Is our procedure for sustaining a rubber stamp?


Is our procedure for sustaining new appointments in the church a rubber stamp? The dictionary defines a rubber stamp in this way:

“a body or person that approves or endorses a program or policy with little or no dissent or discussion.”

In all cases, no matter what ward or branch of the church I have resided in, I have always observed that the congregation approved or endorsed whatever name(s) were presented for the new appointments. In the rare cases in which there was dissent, it was only one single person in the entire congregation and the other members of the congregation were not told the reason of dissent. In other words, there was never a discussion about the merits or demerits of approving the appointments. The dissenter was later, I am told, given an opportunity to discuss his or her apprehensions in private with the priesthood authority.*^*

It has also been my personal observation that both the announcement of new appointments and the actual vote by the raising of the hands have been performed in the same meeting, the vote taking place right after the announcement. So, the congregation is surprised to hear of a new appointment and then must make an instantaneous decision whether to support it or not. In addition, often times names are lumped together for the vote. Instead of calling a name and asking for a vote on that name and then calling another name and asking for a vote on that name, etc., we get three or four names back-to-back and then a vote to sustain these people, lumped together.

One other observation that I’ve noted is that sometimes when a new leader is appointed, prior to a church vote being cast to approve or disapprove the appointment, the new leader will simply assume that he/she will be chosen by the people, since the people always vote in the affirmative, and that nearly always unanimously, and these newly selected leaders will begin to work in their new appointments and make changes even before the appointment has been finalized by the voice of the people. Hence, the tendency of the current practice is to engender the assumption of a unanimous vote in the affirmative, or in other words, the assumption of a rubber stamp. In practice, it has all the appearances of a rubber stamp and just as a duck is a duck if it looks and walks and talks like a duck, so is a rubber stamp a rubber stamp if it looks and behaves like a rubber stamp. If the law of common consent were done in a different way, no one would assume that the people would approve of them, but instead would wonder whether the people would approve, and no one would begin to exercise the authority of their new calling without first having the confirmation of the people, since that would be usurpation of authority, it having not yet been given (requiring both the Lord’s appointment and the people’s appointment.)

The danger of unrighteous dominion in the current practice of the law of common consent is real. A man in authority, who gives in to the tendency to exercise unrighteous dominion may call friends and associates to positions of authority and leadership in his ward, not because of the Lord’s directives, but because of his own desires, with the sure knowledge that the “voice of the people” will always be in the affirmative, no matter who is called, as long as there are no notable and apparent transgressions in the one(s) being called.

Although the law of common consent is ingenious and an effective means to safeguard against uninspired decisions, its current practice nullifies its ability to check unrighteous dominion. I have been told that when the church was first restored, that the act of sustaining did not take place as it takes place today. I have been told that each name that was presented was openly discussed among the congregation, in the moment of presenting the name, with each person among the congregation being able to rise and give his or her opinion, feeling or testimony concerning the appointment, good or bad, and after the discussion had ended, a vote was taken. Whether this was the case with the earlier church or not, is not the issue. The fact remains that such a discussion tends to strengthen the power of common consent to diminish unrighteous dominion. Whenever things take place in secrecy, there is a tendency towards tyranny. In open discussion, all the facts and feelings are presented, and people can make better judgments.

There may be a better, wiser way to practice the law of common consent. People need time to go to the Lord in prayer and ask that the Holy Ghost reveal to them the truthfulness of an appointment, meaning that they need time to confirm that a new appointment was actually given by direct revelation from God. A way to give them this time would be to make the announcement of new appointments in sacrament meeting and to have those names published in the church program and then to take the vote on those names the following Sunday during sacrament meeting. In addition, to allow, prior to any vote, for anyone to voice any opinion, feeling or testimony they would like to about those appointments, including dissenting opinions. Such a procedure would reduce the number of false appointments to zero and increase the number of true appointments to 100% (unless the congregation themselves are unworthy and cannot receive revelation from the Holy Ghost*~*), as well as increase the confidence of the congregation in the appointment and in the revelatory nature of the gospel.

This procedure can also be implemented on a stake or general conference level. For example, the first day of conference the newly appointed names would be read and the second day of conference the discussion and vote would occur. Or, if the names are known in the week(s) prior to stake or general conference, these names can be transmitted to the local wards or branches to be read in sacrament meeting the Sunday before conference. In this way the people would have at least a day and perhaps up to a week or more to ask their God for confirmation of the appointments. Then, during the conference, prior to the vote, an open discussion of the names can take place. In the case of general conference*#*, an additional, non-broadcasted half hour can be added to one of the sessions on Saturday (if the names were known and read to the local congregations in sacrament meeting in the previous week) or on Sunday (if the names were read to the church in a Saturday general conference session,) whereby the local congregations can openly discuss the names and then vote on them. Afterward, the results of the vote can be transmitted to Salt Lake City and then announced in one of the remaining sessions of general conference (depending on when the results are received.)

Although the above recommendations are more involved than the current practice, they would be an effective means to reduce and eliminate unrighteous dominion among us.

End Notes

*^* It seems that the general opinion of people in regard to sustaining is that if you don’t know if a person who has been called is guilty of transgression, you should raise your hand in approbation, since this shows your support of the bishop’s inspired leadership and calling. If, however, you do know of some possible transgression that a newly called person may have committed, you ought to raise your hand in opposition, so that the priesthood leadership can take note and speak to the opposing individual in private to determine whether he or she possesses new information which would alter the decision to call that person. Because of the intimate topic of worthiness, this is done in private. We have this procedure and policy explained in manuals of the church and in fact explained by leaders on all levels. On the surface it may appear to be reasonable. However, when fully analyzed, it becomes clear that the worthiness of the newly called is by no means the only reason for objection to their calling. If there are 10 worthy members and one gets called for a new position, worthiness plays no part in distinguishing one from the other. The question, therefore, is not just one of worthiness, but one of whether the appointment is indeed done by the Lord. In other words, who is the Lord’s pick? If the Lord has picked person number 1 but the bishop has picked person number 10, yet all 10 are worthy, by following the current formulaic practice of worthiness being the only justifiable reason for an opposing vote, the Lord’s pick will not be chosen and unrighteous dominion wins again. An open discussion of the appointments prior to a vote is the wisest course. In cases of accusation of transgression, in other words, in cases in which congregation members possess knowledge or evidence of an appointment’s unworthiness, we already have procedures for telling these things in private (see the law of the church in D&C 42) and a person can stand and state that they wish the voting to be delayed until they can transmit information to the bishop or other authority which may bring into question the appointment. This spares embarrassment and a public discussion of an accusation of transgression. For all other considerations, however, the congregation should be free to discuss whether the appointment is correct, meaning that the Lord was the one doing the appointment.

*~* There are three things a person can do during the act of sustaining: a hand can be raised in approbation, a hand can be raised in opposition, or a hand can remain unraised. If, during the week between learning of an appointment and taking a vote on it, any members of the congregation pray to the Lord and receive confirmation that the appointment is of God, they’ll raise their hands in approbation. If any members receive revelation of the Holy Ghost that the appointment is not of God, they’ll raise their hands in opposition. And if any members receive no revelation from the Holy Ghost, neither confirming nor denying the appointment, they’ll keep their hands down. In this way, a majority of members raising their hands in approbation indicates that they’ve received revelation that the appointment is of God and the appointment goes through. If a majority of members raise their hands in opposition, it means the appointment is not of God and does not go through. And if a majority of members keep their hands down, it means that the members were not able to receive revelation and confirm the appointment and the appointment does not go through. This will quickly indicate the spiritual state of the congregation. Such a case, in which the majority cannot tell whether the appointment is of God or not, may nullify a true appointment (meaning that it does not go through), but this is in keeping with the principle of preaching the word of truth by the Spirit and receiving the word of truth by the Spirit as set forth in D&C 50. Unless an appointment (assuming it consists of the word of truth) is received by the Spirit of truth, it (the process) is not of God. And thus we see that rubber stamping is not of God.

*#* The current practice of sustaining in general conference is even worse at inhibiting unrighteous dominion than that done on a local level. First, the names are announced and then a vote is taken, with no discussion or time to consult with the Lord. Second, the names are routinely lumped together in the vote. Third, because the church is found throughout the world, most of the church is outside of the conference center and their voting cannot be counted. It is presumptuous to announce “that the sustaining has been unanimous in the affirmative” each general conference, when only the small membership of the church that is found within the conference center can be observed to vote. After the vote, the newly called general authorities are asked to take their places on the stand, although the voting of the vast majority of the church is not known. All of this has the appearance of a rubber stamp.

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33 Comments

  1. Thank you for this fantastic post. I especially appreciated these words:

    If a majority of members raise their hands in opposition, it means the appointment is not of God and does not go through. And if a majority of members keep their hands down, it means that the members were not able to receive revelation and confirm the appointment and the appointment does not go through. This will quickly indicate the spiritual state of the congregation.

    It certainly would require us as a people to put more spiritual effort into the process. I believe it would make wards and individuals stronger. I have heard that in Joseph Smith’s day, a name would be presented, and then there would be vigorous debate before the vote was taken.

    But do you think our desire to “be nice” and avoid contention at all costs would stand in the way?

  2. If a time and opportunity to discuss the merits of an appointment prior to a vote were offered, I believe some would take the opportunity to discuss it openly, while others (the “nice” ones and the timid ones) would not, but all would listen to whatever opinions were expressed, for or against, and would be able to arrive at a better conclusion as to the appropriateness of the appointment. I, personally, do not believe that we are all “nice” or timid, it is just that the present environment in church settings is one in which speaking of controversial topics or bringing up opposing views is frowned upon greatly, to the point that most of us just shut our mouths instead of liberally speaking the thoughts in our minds, for fear of repercussions that may come our way via the priesthood leadership.

    I do not believe that the above recommendations would be promoted by any of the leadership, as it tends to empower the people and reduce the power of the leaders. My understanding is that the leadership is advised by their superiors never to relinquish control. The only way the above could take place would be if the congregation demanded it.

  3. Another great post! You seem to be saying the things that I am thinking. This past conference it hit me even harder than before. How easy would it have been for the GAs to announce to all the stakes, who would announce it to all the wards that new GAs were being called and give the members time to study it out and pray about it? They do it all the time with other seemingly inconsequential announcements. Why not with something so important as sustaining a spiritual leader?

    It would work if the people would work.

  4. Thanks for the compliment and comment. I also think it would be an easy thing to do, but maybe it comes down to tradition. This procedure has been done this way for soooo many years, that it is just “the way things are done.” Traditions sometimes can be hard to change. Besides, if it was changed, you may get a higher percentage of dissent (opposing votes) and that is not something that our leaders want. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt in this, by thinking that they believe it is for the best that we sustain in this manner. But despite giving them the benefit of the doubt, I am of the opinion the procedure can be improved.

  5. Hello my friends 🙂
    😉

  6. There’s an interesting thread going on over at BCC on this topic. Someone joined in to share something they found in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism which goes well here: (from 1:299) “because of the emphasis on divine and prophetic leadership and because of well-established norms and values in decision-making procedures, public dissent … is unusual.” And, “after considering the objections, presiding officers are free to pursue whatever decision they believe to be right.”

    What’s especially interesting about that statement is how it links and ties dissent with a rejection of sorts of “divine and prophetic leadership,” to say nothing of the presiding officers being able to “pursue whatever decision they believe to be right.” As we know, one of the most popular ways the mainstream rejects an argument in is to link it with a rejection of “divine and prophetic leadership.”

    Now, no longer is it a mere disagreement or righteous dissent, but rather an apostate view by someone questioning “divine and prophetic” leaders.

  7. Two days ago, as I was pondering that BCC thread (which Justin had already alerted me to) I came to the conclusion that I would vote from now on in the following manner:

    #1. I will no longer abstain from voting if I haven’t gotten any whisperings from the Spirit.

    #2. For all women who are called to a position, whose character I am unfamiliar with, when a vote is asked for, I will raise my hand in the affirmative, unless the Spirit tells me to oppose.

    #3. For all men who are called to a position, whose character I am unfamiliar with, when a vote is asked for, I will raise my hand in opposition, unless the Spirit tells me to affirm.

    My reasoning is simple, the scripture states “that it is the nature and disposition of almost all MEN [not WOMEN], as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 39). So, I’m going to vote according to the nature and disposition statistics among men and women.

    #4. If I come across any woman who indicates by her speech that she believes in maintaining the power or influence of any priesthood holder by virtue of his priesthood office and calling, e. g., she puts weight on a man’s words because of his priesthood office and reduces the weight of another man’s words who does not hold “as high an office,” [this is done by the employing of priesthood “trump cards” in which the words of an apostle trumps the words of seventy and so on and so forth], I will make a mental note, later to be transferred to paper, and if she is ever presented before me for a vote, I will vote against her.

    #5. If I ever come across a man who indicates by his speech that he doesn’t give a damn what priesthood office is held by a man, that his only qualifications for following, or being influenced by, a priesthood holder are those found in D&C 121: 41-45, I will make a mental note, later to be recorded on paper, of that man, and if he is ever called to an office, I will raise my hand in support of him.

  8. As a matter of practicality, I’m interested in what you are going to say to the priesthood leader that pulls you aside to ask about your dissent.

  9. No one has to give the reasons for why they vote. The most practical approach is to keep silent.

  10. Come on LDSA…you can’t really expect to give a ‘nay’ vote and remain silent when asked why you dissented, can you? If you’re dissenting, it would seem to follow that you’re not OK with the decision and would have a reason, of some sort, why you aren’t OK with whatever decision it is that’s up for a sustaining vote. If you were to remain silent when queried, I’d guess the “leaders” would soon begin to ignore the antics of the one, now silent, vote and pretty soon your vote would be as meaningless as the 99 “for” votes who give no thought to the matter other than to support the “leaders” out of custom and tradition.

  11. The leaders are often witch-hunters, looking for someone to judge as unfaithful, apostate, etc. The only valid reason, in their minds, for voting against is for worthiness issues. If I were to be taken aside privately and interviewed by a leader concerning the vote against, as soon as it was known that worthiness was not the reason for the vote against, my own worthiness would be brought into question. Although the scriptural law is innocent until proven guilty, when the leaders see dissension, they take a guilty until proven innocent stance. This has been my experience. Yours may be different.

    I used to be one of the masses that implicitly trusted the leadership (I’m ashamed to admit it), not living Alma’s admonition to “trust no one”. When a person trusts another person, they often shoot their mouth off and can rapidly get into trouble. Luckily for me, the Lord gave me a revelation years ago which has protected me ever since from these Mormon inquisitions. The Spirit said to me to be silent, to say nothing, to answer no questions to church leadership. Now, those were my standing orders and as they were personally given to me, not to you or anyone else, they may only apply to my peculiar set of circumstances. Nevertheless, this commandment seems to be extremely wise for everyone, based upon how it instantaneously shut down the Mormon inquisition machine. Witch-hunts require information. If no information is forthcoming, all investigations stop. So, I would recommend that anyone who is worried about the personal repercussions of a dissenting vote just follow Jesus’ example of silence in his kangaroo court trial and keep his or her mouth shut. All the leaders need to know is that there is a dissenting vote, and how many dissenting votes. They have no need to know why there is dissension.

    Also, it does not matter what the reason for a vote is, it only matters what the vote is. If a majority says “yea”, it passes, and if a majority says “nay” it doesn’t pass. Irregardless of the reasons behind the various votes, whichever majority wins the vote, so the measure goes. Even if your reason is that aliens from space have come down and possessed the man or woman being called. In other words, it may be a totally ludicrous reason, yet your vote is still valid.

    We are told that the practice of taking a dissenting member aside to find out the reason for their dissenting vote is a means to determine whether the dissenter has information on the worthiness of the person being called, information which is unknown to the leader and which might be useful in reconsidering the wisdom of the calling. But that is just how it is presented. In reality, the taking aside interview is a method of control, to control and weed out the dissenters by getting them to divulge their angst and getting some dirt on them by which they can either be forced to conform to the standard of unanimity or be censured in some manner.

    Once your reason for how you voted is known to a priesthood leader, if he does not agree that that is a “valid” reason, he will persecute you because he will see you as someone who is trying to disrupt the peace of the congregation, just as the people of king Noah viewed Abinadi. By keeping silent, a priesthood leader can only guess and wonder, “Does he have inside information about this person? Or is he just a trouble-maker? Does he have a bone to pick with the person? Or what?” With nothing concrete to go on, per your silence, a priesthood leader can only guess and wonder, but cannot come to any valid and concrete judgment. And this is okay, for priesthood leaders love to sit in the seat of judgment, but without evidence of wrongdoing, they have no jurisdiction and cannot judge.

    I might ask, when you cast a vote in the political elections, which, mind you, is by secret ballot, do you afterwards go around telling people who you voted for and why? Perhaps you do, but it doesn’t do anything to change the outcome of the election. Only your vote counts, not why you cast it. Talking about it will make you friends with those who voted the same way and enemies with those who voted differently. There is a reason why our ballot system is set up as a secret ballot. Once people know how you vote, or how you are going to vote, they can use that against you.

    In the same manner, although church voting is open, the reasons are not. And they should stay hidden from all who wish to know them. The spirit of contention, the Savior taught, is of the devil. No one can contend with you over why you voted if no one knows why you voted. Why give power to the adversary?

    Lastly, concerning the meaninglessness of contrary votes, I will say this: in a secret ballot, one solitary contrary vote is, essentially meaningless. But in an open vote, where everyone in the congregation can see that one, contrary vote taking place, it becomes incredibly powerful. Especially if this is a common occurrence. Add two votes in the contrary (which is the law of witnesses) and it becomes downright dangerous to any ecclesiastical abusers and must be quelled immediately. Because it is not just the leadership seeing and counting the votes, church open voting causes all those in the congregation to let their imaginations fly. They all wonder and ask themselves, “Why is he voting against? What does he know? Does he know something that I don’t, something that if I knew I would also raise my hand against?” Etc. These thoughts in the minds of the congregation are very dangerous to tyrannical priesthood leadership. The leadership knows very well that their power is precarious, at best. They know that there are secret dissenters among the congregation, meaning members who have dissension in their hearts but do not actively manifest it. They do everything in their power to suppress that dissension, for once the dissenters begin to voice their concerns, the tyrants lose power. So, seeing a lone dissenter, who cannot be shut up, is a situation that will keep any priesthood tyrants up at night and in secret meetings with each other, trying to figure out a way to silence the voting member. Because they know that rapidly one vote against can turn into two and into three and into many. This is especially true when the congregation sees that there are NO repercussions to voting against. As long as the dissenter keeps silent for all attempts at inquision as to his or her reasons, there will be no repercussions, thus, the congregation will become emboldened.

    So, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this. One single vote against has great consequence. In fact, if you talk to people about contrary votes, and they have been in a meeting where one occurred, they all remember the occasion vividly, such an impression it made on them. This impression is multiplied exponentially if every week there are dissenting votes because the facade of a solid foundation, of a unified, unanimously voting church, suddenly crumbles into its true picture: an institution built on sand, smoke and mirrors.

  12. I took the opportunity in Sunday school to make a comment in which I taught others about the church keys and that the sustaining is a vote in which the women of the church are in the majority as you described in the alternate view of the keys. They all liked the idea. Also when I read your response to my question I must report that when you said you had revelation about it I felt it rang true like Joseph Smith said true doctrine taste sweet. I also prayed about it and felt a calmness. I would not go so far as to say a peaceful confirmation. But I do say there was nothing but calmness about it. I felt I need to do more of my own study if I want to have a stronger testimony. After all I did nothing but to just ask after reading your words. But there was just peace.
    Thank-you brother. Your example has helped me be more brave.

  13. I am so happy to hear such a report. I wasn’t sure how it would go over with the ladies. Hopefully, your branch is the rule and not the exception. My experience of living in small branches of the church, as opposed to established wards, has always been a more personable, open and pleasant one. Small branches seem more cozy and warm and friendly, each member clinging to the others and trying to make the gospel work with limited numbers. In particular, I’ve spent some time in Mexico and have attended church there, and the Mexican saints were more like a family than a congregation, very unlike their State conterparts. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the Mexican culture. It may be why the sisters there are so open-minded. I know there is an attempt to export the Utah Mormon and American culture (in addition to the gospel of Jesus Christ) to all parts of the world, but it doesn’t always happen. We are truly a global church with multi-cultural influences. If your Mexican branch of the church has adopted the gospel without the foreign (American) cultural influences, consider yourself fortunate.

    Even though you did not receive a peaceful confirmation, the fact that you felt calm and were not given a negative answer (meaning an answer that it was false) is a good sign, in my book. Thanks again for coming by and for your kind words and I’m glad I could be of some help.

  14. LDSA,

    I’m wondering if you have a report on how the change in your manner of voting has been going since May.

  15. Justin, the church leadership in my area is actively looking for any excuse to remove me from the church. Because of this witch-hunt, I am reluctant to say anything on this blog which might reveal to them the true identity of LDSA, as they would surely use my writings here to bring charges against me. Although I have no way of knowing for sure whether anyone from the church hierarchy is investigating this blog, I suspect that it is happening, nonetheless. My anonymity is my only protection. What I do in person, in my ward and stake, is one thing, and I am careful in what I say and do, so as to give nothing that can be used as evidence against me, but if I were to be linked to this blog, the writings here would surely be used as evidence against me, although I, personally, don’t believe I have written anything that goes against the gospel. Still, not everyone sees the gospel as I do, so I don’t wish to take any chances.

    The time will come, I am sure, when anonymity will no longer be of any concern. At that time, I will speak freely. But in the meantime, wisdom seems to indicate that I keep my online and offline personas separate and distinct.

    At any rate, because of the circumstances I have recently been put into by the Lord, it appears to me that we are approaching the end of the unified church. So, the time to speak freely and boldy may happen sooner, rather than later. But, as yet, the Spirit’s instruction to me to keep my mouth shut has not been overrided by new instructions.

  16. I understand that point-of-view and appreciate your efforts to continue writing here given the witch-hunt against you. I am certain Church hierarchy would use your writings against you even though there is nothing contrary to the gospel in them — that doesn’t usually stop them.

    I asked for a report because I am still on the fence about started to oppose callings in the manner you outlined — but I don’t think I’m prepared for the witch-hunt to begin for me.

    Thanks

  17. I made a comment that I meant to go here. But it ended up on the post regarding legalized SSM. Dear Brother LDSA I am praying for you night and day till deliverance comes. Hold on. And if they should catch you and remove you from the church so much faster will the Lord’s judgment be sent forth. The Book of Mormon shows us that casting out of the righteous from among them is a tripwire to bring upon a people the Lord’s judgment. The man born blind and healed by Jesus was certainly cast out from the church. The covering of the seers may very easily coincide with the plan to put a mormon in the white house and other 2012 operations. While Oct 2012 is 26 months off I doubt that Joseph’s return will be more than a year after that. I never like stating exact dates for future events in the Lord’s plan. But things seem to be moving fast.

  18. Thank you for your prayers, dyc4557. Just so you know, I’ve already received counsel from the Lord as to how to proceed, and also assurances, so I am not worried in the least, nor should you be. As I explained in the post, Why I started this blog, I am quite used to EVERYONE being opposed to me. I have come to expect opposition and I’ve never been disappointed. But it comes as quite the surprise to hear that you are praying for me. I am delighted to learn this. Most people would counsel me to submit to investigation (contrary to what the Spirit told me) and trust in my leaders and speak freely with them, answering all their questions. My refusal to speak (per the Spirit’s instructions) is typically seen with suspicion. After all, if a man has nothing to hide, he has no fear of speaking, right? So goes the mainstream thought. But there is protection in silence and as long as I heed those instructions, the assurance is that I will, essentially, be “untouchable.” So, put your mind at ease, but thank you for the prayers, nonetheless.

    Nevertheless, I suspect that at some future time the Spirit will direct me to loose my tongue. THAT is going to when I will really need the prayers! Lol.

    Justin, what I can tell you is that I have practised what I have preached on this blog and plan on doing so for the foreseeable future.

  19. Justin, the church leadership in my area is actively looking for any excuse to remove me from the church. Because of this witch-hunt…

    In light of your comments on witch-hunts — I found this reference to the new CHI on Tom’s site applicable:
    “The new Church Handbook of Instructions (2010, 21.1.22 “Internet”) contains this interesting nugget about those who blog:

    “Individual members may create Web sites or blogs or make use of other appropriate Internet resources … provided they include a disclaimer such as ‘This is not an official Web site of The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ Members should also comply with the following guidelines:

    2. The name and contact information of the member who is responsible for the Web site should be included.

    It also reminded me of what the conditions for creating a facebook page on Mormon.org include:
    You understand that IRI maintains membership and related records containing personal information about you which may include, but is not limited to: name, age, address, Church membership status and location of Church membership. IRI uses this information to help administer the use of the Submissions and the use of the site. You further grant IRI permission to collect and process additional limited personal information about you, including, but not limited to, your e-mail address, one or more photographs of you, and other personal information you might choose to upload through the site. This personal information is collected to allow IRI to identify and contact you regarding the Submission and to publish such content. You hereby consent to this collection, use, processing, disclosure and transfer of your personal information for the purposes described above.

    It would appear that anonymity is still the best policy.

  20. while this is a bit late(yea im a late bloomer although probably younger than the rest on my non mormon church like ways). But I write this to say that you regard that women are more spirtual less prone to abuse of power is complete and total nonsense. in fact the scriptures tell us an entirely different point of view.

    Adam falls because he listens to Eve. Eve is then the prototype like Adam of their respective genders. Eve is essentially told to be submissive to your husband.

    proverbs has quite a few chapters in the early goings warning us about how women can lead men astray.

    Solomon is lead astray by his many wives who chase after false gods.

    in the book of ether somebody i cant remember the name is lead astray by trying to please this woman who he wants to be his wife. this woman causes him to commit all manner of sins to wife her.

    the sons of God that lust after the daughters of Adam give birth to giants that lead to noahs flood.

    the great and abominable church is called the whore of all the earth. the mother of harlots. this evil church is more often than not referenced as a female.

    so we can quite clearly see that the female sex is not at all in anyway shape or form less prone to the abuse of power spoken of in D and C. in fact scripture seems to tell us that men giving too much heed to the feminine is in fact one of the greater pitfalls of mankind. I would also argue that in these latter days one of our greatest problems is the complete and total castration of fatherhood. that fathers are despised. that men are all seen as rapists. that single motherhood is glorified. that mothers day is grand and amazing and fathers day is a sad afterthought. that Satans great plot continues to be an attack of fathers, the guardians of the family for what better way to destroy the family than to kill its trusted guardians?

    other problems are how boys are told to always be nice and to shed their masculine aggression that they come hardwired with. the general misconception that meekness(a quality of God) is somehow weak and timid and submissive yet ignoring the facts that Captain Moroni is described as essentially if all men were like him the gates of hell would be shaken. Moses the meekest man on earth takes on the biggest baddest man in all the land, the all mighty empire of Egypt. I am also quite sure Noah had a pair of balls on him to do what he did. the 12 apostles of Jesus’s day also werent exactly spineless timid cowards either. I wouldnt call Joseph Smith spineless either. so the fact we’ve turned meekness into a cowardly feminine timid thing(when clearly the heroes of christianity of strong heroic men) is sad and again telling of the fact that an over emphasis on the feminine remains to be a bad thing and that men are not to give too much head and counsel to women because it always ends badly.

    as for your all voting in the yay category is mostly a uniquely feminine trait. women tend to be more like sheep and group thinkers. they arent likely to openly oppose something unless the group is doing so.

    there is another scripture that states in the latter days men shall be as women. so Im going to say that women are not at all more spiritual and in fact are less spiritual.

    so just thought I’d post this for anyone that might stumble onto this blog and read the comments….that no women are not more spiritual. they are in fact a lot less spiritual. in fact too much female influence has been the downfall of a number of societies as scripture teaches us. and the great and evil church is often referenced as a female church. and the fall of the earth was brought on by Eves disobedience.

  21. since i just thought about it Ill add the story of david too. He gives into his desire for a female and falls away. also Abraham has problems when he fails to heed The Lords counsel that says his wife will have a son and instead heeds his Wifes counsel who tells him to have a son through the handmaiden. this becomes a point of contention later.

    Lehis wife is constantly bugging him and calling him nuts for his visions.

    it is Lots wife that looks back and is turned to stone or ashes I cant remember which. it is Lots children who are daughters that get him in more trouble.

    so it seems one of mans greatest problems has and always will be how to deal with women who we are to form a perfect union with for all eternity.

  22. there is a reason men are the prophets and women are not. just saying people

  23. there is a reason men are the prophets and women are not. just saying people

    What’s the reason? Sexism?

    and Miriam
    the prophetess
    the sister of Aaron
    took a timbrel in her hand
    and all the women went out after her
    with timbrels
    and with dances

    Exodus 15:20

    and Deborah
    a prophetess
    the wife of Lapidoth
    she judged Israel at that time

    Judges 4:4

    and I went unto the prophetess
    and she conceived
    and bare a son

    Isaiah 8:3

    and there was one
    Anna
    a prophetess

    Luke 2:36

    You know — I was surprised at how many prophetesses there were, once I started looking. And, though the scriptures don’t call them “prophetesses” directly, the first witnesses sent to testify to the resurrection of Jesus were women — and it was the male disciples who failed to believe their report … probably because they thought “women can’t be prophets, just sayin’.”

    and Moses said unto him

    enviest thou for my sake?
    would god that all the Lord’s people [male and female] were prophets
    and that YHVH would put his spirit upon them [all]!

    Numbers 11:29

  24. David Solomon and akish were all in trouble because THEIR lust after women, not because evil succubi took advantage of them. and if men are so much more spirituality inclined than women Adam would not have hearkened to eve. they both sinned and so what? its better to sin and be forgiven than never have to repent. you believe some terrible things about women and i hope you realize they’re wrong before you have sons and teach them to them. Or maybe you can just marry a dude

  25. If you allow spammers to make comments on your blog without deleting them, you will continue to get significantly more spam messages because they are having success using your blog to enhance their presence on the internet..

    Just sayin

  26. I delete spam literally everyday. The meaning of “SPAM” is that one is unable to keep ahead of it all — it just comes and it comes no matter what we do.

  27. LDSA, don’t know if you watch conference or not — but did you hear about the dissenting votes cast against the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12?

  28. I do not watch conference nor had I heard about that until I read your comment. (Thanks for informing me about it.) I wrote in The Second Seer:

    It is perfectly okay to say, “No.”

    When the saints are asked, “Do you sustain so-and-so or such-and-such men as prophets, seers and revelators?” it is proper and reasonable and wise to say, “No,” or to raise the hand in opposition. No one but Joseph Smith and the second seer ought to be sustained by hand or voice as seers, revelators, translators or prophets to the church. It simply should not be done, ever. Doing so opens the door to a false seer or prophet or revelator corrupting the revelations and the church. This practice, then, must stop, but people are naturally timid and do not want to make waves, so I suppose it will continue unabated, at least until the second seer shows up and starts making waves.

    I guess my prediction of “I suppose it will continue unabated, at least until the second seer shows up and starts making waves,” was dead wrong.

  29. LDSA, for some reason I felt like asking, after the 6 past years, do you still stick do your guns in the way you vote in the Church? You wrote in a comment above

    what I can tell you is that I have practised what I have preached on this blog and plan on doing so for the foreseeable future.

    is that still the case?

  30. You have brought up a very excellent points, thank you for
    the post.

  31. jackdale76,

    do you still stick do your guns in the way you vote in the Church?…is that still the case?

    Yes, that is still the case.

  32. Common Consent is not democratic as Wikipedia and online blogs erroneously state. It’s designed to promote the integrity of the system by seeking out evidence of misconduct or complacency. It is not a vote per se, it’s an accountability mechanism: “I have no right to raise my hand in opposition to a man who is appointed to any position in this Church, simply because I may not like him, or because of some personal disagreement or feeling I may have, but only on the grounds that he is guilty of wrong doing, of transgression of the laws of the Church which would disqualify him for the position which he is called to hold.” Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:124.
    Rubber Stamp? Of course not. We are not a political organization. Our responsiblity, regardless of our position in the Church, is service.

  33. James Harvey,
    if one sees that there is in the person being called a propensity to abuse authority, what category does that fall into – is that “personal feeling” or is that “guilt of wrongdoing” ?


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