Short Answer: Absolutely YES!!!
If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I have started to live the Law of Common Consent. The church as a whole has not. At least not as it is mandated by Jesus is the D&C, or declared as doctrine on the LDS website, or witnessed by a prophet of God before the U.S. Congress.
Over the past 6 months, I have now heard similar discouraging statements from by both those who are true-blue-believing Mormons and by members who are disillusioned. They go something like this:
- The Church will never implement Common Consent (CC).
- The Church is too big to use CC.
- The leaders will not give up their power by implementing CC.
- We are a worldwide church and CC is not feasible.
- CC is antiquated.
Until recently, this is how my response normally went:
“I don’t know if the church will ever embrace common consent. If they ever do, it may not be in my lifetime. What I do know is that by voting in disapproval, something beautiful has already happened. MARGINALIZED MEMBERS have taken notice. There are people in our pews struggling in silence. Just the act of witnessing an opposing vote has brought them hope & encouragement. They recognize that there are members who love and care about them. There are people willing to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Those who struggle in silence fit in several marginalized categories. Certainly our LGBT children are at risk. If one gay person postpones suicide, my vote will have accomplished more than I could have ever hoped for.”
This weekend, an epiphany struck me with encouraging enlightenment. A local leader posed this question, “Sam, do you really expect the Mormon Church to change regarding Common Consent? I proceeded to give my standard response.
But, as I drove home, his phrasing rattled around my brain, “Do You really expect?” Expect??? Well….the expressions of my expectations have been pretty low. Was I being cynical? Was my approach hypocritical? Cynic? Hypocrite? I don’t like or want either title.
Webster: “Believing that people are generally selfish and dishonest.”
I have placed my faith in the teachings and example of Jesus. Am I being cynical by assuming his commandments would not be followed in His own Church? Am I being cynical by not giving the apostles the benefit of the doubt; that they would be honest in following Christ’s system of governance; that they would be unselfish in acquiescing to accountability? My reasoned conclusion was ‘Yes,’ it IS cynical to put my faith in Christ, and then not trust His leaders to start leading with His Law of Common Consent.
Webster: “A person who claims to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.”
Well, I’m certainly not acting hypocritically. At least not by this definition. I believe in Common Consent and behave in agreement with those beliefs. But…I might be hypocritical to press forward, feasting on the word of Christ, yet having little confidence that the feast will be fulfilled.
A New Answer, A New Attitude
Do I really expect the church to change and live by Common Consent?
“ABSOLUTELY!!! This is Christ’s church. Of course, I expect HIS church to obey HIS law. Anything else would be cynical & hypocritical on my part.
This is Christ’s church. Of course, I expect His laws to respected.
This is Christ’s church. Of course, I expect its leaders to acquiesce to God’s law. They are good men. I trust that they WILL follow Jesus.”
No longer am I alone in my expectations. There are now 311 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have decided to openly and actively live the divine law of church governance. To all who have put their honor and good names on the line…THANK YOU! What you are doing is not in vain. You have already made a difference in the lives of many. I fully EXPECT that your courage will bring the changes to the church which the Savior desires.
If you are a member. If you disapprove of policies, major decisions and other important matters that have never been ratified by the general membership, consider embracing the Law of Common Consent. Here’s a place to start: The Common Consent Register.
Christ is the Way. Consent…IS…His way.
- 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?, 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.