Dissenting Votes: Everything You Need To Know

Church members participating in the afternoon session of The 185th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints witnessed a rare event in general conference history: a sustaining vote that was not unanimous.

But however rare the incident, the move was not unexpected. In a recent press release, members of the group called “Any Opposed?” asserted they planned to oppose the sustaining of the general officers of the Church this conference.

The movement’s website purports that Any Opposed? is “not an organized group,” but is “acting as a resource for those who are considering this action.” They profess no agenda other than acting as a means for providing frustrated members “access to policy-making Church leaders to express feedback, opinions, dissent, or dissatisfaction about the current views, positions and teachings of the LDS Church.” No specific social or political complaints are mentioned.

In the event that member concerns are raised in this manner, the Church Handbook 2, which applies to all Church meetings, explains the protocol for dealing with these issues:

“If a member in good standing gives a dissenting vote when someone is presented to be sustained, the presiding officer or another assigned priesthood officer confers with the dissenting member in private after the meeting. The officer determines whether the dissenting vote was based on knowledge that the person who was presented is guilty of conduct that should disqualify him or her from serving in the position” (19.3).

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