This is a guest post by Huston.
At this weekend’s global General Conference, the annual sustaining vote for our church’s overall leaders had an unusual wrinkle. Tens of thousands of Mormons there in person–and many more watching online–said yes. But about seven people stood up to say nay.
This was a planned protest vote by a group called “Any Opposed?”. According to their web site, they seem to have wanted an audience with the Apostles so they could air their grievances. They might have been surprised when the conducting officer, President Uchtdorf, referred them to their stake presidents.
Perhaps they didn’t realize that the church has grown far too large for the old policies of the 70’s to be practical anymore. (Hopefully they then learned from Elder Cook’s talk on the subject.) Perhaps they didn’t know that this is the procedure outlined in the Church’s official Handbook of Instructions:
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.
If they’d really read the handbook, they’d know why dissenting votes are asked for in the first place. From the same paragraph cited above:
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.
The point of a dissenting vote is to reveal that a nominee for a calling has been cheating on a spouse, or beating children, or getting drunk every night, etc.
But, again according to their own web site, the dissenting voters weren’t accusing leaders of such immoral behavior. They were protesting the fact that the Church holds opinions contrary to their own about (surprise!) gay marriage and the role of women in the Church.
So their dissenting vote had nothing to do with unworthiness, much less an attempt to find answers or engage in dialogue. It was an attempt to blacklist people who disagree with their political views. They wanted to publicly punish and suppress those who are different from them.
This, of course, has become the modus operandi of the American Left these days. (See here for some recent examples, though there are many, many more.) The mindset of too many liberals today has become one of automatic righteous indignation towards those who dare to dissent from their party line, with a reflexive response to censor them.
Actually, in the eyes of those who gave the dissenting votes, our general Church leaders really are immoral and thus unworthy to hold office. Our leaders have committed the ultimate sin, after all: they don’t confess loyalty to the creeds of liberalism.
Such is the “tolerance” of the American Left.