Sustaining Our Leaders
Gospel Art Picture Kit
The principle of common consent is the principle that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in Church decisions (see Exodus 24:3; D&C 20:65). All Church members have the right to sustain or not sustain the actions and decisions of their leaders. Members who sustain, or agree with, the decision show approval and support by raising their right hands when asked to do so. Those who are opposed to the decision may raise their right hands after the sustaining vote.
We sustain many decisions in the Church, but most often we are asked to sustain the callings of Church leaders. Once we have acknowledged our support and approval, we should continue to sustain our leaders. We can do this by supporting their decisions, remembering them in our prayers, following their counsel, and willingly doing what they ask us to do. President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught: “The procedure of sustaining is much more than a ritualistic raising of the hand. It is a commitment to uphold, to support, to assist those who have been selected” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 70; or Ensign, May 1995, 51).
We can have confidence in our Church leaders because we know that important callings are directed by the Holy Spirit (see D&C 52:1). Those in positions of leadership are not placed there to exercise authority but to direct with kindness and serve with love. The Lord expects us to follow and uphold His chosen leaders because they are authorized to act and speak for Him (see D&C 1:38).
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are asked to sustain our Church leaders. We sustain and show our support to our leaders by raising our right hand in Church meetings when asked to do so and by praying for them, supporting their decisions, and helping them when we are asked.
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