For the first time in decades, a small band of Mormons who disagree with their church stood during the semi-annual General Conference on April 4 and publicly shouted “opposed” to sustaining the top Mormon leaders.
At least seven people rose in dissent as part of an action by a loosely organized group calling itself “Any Opposed?”
At the same time, thousands of Mormons gathered in the church’s Conference Center silently raised their hands to show their support for the governing First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which guide the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The opponents did not say more during the afternoon session, but one of those who stood, Don Braegger of American Fork, Utah, said the group has a variety of concerns, including the perception that LDS history is rife with disturbing episodes; that the faith does not treat LGBT persons fairly; and does not offer wide enough roles for women.
Unlike in the 1970s and ’80s, when opponents were removed from General Conference after voicing “no” votes, Saturday’s opponents remained for the rest of the afternoon meeting.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to President Thomas S. Monson, noted the contrary votes each time they were cast by replying, “The vote has been noted.”