Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Before You Oppose the Opposers

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I was running late on my way down to Layton, UT for a mission reunion. We were watching the Saturday Afternoon session of General Conference together, and I was about 15 minutes away when the broadcast started. I flipped on my car radio and tuned in as they began reading the names of the General Authorities for a sustaining vote. As the names of the first presidency were read and the vote requested, I silently raised my hand as a personal message to myself that I sustain Thomas S. Monson and his two counselors. I sat there reflecting about the oddity of the situation. There I was, wandering through the suburban maze of Layton, UT, hopelessly lost; and yet, I felt an obligation to show my personal support for our leaders, knowing full well that only me and the bearded man mowing his lawn and giving me funny looks would see it.

As President Uchtdorf moved on, I focused again on finding my destination. Moments later I was surprised to hear shouts of “Opposed! Opposed!” drifting out my car radio. I literally stopped my car and sat there listening, the lawn-mowing man now staring me down with contempt. “What was that I just heard?” I thought. “I’ve never heard someone do that. What does this mean? How do they handle this?” As any of you who watched or listened to the broadcast are well aware, President Uchtdorf took it in stride, inviting those opposed to speak with their stake presidents about the reasons for their opposition.

While I had never heard of this happening before, I can say I wasn’t overly shocked, considering recent events such as the excommunications of both John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, as well as other controversial social issues with which the church has been involved. Later, while researching the events of the day, I discovered that the whole thing was a stunt that had been planned in advance, and that President Uchtdorf was more than likely expecting this to happen. Still, as I sat there pondering, the faint sound of sprinklers echoing in my thoughts, I questioned, “Can they do that?” The answer is a resounding, “Of course they can.” Here’s why.

Want to know why? Keep reading at MormonBuzzz.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.


  1. Oh, right — except for the fact that this actually WAS just a bunch of attention-seeking with pet Leftist political issues and axes to grind, and the fact that the person who instigated this cheap stunt stated openly, on Reddit, that he is now an “agnostic” (!). What’s next? Allowing people to unfurl hostile banners during conference, blow noise horns during Conference, and perform the kind of anarchist stunts that prevent conservative speakers from ever giving a talk on any campus these days? Either conference is a sacred space, or it’s just another forum for Leftist activists to disrupt. Opposing is supposed to be done “by the same sign” (the raising of the hand), not bellowing across the conference center (and not — and this is coming next, I guarantee it — by even more disruptive stunts.

  2. I take exception to the word “stunt” but otherwise good article.

    Yes the action was planned. Yes they shouted their opposition but they merely said “Opposed” and then sat down. Pres Uchtdorf wasn’t looking up and, even if he had, he wouldn’t have seen the opposing hands in the sea of 20,000 people. During the opposition expressed during the ERA, the people shouted various things including, “Support the ERA”. They specifically wanted to be heard and have their vote counted, as was their right and the right of any of us.

    These people appear to be politically liberal, but last time I checked, political association is not a prerequisite for joining the church or being a member in good standing.

    Speaking of being a member in good standing, at least one of the people opposing had been disfellowshipped. Although the vote isn’t permitted according to the handbook of instructions, the handbook is policy rather than doctrine, it is perhaps permissible for the vote to be counted.

    I listened to a podcast today where they gave their side of the story and there were some fair points made in it.
    As far as I’m concerned, exercising your rights according to the dictates of the Doctrine and Covenants isn’t a cheap stunt. They knew that there are concerns in the church and concerns expressed to Stake Presidencies rarely make it to the 12 apostles and far more rarely is a response given. This is the one forum where it was legal and proper to give a dissenting vote.

    If the 1P/Q12 wish to have the law of common consent allowed and maintain the reverence of the meeting, it might be a good idea to assign temple square missionaries to each section and if a negative vote is signified by the raising of the hand, they can pass it on with one of dozens of inexpensive technologies. The people said they would have been silent and raised their hand if they felt their vote would have been acknowledged.

    Let’s put a fair system in place. If the “opposed” votes are still shouted, then we might have a problem.

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