Select Page

“I am sorry that no one has even taken a picture of the [General Conference] audience voting to accept the Church leaders for a new period of office. Every hand in the audience goes up simultaneously. The question of voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on a particular candidate is so mechanical that the hands go up in a unison that is most dramatic. No member is ever asked to choose between two individuals; he is asked to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on the official or on the policies of the Church, as the case may be… The officials would be highly indignant if there were any hands raised in opposition and there have been instances where one hand has gone up in opposition and the person attempted to explain the reason for his opposition[,] but such a person is usually ejected…

“I do not want to bother you with the story[,] but I am sure that any student of Sociology who is interested in the problem of authoritarianism would find the Mormon Church a laboratory rich in material for his studies.”

Dean R. Brimhall, Dean R. Brimhall Papers “Letter to Miss Dorothy Kahn” Box 26, Folder 15 (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Library, 17 April 1939), UNVERIFIED.