Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Public forum to discuss interesting and helpful books.
Post Reply
User avatar
FaithfulSkeptic
Posts: 216
Joined: 06 Jun 2014, 09:04

Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 09 Sep 2016, 08:33

This was a very powerful podcast for me. Even though Elder Oaks says there is no place for "loyal opposition" in God's kingdom, Sam Young so beautifully epitomizes it! I so admire his honesty, courage, and integrity to live the law of common consent by voting opposed.

http://www.mormonstories.org/sam-young- ... ent-533078
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2559
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by LookingHard » 09 Sep 2016, 08:59

I agree. I follow his blog and he has posts on there, but in the podcast he really lays out his philosophy better. It actually makes sense.

I don't have the energy to deal with doing this. I am more voting with my feet as he mentions.

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6279
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by SilentDawning » 09 Sep 2016, 10:17

Interesting -- the sustaining of officers is definitely an institutionalization of "loyal opposition". We ask "those who oppose by the same sign" in virtually ever Sacrament meeting and conference. Interesting revelation about the lack of truth of one corner of DHO's assertion there is not room for loyal opposition. All they have to do is count the number of oppositions in General Conference, or look at the format of the meeting. I see they even had to change the wording of the response to the opposition in the meeting.

It suggest to me that perhaps the sustaining and opposing aspect of callings was perhaps window dressing -- to appear democratic when really, as we know, we are not a democracy. I think GA's have even said that before -- that we are not a democracy.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6489
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by Heber13 » 09 Sep 2016, 10:18

I will have to check it out and listen to what his philosophy and motivation is.

For someone who opposes, what value is there in living the law of consent? Why not vote with feet, as LH said, instead of staying around and creating opposition and disharmony?

If this author is suggesting going to General Conference and standing to be counted in opposition, I view it similar to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem. I think he has a right to...I can understand there is a motivation and desire to try to make a point...but I'm not sure the connection between the anthem and the cause being protested and while I respect others' have rights to do it that way...I would choose to handle it differently to try to keep issues and actions more aligned.

I will need to check out the podcasts to understand the issues more, but that is my initial reaction. Maybe those of you who have looked at the podcasts and undestand it more can help me see what Sam Young is saying.

I just wonder what voting opposed is going to accomplish in some of these instances. Not that people can't do it...there could be places for it...but I see it often misguided...like Kaepernick...IMO.

As I've mentioned in times past, I have no problem with either. I am interested in why people do things or think about what they are doing. Intent is key for me.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 15312
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by Curt Sunshine » 09 Sep 2016, 12:04

I would oppose if I knew of something (truly knew of it personally) that would make the person unworthy to perform the calling.

I don't have that type of knowledge about any top leaders, so my options are to sustain or abstain from voting. At the local level, it is more complicated, since people tend to conflate personal opposition (not liking someone or someone being a bit of a jerk) with what I would call actual unworthiness.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2559
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by LookingHard » 09 Sep 2016, 13:17

Heber13 wrote:I will have to check it out and listen to what his philosophy and motivation is.

For someone who opposes, what value is there in living the law of consent? Why not vote with feet, as LH said, instead of staying around and creating opposition and disharmony?

If this author is suggesting going to General Conference and standing to be counted in opposition, I view it similar to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem. I think he has a right to...I can understand there is a motivation and desire to try to make a point...but I'm not sure the connection between the anthem and the cause being protested and while I respect others' have rights to do it that way...I would choose to handle it differently to try to keep issues and actions more aligned.

I will need to check out the podcasts to understand the issues more, but that is my initial reaction. Maybe those of you who have looked at the podcasts and undestand it more can help me see what Sam Young is saying.

I just wonder what voting opposed is going to accomplish in some of these instances. Not that people can't do it...there could be places for it...but I see it often misguided...like Kaepernick...IMO.

As I've mentioned in times past, I have no problem with either. I am interested in why people do things or think about what they are doing. Intent is key for me.
I would recap it as: The Lord has dictated in scripture that power usually creates unrighteous dominion. The Lord has also dictated in the scripture that it is commanded that major decision be voted on by common consent. It is kind of like the checks and balances in the highest levels of US government. He gives examples where common consent was NOT used and were issues: Polygamy and Blacks and the priesthood. He mentions that common consent was used to end those policies, but probably wouldn't have dragged on so long if they were put to a vote. He then also draws a parallel to the POX. He wants to vote (OK, not the same as common consent, but "vote" is 4 letters long) on THAT item. Since he isn't given that option, then he will vote in opposition to the Q12/1stPres - Not that he does not sustain them, but that SOME of their actions are out of line and it is the only way he has to fulfill his commanded duty to give this feedback.

As far as the effectiveness, I don't know that it will be all that effective. I also am trying to pursue more of a "live and let live" mantra, so I am not going to go raise a ruckus at church (even if I think the church needs it).

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6489
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by Heber13 » 09 Sep 2016, 15:08

Thanks LH.

I can respect that approach.

Like I said...I can respect Kaepernick doing something he feels he should do.

But...others won't always see the protest the way it was intended. The protest won't always align with the issue. There may be better ways to actually do something about the issue. Maybe that doesn't matter.

We all have a right to do things we think are the right thing to do. And I have the right to how I react to the things others do.

I would agree with you...it doesn't seem like it will be effective...but "live and let live". My understanding is that the dissenting votes were noted...and then life went on. That is what will happen.

I think protests have to be done respectfully enough that the Q15 respect it enough to bring individuals into private counsel meetings behind closed doors. If you can get there...perhaps there can be a chance for real change. If the protest is done disrespectfully too much, it will just get dismissed as opposition to the cause. Kind of like an infidel that doesn't get a vote that matters.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
FaithfulSkeptic
Posts: 216
Joined: 06 Jun 2014, 09:04

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 09 Sep 2016, 15:33

LookingHard wrote:I would recap it as: The Lord has dictated in scripture that power usually creates unrighteous dominion. The Lord has also dictated in the scripture that it is commanded that major decision be voted on by common consent. It is kind of like the checks and balances in the highest levels of US government. He gives examples where common consent was NOT used and were issues: Polygamy and Blacks and the priesthood. He mentions that common consent was used to end those policies, but probably wouldn't have dragged on so long if they were put to a vote. He then also draws a parallel to the POX. He wants to vote (OK, not the same as common consent, but "vote" is 4 letters long) on THAT item. Since he isn't given that option, then he will vote in opposition to the Q12/1stPres - Not that he does not sustain them, but that SOME of their actions are out of line and it is the only way he has to fulfill his commanded duty to give this feedback.

As far as the effectiveness, I don't know that it will be all that effective. I also am trying to pursue more of a "live and let live" mantra, so I am not going to go raise a ruckus at church (even if I think the church needs it).
Excellent recap, LH! I don't think Brother Young is advocating for his position and he isn't trying to cause a commotion by voting opposed. In fact, he let his bishop and stake president know of his intentions and why he feels. There is just no other mechanism (other than common consent) to share disapproval with the brethren over certain policies or doctrines (such as the POX). Brother Young (in my opinion) has just decided (like many of us) that this policy is not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he loves the Church and wants to remain a member, and the way for him to stay true to his morals is to vote opposed to the Q15 at the local level. He still sustains the brethren, but does not sustain the policy.

I guess the issue really comes down to the law of common consent and whether it is appropriate to express disagreement with Church policies through common consent.

From the Church's own website (student manual for D&C):
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that “administrative affairs of the Church are handled in accordance with the law of common consent. This law is that in God’s earthly kingdom, the King counsels what should be done, but then he allows his subjects to accept or reject his proposals. Unless the principle of free agency is operated in righteousness men do not progress to ultimate salvation in the heavenly kingdom hereafter. Accordingly, church officers are selected by the spirit of revelation in those appointed to choose them, but before the officers may serve in their positions, they must receive a formal sustaining vote of the people over whom they are to preside. (D. & C. 20:60–67; 26:2; 28; 38:34–35; 41:9–11; 42:11; 102:9; 124:124–145.)” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 149–50.)

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 (see D&C 26:2).
https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and ... t?lang=eng

Today we use common consent to sustain our local Church authorities and General Authorities, but I don't recall the last time we actually used common consent for Church policy or doctrine. Was it repealing the Priesthood/Temple ban? With the size of the Church, I realize that this could get really difficult to draw the line about which policies should have to be voted on and which would not. I also realize that the law of common consent is not a democracy. But where is the system of checks and balances that prevents the brethren from exercising unrighteous dominion?

D&C 121:39
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6279
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Living the Law of Common Consent by Voting Opposed

Post by SilentDawning » 09 Sep 2016, 16:29

I think Ray made a good point when he said he'd oppose if he knew of a worthiness issue that should prevent someone from holding a particular position. I think that is the intent of the "any opposed" portion of the sustainings in our church.

The only time I see an opportunity to oppose the things that really get people's goat is when they ask us to accept our doctrine as "contained in the Holy Scriptures". I've seen Thomas S. Monson do that in conferences. It doesn't say doctrine in the CHI, or doctrine through announcements or bulletins -- it's "as contained in the Holy Scriptures". So, if you have issues with the historicity or the BoM, interpretations of the Bible we use, that would be the place to oppose.

Just my thoughts on how loyal opposition could work. Sadly, opposing the docrtine is probably the fastest way to get on the conveyor belt of ostracization, apostasy accusations, and such. So, such opposition isn't effective in any way. Even group-based opposition is not effective. Kate Kelly was excommunicated for that kind of activism.

I think the most effective kind of opposition is the kind you see on the bloggernacle -- apparently unorganized, relatively anonymous, not openly antagonistic, and not directed to the GA's demanding a specific response within a specific time. It can't be a lone voice in the wilderness either, I think there need to be themes they see from multiple people across various sites. I do believe the GA's are in tune with the trends this way, and it does influence their thinking. Although I'm sure they ignore stuff they can't go along with all the time.

I think large scale, unorganized trends do have an impact -- trends that are widespread and not part of any one antagonistic group -- that hit the church in the breadbasket are also effective. These include massive resignations, massive drops in the new member growth rate, mass non-payment of tithing that puts the church in a difficult financial position, threats of confiscation of assets by the government, massive public outcry on clear social issues (like race) -- they have tended to respond to these things when they have happened (the latter two). But small scale movements -- ain't gonna matter.

I'm not encouraging any kind of revolution in these comments -- only sharing what I believe motivates the GA's from an opposition perspective.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users