More than a dozen leaked videos posted online Sunday show high-level LDS Church leaders privately discussing hot-button issues ranging from politics to pot, the "homosexual agenda" to the housing crisis, marriage to morality, Muslims to Kurds.
Released anonymously on YouTube under the name "Mormon Leaks" — and on the final day of the faith's fall General Conference — many of the 15 videos appear to show presentations made to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One, from 2011, raises the possibility that internal Mormon documents or information could be exposed.
"Could WikiLeaks or a group like WikiLeaks embarrass or damage the church?" asks LDS general authority Gerrit W. Gong, who is now a member of the presidency of the Seventy.
The answer certainly is yes.
"Frankly, I didn't even know these meetings were recorded," said Patrick Mason, head of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. "Clearly, whoever is leaking this is trying to embarrass the church. That is the only value at this point."
Some highlights...from the mormon US Senator Gordon Smith;
- Senate staff is reffered to as "church broke".- The staffers would call church officials asking for direction.
- Smith states that he was raised to "follow the brethren" and holds the 12 in higher regard than presidents, governments, and other dignitaries. -
Paints a picture of his Senate career as having been started for the purpose of serving church interests in the government.
- Supported Iraq war to get missionaries there.. (11:30)
- Medicare, Medicaid, and social security are "pyramid schemes" that cause people to look forward to government instead of God.
- Advises the twelve to not reach out to the Gay community because they will never be satisfied, but instead focus on communicating with Americans who are against marriage equality (19:25).
- Smith discloses information about Iran's nuclear capabilities which he isn't sure whether is classified or not (26:58) He goes on to describe Armageddon and confirms that Israel has nuclear capabilities.
- Someone specifically asks about the future of the republican party, Obama had just been elected and won both houses, and Smith refers to democrats as assorted miscreants, to everyone's laughter (33:00).
- Smih states that Catholics and evangelicals are unreliable allies. Says that Catholics don't believe their own doctrines and that evangelicals are guilty of priestcraft. He advises to "use them as you can" but not to be so open offering their support. Says the best way to use these groups is as a front to "lower the profile" of the church's political involvement (37:00).
- The initial introduction speaker again emphasises how important it's been to have five recommend holders in the Senate and many more in the house to allow the church to conduct business and influence decisions (42:00).
- Smith describes how the church should "use" it's senators like Harry Reid to open diplomatic doors. He describes how he used his office to establish the first LDS mission in India (42:00)