Letter to the Stake President


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.

Today’s Opposed Vote in Ward Conference

One Vote

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