Letter to the Stake President

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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.

My Letter

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The demeaning process for a divorced woman to obtain a Sealing Cancellation.
  5. The inability for divorced men to obtain a Sealing Cancellation.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Nondisclosure of financial dealings.  Our finances were open for members’ scrutiny until the 1950’s.
  9. Meddling in politics without presenting the issues for a vote of approval.
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. 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,

Sam Young

Other Resources

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.

Thomas S. Monson is My Hero

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Every 6 months the Mormon Church holds a general conference.  It’s broadcast to the world.  Featured speakers include the Twelve Apostles and other general authorities.  Words from the current prophet are always the highlight.  Thomas S. Monson fills that role today.

He has a special place in my heart.  When I was just 9 years old, ‘Tommy,’ became an apostle.  He has been an influential figure my entire life.  Many of his conference addresses are remembered with fondness.

During the April & October 2016 conferences I feel like his instructions were directed straight at me.  I…LOVED…THEM!!!

April 2016

President Monson’s talk was entitled “Choices.”  A timely topic indeed.  For the previous 2 years, I had worked to come to terms with troubling new information about my religion.  My choices were finally coalescing.  I describe my journey here.  The prophet’s talk  lasted a short and powerful 5 minutes.  These are the potent words that penetrated my heart.

“May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus.”

The day before this talk, for the first time in my life, I had defied the consensus by voting OPPOSED.  Now….here’s the prophet inspiring me to “maintain the courage to defy.”  Yes!!!  Six months later, I now know just how difficult it is to defy the consensus.  It’s a huge help to have the words of President Monson at my side.

“May we ever chose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”

For months, I had weighed in my mind…obey my temple covenants…obey the law of God…speak up for “the least of these”…..OR……stay silent.  The prophet was giving me support to choose the “harder right.”  The “wrong” would have been so much easier.

“If we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.”

This lodges a tear in my eye.  In February 2016, I made the conscious and fateful decision to put my faith in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.  Well, I gladly accept the confirmation and validation that Pres. Monson so gently & forcefully pronounced.

October 2016

By the time the prophet spoke in the October 2nd Sunday morning session, I had voted disapproval at ward , stake, and 2 general conferences.  I had also thoroughly examined my temple covenants and the Law of Common Consent.  President Monson’s words resonated with overwhelming confirmation.

“Learn, search and pray.  We need to know God’s laws and live them.”

For months, I had been learning, searching and praying.   My very purpose was to know and understand the law of God.  Now…here’s the prophet giving the injunction to “live” what I have learned.  The Law of Common Consent IS God’s law.  I am determined to live it.

“We are blessed to have the truth.  We have a mandate to share the truth.  Let us live the truth.”

Amazing.  Simply amazing.  THIS…IS…MY… HERO!!!   Just this year, I have discovered the truth of how Jesus wants his church to be governed.  And now, I have a MANDATE to share it!  Oh my gosh!  Six days before President Monson pronounced these words, I had created the Common Consent Register.  Perhaps a clumsy attempt to share Christ’s truth.  Never-the-less, my hero has now given me a “mandate” to share.  Share away I will.

Thank you, President Monson.

Russell M. Nelson

This man is an apostle in the LDS church.  Not just any apostle.  He’s the senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve.  As such, he’s in line to replace President Monson at his passing.  Listen to his profound prescription to deploy real joy in our lives.

“Every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours.”

Initially, I was nervous about sharing my understanding of temple covenants, explaining common consent, or openly encouraging others to live it.  If I had known in advance what Elder Nelson was going to say at conference, all my jitters would have evaporated long ago.  Well…they’ve certainly disappeared now.

Thank you Elder Nelson

What Now?

First

Consider the awesome and mounting support for Common Consent.

  • The law of God is on the side of common consent. In fact, it…is…the…Law.
  • The laws of God have the obvious backing of President Monson and Elder Nelson.
  • The prophet and his successor encourage sharing and helping others live the law of God.
  • 259 courageous friends have publicly committed to live the Law of Common Consent.  Note that about 1/3 of the names show up as anonymous.  They are real people with real names.  At present, they have selected the option to not have their names viewable.  Unfortunately, living the Law of Common Consent is not totally safe in our current church culture.  This must and will change.  After all, it was Jesus Himself who mandated that “ALL things MUST be done by common consent in the church.”
  • Even my family is supportive. My sweet wife has joined me in voting disapproval.

Second—And This is HUGE!!!

If you are a member & if you are opposed to policies that have NEVER been put to the vote of common consent….consider voicing your opinion now.

Jesus loves and values your views enough to formally request that you voice them several times every year.  To me, the Law of Common Consent is one of the most gorgeous examples that our Savior respects and treasures our capacity to think and make decisions.  We truly are citizens in the kingdom of God.  We just need to start living the law of citizenry.

There are no more voting conferences in 2016.  In the meantime, you can record your intentions by registering your name HERE on the Common Consent Register—A Record of Those Who Disapprove.

Thank you, my friends.

Links

Information on LDS.ORG regarding Common Consent, click HERE.  Please take note of this paragraph:  “Not only are Church officers sustained by common consent, but this same principle operates for policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints.”

Scriptural information about Common Consent click, HERE.

Disturbing membership Trends, click HERE.

Do We Love Jesus Enough to live Common Consent, click HERE.

The Only True Hope for The Only True Church, click HERE.

My personal sadness over my friends and family leaving, click HERE.

Common Consent Register—A Record of Those Who Disapprove click, HERE.