An Email (LDSFF)

I got an email from an anonymous individual at the ldsfreedom forum which inquired:

Mr. Snuffer,

I’ve created a post over at ldsfreedomforum asking you to clarify a teaching you put forth some time ago. The link to that posting is

All the relevant information regarding my question can be found on the posting, so I won’t repeat it here.

Thank you for considering my invitation to have a dialogue about this particular teaching. I’m sending this request from an anonymous email address out of a desire to remain entirely unknown, as I’d rather have people focused on the facts rather than the personalities insofar as it is possible. My handle on ldsfreedomforum is endlessismyname. Any reply you make to this email will only be available to me for one hour from when it is sent, so I will monitor this inbox for the next 12 hours and then try again tomorrow if I haven’t heard back. Another option is for you to send me a private message on the forum.




I responded

Is it possible to talk by phone? It would require a lot of typing and I’d rather save the time and talk. I have a day-long trial preparation meeting with co-counsel tomorrow, an oral argument hearing on Friday, and I am preparing for a Federal jury trial in a couple of weeks. So spending a lot of time typing an email is problematic for my schedule.

If you’d like, I can give you my office phone (provided in my email)

Or my cell phone if you will keep it confidential.

-Denver Snuffer
I sent another follow-up email to the same anonymous inquirer explaining:

I followed your link and tried to put my email response up there. It requires me to register and choose a password and then puts me into the middle of that forum. I do not want to get tangled up in that setting and have my inability to continue to monitor and respond there to be interpreted as something other than I am busy. So I’m not inclined to join their forum and become a fixture there (as would undoubtedly become required if I want to be understood).

I never post anonymously on any site.
He has responded:


Thank you very much for your prompt reply, especially considering the limited time you have available due to your work obligations. I’m happy to talk on the phone but I worry that I may not represent your answer accurately if I try to report back to the forum regarding our conversation, especially if the answer is involved (which it sounds like it might be). Would it be okay with you if I take notes while we talk, create a summary that I think accurately reflects your response to my question, and then pass that summary back to you for your approval before posting it back to the forum?

I don’t know how late you work but I won’t be available to talk until this evening. If you’d like me to call your cell, just send it over in a separate email. I’m happy to keep it confidential.

Thanks again. I look forward to talking to you and getting a clear understanding of what your thoughts are regarding my question.


I just replied:

That would be fine.  I like the approach.

I have a suggestion, however: Your email deletes and you are nameless, and unidentified. I don’t really care who you are, and I respect your desire to remain unidentified, but it would be better if you use a real contact source so these emails do not disappear (as the first already have). I have no reason to reveal your identity to anyone.

My cell is:———— (provided in the email)
-Denver Snuffer
He wrote again:
Understood. I’ve noticed that you sometimes respond to questions on your personal blog. Would providing clarification to this question be something worth doing over there? That way you wouldn’t have to join a forum (which I don’t blame you for not wanting to do. I joined it yesterday simply because I was trying to find a way to contact you, and was told those at the forum might be able to help with that).

I hope you don’t mind my posting anonymously. It stems from nothing more than a desire to not be seen as either a friend or an enemy of Denver Snuffer. In reality I am neither. I’m somebody who has been approached by a dear friend with an invitation to examine your teachings who now needs some clarification regarding a teaching that is causing me some confusion.I’ll post your response on the forum so that you don’t have to join. Thanks for trying to do it yourself.


I replied:

I have been updating our emails on my website because I was not really certain when your email first arrived how to regard it. I thought it might be nothing more than spam, or someone baiting me and wanting to accuse me of hiding. So I put it up to make my willingness to respond public.

I’ve updated them on my website and they are available there- so feel free to do the same at the other location if you choose.
-Denver Snuffer
He replied:

Duplicating everything won’t be necessary. If they conversation is documented on your site I don’t feel it necessary to duplicate the effort on the forum. I’ll just point people towards your blog and they can monitor the conversation from there if they want to.

I’m happy to provide you with an email address that allows us to retain the emails moving forward. I appreciate your respect for my desire to remain anonymous. I have several reasons for doing this, not the least of which is that I don’t want to influence anyone that knows me with my questions. I’d like everyone to be able to come with their own questions, without preconceived notions or prejudices based on my identity.

I’ll send you an email from my normal address momentarily.


In his last response he provided information about contact I will keep confidential as I agreed. But I also sent him this brief summary about myself:


No problem. And now I will not update the website with anything further from you:

How about after 6:30 pm?  I’m pretty open from then for an hour or so.
It would still involve a good deal of typing:
For example by way of introduction:
I spent two decades teaching Gospel Doctrine Class in Pleasant Grove, then Alpine, then in two different stakes in Sandy, and in the last stake in two different wards. I taught by lecture, not by soliciting input from the class. Someone would have to raise their hand if they wanted to participate. I assumed the burden was on me to make the material useful. I spent between 10 and 20 hours each week to prepare a 50 minute presentation. I did not want to ever say the same thing twice. Therefore each time through the scriptures (and in two decades each of the standard works were taught 5 times) the exposition revisited the material from a more expansive study than the one four years earlier.
I wanted the class to expand my own understanding. Therefore whatever had been taught before was kept in memory while I studied to find what else might contribute to the material.
I’ve kept those study habits. I still work about 10 to 20 hours a week over the scriptures and church history.
As I did the math recently, I estimated that I have logged about 35,000 hours of scripture study since being converted to Mormonism. As a result of that I think in terms of the scriptures. Passages run through my mind continually. They are my companion in life. When I was 13 I would have told you apart from my own thoughts, the strongest voice in my mind came from Mark Twain (I had read practically everything he had written by then). Today I would say the strongest voice in my mind apart from my own thoughts, comes through the language of scripture and are continually the source I ponder, reflect upon, weigh, and seek to understand.
Although I have had many remarkable experiences with God, I have found the scriptures contain everything necessary to discuss every topic. Even things I thought were original and revealed for the first time to me upon returning to study I have found are already there in scripture. I just could not see it until it had been shown to me. Then through the light of a new revelation I learned that Isaiah, or Daniel, or Christ already addressed the matter but it was hidden from my view until I saw it as well.
This is the sort of thing that requires a great deal of typing to set out, and even this is cryptic and summary. I would ask if you’ve read Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers at this point in a conversation. In there he mentions that it takes about 10,000 hours of preparation before someone becomes accomplished in any skill. It is Gladwell’s observation, and it may or may not be accurate. But when I read his book I was reminded of what the scriptures have done to influence my own life and how I’ve logged more hours by three times than he suggests produces competence.
Well, I look forward to your call.
-Denver Snuffer
He called and we spoke last evening (January 6th) from 7:02 pm to 8:26 pm according to the clock in my room. He has provided a summary of the answers to his two questions and I have edited it to make it more complete and he will put it up on the LDSFF.