When we vote* to sustain our church leaders, are we promising to agree with them?
There are a lot of people in the church who would say that the answer is yes—the whole “when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done“ sort of approach.** This has been supported by some church leaders, too.*** On the other hand, there are declarations that go in the other direction—see, for example, all the stress in current policy on participants in ward council being open about their opinions including if they disagree with the bishop, and the importance of consensus decisions rather than top-down directives.
It’s an interesting tension—and maybe it’s there on purpose, and there’s no actual complete answer to my question. I don’t know, to be quite honest. Y’all’s thoughts?
* Yeah, i know, it’s the wrong word, but i’m going with it anyway.
** And yes, i know the history of that quote, and that the initial introduction of the line didn’t put it in a positive light. Doesn’t keep people from saying that’s the way we should be going about things, though.
*** See, for example and perhaps most famously or infamously (depending on your position on the issue), Ezra Taft Benson’s Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet address.