Sustaining Church Officers (Law of Common Consent)

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For those of you who are not Mormon I’ll provide some background. In the Church when a person is asked to perform a duty, i.e. a “calling”—whether bishop, primary school teacher, or Apostle—they are presented to the congregation in which they will work for sustaining. In the case of an Apostle or General Authority they are presented to the Church as a whole. The person conducting the meeting will say something along the lines of,

[Ask the person who is to be sustained to stand.] It is proposed that we sustain [So-and-so] as [church position]. Those in favor may manifest it by the uplifted hand. [Pause briefly for the sustaining vote.] Those opposed, if any, may manifest it. [Pause briefly to allow for a dissenting vote, if any.]

This is what sustaining looks like.

What sustaining looks like.

Objections to the sustaining of any person are rare. I don’t recall ever hearing an objection raised in General Conference—though apparently it did happen during the October 1980 General Conference while sustaining of President Spencer W. Kimball.[1] I only recall one time seeing an objection raised in a local congregation.

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