Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Passing the Heavenly Gift/Conclusion

Table of Contents

Response to Passing the Heavenly Gift

A FairMormon Analysis of: 'Passing the Heavenly Gift', a work by author: Denver C. Snuffer

Passing the Heavenly Gift: Conclusion[1]

High road to apostasy

I will give you one of the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom. It is an eternal principle that has existed with God from all Eternity that that man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly that that man is in the high road to apostacy and if he does not repent will apostatize as God lives[.]
—Joseph Smith, Jr.[2]

In sum, PTHG’s history is both selective and dubious. Where does all this lead the author?

"Proud descendants of Nauvoo"

Snuffer seems almost obsessed with the fact that current Church leaders are largely descended from those of the Nauvoo era. “The proud descendants of Nauvoo,” he grumbles, “who have always retained control of the church’s top leadership positions, claim to hold all the keys ever given to Joseph Smith. They teach that they can bind on earth and in heaven. They are the ‘new Popes’ having the authority the Catholic Pope claims to possess” (303, see also 66, 263). “The idea of men holding God’s power is what led to the corruptions of Catholicism,” (37) and “[w]hen it is believed a man can bind heaven, then it is believed that salvation is available by and through that man” (263).[3] This grousing about lineage is a constant refrain:

  • “Ever since the expulsion of church members from Nauvoo, the highest leadership positions in the church have been held by Nauvoo’s proud descendants” (113);
  • “The proud refugees from Nauvoo and their descendants have always claimed they succeeded in doing all that was required” (381).
  • “If [my] new view of history is more correct than the narrative offered by the proud descendants of Nauvoo….” (420, see also 116, 118).
  • “the Nauvoo saints and their proud descendants would necessarily diminish. This view is unlikely to ever be accepted by a church whose leadership is filled overwhelmingly by those same proud descendants of Nauvoo. There hasn’t been a single church president without Nauvoo ancestors” (119).

It is difficult to escape the impression that on some level, Snuffer resents not having opportunities in Church leadership. He berates members, claiming that “We envy those who fill leadership positions because we want the power granted through priestly office and position” (415). I do not think most Latter-day Saints of my acquaintance envy leaders, or lust after power. One wonders if Snuffer is projecting his own struggles onto others. He lists his Church callings in the books he sells.[4] As a convert to the Church, one wonders if he feels unjustly boxed out of the leadership positions that purportedly go almost exclusively to “the proud descendants of Nauvoo,” since “Church leaders at the highest levels…most often [have] family ties to other church leadership. Almost all Apostles and members of the First Presidency are related by blood or marriage” (209). He invokes the figure of the prophet Samuel, who “was called by God. Although he was not of the chosen family, he received the prophecy. Through him, God condemned the family of Eli, foretelling their destruction” (306).[5] The analogy is hardly a veiled one. The autobiographical element in many of his claims is not subtle:

[In] the] Dispensation of Moses, …there were two traditions that operated independent of one another. The one was official and priestly. The other was unofficial and prophetic. The priestly tradition held recognized office, and could be easily identified. The other was “‘ordained by God himself,”’ and those who possessed it had His word to them as their only credential….They were not merely regarded as unofficial. They were persecuted by both the leaders and followers of the official religion. They suffered for their testimony of the truth….[I]n every dispensation the truth taught in purity must come from unheralded, questioned and reviled sources. Therefore, those who obtained this higher priesthood during the Dispensation of Moses were denounced, rejected and almost always came from outside the recognized hierarchy….The ‘line of authority’ consists of only one: God. (292, 296).

Snuffer seems to have almost returned to the Baptist upbringing of his youth—he has concocted a kind of LDS priesthood of all believers (19). His model does the Protestants one better, however, since only the elect, the truly saved—those whose calling and election is sure, those who receive priestly power from beyond the veil—have any real power or priesthood authority.

Snuffer discusses a change to the LDS temple ceremony:. “As long as [these elements] remained as a part of the ceremony,” he says, “it was clear to those who participated that there were no mortal sources who could claim they were ‘true messengers’. Mortal men were universally depicted as false ministers in the ceremony Joseph restored. The only source of true messengers was God or angels sent by Him” (276, italics added).[6] But, if this is true, that rules Snuffer out as a true messenger, since he too is mortal.

“Unless the Spirit witnesses to the truth, or an angel comes bearing unmistakable signs, no teaching should be accepted” he says elsewhere (340). So, perhaps mortals can be true messengers if the Spirit bears witness? But if so, why does he complain when members bear testimony that the Spirit has borne witness of the reality of President Monson’s calling (488–489)?[7] In all this, the intent and effect is clear—to disqualify the prophets and apostles by any means necessary, and to insist upon Snuffer’s bona fides.

Snuffer announces his excommunication for apostasy

On 11 September 2013, Snuffer announced that he had been excommunicated for apostasy.[8] He reported that the Church’s action resulted from his publication of Passing the Heavenly Gift. The book was the subject of a letter from his stake president, which Snuffer posted on-line prior to his excommunication. His stake president writes, in part:

The issue for consideration to [your] disciplinary council is whether the continued publication of Passing the Heavenly Gift constitutes an act of apostasy and, if so, what the appropriate remedy should be....
Denver, I am not anxious to chase people out of the church. My goal is the opposite--to enable all to enjoy the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have tried to be open minded about the issues we have discussed. I am sympathetic with those who face crises of faith.
I cannot deny, however, the spirit's influence on me and the responsibilities I have to protect the interests of the Church. I have tried to persuade you that PTHG is not constructive to the work of salvation or the promotion of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The book's thesis is in direct conflict with church doctrine. In your effort to defend the restoration, you have mischaracterized doctrine, denigrated virtually every prophet since Joseph Smith, and placed the church in a negative light. The book is a misguided effort to [p. 2] attempt to bridge the gap between the church and its dissidents. PTHG will never be the solution to hard questions that you believe it is. Like every other such effort, it will attract only the attention of those whose spiritual eyes, ears and hearts are obscured from the truth. Your work pits you against the institution of the church and will lead to the spiritual demise of you and your family.[9]

Having read the book, I can vouch for the accuracy of this summary. Snuffer’s attitude toward the counsel he was given is made obvious both by his decision to post it, and his later comments:

  • “I do not want [my audience] to attend [my speeches] thinking all is well between me and the powers in control of the church.”
  • “The church must act in accordance with one law, and I must act in accordance with another for the purposes of the Lord to be fulfilled.”
  • “Right now, I don't think [Stake] President Hunt thinks he has any other choice. He probably doesn't. That is fine. I bear no ill will toward him or any other member of my stake. No one gets ahead in the institution by disregarding instruction from above. Actually, I do the same. However, for me, ‘above’ has little to do with 47 East South Temple and the institution is not where I expect any future. I try to help the church regardless of its opinion of me. I simply have no axe to grind no matter the outcome on September 8th [the date of the disciplinary council].”[10]

"The authorities are to be respected and sustained,” Snuffer writes early on, later adding, “It is not the responsibility of church members to judge church authorities” (28–29, 422). But, when those authorities instruct him, he lashes out:

  • “a temporary, corporate organization that is owned by a sole individual, which IS The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints won't survive beyond the veil. There you leave behind your money. You can't buy or sell in that better place. Since I've been there already, the turbulence here is of little moment to me.”[11]
  • “the book brings to light the [B]abylonian methods church leadership uses to make rapid and dramatic changes. We are not now the same church restored by Joseph Smith. Passing the Heavenly Gift shows how that happened.”[12]

Disdain for rank-and-file members

Snuffer claims he wants to help members (467),[13] but his attitude toward those who disagree is best described as contemptuous. His tone is more off-putting because of the air of sanctimony that attends some of his text—Snuffer dispenses homilies on what true religion and real belief are about: “Real saints always appreciate anything the Lord condescends to give them. They are never ungrateful, impatient, or demanding. They qualify by patience and obedience to receive more. Then they petition in humility and gratitude to receive moreit” (308). He paints himself as the long-suffering, respectful martyr, and says that his stake president told Snuffer and his children that he is “worthy of a temple recommend.”[14] Snuffer emphasizes to his children that he sustains his bishop and stake president.[15] However, he refuses to attend his disciplinary council if his children cannot attend. He left his council without learning of its decision.[16] He will not honor his leaders’ instructions to cease teaching that which Church leaders have declared to be false doctrine, and only days earlier was jabbing Church leaders in Salt Lake:

I'm not sure if that meets the requirement for "repentance" in this current predicament, but that's what I can do. If the church wants to make me another offer, then let the stake president know and I'm sure he'll pass it along. Given how little time remains I thought I'd skip the middleman and put this up here because you guys downtown read this blog (as we can tell from the blogmeter).[17]

Actions speak louder than mere words. “It is not for me to say,” he observes piously, “when such a line [to priestcraft] has been crossed” (211). But he has said it and implied it over and over again, and continues to do so.

Thus his irenic pose is frequently undercut by his switch to caricature and attack upon members and leaders of the church for not measuring up to his standards (all while denying that this is what he is doing):[18]

  • “When [the temple ritual] becomes a substitute for actually receiving the heavenly gift offered by the Lord, it can make those who participate think they are better than others who cannot” (287);
  • “The saints still claim we fulfilled everything required by the revelation in January, 1841 (Section 124). …According to their account of the historical narrative, all is well in their Zion. They intend to build Zion some day, when they get around to it” (303);
  • “The gentiles[19] will be prideful, taught by false teachers, and learning false doctrine….False religions offer everything but worship of Christ. They will use good ideas, virtues, even true concepts as a distraction to keep followers from coming to Christ.[20] The way to prevent souls from receiving redemption is to distract them….So long as they are kept occupied with hollow virtues and sentimental stories they cannot come to Christ, enter His presence, and gain salvation. The stories urged by false teachers are filling, but not nourishing to the soul” (336–337).
  • “We have moved further away from Zion since the time Joseph Smith was Prophet…until [the Lord] sends someone who can teach what is necessary…we will continue to lose light, discard, truth, forget what is expected, and dwindle in unbelief” (402)
  • “The gentile church will be secure with false teachings that tell them Zion is intact. Everything is fine. The power to redeem, to bind on earth and in heaven is with them. Zion is prospering and enjoys God’s favor. There is no need to repent and return to Christ, because everything is well with the church. But these ideas are not only false, they come from the devil….” (338).
  • “…the gentiles will console themselves with the thought that ‘there is no hell,’ instead only varying degrees of glory. InN the end all will be saved to some state of glory. Repentance can be postponed. So, also, can study of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no hurry….Follow the broad mainstream of the institution, and all will be given in? the Lord’s own time as we are prepared to receive more” (339).

As is so often the case, Snuffer’s self-appointed jeremiad mixes truth with error. He warns about the very real risks of mistaking mere sentimentality for the Holy Spirit, but in the next breath implies that the current church (“the gentiles”) all make the mistake: “[t]he effect of the Holy Ghost is not sentimental. Moving someone to tears or thrilling them is a false emotional tool, employed by storytellers, writers, film makers, and composers. The gentiles could avoid errors if they had the Holy Ghost. But they confuse sentiment for the gift” (340).

Snuffer is perhaps most offensive when he decides to attack mainstream members’ testimonies or expressions of belief.:

  • “each week these gentiles will declare to one another ‘I know the church is true’ as a mantra to console them. Yes, ‘All is well’ with this imitation Zion” (339).
  • In Mormon “testimonies” each Fast Sunday for many years now…Mormons praise the church president by reciting a mantra. (“I know President Monson is a prophet of God” and also confirming “I know the church is true.”) Seldom does Christ’s name get mentioned in Mormon testimonies anymore, other than as an appendage to the “testimony” confirming the exalted status of the president of the church, and the truthfulness of the church itself. The church has become a substitute for Christ, and in that sense has become the modern idol of the gentile church, just as Nephi, Christ, Moroni, and Joseph Smith predicted (488–489).

Snuffer’s witness and claims, then, are to be praised and accepted. Others’ testimonies are to be ridiculed. I think it a pernicious slander to claim that Christ’s name is “seldom” mentioned in Mormon testimonies. Perhaps Snuffer’s ward is some type of anomaly. But, one cannot reason with this kind of blind prejudice. He will notice only those things which prove his point, even if they are exceptions rather than the rule, or only in the observer's jaundiced eye.

Disdain for modern apostles

The misrepresentation and criticism is also prelude and justification for the disdain Snuffer exhibits toward the modern apostles. He sometimes tries, I think, to hide it, but it tends to show itself anyway.[21] His attitude is perhaps best summarized by his chapter title, “Prophets, Profits and Priestcraft.” (185). Apostles are chosen, he insists, because of “proven management talent,” (209) and “[t]alented business, civic, and education backgrounds, according to leader’s [sic] own explanations, outweigh religious backgrounds” (210). “In place of prophecy and revelation, church management focused on an effort to gain uniformity and control” (241).

He thus refers to the Church’s current leaders as “modern administrative Apostles” (61):

Today, testimonies of the presiding authorities, including the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve, assert only vaguely they are ‘”special witnesses” of the Lord…. A great number of active Latter-day Saints do not notice the careful parsing [sic] of words used by modern administrative Apostles. They presume a “witness of the name” of Christ is the same as the New Testament witness of His resurrection. The apostolic witness was always intended to be based upon the dramatic, the extraordinary….Without such visionary encounters with the Lord, they are unable to witness about Him, but only of His name (6261).

PTHG also claims that “[t]here are “two different kinds of Apostles....one is an administrative office in the church. The other is a witness of the resurrection, who has met with Christ” (34). Thus, Snuffer sees himself as an “apostle” (and not a mere administrative one either). He repeatedly accuses leaders of the Church of fostering a “cult of personality” (241, 264, 352, 359–360), claiming the prophets believe “they are entitled to the adoration of followers” (359–360). His treatment of Brigham Young and blood atonement is simply vintage anti-Mormonism (132–141).[22] He even has a preemptive warning should disciplinary action be taken against him:

For us [the Church] ]…the coming sifting will be done by the Lord, not by us dividing ourselves into splinters. Of course, the church can judge and reject true believers. If it elects to do so, and to thereby cause a separation, the responsibility for that will lie with the church leaders. Leaders have already been warned about persecuting the saints, as this will result in them forfeiting whatever priesthood remains with them (317).

Snuffer and D. Michael Quinn on David O. McKay

PTHG does some persecution of its own.


Question: Did David O. McKay like to be "recognized, lauded, and lionized"?

It takes a certain talent to transform an account that praises McKay as a “modest, private person,” into an “admission” that McKay “liked” his celebrity

Some claim that David O. McKay "liked his ‘celebrity status’ and wanted ‘to be recognized, lauded, and lionized'."[23]

<onlyinclude>Snuffer quotes D. Michael Quinn: “a First Presidency secretary acknowledged that [David O.] McKay liked his ‘celebrity status,’ and wanted ‘to be recognized, lauded, and lionized’” (349). He cites Quinn’s Extensions of Power volume, which gives as its source a book by secretary Francis M. Gibbons.[24] A check of these references is discouraging, but not surprising for those familiar with Quinn’s methods.[25] The actual text of Gibbons’ volume for the pages cited reads:

[263] The encroachment on [McKay's] private life that celebrity status imposed...was something President McKay adjusted to with apparent difficulty. He was essentially a modest, private person, reared in a rural atmosphere, who at an early age was thrust into the limelight of the Mormon community. And as he gained in experience...as wide media exposure made his name and face known in most households, he became, in a sense, a public asset whose time and efforts were assumed to be available to all. This radical change in status was a bittersweet experience. To be recognized, lauded, and lionized is something that seemingly appeals to the ego and self-esteem of the most modest among us, even to David O. McKay. But the inevitable shrinkage in the circle of privacy that this necessarily entails provides a counter-balance that at times outweighs the positive aspects of public adulation. This is easily inferred from a diary entry of July 19, 1950....The diarist hinted that it had become so difficult to venture forth on the streets of Salt Lake City that he had about decided to abandon the practice. For such a free spirit as he, for one who was so accustomed to going and coming as he pleased, any decision to restrict his movements about the city was an imprisonment of sorts. But the only alternatives, neither of which was acceptable, were to go in disguise or to ignore or to cut short those who approached him. The latter would have been especially repugnant to one such as David O. McKay, who had cultivated to the highest degree the qualities of courtesy and attentive listening.

It was ironic, therefore, that as the apostle's fame and influence widened, the scope of his private life was proportionately restricted.... [347]

Everywhere he traveled in Australia, or elsewhere on international tours, President McKay received celebrity treatment. Enthusiastic, cheering, singing crowds usually greeted him at every stop, sometimes to the surprise or chagrin of local residents. A group of well-known Australian athletes, about a flight to Adelaide with President McKay's party, learned an embarrassing lesson in humility. Seeing a large, noisy crowd at the airport, and assuming they were the object of its adulation, the handsome young men stepped forward to acknowledge the greeting [348] only to find that the cheers and excitement were generated by the tall, white-haired man who came down the ramp after them.

It takes a certain talent to transform an account that praises McKay as a “modest, private person,” (whose privacy and personal convenience suffered because of how unwilling he was to appear rude or short with anyone) into an “admission” that McKay “liked” his celebrity. The original line about being “recognized, lauded, and lionized” is obviously intended to point out that such things are a danger to anyone because they appeal to the ego, and all would be tempted by them—but it is likewise clear that Gibbons does not think that McKay succumbed to that temptation. Snuffer is helping Quinn bear false witness against both McKay and Gibbons.

Snuffer uses similar tactics to distort (210–211) the meaning of Jeffrey R. Holland, “Prophets in the Land Again,” general conference, October 2006. He is credulous, using unreliable sources that reinforce what he wants to believe.

A closed mental system

Snuffer clearly sees himself as one called by God to straighten out Church members, prophets, and apostles.[26] He has created a hermetically closed mental system, in which any disagreement with his ideas is simply evidence that he is correct and fulfilling prophecy. “Prophetic messages can be suppressed, censored or discarded,” he declares without a hint of irony, “They can be ignored or condemned” (273):

We [the Latter-day Saints] claim to hold keys that would allow men filled with sin to forgive sins on earth and in heaven, to grant eternal life, or to bar from the kingdom of God. Using that false and useless claim, we slay the souls of men, thereby committing murder. We are riddled with priestcrafts (414).

Snuffer even manages to persuade himself that a call to reform the Church must come from someone who is not a leader, because Nephi condemns “those who ‘lead’” since Satan “leadeth them away carefully down to hell” (337–338, citing 2 Nephi 28:11–14):

Those who claim repentance is necessary will be accused of looking beyond the mark. They will be thought of as false messengers, with a false message, trying to steady the ark. They will be asked by what authority they preach repentance, because they are not called to lead. However, Nephi condemned those who ‘lead’ because they ‘teach by the precepts of men,’ and not by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, a call to repentance cannot come from a leader. It must come from elsewhere. When it does, the result will be anger, even rage, as Satan stirs up the hearts of men (338).

(If this argument were valid, one could argue that because the Good Shepherd “leadeth me beside the still waters,” one should follow leaders. This is simply sophistry or desperation.) Thus, Snuffer must be believed, because to accuse him of being a false messenger is to fulfill prophecy and to confirm his association with past prophetic figures. Like conspiracy theories, no evidence or argument can penetrate this kind of self-referential thinking. Snuffer claims that the absence of miraculous experiences at the Nauvoo temple proves its bankruptcy—but I do not expect that my having demonstrated that there were miraculous events reported will change his mind (claim #10).

Snuffer repeatedly casts himself in the role of beleaguered prophet, crying in the wilderness:

  • “If any dare to criticize the false Zion and its corrupt teachings, they will be met with anger, even rage (337).
  • “If a gentile follower of this false Zion encounters an inspired view of their own awful state, they can awaken….Unfortunately, that is unlikely because anger and rage at the truth will keep them from seeing it” (339).
  • “The call to repentance will be painful, difficult to bear, and unpopular” (340).
  • “[T]he gentiles will be in a state of awful darkness. They will not know revelation when it comes, and reject it when offered to them. They will say they have a body of doctrine and trusted leaders, and they do not need anything more” (341).
  • “Any voice crying repentance is labeled a dissenter, and their words are condemned and attacked. They are thought to be ‘of the devil.’ By stirring up strife we succeed in making people fear truth. We close our minds, become deaf and blind” (415).
  • “These latter-day gentiles will be unenlightened by the Holy Ghost, rejecting the Spirit’s condemnation of them, and unwilling to receive anything more from God” (342).
  • “As to the messengers sent [after Moses to rebellious Israel]…they all held higher priesthood. Their power and authority came directly from the Lord, not from a priestly hierarchy which perpetuated authority…” (406).
  • “False prophets benefit from their claims. True ones are never popular, and always preach repentance….any time a true prophet is sent, all who reject him become part of ‘the world.’ Those who are of ‘the world’ fail to receive the messengers God sends, preferring the false ones that men admire. The result of their false religion is damnation alongside the liars, adulterers and whoremongers” (409–410).

One is reminded of Carl Sagan’s rejoinder to physics cranks who cry, “They laughed at Galileo, you know!” Replied Sagan: “They also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” One is not automatically right or inspired simply because others disagree.[27]

Now that Snuffer has been excommunicated for apostasy, that too will likely provide him with more evidence that he is right. If others’ testimonies disagree with him, they will be said to be deceived, corrupted, and lacking the true insight that he has been vouchsafed. To reject his “revelation” is to be unwilling to receive more from God.

All this is, to be sure, his privilege. But, Snuffer is not entitled to his own historical data. And, given how wrong he is about those things, one can only hope that he and his audience pause to wonder if he could be equally confused about matters of even greater import. “False messengers always imitate the true ones, claiming to be what they are not,” he warns. “They seek, of course, to deceive the very elect if it is possible” (276–277). This is a caution that cuts both ways—if we let it.

Notes

  1. Portions of this wiki response are based upon Gregory L. Smith, "Passing Up The Heavenly Gift Part 1 Part 2," Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 7 (2103), 181–341. The text here may have been expanded, reworded, or corrected given the nature of a wiki project. References in brackets like this: (xx) refer to page numbers in Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Passing the Heavenly Gift (Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2011).
  2. Joseph Smith remarks made at Brigham Young Dwelling, Montrose, Iowa Territory (Tuesday, 2 July 1839), recorded in Willard Richards Pocket Companion; cited in Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of Joseph Smith, 2nd Edition, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996), 413. See also Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 278. off-site
  3. As he often does, Snuffer gloss of a text or the Church’s teachings is a distortion. In fact, the keys are said to bind “on earth and in heaven,” not to bind heaven (i.e., God) against God’s will (Matthew 16:19, 18:18; D&C 124:93). Surely Snuffer knows this. If such a claim is beyond the pale, then so were the New Testament apostles. Joseph Smith made the same claim, see note 215 herein.
  4. “He has served on the High Council, taught Gospel Doctrine and Priesthood classes for twenty-one years….and instructed at the BYU Education Week for three years” (509). “I have taken assignments as a home teacher, gospel doctrine teacher, ward mission leader and high counselor” (3).
  5. Snuffer also writes that “The family of Eli had filled the Lord’s House with corruption, extortion, and sexual perversion….The end of Eli’s house came in a single day…Thus ended the house of Eli. God’s judgments established Samuel as the new, presiding priest and prophet. When this happened, once again there was a man among the Israelites who could provide what Moses had earlier offered” (305, 307).
  6. I have elided the more specific elements of the temple ceremony, which Snuffer mentions explicitly. Compare note 22 herein.
  7. These sections are examined in detail following note 249 herein.
  8. Denver Snuffer, “Yesterday,” blog post (11 September 2013).
  9. M. Truman Hunt to Denver Snuffer, “Notice of Disciplinary Council,” letter (21 August 2013), 1–2. On-line at Denver Snuffer, “Don't call me. (Yes, that means you too!),” at from the desk of Denver Snuffer blog (23 August 2013), accessed 3 September 2013.
  10. Denver Snuffer, “Current Events,” blog post (26 August 2013).
  11. Denver Snuffer, “Contentment,” blog post (7 September 2013).
  12. Denver Snuffer, “Compliance (So Far As Possible),” blog post (4 September 2013).
  13. “If the church has been condemned, rejected and cursed, it may be a blessing for you. If a new narrative acknowledging this, [comma sic] allows us to avoid inappropriate adoration of men, I may save your soul.” (467).
  14. It is not clear how an accusation that he persists in teaching false doctrine is consistent with the stake president agreeing that Snuffer qualifies for a temple recommend. If Snuffer’s account is accurate, I presume the stake president meant that Snuffer was not charged with “immorality, dishonesty, or some serious moral transgression,” not that his leaders felt they could issue him a recommend. See Denver Snuffer, “Last Night's Family Home Evening - Don't call me,” blog post (9 September 2013).
  15. Snuffer, “Last Night's Family Home Evening - Don't call me.”
  16. Denver Snuffer, “Don’t Know,” blog post (9 September 2013). See also Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Did Mormons boot writer? Church isn’t saying and he doesn’t know,” Salt Lake Tribune (10 September 2013, 9:29 a.m.)
  17. Snuffer, “Compliance (So Far As Possible).”
  18. Compare his written claim that Church “authorities are to be respected and sustained” (28–29) with his attack on prophets and apostles below.
  19. Snuffer’s interpretation requires that “the church restored through Joseph Smith [be] referred to throughout the Book of Mormon as the ‘gentiles’” (331).
  20. It is ironic that this tactic is precisely that adopted throughout by PTHG—true principles are mixed with false claims.
  21. See, for example, the claim that, for him, “instruction from above….has little to do with 47 East South Temple” in note 11 herein.
  22. “Murder was allowed,” reads one representative sentence, “but only when President Young thought it was needed for the salvation of the victim” (223).
  23. Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Passing the Heavenly Gift (Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2011), 348, citing D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power (Signature Books, 1997), 363 ( Index of claims ) Quinn cites Francis Gibbons, David O. McKay: Apostle to the World, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1986), 347, 263..
  24. The citation is from Quinn, Extensions of Power, 363. Quinn cites Francis Gibbons, David O. McKay: Apostle to the World, Prophet of God (Deseret Book 1986), 347, 263.
  25. See note 55 herein.
  26. “I have an assignment given to me I intend to discharge. It is because I love God and therefore love His children. It will cost me a great deal to accomplish that. Not only ire of the organization, but the money I will spend to accomplish the task” – Denver Snuffer, “Contentment,” blog post (7 September 2013).). Such a claim violates D&C 42:11: “it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.”
  27. “The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” [Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain (Random House, 1979), 64.]