“The vote has been noted.”

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A couple of hours ago in the Saturday afternoon session of conference, the sustaining vote was cast for the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and other general officers of the church. If you were watching you might have noticed the resounding “No!” that came up when President Uchtdorf asked for “any opposed, by the same sign.” Apparently at least one opposed, though clearly not by the same sign.

But perhaps if they had used the same sign, it would not have been noticed. And as President Uchtdorf said, their vote was noted.

The shouting might have disrupted the Spirit, but I don’t blame them for wanting their voice to be heard—quite literally. Honestly, I applaud these people—not for their opinion, but for their bravery, and for actually using the platform provided by the church’s structure to legitimately voicing their opposition. That’s what the “Any opposed?” moment is SUPPOSED to be. Maybe not for shouting, but for establishing an honest record. We should not be coerced in any way into voicing an opinion we may not agree with. That would be contrary to how God works. The noting of the vote is an important part of the restored church.

That said, this isn’t really a “vote” and we’re not democratically choosing our leaders. God has already done that. What we are doing in raising our hands is letting our wills be known to God.We‘re marking down on the official records of the church that we support or oppose His choice. And so at what moment you raise your hand—in what direction your “vote is noted”—you are declaring the state of your own heart and soul to God. It’s like what Cecil B. Demille said around the time he made The Ten Commandments: you can’t break the law. You can only break yourself against the law.

But like I said, it was brave of them to do that. To be honest. And I hope they weren’t ushered out. I hope that, because they were willing to wade into opposition territory to make their voice known (though what a sad thing it is if Tom Monson is your “opposition”), they then felt compelled to sit and listen to the rest of that session. Maybe the Spirit was able to say something to them, somewhere. If you care enough about the church to use the proper channels to cast your opposition to its leaders, there might still be hope for you yet. To you, I say, we’re here when you’re ready, when you’ve worked through your issues. And in the meantime, we’ll try to work through ours. We’ve all got some, you know. The leaders have some, too. This is an evolving church, and when people speak out about legitimate grievances, real problems that need solving—as opposed to personal vendettas and enmity against the leaders—we generally can get to the bottom of them and grow as a people closer to Zion.

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