1. Is this a new church?
No, this movement is not a church. We do not believe that there is any need for another institutional church to be formed, nor another hierarchy to be established to control or exercise dominion over others, or use tithes for their support. We have no central body or hierarchy that controls or determines anything. We consider ourselves equal before the Lord and choose to gather and worship in self-chosen informal groups of friends and family that we call fellowships. We are united in our common belief in the Doctrine of Christ as explained in 2 Nephi 31 (faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the reception of the Holy Ghost who will "show you all things which ye must do"), and the Law of Christ as taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and The Sermon at Bountiful (3 Nephi 12-14). We love the Restoration of the Gospel and the work of the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith. You can learn more about how we fellowship here.
2. Who started this movement and why?
Ultimately, we believe that God started this movement. We believe that He prophesied to set His hand again the second time to finish His work in the latter-days. We believe that His spirit has been moving upon many people for years to prepare their minds and hearts to hear His word when it was time to be delivered. This preparation came in different forms for different people. For many it was a desire to know and better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fill a void that came from the lack of a literal knowledge of Jesus Christ, as spoken of in the Gospel of John. We believe that God always sends an authorized messenger in order for salvation to actually be offered in any generation. We believe that another person in our day has been authorized by God, as were Moses, Peter, Paul, and many others who stood in the presence of God face to face, to deliver His word in our day. This message, which we believe to be the words of Christ in our day, has been declared since 2006. You can find more information here.
3. What differs from the Mormon church?
We believe that the Mormon Church (LDS) was originally established by a true prophet of God, Joseph Smith, Jr., who spoke with Him face to face. Since Joseph's death, the LDS Church has increasingly diluted and polluted the Doctrine of Christ and altered the original direction of the Restoration intended by God as revealed to Joseph Smith. We believe the LDS Church now lacks the inspiration and authentic authority it had while Joseph Smith was alive (learn more here). We also believe that this movement has been orchestrated by the hand of God to continue the work of the Restoration of all things begun by Joseph Smith. We believe that this work is intended to culminate in the restoration of the original religion practiced by Adam and Eve and in the establishment of Zion on the earth in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ at His second coming.
4. What does the "Heavens Are Open Again" mean?
First, the fullness of the gospel is granted to mankind in a pattern where truth is bestowed from heaven, followed quickly by apostasy from that complete truth. This cycle has repeated since the days of Adam until today. When God deems it is time again to dispense to mankind knowledge of how to come back into His presence and gather His family again, the Lord communicates with a servant on the earth whom He authorizes to invite His children to repent and receive His offering. This means the heavens are open again in the sense that a fullness of all God has to give His children is being offered to mankind again directly from Heaven again (learn more here).
Second, as part of God dispensing truth to mankind, emphasis is given to the personal invitation extended by Jesus Christ to every individual to come and know Him literally and personally. Every individual, male or female, black or white, bond or free is invited to personally come to know Jesus Christ with the promise that He will respond to their faithful and honest search for Him. He will and has literally come to those who seek Him in our day. Thus, while the heavens are always open to those who seek to know Christ personally, the phrase, "the Heavens are open again" implies that we as individuals can return into Christ's presence no matter the condition in which we currently find ourselves, by repenting and keeping His commandments.
5. Why is there an emphasis on baptism or re-baptism?
6. Is plural marriage or polygamy practiced or believed?
7. Do women hold priesthood?
As to public rites (i.e. baptism, sacrament), priesthood is confined to men because of the Fall and the conditions ordained at that time. Until things are reversed at the Millennium, it will remain for men alone to perform the public ordinances thus far given to us. Just as men are, women are also able to use faith to lay hold upon the power to heal. Faith is not a by-product of ordination to priesthood, and thus, all miracles and blessings associated with the exercise of faith are given to any who seek these gifts. Thus, women may bless their husbands and mothers may give blessings to their own children, as husbands and wives are stewards for God over their own family.
8. Where do priesthood holders obtain authority to baptize?
But the critical factor is that the man ordained must wait to perform any ordinance until God has confirmed the ordination through the voice of His Spirit to the man, which is known as "power in the priesthood." Power in the priesthood only comes to the ordained man through a real connection to God that is maintained by love, gentleness, kindness, patience, meekness, humility, and charity. Any compulsion by one holding priesthood upon the souls of another removes the power thereof. God alone controls priesthood power.
9. What is the purpose of this movement?
The real purpose of this work is to invite all people of the earth to repent and come unto the Lord Jesus Christ by being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost, and living according to Christ’s teachings, so that a people and a place (Zion) may be prepared for the return of our Lord. We humbly seek to preserve, promote, and practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ as originally restored by the Lord and participate in His work now underway.
10. How is this movement funded?
Because there is no formal organization, there are no regular expenses normally associated with institutional religion, such as buildings or employees. We do not have an organization that requires funding to build chapels or cathedrals. We meet in our own homes or outdoors in natural settings which require no building or maintenance fees. Any expenses for our conferences, media, broadcasts, facility rentals, etc., are always paid for by volunteers who choose to freely sacrifice their own resources. However, we do believe in the law of tithing as defined in the scriptures. All tithing funds are collected within independent fellowships and go directly to primarily assisting the poor among the fellowship itself. Individuals also believe in giving alms or free-will offerings, such as donations of cash or service, to others in need. No fee, cost, or payment is ever associated, asked for, required, or expected with any aspect of teaching or performing the ordinances of the gospel.
11. What is the role of the temple?
The temple in the New Jerusalem will be central to everything pertaining to Zion and is a prophesied and required House of God to be built before the Lord returns. This is the only house of worship necessary to accomplish all the Lord requires, but is something still future, and not part of our current fellowships. The following essay provides more information about the purpose of temples: Why a Temple?
12. How large is this movement?
Because we are not a formal organization it is difficult to say for certain, but probably a couple thousand individuals (in 2017).
13. What does Sabbath Day worship look like?
The common element among all fellowships is the worship of the Lord through prayer, singing, reading scriptures, giving blessings, partaking of the Lord’s supper (sacrament), and teaching or discussing the word of God as found in scripture or other revelations. The emblems used for the sacrament are those designated by Christ: bread and wine (or grape juice as necessary, e.g. children). The words of the sacramental prayers are those given by Christ in the Book of Mormon.
14. Why is wine used in the Sacrament?
Ordinances should be performed in the way that God commanded, and not changed by man, otherwise they are no longer effective. Christ instructed that bread and wine are to be the emblems of His flesh and blood. Wine is appropriate for several reasons. First, its red color brings appropriate imagery to the mind of the blood that Christ shed for our sins. The bitter taste of wine reminds the partaker of the bitter cup that was required of the Lord to partake. The bitter nature and taste of red wine can produce an actual shudder to the body as one experiences its unpleasant taste; reminding one that Christ shrank that He might not partake. The alcohol creates a burning sensation as it enters the body. This reminds the partaker of the cleansing and sanctifying effect that the Lord’s atonement and His spirit can have upon us. Finally, the ultimate effect of wine is that it gladdens the heart of the partaker. This creates a physical response that corresponds with the joy and happiness that we receive as we partake of the blessings of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Wine is designated by our Lord as emblematic of His blood because it is the perfect symbol, both visually and physically, to direct our minds and hearts toward remembering all aspects of our Savior’s sacrifice on our behalf. Partaking of wine for the sacrament was never forbidden in the scriptures and there is not a revelation from God forbidding its use (i.e., Doctrine & Covenants).
15. Which books of scripture are considered to include the word of God?
We accept the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. However, when a new dispensation begins, one of the first orders of business is the adoption of a new set of scriptures that restores and corrects, insofar as possible, the scriptural record. Just like the saints of the New Testament period or those in the Book of Mormon at the time of Christ, a scriptural record was preserved and sacred writings were added according to new revelation received. Similarly, at the beginning of the restoration of the gospel, Joseph Smith made corrections to old scripture and new scripture was added. Likewise, for us, there has been a need to remove error from our scriptures, correct texts, and add to the body of scripture to guide us.
Thus, a new canon of scripture has been developed to be more faithful to the labor performed by the Lord through Joseph Smith in the early period of the restoration. This includes all the corrections made in what is commonly known as Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, the re-inclusion of the Lectures on Faith as doctrine, and a more faithful rendition of the 1840 version of the Book and Mormon. New revelations, translations, and commandments for our day have also been included. A detailed explanation of our scriptures can be found here.
16. Who is Denver Snuffer?
We believe Denver Snuffer is first and foremost a teacher, called and authorized by God to declare repentance and the word of the Lord in our day. Denver has written and spoken extensively about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and labored to preserve the religion that Joseph Smith was only beginning to restore before he was martyred. We do not worship, fawn over, or follow Denver. It is idolatry to follow anyone but Jesus Christ, for only He can save. However, we do recognize in Denver's words an authentic message from Heaven and the voice of the Lord. We believe Denver's testimony, that, similar to Joseph Smith, he has stood in the presence of the Lord and has been called by Him to declare His word. Denver considers us as his equals, and we consider ourselves as his equal; laboring together in the vineyard for the souls of men, pursuing the welfare of Zion, and pointing all toward Christ, who is the only source of salvation. This website merely serves as an introduction or springboard to the message that Denver has been sharing for many years (he has not been involved in its development). We recommend that you read the words that Denver has written and spoken to determine whether you hear the voice of Christ in what he has taught for yourself (see here and here).
17. Are individuals who identify as LGBT able to be baptized?
All are invited to listen and respond to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. This means to repent by turning from whatever you place between yourself and the Lord, believe in Him, approach Him as a little child, and be baptized as a witness that you have repented:
We have been instructed to baptize anyone who requests the ordinance after they have heard and accepted the Doctrine of Christ. Judgment is left to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the efficacy of this ordinance, in terms of its blessings, is dependent on the condition of the heart of the individual requesting baptism. We are committed to live by all of God’s commandments, which includes marriage between one man and one woman who live in complete fidelity in their relationship. Through an authorized messenger in our day, sufficient light and truth has been revealed to allow all to clearly understand the roles each gender plays in pre-earth life, our present estate, and the afterlife, and to determine what is in alignment with God’s commandments.
18. Who can I contact to discuss these issues further?