Do we love Jesus enough to…. stand up for what we believe is right?
Do we love Jesus enough to….stand up for the marginalized in our very midst?
Do we love Jesus enough to….stand up for those in our midst who are in danger?
Do we love Jesus enough to….be honest when Jesus asks for our opinion?
Do we love the church enough to….stand up and protect it as Jesus has designated?
Do we love the church enough to….participate in its governance as Jesus has designated?
Do we love the apostles enough to….be honest when they ask for our opinion?
Finally, do we love Jesus enough to….to follow Him?
On Saturday October 1st, a very special event will occur. At the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Law of Common Consent will be put into practice. This is a sacred opportunity for all members of the church to express their “approval” or “disapproval.” (D&C 124:144)
This divine system of governance in the kingdom of God was declared by the Savior Himself. In Doctrine & Covenants 28:13, “For ALL things MUST be done in order, and by common consent in the church.”
Can a person hold an office in the church without the consent of the people?
Nope. “No man can preside in this Church in any capacity without the consent of the people. The Lord has placed upon us the responsibility of sustaining by vote those who are called to various positions of responsibility. No man, should the people decide to the contrary, could preside over any body of Latter-day Saints in this Church.” –LDS Website
Who should nominate the officers of the church?
“It is not the right of the people to nominate, to choose, for that is the right of the priesthood.” –LDS Website
Does Common Consent apply to more than just church officers?
Oh yes, so much more!!! “This same principle operates for policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints. (see D&C 26:2) –LDS Website
And, there is the sticking point. Today, no policies, no major decisions, not anything that affects the lives of the Saints are being presented nor accepted by common consent. If we are opposed to any of the above, the only real option seems to be voting opposed to the general leadership. Someday that will change. Eventually, the membership will no longer tolerate disobedience of this plain and precious law of God.
If You Support Everything The Church Is Doing…
Please, carefully consider your vote. A vote to sustain the prophets and apostles is a great way to vote. I commend & support your action.
If You Generally Support Everything, But Have Concerns…
Please, carefully consider your vote. Whether you abstain or vote in approval, good for you. Your opinion is important to the governance of Christ’s church.
If You Have Major Issues with Policies “That affect the Lives of the Saints”
Please, carefully consider your vote. The unanimous votes that are recorded at General, Stake and Ward Conferences are sending a clear signal to SLC and to the general membership that “all is well in Zion.” However, many feel that all is NOT well in Zion. That includes me.
Jesus’ system of church governance addresses practical concerns. Common Consent helps prevent errors, correct errors, provide accountability and put a check on “Unrighteous Dominion.” (D&C 121:39)
Besides practicality there is another side of Common Consent. To me, this law is one of the most beautiful in our entire canon. Most commandments are like: “Do this…Do that…Don’t do this…Don’t do that!” Oh…but this law is more like: “Sam, you are of great worth. I value your opinion. I value your critical thinking. I have commanded the apostles, whom I have put in place, to ask for your input. When they do, please be honest. I’m trusting and relying on you, Sam.” When I consider how the Lord Jesus has set up the governance of His church, a tear of joy graces my eye. He loves, respects and values each of us and our opinions.
If You are Opposed, I Encourage you to Vote Your Opinion
First, I know that many are constrained by fear. Fear of family, friends, or business repercussions. Those are legitimate considerations. It’s an unfortunate element of today’s LDS culture that prevents full participation in the Law of Common Consent. Your silence is understandable and certainly an honorable path.
Now, to the group in which I find myself: Those who oppose and are willing to fully engage in the divine process of church voting.
Please, carefully consider casting a vote. This is general conference (GC) and is the easiest of all the conferences. The voting session occurs Saturday afternoon. Here’s how you can effectively vote.
- Attend GC in Salt Lake City.
- Watch GC in your stake center or local chapel, if conference is broadcast there.
- Watch or listen to GC in your home.
- MOST IMPORTANT: After the Saturday voting session, send an email to your bishop and Stake President.
Questions and Concerns
Do I have to spend time composing an e-mail? Not necessarily. Click here for examples. Take ideas from it. Modify it. Or flat out copy it.
How will anyone know that there are actually members opposing? Great question. A Common Consent Register has now been created. In this document you can record your name as having voted OPPOSED or planning to vote OPPOSED. For many it is a scary experience…putting their name in full view of the public. Certainly, it is a worthwhile cause to stand up for what we believe and to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves.
What are the risks? There shouldn’t be any risks to obeying a commandment from Jesus Christ in the church of Jesus Christ. But, the risk is real. I’ll address that in a blog post coming in the next few days.
Will I be asked to meet with a church leader? It’s likely that the stake president or bishop will want to discuss with you. That should be a very good thing. It gives you the opportunity to explain your position. In an ideal church, your opinion would be forwarded up the chain. If a significant number of members engage in common consent, vote tallies will be taken seriously. In the ‘risks’ posting, I’ll give some ideas for the interview with church leaders.
My Hope & Prayer
I love my church. The church of my child and adulthood. The church of my forefathers, my parents, my children, my grandchildren. It’s a good church. It’s the church of Jesus Christ.
I pray that good men and women all over the world will raise their hands and express their sincere and true opinions. Jesus is counting on us.