LDS leader addresses votes of dissent during 186th General Conference

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Saturday afternoon session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 186th Annual General Conference included some rare but increasingly more-common votes of dissent.

As is customary during the twice-yearly conferences, a portion of the time was devoted to calling new members to leadership roles and sustaining existing leaders in those positions.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, read the names of new leaders and also invited those in attendance to sustain existing members by raising their right arm. For many years, this event proceeded with unanimous assent, but last year during the April session was reportedly the first time since the 1980s someone in the audience dissented. 

After Uchtdorf read the names of the members of the First Presidency, he invited the audience to vote to sustain them. Thousands raised their hands to affirm those leaders. When Uchtdorf asked for any opposing votes, at least one person could be heard yelling "No" from the audience.

After other LDS leaders provided an audit report and then a statistical report, Uchtdorf returned to the podium to acknowledge the dissenting votes:

"Brothers and sisters, President Monson asked me to mention that, since a few opposing votes were noted: We invite those with opposing votes to contact their Stake Presidents for further questions or answers. Thank you."

President Monson refers to Thomas S. Monson, the current leader of the LDS Church. Stake Presidents are regional lay leaders who oversee several local congregations called wards.

134 comments

  • P.M.

    Folks like A.M. conveniently forget that Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, kicked their tables over, and said that they’d made the temple a den of thieves.
    The Lord would have just about as much tolerance for promiscuous sexual behavior today as He did then.

  • P.M.

    Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that neither God or His Son, Jesus, condone deviate sexual behavior? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their people were evil.

    • A.M.

      P.M., do you remember where Jesus said that the prostitutes and sinners would enter into the kingdom of heaven before the self-righteous would? Those who judge others stand condemned before the Lord, for there remains in them the greater sin.

      Do you remember the promiscuous woman who was caught in the act of committing adultery? The men who found her, wanted her stoned to death. Jesus said, “he who is without sin among you, cast the first stone at her.” These men went away. Jesus said to the woman, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more.”

      We do have Sodom and Gomorrah, and the time when Jesus drove out money changers, but I don’t see this as a license for us to do the same, unless we are without sin, ourselves. There are more examples where Jesus exhibited compassion.

      The Golden Rule stands as the standard of our salvation. We don’t score points with God by being judgmental and wanting to cast people out.

      • RL

        A.M. I’m saddened that you would accuse any of the church leaders for judging anyone. I used to feel the same way, but realized everyone on this earth is human and mistakes are made, but the leaders are not judging anyone, they doing what the lord has asked them to do, teach the commandments, and love everyone. Obviously you weren’t paying attention during General Conference, or you have a huge chip on your shoulder about something that has happened to you, and for that I am sorry. We are here to learn.

    • A.M.

      RL, I’m sorry that you’re saddened by my comments. You mentioned that the Lord has asked LDS leaders to teach the commandments. First of all, anyone can claim that God asked them to teach something. I’m very familiar with all LDS teaching. I’m also quite analytical.

      I’ve noticed a truth that LDS leaders seem to universally be blind to. I’ve noticed that by simply believing in the atonement, that Jesus suffered the penalty of all sin against law, our hearts can be filled with love for one another, that the spirit of judgment will entirely leave us.

      Oh, I think LDS leaders do feel as though God wants them to teach commandments, but sadly, they don’t teach the Golden Rule, which was meant to replace all other commandments.

      In the Old Testament, it was all about obedience to commandments. In the New Testament, obedience to commandments was considered a path to death, and the focus was on the Spirit, which giveth life.

      In the New Testament, it states that those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God. Love is taught to be the fulfillment of the law. Jesus taught that the Golden Rule replaced the law and the prophets. And, the Golden Rule is different, because it’s not a set of rules, but is a command for everyone to think and being inspired of love from within, then to do unto others likewise.

      The LDS church is working very hard to establish a letter of the law, but they lack the Spirit, because the Spirit is only available through abiding by the Golden Rule, which they don’t teach as a commandment, because their leadership methods aren’t in harmony with this principle.

      As a result, most often, members and leaders are looking at what people aren’t doing, rather than appreciating what they are doing in the Spirit of love toward one another.

      In my home one time, I asked a General Authority if the church would honor the scriptures which speak of being led by the Spirit in all things. Including, but not limited to, 2 Nephi 32:5, D&C 50:10-25, and JST Mark 9:40-48. He looked at me, and this was witnessed by the Stake President who was also there, and said to me, “the church will not honor these scriptures.”

      This astounded me, for these are LDS scriptures, but I’m glad this man was honest with me, about the fact that the church really doesn’t seek for its members to be led by the Holy Ghost, but by church leaders who are establishing all sorts of commandments, other than the Golden Rule.

      In a nut shell, obedience based religion makes it impossible for its members to love unconditionally, which is why in a previous post I asked P.M. if his heart was filled with love for other people, that if it wasn’t, then he didn’t know the truth. Those who live completely by the Spirit, are the only ones who know the truth, for they are filled with God’s love for all people.

    • analogismos

      Ezekiel 16:49
      Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

  • Morminion

    If this church really is led by God, I would consider it a miracle if God would have struck this man down in his seat for all to see like he did in the good old days. Instead this man will be called into a Court of Love where he will be largely executed by a bunch of lay clergy in private.

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