Cedaredge Women's Council of August 2022

I am writing this to address the public comments that have been circulated in certain fellowshipping groups and community spaces which inaccurately represent the women's council held in Cedaredge during August 2022 and which comments, falsely accuse the sisters who volunteered their heart and time to serve on the council as "tyrannical, abusive, destructive, devilish, evil and slanderous."

I make mention that this is the first time I have publicly addressed the women's council in detail in this and other settings, which I do solely to clarify and clear my sisters names and heart of these accusations. I further state that to this date I myself, have not shared any of the proceedings publicly; only those correspondences as were needed in inviting the brother and witnesses and organizing said council. All this exclusively between those who were involved in the council and in offering advice. All participants were able to see and read the correspondences and attend the online zoom meeting.

The first clarification of truth I would like to make is the rumour being spread by some (I have personally been asked about this), that Stephanie Snuffer called me just before the council took place  and told me to "Stand down and leave it alone or call it off." This is untrue and anyone sincerely thinking on this for a moment and weighing up all that has been laid out to correct our faith, may see this does not make sense. Sister Snuffer was not involved in this council nor did she represent, nor witness for the brother during the council.

To give the correct context of this current  and misapplied rumour, over a year and a half ago, the first display of new or changed ordinance took place at the Aravada conference and there was much confusion and conflict among the fellowships at this new thing that was offered and performed in that public setting. After the certain ordinances took place, a concerned sister felt to hold a council for the man at that point. This sister, not being a part of the mans home fellowship was counselled by the sister mentioned in the above paragraph, (in the context of)... to let the women of this mans fellowship (Cedaredge) deal with it as they are the ones who know his daily walk. To the sisters credit, she took the well intentioned and wise advice.

The women and men of Cedaredge held several meetings during that timeframe including individually with the brother and his wife to who the concern was focussed. Based on the information we women were told by this couple, we (the Cedaredge women) decided to hold off organizing a council and to continue to labor together through this issue and other concerns. The Cedaredge women wrote a public letter to the fellowships concerning this matter.


Over the past seven years and last two especially, our fellowship has struggled with the continued unbecoming behaviours, teachings and performances of new ordinances in which sometimes the brother and his wife introduced these without prior warning and with new people and guests visiting. 
Numerous efforts were made by myself and others in our community to address these different concerns. We opened our boarders and let down our boundaries to try the spirits to see what fruit those teachings bore. Contention, confusion, accusations, mistrust and dishonesty ensured, with the superiority in knowledge always winning over, this caused our fellowship to become polarized and our youth to have no safe place and this man and woman's teachings and behaviours caused some youth to struggle in their faith.

We knew of other fellowships in different states who had embraced this brothers teachings and new ordinances. We learned of other fellowships who had been fractured and broken apart by these teachings and that many hearts were hurting. I, Eva Gore testify that I was spiritually called and guided to call and organize a women's council for our fellowship so that we might work through these hard issues, set our boundaries, return and repent and keep the covenant in exactitude.

There were 9 women who volunteered to serve on the council from this brothers direct home fellowship of Cedaredge who know his daily walk, there were 2 women from this brothers Arizona fellowship. 1 woman who had laboured extensively in conversations after Aravada and one volunteer.

We (as women who made up the council) fasted together, prayed, cried, grieved and worried about the duty NONE of us had wanted to perform due to our love of our brother, though we all also knew we had to stand on our own two feet and see this through to whatever the outcome would be. We were focussed on the procedure and getting our hearts right, rather than the outcome. We also understood that at any moment during the council, new information and correct understanding could enlighten our minds to accept this mans teachings and ordinances.

We took hours and hours to write each email letter to this brother to make sure, and double check our words and intent and to not accuse. We did this with every letter, back and forth and we have no hesitation in anyone reading our dialogue with this brother because it was kind, inviting, loving and full of concern for him. We tried to address the main points of this brothers concern in his return emails and this was very difficult because communications were very lengthy and lawyering every point and confusing and condescending.

The women's council was moderated by a neutral party so that we could have order and respectful words and conduct. We had house rules all were to abide by so we could have a fair council. One person spoke at a time and extra time was allocated fairly if one had more to speak. 
No woman on the council had a predetermined mind. We all discussed how important it was to listen to the spirit. The brother could have as many witness testimonies with his own testimony as would fit in his 2 hour block. As also those who brought a complaint or witness towards the brother, also had a 2 hour block to schedule these testimonies. We also welcomed as many written testimonies in the brothers behalf as they chose to submit, which they did.

The brother had initially requested over 10 hours all for his own testimony and witness testimonies not including the complaints and testimonies others had to bring towards him. This was very unreasonable as the women serving on the council have children, or families to look after.

One woman on the council is a recent widow with a young family, one has severe chronic health concerns and is on full time oxygen, another sister was rushed to hospital just before the council took place. We are just simple women, mothers, daughters, and sisters trying to do what is right to the best of our ability.

The 9 women from the Cedaredge fellowship and the brothers from our fellowship who were sharing witnesses statements towards this brother, all agreed this council was a witness of our fellowship repentance, and we were inviting the brother and his wife to join with us, in the repentance and confession of our weaknesses. It was not about pointing the finger exclusively at the brother as we had all participated these seven years in the contention over doctrine and not defining our boundaries.

There were also concerns (brought up with care) concerning the brothers spouse because together, they are responsible for teaching the altered/new ordinances. She also, is a strong advocate for new ordinances and participated in divisions within our fellowship. I also brought up behaviours of the mans, adult son.

The points for the women's council were as follows and are copied directly from the correspondence with the brother.

"Here are a few of the concerns of conduct, among others that witnesses wish to address at the council.

• Baptized individuals under the age of eight, contrary to the Lord's instructions in scripture. 
• Continued teaching and administering a baptism you claim to be Adam's Baptism, in public and in a fellowship setting. 
• Performing changed/additional ordinances without the recipient knowing beforehand. • Having your wife administer the washing of feet publicly in connection with the sacrament and teaching it be done as a regular performance within a fellowship before taking sacrament. 
• Altering the qualifications for a youth or man to perform ordinances in a fellowship. 
• The unkind treatment of brothers and sisters (specifically contention, strife, division, cruelty) 
• Financial Misappropriation of another’s funds to an amount greater than $XXXXX when you were hired to oversee a job. To date, there has been no agreed upon restitution or closure to this brother on your part."

After hearing all the witnesses and considering the evidence on both sides, the 13 women on the council, in a separate meeting, voted unanimously to rescind the several certificates the brother has. I say several because the brother had commented that he has multiple certificates and 'its just a piece of paper"

The brother was invited to follow the Lords procedure to reinstate his certificates but not in haste. The women of the council expressed much love to the brother and a hope of reconciliation. We all expressed our hope of holding another council to resign his certificate after his labor of reconciliation between brothers and sisters had sincerely and peaceably come about.

The brother was forwarded the recorded zoom meeting and he has all the correspondence and our permission to share and make public as he feels to, as there are no secret councils. 

We reiterated over and over again that our decision to rescind his several certificates to perform public ordinances does NOT effect his priestly duties within his own family, nor does it effect his connection to heaven. The man believes we are excommunicating him from the fellowship and movement, which we are not.

I take full responsibility for calling the council, but I would never of had the courage nor understanding to, had it not been for the Spirit of Truth pressing into my heart and showing me the consequences of changing ordinances and breaking the covenant. I had inspiration guiding me every step of the way, though I do not claim I was perfect, I am flawed and human but I did the best I could at that point. Looking back, I have learned a great deal.

I would never have called this counsel if I did not love my brother to the depth that I do. I was willing to risk it all in our relationship, in his misunderstanding of my intentions, in the hope it would help him see clearly. My husband and myself have been the closest to this brother in our fellowship for years and I have come to comprehend that in much love there is much godly sorrow.

My post is mostly written to disabuse the accusation of "tyrannical, abusive, destructive, devilish, evil and slanderous." The sisters who willingly served and laboured alongside with me care and love and forgive deeply. Say what you will about me, but these sisters care and hold precious the covenant, our community and especially, the children and the vulnerable who have suffered greatly in these circumstances.

This topic has come up again because after the council, this brother and those that receive and proselyte his teachings, immediately published a 9 page letter to the fellowships saying that the council was "null and void" and they then reinstated all his certificates contrary to the procedure the Lord has laid out. 

Yesterday, a woman who signed her name on the brothers new certificate, desired to remove her name after realizing her error. This woman made a statement and asked me to send it to all those who participated in our council notifying all of her joining our fellowship repentance. She expressed her desire to "no longer support his, or anyones, promotion of Adams baptism, washing of the feet, and multiple baptisms"

I would not have made any of this public, but I feel the need to balance the scale and offer another perspective of what happened. I ask that you privately discern for yourself the truth of the matter and move on. There is far more important things to focus our attention on, and much service and friendship and hope we can share with each other.

Respectfully,
Eva Gore

________________________________________________________________________

Edit 23/11/2022

With the approval of those mentioned in this email correspondence, I share this letter that was read out in the women's council. I have removed the name of the person who sent the email for privacy.

"On Mon, Feb 28, 2022 at 1:47 PM XXXXX> wrote:

Denver,



Regarding the heads up....

Your name is being used as "witness" that a person must have the washing of feet ordinance performed before the Sacrament to be clean. Essentially, they stated that You, Joseph, and Christ all testify to this in the scriptures, and in your books and blogs. Your blog post the "Great Servant" was used, along with Nephi 13 and 3rd Nephi. This idea was shared at a fellowship then immediately this person's wife performed ordinances so they could bless the sacrament. I could not personally stay in the room for this part. I noted it was felt by me and others to bless sacrament quietly ourselves before taking sacrament. A good-hearted fellowship member who is very sweet had hoped this would go well by asking said person to teach on sacrament and help them feel closer to fellowship. 

He later declared this as "the doctrine of Christ", and that he cannot receive or perform the sacrament without doing this. He stated if he did not have space to do this ordinance before sacrament, he would not participate with us. It was left at that this past Sunday (27th). I know that most of fellowship was really taken aback, as this was a surprise. Before next meeting there are conversations how to handle this. It seems there is fear to lose member if we take to "hard" of a stand. I Know this is sacred and should not even be a discussion. 

I believe we will figure it out as a fellowship, though again it will cause division for a time.  XXXX and  I discussed this, we will not allow in our own home when hosting a meeting, and I have already noted with him this was not proper, and noted this "washing of feet" ought to be waited on as stated in T&C 117. 

I am sorry to relay this information, but felt due to the use of your name as a "witness" that you are teaching this, I would do so."


Response 

"From: Denver & Stephanie Snuffer 

Sent: Monday, February 28, 2022 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: A few updates
 
The T&C 117 comments made by Joseph referred to this as something apart from the world, to be done in a temple prepared for that purpose. I've never said it was appropriate to be done outside of a temple. I don't think I would have supported this idea in any remarks I've made, public or private, and if I said something that has been misinterpreted then it is just that: a misinterpretation. Perhaps that is my fault. But it was inadvertent and not something I would ever encourage.

There may be a time when this will be attended to again, in a temple prepared for that purpose. However, just doing something like this as an act of enthusiasm is more likely to result in condemnation than a blessing.

It is easy to create abominations: all one needs to do is engage in unapproved religious practices.

-Denver"

_______________________________________________________________________________

I also include a beautiful email from the husbands and brothers of our Cedaredge fellowship showing their support of the Women's council. I have taken out one name due to a change of heart and for privacy.

"To the Women’s Council of the Cedaredge Fellowship:

To begin, we would like to extend our thanks, support, and encouragement for taking the time to
meet together as a Women’s Council and to weigh the matter at hand in pursuing righteous judgment on
behalf of the fellowship. You ladies are awesome and we love you dearly!

We met this evening to see where our hearts were in regards to the difficult matter that you have
already begun prayerfully discussing. As we did so, we found that we recognize our own weakness,
mistakes, and failings in keeping the ordinances as instructed in scripture (T&C 175:7-21). We now
feel resolved to keep the ordinances as described in the Guide & Standard, the Glossary of Terms
(below), and in the Book of Mormon. We have no desire to change any ordinances, but to keep them
intact as they have been given to us in the scriptures.

Our feelings are to let you know of our support in all that you are doing. We are praying for
you and want to encourage you to focus on righteous principals rather than outcomes. As we worked
through our discussion, we realized that this is a learning process for all of us. We realize that none of
us are going to be perfect in these proceedings, but that our hearts can be perfect in our desires and
intentions to do God’s will with charity and to strive to keep the covenant. Its noted in the glossary of
terms that perfection is “The process of cooperating with God. People don’t need to “accomplish
something”; they only need to get their hearts right. Once their hearts are right, everything else follows
in the ordinary course.”

We have felt that by correcting our mistakes and our hearts, and by keeping the ordinances
unchanged, and through being obedient and exercising our faith in this direction from the Lord, we will
have God’s blessings upon our relationships, our fellowship, and we will increase in unity and become
more of one heart.

Our prayers are with you and we send our love. We are humbled by your sacrifice and honored
to stand with you through all of this.

Evan Cummings
Andrew Gore
Benjamin Gilmore
John Gilmore
Brian Bowler
XXXXX XXXXXX
Matthew Christensen
Michael Coughlin

Additional References/Resources noted
Glossary of terms: Baptism, Contention, Common Consent, Disputations, Perfection, Pure in Heart,
Wrest
T&C 157 and 158.
Moroni chapter 4 and 5.
3 Nephi 5:8

















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