As often happens, I have some thoughts I want to share on a blog or on facebook but I haven’t taken the time to write them up well enough to be read by others! So here is a thought on sustaining/opposing votes:
Another idea: what if it works like a council? As I understand the way Elder Ballard describes councils, the president is like the brain and the members are like the parts of the body, which all send signals up to the brain. The brain directs, but it is absolutely necessary for body to give complete and urgent information to the brain so that the brain can make good decisions. For things to work in the best possible way in a council, the members should share everything that is important or urgent to the situation. Perhaps the moment of a sustaining vote is a moment where the council widens from just ward council to including the whole ward as a council, or from the meetings among the general authorities to the Church as a whole? For just a moment, everyone is included in the council and asked the question: is there anything important or urgent that you think likely hasn’t be considered yet? (The opposing vote isn’t really a veto, since it doesn’t automatically bar the person from receiving a calling. Rather, the opposing person is allowed a chance to share information, which is then considered by the president or bishop or whoever is in charge of the decision.) Maybe?