Today was ward conference. Names of ward, stake and general church officers were presented for an up or down vote. I voted in disapproval to both the first presidency and the quorum of twelve apostles. I care for and am concerned about my church.
If you are interested in why I voted opposed, you can find my reasons in the letter sent to the good leaders of my ward and stake.
Letter to My Leadership Friends
Dear Bishop and President,
Great ward conference today. Both of your talks were awesome. This was truly a conference of refreshment and uplift. Often, I felt like you were talking directly to me….in a good way.
Here are a few examples of what I really liked:
- The concept of “saddle up.” I had no idea what that meant.
- Encouragement to love those who dress, look, speak and do things differently than we do.
- Reminder to exercise our faith in Jesus Christ by keeping sacred covenants.
- Elder Ballard’s quote: “Just as we should open our arms in a spirit of welcoming new converts, so too should we embrace and support those who have questions and are faltering in their faith.
Conferences now have an added significance for me. It’s the time that we have the opportunity to follow Christ’s law of common consent. During the sustainings, the podium blocked my direct view of you both. The good brother who conducted did not look up from his notes during the request for opposing votes. So, I don’t know if you are aware that I voted twice in disapproval. I did.
Although we have discussed my reasons at length in the past, here they are again.
1) The Law of Common Consent
According to Jesus, “All things MUST be done by common consent.” According to our doctrine: “policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints” are to be put up for a vote of approval or disapproval. Currently, no policies or any other things that affect the lives of the Saints are being presented for ratification by the Saints.
The divine law of consent puts a sacred obligation on the membership. It’s our place and duty to study out proposed policies, render an approving or disapproving decision, and then openly and honestly express that decision in conference. This is one of the great revelations of the restoration. It reveals to me how much God loves and trusts the rank and file members of His church.
I vote opposed in the expectation that this law will once again become the common law of church governance. I have made a temple covenant to obey the law of God. Consequently, I vote opposed in order to keep my sacred promise of obedience.
2) The Unratified LGBT Policy
The LGBT policy announced in November 2015 has not been presented to the membership for the requisite vote. As such, it has not received the approbation of the membership. It has not been put through the process of common consent mandated by Christ. I disapprove of this unapproved policy.
Please pass my disapproval to the appropriate authority.
Today, I was outvoted. As a result, I once again recognize and sustain the first presidency and apostles in their leadership positions.
Thanks for your wonderful & plentiful service and love. You both have spent way too much time ministering to me. Thanks for your care and understanding.
Godspeed in your callings, Sam