Question: Have Latter-day Saint (Mormon) Church leaders lost priesthood authority?


Question: Have Latter-day Saint (Mormon) Church leaders lost priesthood authority?

Such claims are typically made by apostates because they were excommunicated

The course of events makes it clear that the Stake, the Seventy and the Twelve have all been involved and bear some responsibility for [my excommunication]. I need to afford the First Presidency the opportunity to bear responsibility as well.

— Denver Snuffer, Jr. to the First Presidency[1]
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Last general conference [April 2014], the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood.

— Denver Snuffer, Jr. to his followers[2]
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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.[3]
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Some who are excommunicated from the Church believe that the leaders of the Church have lost any right to claim priesthood leadership. For example, Denver Snuffer, after his excommunication, claimed that everyone is "out of the way"—the Prophet, the apostles, the entire Church leadership, have all lost any right to claim priesthood leadership. Why? Because Snuffer was excommunicated.

Denver Snuffer stated:

Last general conference [April 2014], the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood.[4]

By contrast, Joseph Smith says that people who make claims such as Snuffer does are possessed with the spirit of apostasy, and not the spirit of God:

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[.][5]

Snuffer claims to sustain Joseph Smith, and to be continuing his work.

But, if Joseph is a prophet, Snuffer is an apostate from the truth.

If Joseph is not a prophet, then Snuffer's religious claims are likewise false.

In either case, Snuffer is wrong.


Notes

  1. Snuffer to First Presidency, Letter (13 September 2013), reproduced in Denver Snuffer, "Preserving The Restoration," Lecture 10, Mesa, Arizona (9 September 2014), 42.http://www.scribd.com/doc/239760895/10-Phoenix-Transcript-Preserving-the-Restoration#download
  2. Denver Snuffer, "Preserving The Restoration," Lecture 10, Mesa, Arizona (9 September 2014), 7.http://www.scribd.com/doc/239760895/10-Phoenix-Transcript-Preserving-the-Restoration#download
  3. 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
  4. Denver Snuffer, Jr. to his followers,Denver Snuffer, "Preserving The Restoration," Lecture 10, Mesa, Arizona (9 September 2014), 7.http://www.scribd.com/doc/239760895/10-Phoenix-Transcript-Preserving-the-Restoration#download
  5. Joseph Smith, Jr., 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