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206: Loyal Opposition

oppostition word write on paper

Today we talk about the quote from Conference from Elder Oaks

Some of this opposition even comes from Church members. Some who use personal reasoning or wisdom to resist prophetic direction give themselves a label borrowed from elected bodies—“the loyal opposition.” However appropriate for a democracy, there is no warrant for this concept in the government of God’s kingdom, where questions are honored but opposition is not (see Matthew 26:24).

We dissect why I believe Loyal Opposition is Theologically, Historically, Doctrinally, and Logically part of God’s Kingdom.

For those who listen to this episode and see me as critical.  Please take my episode as a question to be honored.  How can we brush aside Loyal opposition when it is so deeply rooted in our Church and no one is truly honoring our questions?



5 thoughts on “206: Loyal Opposition”

  1. Thanks Bill for standing up to Elder Dallin Oaks. His “don’t question us” theme comes through in nearly all his talks these days, and it is very disappointing. It really just boils down to a mind control technique. You are brave to point out the flaws in it, and applaud you. I wish he would listen to and seriously consider your words.

  2. Bill,

    I can’t thank you enough for putting such eloquence and poignant words and pleadings to the Brethren. My faith crisis started 1.5 years ago due to my stake president and regional GA inability to give me answers why the Brethren won’t cancel my sealing to my adulterous child abusive ex wife. I am now sealed to two living women against my will. I am on appeal #3 to the Brethren which is stalled at the regional GA level. There is no direct access when policies hurt people. I was a faithful member trying to understand why spiritual polygamy is forced to be lived in this life against my free agency. My current sealing to my lovely wife used to carry so mush sacredness to it. But if adultery and child abuse isn’t enough to cancel a sealing…just how sacred is the sealing ordinance??? We build millions of dollars worth of buildings around the idea of sealings but what good is all that cost if sealings aren’t kept sacred and free from serious sin by the church? These sincere questions of mine have hit bureaucratic walls from regional GA to church “analysts”. SO yes. I am/was in loyal opposition. I think after 43 years, a 2 year mission and six daughters and thousands of dollars in tithing, I do deserve answers not red tape. These questions that go unanswered and not honored eventually turn loyal opposition into disaffection over time where I feel I am drifting/drifted. I wish…oh I wish you could reach a larger audience with this podcast. This needs to be heard in general conference. This needs to be asked and discussed in church meetings. We are the body of Christ. WE should matter. Our questions heard. Our concerns understood. Our pain, inflicted by bad policy, addressed. Until then, many well educated life long members will find Christ through other vehicles where there are leaders willing to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. Not leaders who say, if you oppose, it’s better if you were dead or “go talk to your Stake President” Not leaders who choose policy over people.

    Thanks again Bill for this insightful podcast. If the Church was full of people like you…I would likely return…not because I think the Church is the only true church…but because of people like you…it would be true enough for me to find refuge at church from life’s vicissitudes.

    Thanks for warming my shoulders.

  3. I listened to this 3 times! For me it was right on the money. It has been 4 years since my faith crisis and I have come to terms with MANY issues I didn’t think I could when I first learned about them. The one consistent issue I have is the current top leadership (probably sans DFU whom I suspect is the main person behind the “help the refugees” push).

    It feels to me that the top leaders have a veneer of love, but it is all conditional on strict obedience to what THEY say and not on individuals following what they feel God is telling them. And as Bill says, they won’t answer the tough questions. Once again DFU is the only one I feel has even said 3 sentences in general conference that leaders are not infallible. I am starting to question if I can actually answer “yes” to the recommend question of sustaining the leaders.

    I do get upset when Russell M Ballard says in conference, “we will not, we cannot lead you astray.” It just does not give jive to be portraying oneself as unable to error. Most of the membership is gobbling it up. Then when he also tells of a story of someone struggling and makes it all about the guy not reading the BOM everyday. When the guy is supposed to return with questions so Elder Ballard can answer the questions the guy says that reading the BOM every day cleared up all his questions. If Elder Ballard knows the answers to the hard questions people are struggling with and leaving the church, then why as an Apostle is he not sharing those? The combination of these two just blows my mind (and we won’t even get into the “just put some lipstick on” or “Women speak, but not TOO much” and other such comments)

    Great post Bill and in the podcast I can feel your frustration and personally I feel the same.

  4. If there is never a need for opposition, then we should eliminate the use of counsels, committees and presidencies. The purpose of those is that presidents/heads can gather information to consider and weigh, while issues are debated and contemplated from all sources.

    Oaks talk reminds me of the book the 5 dysfunctions of a team.

  5. Wow, this is such a fantastic episode. That quote from Elder Oaks didn’t sit right with me and you eloquently outlined why. You spoke the truth, Bill. We can only hope that our leaders are humble enough to accept it somehow. Thank you for your powerful and sincere observations. You’re doing important work here.

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