversation at the veil in the temple that Joseph Smith put down here are an invitation back into God’s presence. If you’ve got that much affirming that you can be back in God’s presence, then trust it. Act consistent with it. Experiment upon it, and let it grow within you. That’s all that Nephi did. It’s all that I did.

    I don’t think my results are as important as the recognition that that is possible for you, that it is possible anyone. That’s really the story, connecting you back to transcendent.

    Fascinating interview. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. NewlyHousewife on June 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    I liked this. Gave me a little bit of hope. Though in all honesty, I’m waiting for someone from the 12 to strike him down.

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  6. Jared on June 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I’ve been following Denver Snuffer’s blog. I read his first book and I’m familiar with the others.

    He is a compelling writer and intellect. I hope he is the real deal.

    I’ve been an advocate for those who have had experience with the first or/and second Comforter to appropriately share their experiences: when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32

    I’am concerned with his latest book and wonder why he is getting off message from where he started.

    When I think about Brother Snuffer, I recall something that President Harold B Lee related.

    “I repeat to you here this morning something President Grant once said that rather startled me. He said he had heard of men who declared that they had had a personal visitation from the Lord. And then President Grant added, “Some of those who had that experience lost their testimonies. It seemed that they became puffed up in the pride of their hearts, perhaps thinking that they were more special to the Lord than others who had not received the same experience.” http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6060

    I hope Brother Snuffer will focus on strengthening his brethren and avoid diminishing the Lord’s anointed.

    Time will tell. Meanwhile, I invite all who read my words to live so they can acquire the first comforter, then they will be on their way to the second in the Lord’s time.

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  7. Mormon Heretic on June 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Bonnie, I was definitely interested to hear your perspective. I have purchased his book, but haven’t read it yet. Is this something that can be put down to a formula where anybody can do this? It seems the early saints were much more open to these type of visitations, and I find myself wanting to experience something like this.

    Newly Housewife, I thought the Peterson quote was quite interesting. I’ve been reading a Quinn book, and Quinn makes the claim that early apostles were supposed to have special witnesses, though current apostles are not as required to have these sort of visitations. I too wonder how the Brethren would view this type of book.

    Jared, glad to hear your perspective as well. Which book is Snuffer getting off message? Do you think anyone can have the types of experiences you and Snuffer have experienced?

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  8. Bonnie on June 25, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I echo Jared’s concerns. We always defer to the Lord’s anointed, and I just don’t think much of this should be discussed publicly. I’m torn, because I think the generalities should be widely discussed, the possibility, because this is a beautiful spiritual gift. I think we can all ascribe to Alma 32 as the pattern for development of all spiritual gifts, and that’s about as close to a formula as I would think there is. That’s just me.

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  9. Jared on June 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    #7 MH

    I think Snuffer is off his original message in his last book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve read many reviews and his blog.

    You asked if I think “anyone can have the types of experiences you and Snuffer have experienced?”

    Denver is a light year ahead of me. I’ve never seen an angel or the Savior. I’ve experienced the ministering of angels on several occasions. They spoke to me so I could hear them, just like you and I would communicate, except once a sentence was spoken to me, that was the end of the communication. It wasn’t a conversation.

    I believe that one needs to have the first Comforter before the second Comforter is received.

    I’m convinced that all diligent seekers of the Holy Ghost will have experiences at some level. The scripture speak clearly to that point. I think many members don’t realize how many of their prayers are answered via the HG, but the answers come quietly. If they continue to seek and ask they will have manifestations that will be so convincing they can’t be denied, and eventually they will be converted by receiving a remission of sins by fire and the HG like Enos and others–the first Comforter.

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  10. Mike S on June 25, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    #8 Bonnie: We always defer to the Lord’s anointed, and I just don’t think much of this should be discussed publicly. I’m torn, because I think the generalities should be widely discussed, the possibility, because this is a beautiful spiritual gift

    I’m torn as well. I understand sacred things, etc., but I think things like this are important. Hearing that prophets and apostles don’t even see Christ (or maybe do but don’t talk about it, which is effectively the same) makes it such an unreasonable goal for me that it’s not even worth my time to stress about it. On the other hand, hearing about experiences like this makes me more hopeful that even a schmuck like me might have a chance, and gives me that hope to forge on.

    Maybe it’s just a weakness in me. Maybe if I had true faith, just hearing generalities about maybe being able to see angels might work. But hearing that it is actually and honestly possible makes a world of difference.

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  11. Howard on June 25, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    While I agree with a few things Denver has written there’s just something about this that doesn’t seem genuine or feel right to me and I keep coming back to this line: You know, it took 170,000 words in the book…to lay the entire plan out and I would commend that book to you… Okay, apparently he’s selling books but generally the more that is known about a topic the less is written about it. The simple formula E=MC2 changed the world. 170,000 words? Really? How many new concepts does this book introduce?

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  12. Anonymous for this one on June 25, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Perhaps “the Lord’s anointed” means someone who was anointed by the hand of Christ, Himself. Perhaps, no president of the church since Joseph Smith has had that experience. Perhaps those who gain an audience with the Lord are anointed by Christ. Perhaps Denver Snuffer, being told by Christ to call us to repentance and having been anointed by Christ actually fits the description “the Lord’s anointed” more than any president of the church since Joseph Smith.

    This is not to say the presidents from and including Brigham Young to Pres Monson had/have no right to lead the church as presidents. They were put in by common consent. They have the right to receive revelation for the church as a whole. Just like Caiaphas in Jesus’ time, they have the right to be the mortal leaders they are.

    But Jesus chooses whom He will. Lehi was not a general authority in his time (he wasn’t even a Levite). Jesus was not a general authority; in fact He was at odds with the equivalent of the “general authorities” of His time. Amos was of no consequence. Enoch was someone “all the people hated”. Samuel the Lamanite was not part of the Nephite priestly hierarchy. He may have been part of no hierarchy at all. No one seems to know where Abinadi came from.

    The point is that God does not choose His servants from among the hierarchy unless it fits His purpose (not ours). He doesn’t fight against the established hierarchy as far as I have been able to discern, but He does what He will irrespective of them and their authority to lead an organization.

    If this man (Denver Snuffer) says he saw the Savior and that the Savior told him to write what he has written, we may find ourselves in a place we are not comfortable with if we outright ignore him or mock him or persecute him, just as ignoring or mocking or persecuting Abinadi was not a good idea.

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  13. Anonymous for this one on June 25, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    @ #11, You really need more than can be said in an interview to get the whole message. Borrow the book. Ask if your library has it (he gave it to several libraries, but had no control over whether they kept the books or not). Maybe a friend has it. Some people consider the message so great that they give copies away to interested people.

    But, if you don’t want to buy the book, study the Book of Mormon as if you have never read it before. Shunt to the side everything you have been taught about what it says, everything you think you know it says. Fast, if necessary. Most definitely pray before and after (and during) each study session. Get a spiral-bound notebook and make notes as you study. Analyze. Notice what doesn’t make sense to you. Pay attention to words you skimmed over, but that you really don’t understand. Humility is a must.

    You don’t really need Denver’s book if you study the Book of Mormon, looking for the information. His blog, though, if you read the entries wherein he discusses scriptures, will show you how to analyze scriptures to milk the meaning out of them.

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  14. Howard on June 25, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    AFTO,
    If you feel that strongly about Denver why do you choose to be anonymous to say it?

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  15. Toni on June 25, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Okay, I’m Toni.

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  16. Howard on June 25, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Toni,
    In general I agree with your first two perhaps statements in #12 but having walked in the Spirit since 2003 I can tell you that I am being turned away from this. I wish you the best!

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  17. Steve on June 26, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Having read some from Denver’s books and most of his blog, I feel that he is right on in most of what he says. He has opened the scriptures to my view as perhaps only one other has.

    Steve

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  18. Silhan on June 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    While I agree that we can learn a lot about ourselves by listening to our inner voices, I worry that not everyone has the sense to ignore it when their inner voices tell them to do something that seems fundamentally wrong, such as killing another person in cold blood because “God” has commanded it.

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  19. Toni on June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Howard, I would not want it any other way than for you to walk in what the Spirit is telling you. You know, better than I or anyone else, what the Spirit is telling you.

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  20. NewlyHousewife on June 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Anyone else think the guy looks like Elder Dallin H. Oaks?

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  21. Mike S on June 26, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    What about the idea that we should NOT seek a personal relationship with Christ, that what Denver Snuffer is proposing is wrong:

    There are yet others who have an excessive zeal which causes them to go beyond the mark. Their desire for excellence is inordinate. In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous.

    I say perilous because this course, particularly in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel hobby which creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude. In other instances it leads to despondency because the seeker after perfection knows he is not living the way he supposes he should.

    These are Bruce R McConkie’s thoughts on the subject, as per a BYU speech he gave.

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  22. Jared on June 26, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    #21 Mike S

    I am familiar with this quote and know a little about the reason Elder McConkie gave this talk.

    I was there when Elder McConkie gave this talk. I was sitting near George Pace. Elder McConkie was focusing part of his talk on a book Brother Pace wrote.

    Elder McConkie wasn’t saying we shouldn’t seek the face of the Lord, he was saying that some at BYU were going about it in the wrong way. He emphasized the importance of obtaining the Holy Ghost first, then seek the second Comforter.

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  23. Howard on June 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    I don’t think anything is wrong with having a personal relationship with Christ.  I think the problem is; perfection is not the path, rather perfection in the form of completeness and sinlessness is the *result* of completing the path.  Modern Mormonism is too strongly focused on Old Testament sin avoidance where  perfection is seen as completely overcoming the natural man through obedience, willpower and behavioral change.  Learning obedience and self discipline are certainly valuable lessons but they are just the beginning.  Why is the spiritual epiphany of a mighty change of heart either ignored or squeezed into the sin avoidance model?  They are two completely different things!  The mighty change of heart occurs on the road to enlightenment and it’s time we woke up to that fact.  Christ is our example.  So what does the halo depicted in Christian art represent if it isn’t the aura of his crown chakra?  Christ was clearly enlightened in the eastern sense and if he is our example, that is the path.

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  24. Mike S on June 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    #22 Jared:

    That’s cool. I don’t know anything about what George Pace was talking about.

    I’d be curious as to what the main problem was that Elder McConkie felt he needed to address, and how Pace’s approach is different from what Snuffer is talking about? Do you have any insight?

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  25. Jared on June 27, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    #24 Mike S

    I’ll share some of the things I learned.

    Elder McConkie received criticism for this talk from various quarters. It was rumored that he was cautioned by some of the twelve. I was told by several of the religion faculty that Elder McConkie met with Bro Pace and to sooth feelings.

    It isn’t really clear why Elder McConkie gave the talk other than to respond to some letters he had received from students who were mixed up about how to develop a personal relationship with the Savior.

    Elder McConkie wasn’t sensitive to how devastating his approach was to some on the religion faculty. They were puzzled why an apostle would publicly censure Bro Pace for something that should have been handled privately.

    In addition, some of the doctrine taught in his talk raised eyebrows, namely the ideas that “We worship the Father and him only and no one else.”

    Many thought he down graded that status of the Savior.

    Regarding a comparison between Snuffer and Pace. I don’t see any. Bro Pace never claimed he saw the Savior. He taught that we could come unto Christ to the point that we would have a personal relationship.

    I think its best to study, pray, and ponder the following two scriptures that teach how we can arrive at the point where we will see the Savior. D&C 93:1 and D&C 88:68. Until then, we should do all in our power to acquire the gift of the Holy Ghost.

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  26. chino hills on June 28, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Undeniably consider that that you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the net the easiest factor to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while folks think about concerns that they plainly do not realize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the entire thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

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  27. ajax on July 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    I have read Denver’s Second Comforter, Come Let Us Adore Him, Beloved Enos, Passing the Heavenly Gift and am currently reading Eighteen Verses. In my estimation at the very least, he is a wonderful gospel teacher and has inspired me to greater personal diligence in seeking the Lord.

    He has a very powerful testimony of Christ. He also is very adamant that we stay with the church and follow the brethren despite any misgivings we may have(Passing is all about coming to terms with misgivings and overcoming through powerful personal testimony).

    In any case, I highly recommend his books.

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