Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pullet Eggs

Everything I've read (by people who are supposed to know via experience) said that if hens turn five months old after the longest day of the year, they won't lay eggs until the following spring. Well, guess what? Today is September 28, three months after the longest day – and, this morning, when I went out to feed the chickens there was a pullet egg. I guess it pays to have hens who can't read.

The hens are just five months old now.

I wonder, though. It seems as if the people who write about such things usually live in places like Vermont. I live in southern Arizona. I'm sure it's a lot colder in Vermont right now, than here. We still hit 90*F, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Perhaps it has more to do with temperature than with length of days.

I'm not complaining, I promise.

This morning, I also saw a coyote. Yellow hair, long tail. It looked just like the one I saw at Clay's house in Cane Beds. At the time, he was living on Liberty Lane, away from any other house. It was the first time I'd seen a coyote that was yellow. Today was the second. Don't think bright yellow, like a daffodil or dandelion. Think muted yellow, like a dog.

Technically, I live out of town. Really, I live in a neighborhood, house after house all the way into the town limits. Okay, there is a cotton field just north of us, then houses, the high school, like that – but if you drive, it looks like town. The lots are way too small for country lots.

The coyote was walking down the street that goes past our backyard. It's actually a driveway that starts at our northeast corner, and goes from the front of our house to the houses behind us. It walked down the drive, then cut off into one of the yards.

Often, as I type or read in my room, I can see the parade of animals in the evening. A rabbit or two. Several quail. They just walk down the road, like a family on an evening stroll – or run. The youngsters run. Lizards. Pigeons. Other birds. (I saw a robin in my front yard a few days ago.)

Apparently we have septic tanks out here, but we buy water from the town on the east (it calls itself a city; actually, I think our town also calls itself a city – no one wants to be just a town anymore). We buy natural gas and electricity from the town after the town on the west.

If I had my druthers, I'd live on at least five acres (twenty or fifty would be better), off the grid. My electricity would come from sun and wind, and maybe something else (don't know what that would be, though – definitely not a generator; I like quiet). I would probably use propane for heating water, and for cooking until I got used to using a sun oven, eating mostly raw, using a wood stove in winter. I would use wood for heat most of the time. If I lived in Cane Beds, I would have propane to keep the house at least 60*F. If I lived here, I'd just have a well-insulated house with windows on the south, and no trees at all on the south. That, and a wood stove, would work fine.

People around here usually avoid putting windows on the south, and they load the south with trees. To keep the heat out. If they paid attention to the sun and the shade, they'd see that all they need is a three foot overhang shading their windows. At least, I think that's what Mom and I measured. It has been a long time.

You don't want the sun in (unless it's unseasonably cold) from about April until September or October. In Cane Beds, I'd say from June first until the first of September.

But, even around here, you want the sun to shine in your south windows in the winter. It cuts down on the heating bill. It gets to about 27*F for the lows in winter. Heat is needed at night, and on cloudy days. If the house is built right, it won't need much heat besides that.

The trees need to be on the east, west, and north. Deciduous trees are best. Around here, some lose their leaves by December, and some keep dead leaves on the tree until new growth pushes them off in February or March.


I doubt it's cold enough around here to grow cherries. I want to grow cherries. And apples. Granny smith apples make the best fresh juice.

I could fill a whole page or three with a list of the food and herbs I'd like to grow. Okay, maybe not a blog page. They're pretty long.

I can't find my list, so let's see if I can remember some of the plants I would like to have.

Elberta peaches  

green cherries
dark red cherries
yellow cherries with a blush (all of these are sweet cherries)
red apples
yellow apples (yellow delicious)
green apples (granny smith)
green plums
dark red/purple plums
raisin tree
pecan (round paper shell)
(a couple of kinds of nut trees I can't remember, that aren't your average run-of-the-mill nut in the west)

black currants
red currants
red raspberry
black raspberry
yellow raspberry

I'm sure I have forgotten several berries, as well as several fruit trees

a night-blooming garden
a water garden (only water plants)
a flower garden made completely of edible flowers

herbs such as comfrey
mint (peppermint, spearmint, catmint, pineapple mint, etc.)
St. John's wort (it's beautiful – I had some before, never used them but loved to look at them)
chives, soapwort, etc.

assorted greens to eat (chard, arugula, etc.)
melons (large variety)
green beans
tomatoes (large variety)
potatoes (large variety)
squash (including pumpkins)
Jerusalem artichokes
peas (edible pods)
and so forth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Denver Snuffer - A Comment I Would Make if I Could

Restored post, with comments included
Monday, September 26, 2011

No one can comment on Denver Snuffer's blog now (it got pretty crazy, so I can't blame him), but I wanted to say my piece.

Recently, there was a post by DS that said his wife surfs the net on occasion to see what people are saying about him. I got three hits that were search engine results with his name in them, so I thought I'd comment, since one of them most likely was his wife
I agree 100% with DS that he is unimportant except as the messenger. The thing that is important is the message. But his name is connected to the message just as much as any other messenger from God (for example, Jeremiah).

Here is my reason for writing about him: It is my experience that there are many people who consider him to be apostate because he does not preach that the current leader of the church is infallible. My own experience with his books that I've read (as well as many things on his blog), is that many of those words are the words of God. I know this, because God (via the Spirit) has told me so, strongly.

There are two levels of speaking to my spirit that I have experienced. One is the kind most people talk about: Is it of God? Is it of me? Difficult to know for sure. The other kind is where there is no doubt. I can't explain it. You have to experience it to understand it. The second form of revelation is what I experienced with these books.

I perceive that the message is vital, but if people trash the messenger (or refuse to hear out of blindness, deafness, fear, "I've got enough", etc.), they won't hear the message. And I was told that the message is vital for us to hear, that otherwise good people will suffer greatly if they continue to refuse to hear the message because they don't approve of the messenger. Thus, when I speak of DS, I am trying to help remove the barriers in people's minds so that they will listen to the message. There are a lot of people I love and care about who say, in essence, "We have enough. If God wants to tell us more he will tell us through the president of the Church. God cannot and will not speak to an ordinary person, if He intends to warn us about anything." Yet, the message is not really "more" because everything in the message is in the scriptures. By the way, I thought the same way, until God told me differently.

I do talk to people about what I've learned, using my own words. Perhaps, I will one day be given all the words to say without referring people to the books DS has written, but I've not had the experience of viewing Gethsemane, et al. Reading what DS has written about it, not only brought me to my knees, it opened up my willingness to accept the Atonement to the point that I received a major spiritual healing of the most horrible thing that had happened to me when I was a child. More recently, I received a more complete healing of that experience. Be assured, the glory for this goes to God.

So, for better or worse, I expect DS will continue to be on the web. People will continue to wonder what this strange thing in the land is, "for a wild man is come among us." 
Edit: There was a comment with a link. I want to make it a clickable link, so I am putting it here. Lecture mentioned in link below It goes directly to the recording. 
New edit:
This link was on Brother Snuffer's blog. It is from the same meeting that was so kindly shared in comment #1. It goes to a webpage with a link to the talk on it.
Elijah talk

[Note from the restoration of this post: I did not keep the link when I deleted the post, but here is a link to Denver's link of it.]
Anonymous said... I know exactly where his dear wife has been reading it is the LDS Freedom Forum. There are a few people there who judge him extremely harshly and then there people there who are very appreciative of the things Denver Snuffer writes. I hope Brother Snuffer does not let a few contentious people influence him on which insights he is willing to share.

On a more uplifting note here is an mp3 file of a lecture Brother Snuffer did last night.
Keep in mind the first 10 minutes of the lecture is missing on this recording. If I find a better mp3 recording I will let you know and post it. October 15, 2011 8:27 AM 
L'Jn said... Thank you for the link.
Unfortunately, I don't know how to make links come alive in the comments section - so to anyone interested in following it, copy the link above, paste it into a new tab or window, and push enter.
October 16, 2011 5:59 PM 
L'Jn said... Anonymous, I've edited my original post to add a clickable link to the lecture.
I can't join LDSFF because they don't accept my personal email account (they don't accept yahoo, hotmail, etc. because of spam issues), but I have read through their posts many times. I have seen what you refer to. And I see the same dichotomy in other places. For example,
October 17, 2011 11:46 AM 
L'Jn said... The link with the first ten minutes missing has the clearer sound. I'd recommend listening to the first ten minutes of the one that has it all, then listening to the other one for the rest of the fireside.
Also, I went over to LDS FF to see what they were saying. The opening comment is right on. I have not seen such vigorous debate, though I have seen such close-mindedness among those who refuse to read the Book of Mormon yet claim to know everything about it.

The answer is simple, and was pointed out on FF again and again: Read it, then judge. Read it, ask God. Read it before you say all of these bad things about it. Don't read pieces of it, read the whole thing. October 23, 2011 11:46 PM

Dreams, Miracles, and Choices

Restored post
Monday, September 26, 2011

Life can be really rough sometimes. I was lying here, thinking of my problems, wondering why God doesn't at least talk to me. (It isn't as if He never talks to me. If that were the case, I wouldn't be feeling deserted and abandoned.) Then I remembered the dream I had a few years ago. I said, “But I don't remember enough of what happened.” Then I began thinking about it.

I want to write the experience here. This is a copy of what I wrote about it on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, after I realized the dream was connected with an experience I'd had the day after Christmas, 2008. I wrote it as an email, which I shared with a few people. Any comments I have to make now will be in brackets [ ] . (It's a "copy and paste job" from the email "sent" folder, otherwise.)

Begin email -

I had a couple of interesting experiences. I didn't connect the two together until a few days after the second experience. I thought about sharing them with you but kept procrastinating. The thought kept persisting, so here it is. I'm sure some who receive this email will think I'm just weird. That's okay.
Several months ago, I woke up absolutely convinced that I had been to the afterlife/spirit world. I couldn't remember anything visually, but I was convinced that I had spoken with someone (women [women relatives/ancestors]) and they had told me I had the choice to stay there or come back to mortality. Then they showed me what would happen to my three children if I came back [stayed in mortality, instead of dying]. There was such a huge difference for good, that I decided I would come back. There was such a huge difference for good that I decided I would come back. As I lay on my bed thinking about this, I wasn't sure whether or not to believe how I was feeling and I mused, "I didn't even know I was in danger of dying." After all, I felt just fine.

The day after Christmas [the Christmas that had just passed, i.e. December 26, 2008], my ex-husband called (via Rachel - she relayed the message) from southern Arizona. He was there with the two younger children. He was expecting a package to be delivered to his door here in Cane Beds and didn't want it to freeze (it was bitterly cold here), so he asked if I would go to his house and put it inside. I didn't really want to but I thought I would "be nice" and do it.

Sometimes the UPS driver doesn't get to this area until after 5 p.m. so I waited until 10-15 minutes before 6 to leave. I told my husband (probably more than once) where I was going. (He forgot, though, which is very common for him). I thought about putting on boots but figured I'd only be going from car to house and back. I was wearing a summer cap-sleeve shirt, light weight pants, and sandals. I did put on a coat that has a hood.

As I got close to the driveway, I didn't want to get stuck (it is sand and clay) so decided to take the north driveway and park on the carpet. Well, the snow covered the area pretty well and I couldn't tell which dirt was safe. I got stuck before I could reach the carpet. The next door neighbors were not home.

It was so cold that I didn't want to walk up to the door to look for a shovel. I got out (with my coat on) and tried to kick the snow away (it was a few inches deep). That didn't work so I started digging the snow away from the wheels with my hands. Then I got back in the car and tried to move. By doing this a few times, I was able to move almost out of the bad area.

I was frustrated and angry. I cried and cursed (and God heard me anyway - weird). I thought about who to go to. The next people down didn't "feel" right but the ones [farther down] - B' - did. [This was maybe a quarter of a mile walk, not really very far. The area is in the country. Some of the houses are relatively close and many are not.] I figured Tom B would know how to get the car unstuck. But before I did that, I decided to try one more time. It was nearly completely dark and I wanted to see if the package was there before it got too dark to see it. I also wanted to check for a shovel.

It didn't feel as cold, so I walked up to the porch, the package was not there but shovel was. I brought the shovel back and tried digging out but still no luck. By then, it felt very nice out - like a summer day (for those of you who know what this means, yes, this should have warned me of danger but my mind was a bit altered as well). I put the shovel in the back seat of the car because I didn't want to carry it all the way back to the porch. I figured I could put it back when I came back with Tom to get the car out.

As I began walking in the snow, with my open coat, I thought, "It is so nice out here that I could just walk home." I wanted to take my coat of[f] and put it over my arm. I was not cold and I was not hot. I was comfortable. I lived close to a mile away. Tom lived about 1/4 or less of a mile away.

For some reason that I don't know (it's just what you do when the weather looks cold?), I tried to zip up my coat. The zipper is a bit stubborn anyway and it was even more stubborn this time. I finally gave up. But the coat had snaps so I snapped it up, put on the hood, snapped the bottom around my neck, put my hands into fists and drew them up into the sleeves of the coat. All of this seemed totally unnecessary to me yet I did it. I was still tempted to just walk home.

When Tom opened the door, I began to cry as I explained my predicament. I thought and felt like a total fool for crying over something as simple as getting stuck in the snow. After Tom opened the door, his wife (E) came to the door. She looked down at my feet and immediately became alarmed. She seemed to think I was in serious trouble. I couldn't understand why and I took off my sandals and took the snow out of them. My feet were fine. They didn't hurt. In fact they were as comfortable as the rest of my body.
She asked Tom to put a chair in front of the fire (they have a wood stove). There wasn't much space between the stove and the back of the couch but there was room for a chair with about two feet or so from me to the stove. I sat down. I couldn't feel the heat from the stove but didn't think about that. They told me to take off my coat. I wondered why. After all, the temperature inside of the house was the same as outside - comfortable.

E brought over a pan of water. It was probably, in reality, cool water. As she put it down in front of me she said, "Let me know if this is too warm." As I put my feet into it, they felt like I had put them into a fire. Immediately I pulled them out and put my hand in the water to make sure she hadn't given me boiling water. It felt a bit warmer than lukewarm but was nothing I shouldn't be able to handle. I tried again. Again, I couldn't do it. I ended up warming my feet with my hands until I could put them into the water.

Tom put another log on the fire after I had been there a several minutes. When he opened the door to the wood box, the heat made me move back (so that was a good sign that I was thawing out).

After a while, I told her I was ready for warmer water (she had told me to let her know when I was). Even later still, I took my feet out of the water and she had socks and slippers for me.

Tom said he'd see about getting the car out the next day when it was light enough to see what they (he and M [the spouse I had at that time] ) were doing. After I'd been there about 45 minutes or an hour I'd guess [emphasis on guess], I asked to call M. The phone didn't reach where I was so Tom called him. M had no idea where I had gone (like I said, this is normal for him so it didn't hurt my feelings).

After a while, they took me in the car after Tom had heated the car for quite a while. The car felt slightly warm to me and I commented on it being warmer than outside.

During the time I had been at the B' we had visited quite a bit and E had stressed the danger I'd been in and that if I had tried to walk home I would have been in the hospital having my feet cut off.

After my brain functioned better, I began to realize that had I not been protected by something or Someone, I would have taken off my coat and started to walk home - casually - enjoying the beautiful stars (it was a clear night). I would have never made it home at all. I would have gotten tired and sat down. [I would have sat down to look at the stars. Since I wasn't cold, there would have been no need to hurry. Then, I would have gotten sleepy, lay down, and slept.]

It took a couple of days to connect this experience with the intense feeling I'd had several months ago when I woke up knowing I had been invited to go to the spirit world/afterlife.
So, take it however you see it. I know what I believe and I have shared it because the feeling to share it would not go away.

Love to all,
Toni B
End of email.

The interesting thing is, my kids' dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly on October 14, 2009, a little over a year after I had the dream. (I had the dream a good three to six months before the experience that verified it the day after Christmas.) If I had died, then Clay had, I wonder what would have happened to my kids? Obviously, I was shown in the dream, but I still don't remember what I saw.

Perhaps, today, God is trying to tell me that He really is watching over me – and my children; that my feeling of being deserted is an illusion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life and Things

It's just after 11 a.m. AZ time, and it's only 69*F. A week ago, at this time, it was usually 104*F. That's the thing about this area. There isn't much in-between. Next week, it could be in the hundreds again.

This morning, I went into the chicken pen and gave the chickens some food, then I took their water bottle out to re-fill it. When I came back with the water, the rooster attacked me. Well, as much as a chicken can. He pecked me near the ankle, twice.

I don't know if he was mad (angry) at me because I stopped letting them out, or if he's old enough now to be aggressive. In any case, I decided he'd be better off in a stew pot or a frying pan. We could use the food, anyway. Fresh ground homemade bread is great, and I like beans, but a little meat added would be good.

I was letting the chickens out in the hopes they would keep the weed growth down. I didn't notice much change in the weeds, but I did notice a change on our front porch. It's a huge porch. I'd guess it's about ten feet by thirty, covered with a severely leaky roof. Our washing machine is there. I was having to wend my way through chicken poop. It washed off with the hose, but the chicken coop isn't tiny, especially for only four chickens - so, finally, back they went - 24/7. So, perhaps, Mister Macho didn't like it.

I was supposed to have four hens and zero roosters. Still, I understand that deciding the sex of a newly hatched chicken isn't too easy. I wanted eggs that were not fertilized. That way, I'd know I wasn't eating a baby. I adapted, when the rooster turned out to be a he instead of a she. I visualized babies running around next year. Now, I've reverted to my original plan.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Division Among the People?

Restored post
Friday, September 9, 2011

It's coming, and it's coming fast. It's galloping toward us.

"For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy and he will spare his people." 2 Nephi 30:10 God will cause a division. God will (or has already) caused a division.

We stand on the edge. Floods and earthquakes are increasing in number and intensity. They are God's warnings to us. I know, it is not politically correct to say that, nevertheless, it doesn't make it any less true. God would lose most popularity contests, actually. People don't like to hear anything that doesn't tell them, "You're righteous. You're good. You're going to be spared/go to heaven, no matter what you do. It doesn't matter how you act. You're a good person." or, conversely, that there is no God, so it doesn't matter anyway. (I am not excluding myself. Don't even think that I am trying to say I'm better than anyone else. I'm not.)

I believe God has already set in motion the division of the people. I believe the time is short. I believe the disasters are warnings to us. I believe the general acceptance of violence and perversion among us is a sign that we are fast losing ground. It's a wild ride, and the only safety is in Jesus Christ.

By this, I don't mean lip service. I mean obedience. I mean giving our all. Christ wants our hearts. Confessing with the mouth, without humility, without true sincerity, without obeying him means nothing.

Don't let any man or woman stand between you and Christ. He employs no servant at the gate to heaven. He employs no man or woman to stand between you and him. He may raise up men with authority to perform necessary ordinances of salvation. He is a God of order, not of confusion, so that authority will be orderly and clear. But those men who are authorized to perform ordinances are not authorized to stand between you and God. Your job, first and foremost (if you are a believer in Christ, a disciple of Jesus) is to follow Him, even if it goes against your family, your church, your friends, and anything else.

Because that is true, it is vital to know that you are truly following Christ, not a sham, not a deception. How to know that? That is the question. I would say sincere prayer. Sincere studying. The best books to study, in my experience, would be the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil, and Come, Let Us Adore Him.

But the best thing - the most effective way to know Christ is through humble, sincere prayer. Not just one prayer, but constant prayer. Praying often. Praying "real". Reaching out.

Jesus Christ is divine. He is powerful. He is merciful to those who come to Him. He is merciful to those who extend mercy to others. He is the Son of God.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Motivates You?

I have been reading The Artist's Way, again. It was written by Julia Cameron. My copy is marked up and the corners of the pages are getting ratty. Whenever I see a copy, I get it. I gave one to my daughter, and I gave one to a good friend of mine. I think I may still have one. I also have read every book by Barbara Sher that I can get hold of.

Barbara Sher asks, “What motivates you?” She wants it written on a card. So, reading her book yet again, I did so. In reading through my motivators often, I was struck with one thing on that list of what motivates me.

The biggest motivator I have is the freedom to do as I please. I suppose that sounds horrible. I was trained by society that it was horrible. We are supposed to please society, you know, and some things just aren't done, like doing work your soul craves. We are supposed to make money, do things that are financially acceptable. We are supposed to work for someone else. We are not supposed to have fun working.

I suppose that is why I am, only now, waking up to my biggest motivator. If I know that I can do anything, that nothing holds me back, then I “go for it”. If I have the freedom to really do anything I please, then one of the things I please to do is write.

I thought I had given up writing. Gone past it. Until I decided to get serious about this blog. Then I discovered that writing is still in my blood. It's in my bones. It's in my flesh, and in my spirit. That's why I'm sharing my stories without charge in my other blogs (linked to this one). Stories were meant to be shared, not to hide in a hole with a cover slid over the top.

Other things I would do if I had the freedom to do anything:

I would learn at least seven languages fluently. Right now, I dabble in languages. Dabble is the key word. I would love to become fluent.

I know French best, but fear I have forgotten much of what I once learned. My next best foreign language is Spanish, and I know for a fact that I have forgotten nearly everything I learned, which wasn't much anyway. (I used to pronounce it so well when I read it, though, that Spanish-speakers could hardly believe that I really didn't know what they were talking about.) I have dabbled in Chinese (I only hear the tones once in a while), Irish Gaelic, Sign Language and Swedish. Less so, in Russian, Italian, and Japanese. Some dialects of England's English is like a foreign language, but then so is Southern American at times, and I'm sure my Western American is confusing to them as well.

When I was somewhere around ten years old, a friend of my sister's who was blind (Dave Murray) gave me a braille writer and stylus. At least, I think that's where I got it from. I learned a tiny bit, but had lost the braille writer and stylus by the time I went to college. I would love to add that to my languages.

The trouble is, I don't feel that “freedom to do anything and everything” when it comes to studying languages. It's like eating ice cream and watching television all day. It isn't real work, because it doesn't bring in money. (It is real work, in that it is difficult – but it is a fun difficult.) It is only acceptable to do if I am paying someone thousands upon thousands of dollars to teach me (like a university), even though it wouldn't be nearly as fun as doing it on my own. I know, logically, that this particular attitude makes no sense, but I'm not sure how to overcome it.

Another thing I would do is draw all day. I would write all day. I would draw all day. I would learn languages all day (especially if I had someone who knew them, who would speak them with me). I would sing. I would dance (even though my body is pretty slow when it comes to learning anything like dance steps). That's more than 24 hours worth of doing in 24 hours.

So, what is your desire? What would you do all day if you could? What motivates you? What feels like play to you, even if it is difficult for you to do?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ordinary people can make a huge difference. My mother (on your right) was such a person. She has been dead since May 1998. (I know that "dead" is harsh for some people, but I think euphemisms are just plain weird.)

Random thoughts, originating with Toni/LJn

Restored post
Monday, September 5, 2011

It's okay to feel the pain. Don't stuff it. Don't hide it from yourself. Don't turn it into anger, blame, fear, guilt, etc. Simply feel the pain. Let it flow through you and out the other side. Feel it. Let it happen. It's okay to feel the pain.

If one really wants something deep inside, it overpowers everything and that thing comes. If one really wants something deeply, but just as deeply believes it is wrong to have it, or s/he cannot have it, then there's a stalemate. One needs to break that stalemate to get what one wants.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul seems to be majorly ticked off because people are coming to the sacrament meeting hungry, while others have eaten. He tells them to eat at home. This is not a meal to feed your hunger. I wonder if it occurred to him that some of those people might not have enough food at home to eat.

I must be doing something terribly right because I feel so terrible. When I step forward, so does Satan (or one of his minions). He tries to stop me, using my own emotions and self-opinions against me.

Never applaud yourself. Whenever you think you are "good", there is someone or something you are overlooking. In other words, don't boast of your good works. Don't think/say, "Look how good I am! Look at that! This ward/church/I/whatever helps xxx." There is, as I said, always someone or something that you are overlooking. Don't think, "I'm evil," either. Don't bother having an opinion of yourself. You are. You exist. If God has told you that you're doing good, be grateful - but understand that He didn't tell you that you were without sin or error. As a permanent thing, that comes later.

I was thinking one morning how I would feel now if I had not married my children's father. I probably would never have had my children. I would have felt so empty, so barren without them. It was worth the "hell-marriage" to gain my children. There is something about them that fills my soul, that gives me satisfaction in knowing they exist here, in this plane of existence.

Sometimes there is a fine line between respecting someone and worshiping them.

These last two years, and the slide into ultra-poverty have been a real culture shock. But I wouldn't trade my freedom for a return to what I had. The fear I was living in was worse than going hungry/worrying about bills is now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Denver Snuffer

I think people are becoming aware of a man named Denver Snuffer (in fact, I referenced him in this blog a time or two). Some people may be wondering about him, wondering what people think of him and his books. Having read five of his books at least once, I think I probably qualify to mention a little.

I do not know him personally. I have never seen him in person, nor have I ever spoken to him. My knowledge comes solely through this books and his website. I also want to note that I am not writing this to push his books. I am writing this because I prayed, asking God what I should write about today, and this post is the answer I got (and all errors and humanness in this post are my own doing – if anything in here helps someone, it because of the power of the Spirit, not because I am a great orator of any kind).

I have seen several responses to him.

Some seem to revere him; they are his following, and they hang on every word (1), even though he has said many times that he seeks no following, that he is only a man and a very imperfect one at that. He wants no fans. He reiterates that he is not in the hierarchy of the church. He wants people to look beyond him and see Christ.

Some look to him as a man who is speaking the words Christ told him to speak, a warning that we are about to be destroyed if we don't repent, that the Book of Mormon is a warning to the members of the LDS church, not the nonmembers.  He not only warns that we aren't taking the Book of Mormon seriously, he shows us how to take it seriously: he opens up the scriptures to us.

Others view him as an apostate because of some of the things he has said about the LDS church and its leaders (for those who don't know, those leaders range from things like elders' quorum president up through the hierarchy to first presidency). Mainly, what he says is that all of these men are simply men. None of them are infallible. All of them have the potential to teach the wrong things because they are human, so it behooves us to be close to the Spirit ourselves so that we can discern when their words are of God, and when they are speaking their own opinions. We are to pray for our leaders, not condemn them. Still, there are many who view him as apostate.

So, I want to add my own opinion here, for those who might be wondering the opinion of someone who has read some of his books.

First, a scripture, a vital scripture. It shows us plainly how to judge whether something is from God or from the devil. Moroni 7:12-14 in the Book of Mormon: “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.” That's the yardstick. That's the measuring tool. Does it bring us to God? Does it entice us to do good?

It is my opinion that if you have any love for Christ at all, the chapter in Come, Let Us Adore Him called Gethsemane will bring you to your knees. It did for me. Not only that, but it opened up my heart to Christ more than my heart had ever been. I understood the mechanics of the Atonement better, and I gained a greater appreciation of how very difficult it was for Christ to go through. The power of the Atonement did a huge cleansing and healing in me during the first time I read that chapter.

The chapters called The Crucifixion and Resurrection brought me closer to Christ. There are powerful words in there. If anyone feels like they aren't getting enough spiritually, and they are members of the  LDS church (the books presuppose an understanding of basic LDS doctrines), these books should feed your souls. This reads like a book review, I know, but like I said, the only way I know this person is through his books.

I am still reading the books. I have read some of them two going on three times. Each time, I often stop because the desire to pray is overwhelming. Often, I have an overwhelming desire to prostrate myself in prayer, to repent, to desire more understanding, to come closer to my Father in Heaven and to Jesus Christ. I have gained spiritual strength. I have been able to change faster, being more patient and kind than I was before.

The gifts of the Spirit have been with me for many years, now, so I can't really say that I have seen a jump in those gifts, but the communication between God and myself is becoming less distracted. I am accepting my trials more meekly, being less prone to fight them and be angry that they are there.

So, from my experience with studying these books and trying to implement the advice, (2) I would say this is a man who is who he says he is, who is doing what he said he was told to do by the One who is the Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and that we ignore him or mock him at our eternal peril.

(1) D&C 76:98-101 - And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.

(2) John 7:16-17 - Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.