I write posts for this blog. And when I do I know and accept the fact that whatever I write can be picked apart and disagreed with right here next to my words. I like that. It isn’t because I like contention. I don’t. I like it because it helps us all to learn. Anything that is true can be seen as truth even when opposing information/ideas are viewed also.
Now you can comprehend and feel the truth of that simple concept. And other people can also. So when I read a blog which deals with spiritual and religious matter and there are no comments I wonder. Then I realize the author does not allow comments. Do they understand what I just wrote? Yes they do. And here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
This was the experience I had when I visited Denver Snuffer’s blog. I tried to comment and yet nothing is ever allowed to be seen by his audience. Why does he not allow comments?
The writer is like a magician, the modern trickster type not the worker of spiritual powers. The magician literally sets the stage so he can make the audience “see” what he wishes them to see. He spends many hours perfecting his illusion. His audience comes prepared only to receive a show. They have not taken the time to study all the ways the magician can produce effects which seem supernatural.
So it is with a post on religion. The writer has taken the time to build a structure which he presents as inclusive and grounded in truth. He spends time to make it believable. The reader might require hours, days or even weeks to find the flaws in the author’s post. And many readers will never actually see the lies for what they are. But if comments are allowed then there are those who know the scriptures and truth well enough to reveal the deception.
If it was just a magic show no harm is done. If you are speaking of the things of God and putting forth an idea as truth when it is actually deception it is a serious crime against your readers. True followers of God and Jesus do not do such a things.
I have praise for this LDSA site where people feel free and are free to disagree with anything they read here. I like this because I like the truth to be known.
There can be lots of excuses for not allowing the comments on your post be seen. But I believe they are all false. A writer could say, “I don’t want to foster contention.” You mean the way God fosters contention by giving everyone a mind and a mouth? So you believe that preventing others from expressing their ideas is being righteous?
What if I said, “There will be no commenting on this post.”? I think some one would be asking LDSA to revoke my status as contributor. In any case it is prideful. Yes Jesus did take and answer questions. Yes there were times when he challenged them to answer his question first or gave them an answer which defied their understanding. In this way he pointed out that they were not being honest in their questions or with their audience.
So in the spirit of pointing out truth and arming you against being deceived by a trickster posing as a man of God I take exception with a post I read from the desk of Denver Snuffer.
This is the post I read.
It was posted July 1st of 2012 and is entitled The Lord Delights in Chastity. A little background on Denver Snuffer. A web page called Mormon Podcast Stories says of him, “Denver Snuffer – A Progressive, Fundamentalist, Non-Polygamist Mormon Lawyer Who Claims to Have Seen Christ.” Well you can see he is getting some accolades and surely he has a following. He has written a few books about gospel subjects with titles like The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil and Passing the Heavenly Gift. I understand he is an active member of the LDS church.
If Mr. Snuffer allowed comments I would have addressed the issue there. But in studying this circumstance I have found a communication to us from the scriptures which I believe will help counter the lies perpetrated by Mr. S. This post maybe faulted as if all I am doing is trying to tear someone down. But if it is a sin to point out a lie when it is seen then I am going to sin. I write this that the truth may be known.
I had read parts of posts by Mr. Snuffer and thought some of what he said made sense. I became aware of this post when it was shared on FB. So when I read it I was stunned.
It is about polygamy. Mr. S quotes scripture and makes reference to historical events. But the scriptures which are left out and the facts of history which are left out create a deception for the readers. After he places this misinformation in the reader’s mind he then demonizes those who practice polygamy. And the icing on the cake is he uses fear to motivate his readers to not even think about acting on the principles of plural marriage. So misinformation, false accusations and fear are the cards played in his post. If you recognize those tactics then you know who the real author of this post is.
I will go over what I am talking about briefly. You can read the post yourself and see if I am telling the truth.
There are only two quotes from the scriptures in the entire post. Both in the first paragraph. And both are from Jacob chapter two. If you talking about polygamy and only quote two scriptures and they are from Jacob 2 you are not trying to communicate the truth. You are trying to lead your audience astray. This is exactly what Mr. S did. He said that Jacob’s sermon condemns taking multiple wives. In any one’s mind the term “taking multiple wives” and “practicing plural marriage” would mean the same thing. How can a prophet of God condemn that which God does not condemn? We could spend a lot of time talking about what Jacob chapter 2 says about polygamy and it has already been done right here on this blog. Justin can get you the reference. Thanks Justin. But suffice it to say the first paragraph is a communication calculated to deceive. So one paragraph one lie.
In the post Mr. S uses the following terms to describe the practice of polygamy by those other than Joseph: promiscuity, indiscriminate breeding, exploitation of women, abomination, whoredom, adultery, fornication, gratification, vanity, and foolishness. Well bashing plural marriage in that way is very popular in the LDS crowds these days. It is also very popular to do this among the famous and well loved of the world. Interesting how the LDS church and Idumea now have the exact same view on this subject. If you want to be in good standing with the governments of the world and well liked by the world you better be against polygamy. And Mr. S is totally against polygamy.
In the second paragraph Mr. S states that David lost his exaltation by offending the law of plural marriage. Really? Wow, how is that possible? The unpardonable sin is clearly defined in section 132:27 and it must include as part of it the shedding of innocent blood. David shed innocent blood when he had Uriah murdered to cover up David’s violation of Uriah’s marriage with Bathsheba. If David had just been intimate with Bathsheba and offended the law of plural marriage he could have repented and not lost his exaltation. Case in point Solomon did offend the law of plural marriage by taking wives which God did not want him to take. And yet the scriptures do not state that Solomon lost his exaltation. Okay paragraph 2 lie number 2. You will find that Mr. S is very consistent in that practice, lying that is.
In the third paragraph Mr. S communicates the idea that very often murders and violence are the fruit of those who live plural marriage. No percentages or numbers used he just states it as if it were common knowledge. Yes there are a few small sects of polygamists where violence and murder occurred. Do I hear you saying those LDS fundamentalist are not small groups? They might be seen as big in Utah but compared to the world population of Muslims, 2.1 billion (Christians in this estimate were 2 billion) the Utah polygamists are miniscule. Even if only 1 Muslim in 1000 practiced polygamy that would be 2 million people. The point is the groups where murder has taken place are by no means representative of people who live polygamy in the world today nor in the past. The words of Mr. S in this paragraph are just sensationalism. This communication is also calculated to deceive so I say he is 3 for 3 so far.
There is one more bit of misinformation that I will mention. Mr. S makes it seem as if Joseph Smith barely even practiced polygamy at all. He said Joseph’s plural wives were “governmental”. “Governmental”? What is Mr. S alluding to? Perhaps he is trying to make us believe that Joseph Smith was like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt polygamy was allowed but not practiced much by the common folk since in their slave state economy they couldn’t afford more than one wife. However the Pharaohs did have multiple wives as a way of building ties to other kingdoms or ensuring an heir. So what is Mr. S saying? Is it that Joseph was a step above all other converts to the restored gospel, that he was one of the elites like the Pharaohs, designated to build up God’s family on the earth? Well here is the quote. You decide. “For Joseph, the multiple wives were governmental, sealed to him to construct the family of God on earth. Tying together lines of what was to be a single family, with himself as the patriarchal father of a new branch of the Family of Israel.”
I think that is exactly what Mr. S would have us believe, that Joseph viewed himself as one of the elite chosen by God to do things that if other men did it would be “a matter of lust and physical gratification.”
That is arrogant and completely contrary to the ways of God and at odds with the historical record. And I for one want the record to show that I testify that Joseph Smith had no such arrogance nor ever set a hypocritical double standard for himself. Mr. S passes on the lie that plural marriage was supposed to be for just a few select super righteous people. Yeah? So how does this work? Maybe it was just for those who claim to have had a vision of Christ or have written books.
Now you might be thinking that Mr. S did not demonize everyone who practiced polygamy as I said earlier because he didn’t demonize Joseph. Or maybe you were thinking about that strange episode of Teletubbies, hey let it go, they were all strange. But Mr. S did demonize even Joseph’s practice. He knows what he has passed on does not endear anyone to Joseph. It makes Joseph out as a hypocritical elitist. It causes division and malice between people. Surely it is that spirit of superiority which was the cause of murder among those mentioned.
But the truth is God is no respecter of persons. All are alike unto Him. If God commanded Joseph to practice it then He can just as easily inspire any man to practice it. And if it is inspired of God it is just as covenantal and sacral, and would not involve indiscriminate breeding of multiple women. Mr. S is not rehabilitating Joseph or helping him come clean. He is building a perversion of the real Joseph and placing a false concept into his mouth. Did Joseph deny practicing polygamy? You bet he did! If he had not they would have killed him even faster than they did. And there is no doubt that it was because Joseph did teach others his belief in plural marriage even polyandry that he was arrested and then killed while in jail. But what Joseph taught in private and we have to this day in the historical and scriptural records is the opposite of what Mr. S is leading people to believe.
Enough of discussing here what came from the left brain of Mr. S. You can read it yourself and if you are honest about it you will see that after the misinformation comes the accusations and then the fear mongering.
I now will talk about comes to us from the right brain of God and those He inspired to practice plural marriage. This is information which Mr. S did not want his readers to think about.
Many of you know about the split brain concept explained on this blog. It is here.
If you have not read it I suggest you do. You won’t be sorry for the time you invest to learn this concept.
The left mind uses words to communicate. That is it’s forte and its weakness. Language is not real life. It is abstract symbols used to convey meaning. It can not convey full reality. The right brain has no abstract symbols for written or verbal language. The right brain communicates in imagery, emotions and actions. In the scriptures we don’t have the full record of events and scriptures are all written so they are left brain communications. But what we do have is very significant and by looking not at what was said or written about plural marriage but at the actions of the people who practiced it and God’s reaction to those actions we have a non verbal right brain communication.
God spoke to a man and established his covenant with this man, Abraham. Abraham lived plural marriage. The promise of a numberless posterity and all the other promises of God to this man are being fulfilled. And it is not true that all people who have lived have an ever growing posterity. This is demonstrated in the last few paragraphs of the post.
We have no record of Isaac, Abraham’s birthright son as having more than one wife. Isaac had born to him twin sons and he favored the older over the younger. And yet Isaac’s wife had revelation that the younger was to be the birthright son. As the years went by the older son did not value God’s ways yet Isaac did not of himself reconsider who should be the birthright son. To his credit after Isaac had been tricked into giving the younger son the birthright blessing Isaac though blind began to see the light. So on the whole the record supports believing that Isaac may not have listened real closely to what God was saying. Or at a minimum for whatever reason God’s purposes had to be fulfilled through Rebecca, Isaac’s wife rather than Isaac being open to receive the inspiration. Isaac was not condemned but neither has he been highly praised by God. And again we don’t even know for sure that Isaac did not have other wives.
God established his covenant with Jacob, Abraham’s grandson. Jacob had 4 wives. Jacob was highly favored of the Lord and all the faithful people of God have been invited into a tribe named for this man, Israel.
For the next 400 years we have no record of plural marriage as being outlawed by God. Yet we are given the account of a person born in the house of Israel nearly 400 years after Israel finding fault with polygamy. It is noteworthy that she had been born and raised in the state sponsored slavery of Egypt. This person was Miriam, Moses’ sister by birth. She found fault with Moses specifically because he had two wives. He had married an Ethiopian woman and also married Zipporah daughter of Reuel (also known as Jethro Priest of Midian). The Lord stated that he did not like Miriam finding fault with Moses and smote her with leprosy. She was healed after she withdrew the fault finding. Moses was praised by God as being like unto the only begotten. He was given the privilege of not tasting death but being translated and remained in his body to appear to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. God has highly praised Moses ever since.
Children of Israel under the Law given to Moses
Moses’ life in Egypt and among the people of Midian was all done prior to the Lord altering the covenant to be under the law given to Moses. And yet even under that second law given through Moses God did not call polygamy an abomination or a whoredom. The opposite of condemning it God made it a practice that if a man’s brother died he was to take the widowed sister in law as a wife, in addition to his other wife/wives. That established the practice of plural marriage as widespread and not requiring any case by case special dispensation for its practice. The children of Israel for all their folly were loved and succored by God for 1500 years and much like the remnant of the Lamanites (who by the way also practiced and many still practice plural marriage) the blood descendents of Jacob have been promised to be restored to righteousness in the last days.
Jacob’s in laws and Esau thrown in for good measure
But speaking of not requiring any special dispensation let’s look more closely at Jacob’s experience. Jacob was sent to live among his mother’s family because they were followers of God. This was to help ensure he married in the covenant. Unlike his brother Esau who married women from families who did not follow the ways of God as taught to Abraham. And yet even Esau had three wives (one of the wives might have been from a covenant people family in an attempt to please his parents. I couldn’t be sure and didn’t spend the time to verify it). And even though Esau wept bitterly about not getting the birthright blessing and Isaac said he had no blessing to give, the reality was Esau did get a pretty good blessing and was even promised that he would not be under Jacob’s yoke forever. Yes Esau did get mad and planned to kill Jacob but when the time came he repented and set aside his anger and loved his brother.
Back to Jacob’s experience. Jacob was married to Leah by the act of being intimate with her. If there were even any vows spoken by Jacob prior to the wedding night they were void because Jacob was speaking them in his heart and mind to Rachel. If they had a big party and ceremony it was still all under deception for Jacob. If the ceremony made them married then it would have easily been voided. But the act of being intimate with Leah would not be so easily brushed aside. But we have no record of anyone lodging any complaints about Jacob taking Rachel as a second wife nor any complaints when he took their handmaidens as wives also. So all these people on Jacob’s mother’s side had no problem with polygamy. It is only rational to believe that all those people were at liberty to practice polygamy. And what is important to us is that God did not complain or condemn these people. He didn’t even condemn Esau who took wives without any hint of heavenly inspiration in the matter. Or was there? God did give Esau the miracle of being able to forgive and by all we know of the gospel that means he too was able to be forgiven which is just what Isaac’s blessing indicated. Esau’s descendents were many and are still among us. And as we all know God blessed Israel above measure.
Ruth was married to a man who died due to a real big famine. Her mother in law said to her and the other widowed daughter in law, You girls are young still. Go to your home lands and you can find a husband who will support you. I am too old to marry so save yourselves. Ruth who was not from the tribe of Israel, said no and chose to stay with Naomi. She said your people will be my people. Kind of covenant entering thing huh? Ruth was blessed to become one of Boaz’s wives. Boaz said he would marry her to preserve the name of the dead in the land. This was surely a reference to the requirements of the law and would be a public explanation of why Boaz was taking another wife. A man of Boaz’s wealth in a time of so much famine was surely married and likely had several wives already. He was following the Lord’s law from Moses. Ruth and her mother in law were saved from starvation and Ruth was given the honor no only of having a child but of being one of the ancestors of Jesus. Ruth’s name has become synonymous with faithfulness and devotion.
Many people of the LDS believe that the practice of plural marriage must be done under the direction of a presiding authority. Why would anyone be surprised about this? The LDS believe that all blessings required for salvation must be received under the direction of an external presiding authority. I would say that is the defining characteristic of members of the LDS group. They do not trust themselves to be directed personally by God in matters effecting their salvation. For that reason none of the members of the LDS Church can be as Alma was.
But let us look at the record of events.
In the case of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, the generations of people in Jacobs mother’s family and 1500 years worth of the Lord’s people under the law of Moses who was it that received the revelation that it was approved of God to practice plural marriage?
The individuals who practiced it.
And what were the motivating circumstances? Here is some examples of the motivations which are known from the record.
The motivation is followed by the person’s name:
We want a child/Abraham and Sarah
We want more children/Leah speaking in behalf of herself and her handmaiden
I need a husband/Ruth
She needs a husband/God via the law given to Moses
I love her and she loves me/Jacob and Rachel.
Now we have read Mr. S’s teachings on why Joseph Smith took additional wives. Here is a review. Mr. S says it was “governmental” for the purpose of “Tying together lines of what was to be a single family, with himself as the patriarchal father of a new branch of the Family of Israel.”, very Pharaoh like to be sure. Time for a reality check. I do not tear down Joseph. Rather I lift up as Godlike the common desires of the heart of many righteous men throughout the ages of the world. They are desires placed there by God Himself. And no man under any circumstance should be using pressure or deception to have a woman marry him. Neither should any woman for that matter. I don’t care who did it unless it was a unusual revelation from God to do it (ie Nephi being told to kill Laban) pressure or deception in this thing will need to be repented of. I do not think for a second that Joseph’s was a desire for self aggrandizement or the pride of the Pharaohs and kings of the world. Just the honest love of a man for a woman and the desire to be a husband to her. A desire which God did not limit to just one person in either men or women. A simple and yet pure desire which has been vilified in our minds by all the devil has at his disposal. And yet I believe the historical record shows it was there in Joseph’s pure heart.
Joseph’s first polygamous wife was Fanny Alger. Before Joseph married Fanny she came into the house of Joseph and Emma as a maid at the age of 16. Joseph and Emma were 26. Sometime in her 18th year Fanny was forced to leave the house when Emma found out that Joseph had married her. This information is taken from this website and you can see the sources listed there. Fanny left the house in between 1833 to 1835. It was 5 years before Joseph took another plural wife.
Fanny Alger was not taken as wife by Joseph for “governmental” reasons. I respect the reason which I assign for the marriage. I believe God respects it also. And that is why He answered Joseph’s prayer on how the people in the Old testament were justified in practicing plural marriage. I think Joseph knew he loved Fanny and knew that Fanny loved him. He probably asked what to do about it and wondered if he could be allowed to marry her with God’s approval. So to the motivation list I add:
I love her and she loves me/Joseph and Fanny.
Now if you look at these motivations and see a bunch of people simply justifying themselves in committing whoredoms I am sorry for you. But when you read Mr. S’s post it is crystal clear that he wants his readers to view those who practice polygamy as self justifying men who exploit their wives and treat them like property and are bent on practicing an abomination and reducing their relationships to a whoredom. I am practically quoting him there. And you thought I was rough to call the man a liar? The post wants you to feel that people who choose to practice polygamy are just whoremongers. Mr. S especially wants you to feel that if you want to practice polygamy you are a whorermonger.
I believe Denver Snuffer’s post of July 1, 2012 was designed to have the effect of putting fear into the hearts of people who want to practice plural marriage. I believe without question that is the intent behind his post. I don’t even know if he is aware of it. But the true author of that post is very aware of it.
You might point to Pearl of Great Price Moses chapter 5 verse 3 to validate the idea that monogamy is the standard of God’s people from the beginning. It says, “3 And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.”
No that verse should not be viewed as the ways of God. Why? Because ten verses later the records says of these same people “13 And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”
To be accurate you must say that the people who began “to divide two and two in the land” later “loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”
The scriptures do not support the notion that monogamy has been God’s standard from the beginning. What we have been given in the scriptural record shows over 2,000 years of God giving His blessing to plural marriage among the largest group known of God’s people and Him saying no to one isolated branch which lasted for less than 1,000 years and in fact destroyed themselves by their pride.
Prideful and selfish people can not live the law which requires unselfishness in its deepest form. Pride and Selfishness continued does lead to becoming carnal, sensual and devilish. Selfish people can not even comprehend what the law is about. They accept lies about it and say it was a very limited practice with strict narrow limits. They see it as something which requires a license. A license is a grant from a ruling authority to practice an act which is sinful. Yes in the minds of those who see plural marriage as a sin they see a God who says, “Do not practice plural marriage unless I say so.” But God’s actions in the scriptural record show He allows all people to practice plural marriage unless he has told them not to.
Now would you like a left brain language communication of God proving that monogamy was not the way things started out?
“David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.” (D&C 132:38)
So if you believe that God was speaking there then it is clear that He said it was plural marriage which was from Him from the beginning of creation. That is even before the fall. Funny that Mr. S did not quote that verse.
Mr. S bashed Brigham Young for converting the principle of plural marriage into a mandatory practice for exaltation. He also bashed Brigham for bragging about his ability to get wives. Frankly that is something that can be repented of. But since plural marriage was there from the beginning how could it not be a principle for all people as soon as they will accept it? And is it mandatory? Nothing in all God’s universe is mandatory in terms of Him forcing us. In terms of if you want B you must do A that is the nature of existence itself requiring it. God simply puts it into words so we can receive His blessings if we are willing.
And in that way D&C 132:3 says “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.” And what are the consequences for not obeying this law once it is revealed to us? “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—…Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation…And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent…” (D&C 84:54-57). It is a damnation(!), until we repent and then move forward again.
And as we read the left brain communication of the actions of the people and God’s reaction to their actions we see a pattern emerge. We see two different way of acting regarding this principle and two different results.
On the one hand we have people who in one form or another obey the injunction of the Lord in D&C 132: 32 “Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.” They practice some form of polygamy and their posterity remains in the earth growing forever. And many of them have continued to have their societies last for thousands of years.
Then you have people who are prideful and set up laws against polygamy. They set up governments of men none of which last for more than 1000 years because they become filled with secret combinations. The Book of Mormon covers a quite small portion of the earth and tracks three main groups of people. And two of them follow this path of setting up governments and being so prideful that they can not be trusted with any form of plural marriage. The result is that eventually all their descendents are wiped off the face of the earth and their family lines stop.
I do not trust a man who lies, falsely accuses and puts fear in to other people’s hearts.
One final note the name Mr. S does not refer to Denver Snuffer. It refers to Mr. Satan.