In light of recent events, the question of apostasy has risen. Author Denver Snuffer was excommunicated last week Tuesday, Sept 10, 2013, on his 40th year anniversary of his baptism. The details of the situation can be found on his blog. Just google Denver Snuffer Jr. He has left nothing out and includes a scanned copy of the letter issued to him by his stake president. I attended the fireside that he put on in Boise, Idaho and found nothing remotely close to material worthy of excommunication. I have read the book that generated the controversy, and understand the fear that it might cause those who believe that since the gospel is true, the leaders of the church are infallible. His next speaking engagement will be in Idaho Falls, Idaho on Sept 28th and in Logan, Utah on Sept 29th. I plan on making whatever sacrifices necessary to attend all of his events. The subject matter for each event is to disclose the gospel Joseph Smith intended to restore. The main theme being connecting to the heavens.
I have been asked what this means. Denver Snuffer claims that he has been in the physical presence of Christ and was instructed of Him to write the truths he wrote, and to speak on this subject to all who will hear. The blessings that he has obtained from heaven are the kind of treasures that moth and rust cannot corrupt, nor can thieves break in and take away. The membership that he had in the church on earth was given through men who had authority given from God. It is abiding by the law that man has the power to take away that which they have given. However, it is a totally different story when it comes to the power given by the heavens. Which do you think holds more value?
Denver’s response to the entire situation is exemplary of one who sustains the leaders of those who institute and maintain the organization on earth. This morning my girls asked me how all of this will play out since I teach similar principles to my children about making their own ascension. My response was simple. We had discussed the allegory of the olive tree many times before and this was a perfect fit. First, I redefined the different parts of the tree:
- The roots are the gospel (remember Alma likens the word unto a seed- Alma 32. The seed turns into the roots and sprouts the trunk)
- The branches represent the church
- The fruits represent you and I
I constantly teach my children that when we get our moisture from the roots of the tree (the gospel of Christ or the words of Christ), then the fruit is sweet and gathered up unto the Lord of the vineyard. However, if we don’t get our moisture from the roots, the fruit becomes bitter, and the branch from which it came gets cut down and burned.
I clarified that we cannot be led astray when we get our moisture from the roots. For this reason I do what I can to teach the importance of genuine scripture study. It is in the nourishing of the roots that makes us as fruits, sweet. Then the Lord of the vineyard will gather us in and make us His.
I explained that the church is nothing without the gospel of Christ, and that is why heavy emphasis is placed on the study of scriptures in our home. The church exists only to bring souls unto Christ through His gospel. That is found in the words of Christ.
Snuffer was excommunicated from the Church, but everything that I have read about Snuffer says that he belongs to the Church of the Firstborn. It is the gospel of Christ that snuffer is teaching. It might not feel good to those who bear testimony of the church being true. But what he teaches has all the indicators of the gospel of Christ, which is true.