Mysteries of God

Mysteries of God

The scriptures tell us how to get the “mysteries of God.” Learning these mysteries is the fullness of Christ’s Gospel.1 This term has a specific meaning and refers to that knowledge which is hidden from the world and only made available through revelation to the faithful. Much of such knowledge may be learned but is not to be taught. You will have to apply [the process of learning the mysteries] in your life if you intend to learn the mysteries themselves.2 There is a system by which men learn the mysteries of Heaven and are saved. That system is set out in Alma 9:7: First, angels are sent to prepare men/women. Second, they are allowed to behold the Lord’s glory. Then they converse with the Lord, at which point they are taught the things that have been prepared from the foundation of the earth for their salvation. All of this is driven by the man/woman’s faith, repentance and holy works.3 Joseph Smith said, I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of godliness…. [As for myself] it has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries, new things, for my hearers.4 This is the Book of Mormon theme. Search deeper, and find God.5Ask that you may know the mysteries of God. That is a commandment. Although given to Oliver Cowdery, it is a principle applicable to us all (T&C 3:3). The claim that we should stay away from the mysteries of God is false. Refusing to follow the command to “ask that you may know the mysteries of God” denies the power of godliness and opposes the doctrine of salvation. It is anti-Christ.6We make our own mysteries; we are not meant to be kept in darkness, and the mysteries of Heaven will be unfolded to us as we make an effort to understand them.7 Christ said that “the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven” are understood only by those who have been initiated and given that understanding (Matthew 7:2). Mysteries can also be defined as solemn ceremonial ordinances or rituals which take place in a special setting. “Mysteries [from the Greek, mystērion, μυστήριον, μυστηρίου, τό] … [are] confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals.”8

1 The Second Comforter, 11.

2 The Second Comforter, 11n10.

3 “Angels,” March 6, 2010,

4 WJS, 366.

5 Preserving the Restoration, 20.

6 Preserving the Restoration, 20.

7 Hugh Nibley, Eloquent Witness: Nibley on Himself, Others, and the Temple, Stephen D. Ricks, ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2008), 439.

8 Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), 420. See also Strong’s Concordance, G3466.

Other resources:


Denver Snuffer Blog, “Clearing Off Some Pending Questions,” 7/14/2012

Study and prayer are the only way to unlock the mysteries of God. I cannot substitute for that, and do not attempt to provide a shortcut for you. You must engage the Gospel yourself. If you are unwilling to do that, then you will never profit from what I offer. I only refer to the least part of these matters. I raise topics. These are important. You need to investigate them. They are vast. They are hardly understood anymore. They are no longer taught. If you want to understand God, you will have to accomplish that in the same way as all who went before. Take Enoch and Abraham as examples. They studied everything they could find before asking God to show them more. God refused to move their intelligence upward until after they had first obtained a sound understanding, by study, of what He had previously revealed to the fathers. (See Abr. 1: 28D&C 107: 57, for example.) These past saved men were not merely simpletons like us, surfing the web and looking to the blogosphere to provide them shortcuts. You will delude yourself if you are not spending hours each day studying the scriptures to see what they contain.


Denver Snuffer Blog, “Mysteries and Truth,” 11/6/2014

Joseph Smith taught that it is critical for us to know the mysteries of God. “Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge.” TPJS, p. 357.


“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.” TPJS, p. 217.


Joseph understood we are saved by gaining knowledge about God’s mysteries. When we are ignorant of them, we cannot be saved. No one can be saved in ignorance. It is not possible.


Joseph’s knowledge mirrored what is taught and reflected in the Book of Mormon:


Alma 12: 9-11 explains:

“It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”


The definition of being taken captive by the devil is to “know nothing concerning [God’s] mysteries.”


When a person knows nothing concerning God’s mysteries, they are then “led by his [the devil’s] will down to destruction.”


When they are taken captive by their ignorance, they are then bound “by the chains of hell.”


The result of ignorance of God’s mysteries is “destruction” and “captivity.” The ignorant will remain devoted to falsehoods, blinded leaders, and guides who give no truthful accounts of the awful situation faced by the ignorant because they do not understand truth.


D&C 93: 24-25: “And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.”


We must know the truth. The truth informs us how things are (now, today, in the peril we presently face–unvarnished and in all its terrible meaning).


The truth informs us of how things were (by accurate history, revealing exactly what happened, without mythical or political overlay, with its disappointments and tragedies candidly depicted).


The truth informs us of the things to come (even if the prophecies and promises dash our hopes, crush our vanity and expose our foolishness).


Truth can be startling, but it is necessary. Without the truth it is impossible to repent. We will never change while trusting a lie. But we will never fail to repent when the truth is laid bare before us.


In order to take people captive, all that is required is for people to be content with their ignorance. The greatest threat to salvation does not come from teaching false doctrine, but instead comes from ignoring doctrine altogether. Substituting platitudes and truisms for careful, ponderous and solemn investigation of the deep things of God will suffice to keep people in the chains of captivity. It isn’t necessary for the devil to convince you of lies, only for him to make you content in your ignorance, or fearful of the search for truth.


Denver Snuffer Blog, “Groups,” 2/17/2012

The scriptures are a gold standard for parsing the mysteries. They contain a great deal of undiscovered truth. Unlocking those mysteries is almost always done in study, contemplation, prayer and solitary reflection apart from the world…No one can help you find your way back to God. Ideas and doctrines will; men will not. They are a poor substitute for truth, careful study, individual prayer and meditation, pondering and parsing the scriptures and developing your mind. If someone has something to teach, let them teach. Then go your way and ponder upon it.


Denver Snuffer Blog, “3 Nephi 15:11-14,” 11/5/2010

What is it about the failure to seek knowledge from the Lord that makes people both stiffnecked and filled with unbelief? (3 Nephi 15: 18.)


When the Lord will tell those who ask of Him, why is it offensive to Him that people fail to ask?


Is the admonition to “ask, seek, knock” more than an admonition? Is it in fact a commandment? Are you required to search into the mysteries of God, and know more day by day as a result of inquiring of Him? Can you substitute for that by asking others about mysteries? Why not? Why is it essential to gain your knowledge from Him?


Does the Lord’s phrasing tell you something important? (“not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem”)? Is Christ constrained to not disclose until those at Jerusalem ask of Him? (3 Nephi 16: 4.) What does that say about how this area of revelation is governed?  Must the inquiry precede the revelation? What does it mean about the duty to inquire? Again, I’ve explained this in The Second Comforter, and would refer you to that discussion.


There must be a “living relationship” between you and the Living God. If it is not alive, then God must be dead to you. And you dead to Him. Ask, for He has promised to answer. Seek, for He has just promised you will find. Knock, for He has just assured you it will open to you.


Denver Snuffer Blog, “Never Been A Dissident,” 5/10/2014

I believe “the extent of [our] knowledge respecting [God’s] character and glory will depend upon [our] diligence and faithfulness in seeking after [Him].” (Lectures on Faith, 2nd Lecture, par. 55.) Therefore I ventured to try to gain knowledge about God directly, by my own inquiries to Him. I pursued this in all sincerity of heart, believing God would answer me when I sought Him. (James 1: 5.) I have learned it to be true that “the inquiry frequently terminated, indeed always terminated when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries and eternal certainty.” (Id. par. 56.)


Like others who tasted from this tree of life, once I learned the religion restored through Joseph Smith was indeed alive, and able to reconnect us to the True Vine (John 15: 1-5), I wanted others to also know it was possible to eat from the Tree of Life. (See 1 Ne. 8: 12; also Enos 1: 9.) It should be welcome and appropriate for all Latter-day Saints to both belong to the LDS Church and to reconnect with heaven and be filled with knowledge from God.


There is no official “creed” given to us by Joseph Smith. He advised all to search into God’s mysteries: “I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness.” (TPJS p. 364.) I have done that, and believe all should do likewise. No institution can do this for me, or for you. It is up to each of us to practice this faith.


I believe everyone ought to practice a living, fruitful faith by reconnecting to the True Vine, because it is only through Christ we are able to do anything. When any soul reconnects to Christ, they are alive in Him and should do as Christ would have them do. If this puts you into conflict with an institution, then I believe it is our duty to obey Christ and endure the insults, rejection and turmoil which follows.