I have a lot of respect for Joel Skousen. I enjoy listening to his analysis on current events and conspiracy. In the Q&A section of a recent presentation he gave (on Dec 5, 2014), he shared his views on ‘Visions of Glory’ and Denver Snuffer. This is my transcription of the relevant portion:
Audience member: When you said dreams and visions are you talking about the book “Visions of Glory” by John Pontius?
Skousen: Yeah, I don’t believe Visions of Glory is of the Lord, even though there’s a lot of truths in it. Satan deals in truths to get you to believe the curveballs and the philosophy. I’ve read it. I got a very strong spiritual impression that it’s not of the Lord. There are some very specific doctrinal errors in it, but the biggest thing that came really strong to my mind is this is too much revelation . . .
Audience member: For one person. . .
Skousen: Too much revelation. The Lord . . . It violates the test of earth life – to be getting monthly revelation to a person when the brethren have very few themselves. I’m not saying that the Lord can’t do that because you can quote the scriptures, “your children shall dream dreams” and all of that and everyone that believe in dreams will quote that scripture. But they fail to realize the Lord changes the game sometimes.
In the Last days you’re going to be required not to walk by major miracles and revelations, visions, but walk by the Holy Spirit. And Satan will be given great power to show you great miracles and dreams and visions, so be very wary of any person who preaches to you the doctrine, like Denver Snuffer, that everybody ought to see the face of the Christ, that everybody ought to have their calling and election made sure. That is not true.
There’s nothing worse than going and pounding at the door of the Lord and saying, “I want a direct revelation and my calling and election made sure.” Those who really do, know their position, or don’t need to ask for that. And I don’t care if Joseph Smith said it. Joseph Smith said and he believed that everybody could see the face because he did, but he didn’t realize the Lord didn’t intend everybody. And it would give Satan a great deal of hold upon people – to seek for revelation. I don’t think anyone ought to seek for open revelation. If the Lord decides to do it let him do it, but just seek for understanding and make your prayers known to the Lord, but don’t ever say, “I want a vision,” or “I want to see something.” You’re just asking for the wrong source. And I know four or five very great individuals including one of my uncles (not Uncle Cleon) who went out to the wilderness, fasting and praying, to get a revelation and they got it alright, but it wasn’t of the Lord. So be very careful – that’s my warning.
Those are some bold words (especially after I made them bold). When you read Joseph Smith, he actually equates salvation with gaining knowledge/revelation:
“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”
I wish Joel had said what this implies – something along the lines of: “Joseph Smith was wrong about the mechanism for how we are saved. I am agreed with the Brethren, that revelation needs to be fairly sparse (some undefined amount, but less than monthly) or else it is of the Devil (because the Lord in the last days has changed the game and only Satan can give revelations (equal to or greater than) monthly). Joseph Smith, Peter (2 Peter 1:10), Denver Snuffer (if that’s what you are into), and The Lord (D&C 93:1) will lead you into error and deception. You must choose between them and what I am teaching now. Your salvation depends on it.”
As I stated previously, I really admire a lot of Joel’s work. But despite my admiration for the man, his view is in direct contrast with my own on the mechanism for how we are to be saved. I think it is in direct contrast with the scriptures as well (Alma equates not knowing the mysteries with the chains of hell, look it up). He admits it’s in direct contrast with Joseph Smith’s view.
There are a million voices competing for our attention and they are not all compatible. We ought to (ironically) follow Joel’s warning – be very careful.