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.