Tomorrow, I plan to vote my disapproval during General Conference. I don’t know exactly where. Maybe in the basement of my mother’s home, in a local chapel, on Temple Square, or even in the Conference Center itself.
Regardless of where I vote, I want it to be counted. As the apostles now direct at every conference, after my vote, I plan to send the following letter to my Stake President and Bishop.
To any member reading this piece, I encourage you to seriously consider your vote. It CAN and WILL make a difference. Other resources about Christ’s gorgeous law of Common Consent are provided below.
Dear Stake President and Bishop,
This is my dutiful notification that during the April 2017 General Conference, I voted in disapproval when the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve were presented.
Of course, I don’t oppose the church, the apostles or the prophet. I use the word disapprove as that’s the phrasing that Jesus used in the revelation found in D&C 124:144.
Here are my points of disapproval:
- Disregard for the Law of Common Consent. This is a law from God, plainly taught in our scriptures, doctrine and pronouncements by prophets and apostles. Currently, our top leadership is disobeying this commandment. And they are leading the entire church to follow that same disobedience.
- The November 2015 LGBT policy. If a gay couple gets married a church court is mandatory. Yet, forcible rape, sexual abuse, and deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities do not automatically trigger church discipline. What kind of a message does that send? Forcible rape…maybe discipline is due. Legal and lawful gay marriage…you’re out here. Children of gay couples are excluded from the most important blessings of the church. !!!Children!!! No baptism. No priesthood. No youth leadership. No youth temple trips. NO HOLY GHOST.
- Twelve month waiting penalty if marriages don’t take place in the temple. This penalty only applies in the U.S. and a few other countries. As a result, much hurt and heartbreak happen as parents suffer the humiliation of being excluded from their children’s weddings. In most of the world, marriages are held outside of the temple, allowing all to celebrate this great event. Then the sealing takes place a few days later in the temple.
- The demeaning process for a divorced woman to obtain a Sealing Cancellation.
- The inability for divorced men to obtain a Sealing Cancellation.
- The teaching/doctrine that the prophet can’t lead us astray. I don’t even know what this is. It’s not in the scriptures. Is it a policy? Is it revelation? Is it doctrine? Are they simply the words of a man who was trying his darnedest to get rid of polygamy? Whatever this statement is, I view it as one of the worst and most dangerous elements of our church culture.
- Interviews with children, alone, behind closed doors, with an untrained older man about masturbation & other sexual matters without the explicit knowledge and consent of the parents.
- Nondisclosure of financial dealings. Our finances were open for members’ scrutiny until the 1950’s.
- Meddling in politics without presenting the issues for a vote of approval.
- Keeping secret the policy manuals provided to bishops, stake presidents and seventies. How can we be expected to approve our own policies if they are hidden from us? Why is the church governed with secret statutes unavailable to its membership?
- Keeping secret the ordinance of the Second Anointing and the fact that it is taking place today in our temples. What is this ordinance? How does one qualify for it? Why is it not open to all? What does this ordinance mean for those receiving it?
- Use of the wording: Sustain or Oppose. The words of Christ should be used: Approve or disapprove.
None of these policies, procedures, or practices have ever been put up for a vote of approval by the membership….except for the Law of Common Consent. This commandment was presented to the membership in the last century. Of course, it was accepted as a law of God by the ratifying vote of the early church members.
It’s ironic that out of the 12 items on my list, the only one that we know came from Christ and was also ratified by the membership, is the very one we don’t follow. The other 11 policies have never been approved, yet they are deployed and practiced.
Elder Hugh B. Brown taught that policies are to be considered “temporary” until presented for a vote of common consent. President Joseph F. Smith testified that no revelation is binding on the church until it is offered at a conference and confirmed by a simple majority. Finally, our current doctrine states that all policies, major decisions and anything else that affects the lives of the Saints must be sanctioned by common consent.
I’m voting my disapproval of “temporary” policies that are not “binding” on the church or its members.
Please pass my vote and explanation to the proper authorities tasked with keeping the conference tallies.
Although disapproving votes are rare, they are starting to happen. At this moment, 375 members have recorded their votes on the Common Consent Register. If the church leadership is serious about obeying Christ’s laws, and I believe they are, then this really should be done by the church and not by me.
HERE is the link to the Register. Several on the list reside in our ward and stake boundaries. The rest are spread around the globe. You will note that several show up as “anonymous.” These are real people with names and e-mail addresses behind each “anonymous” entry. Unfortunately, at this point, they don’t feel safe revealing their names in public.
Over the past couple of years, I have conversed with hundreds of members, many in our ward and stake. What do you think they have to say about the both of you? Let me just say that you are beloved. And I love you, too.
Thanks again for the magnanimous service and care that you render to our friends in this area of the Lord’s vineyard.
I also thank you for your immense patience…with me. It’s been a tough road. Fortunately, in the end, I have chosen to put my faith in Jesus. I am trying to follow his teachings and example. The many hours that ya’ll have spent with me have been a great help in landing me on my feet and within the beautiful bounds of the gospel. We have a good church. I want to see it bettered.
All my best wishes & Godspeed,
Common Consent Scriptures & Doctrine, click HERE.
Common Consent Register—A Record of Those Who Disapprove, click, HERE.
Email notifications that can be sent to Bishops and Stake Presidents, click HERE.
Do We Love Jesus Enough?, click HERE.
The Only True Hope for The Only True Church, click HERE.
If I Don’t Dissent…I Consent, click HERE.
9 thoughts on “Letter to the Stake President”
Sam, would you like me to post my message to my SP from last conference?
Your letter is written from the perspective of an active believer. As a non-believing member, I have written something quite different from what you have.
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Absolutely. Please share. And…THANKS FOR TAKING COMMON CONSENT seriously.
[[names of Stake President & Branch President – both good men – redacted]]
Hi Pres ‘Stake’.
I hope you and family are all well.
I few days ago I spoke to Pres ‘Branch’ to advise him of what I did at the General Session of Conference in which the church general officers were sustained.
I was sitting at home at the time, listening to a webcast, alone. For both the sustaining of the First Presidency and the sustaining of the Quorum of 12 Apostles I raise my hand when Pres Eyring said “Those opposed may manifest it.”. He invited “… those who may have opposed any of the proposals to contact their stake presidents.”. I do not know what the mechanism is for officially recording opposition, but I would ask you to invoke that mechanism for my vote.
Please note that this concerns me alone – my wife did not join me in opposition, and was not even aware of my action at the time.
As I explained to Pres ‘Branch’, although (as you both know) I am completely inactive and do not believe in the truth claims of the LDS church, I am still attached to the church in several ways, and the church still counts me as a member.
You also know from our previous exchanges of email messages that I am completely opposed to the changes made last November in the way that gay members and their children are now to be treated by the church.
I had hoped (although with very low expectations) that the church would somehow reverse the “November policy/revelation”.
By my understanding of the functioning of the church, if the policy was indeed the result of a revelation to Pres Monson, as Pres Nelson has claimed, then the revelation should have been presented to the members at conference for a sustaining vote. Two General Conferences have now passed with no explicit mention of the policy – never mind having it voted on. If it had been presented for a sustaining vote then I would have exercised my right, under the principle of common consent, to oppose it. In the absence of a reversal, and of the opportunity to oppose the policy directly, I chose this method of signaling my opposition to the policy by opposing the sustaining of those responsible for the policy.
I hope to hear from you soon about how you would like to proceed.
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So very brave. So thoroughly and well written.
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Sam, you have expressed your beliefs very well. You are a good man, a true servant of Jesus Christ, and have been a great example for so many over the years. I do hope that you receive your hearts desire. I agree with several of the items you listed. However, I cannot, in good conscience vote opposed to our Prophet and the General Authirities that I believe we’re called by Heavenly Father to serve in these positions as Apostles and witnesses to Jesus Christ. You said yourself that these items listed are temporary. If that is true than they can change in the future or presented as doctrine for a vote of common consent.
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Well written Sam.
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I was glad to see that you were able to get in the session so that you could show your opposition. At least I know that you do love the church. I was, however , disheartened to see that your companion was one who has spoken very much against the church. I know of people who would have loved to have been there to partake of the spirit there. I saw where she shot a video and posted it on her Twitter account. I do hope that you were not part of the disruption caused by those voting opposed. I would be very disappointed if I knew you were.
Well put Sam!