Different generations have different ways of disagreeing and expressing dissent. Often those are affected by the models that leaders provide their followers.

For example, Orson Pratt disagreed publicly and at length with Brigham Young. Brigham Young disagreed with Brigham Young too.

My favorite times Brigham Young disagreed with himself are:

  • When he stated Adam was not a proper name or individual but a title that applied to literally hundreds of thousands and that all references were figurative.
  • When he stated Polygamy was temporary and would last only until women were more equal with men.
  • That women were not equal to men because men had denied them the opportunity, training, education and experience they needed.
  • QED: polygamy existed only because men wronged women.

Dissent in Brigham Young’s time was wild and wooly.

Compare that type of disagreement to Bruce R McConkie who was pretty forceful but whose dissent to disagreement with leaders was: “I, was wrong.”

That makes for an entirely different culture of dissent.

In the modern, more hierarchical and correlated church, the current pattern of dissent is typified by the way some leaders dissented from the “I’m a Mormon” campaign.

The dissenters waited out those they disagree with and after they died, they called them badly misguided. Patience has replaced what had been public dissent. Even true conference votes have disappeared.

You can see that same approach in responses to calls to be vaccinated, LGBT policies and numerous other points. So many members quietly state to close friends that the leaders they disagree with are misguided. Instead of a public acknowledgment of a difference of opinion, members simply wait for those leaders to die and for the narrative and policies to change.

Instead of “quiet quitting” we have “quiet dissenting.”

I would never have predicted that twist.

What do you see in how dissent in the Church is expressed or is likely to be expressed?