LDS Church comments on leaked church leader discussion videos

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Church leaders, including Elders Robert D. Hales, Jeffrey R. Holland and David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve, participate in a discussion about marijuana, as shown in a Mormon Leaks video dated Nov. 11, 2010. Mormon Leaks published 15 videos on Oct. 2 showing similar briefings on various topics between 2007 and 2012. (Mormon Leaks via YouTube)

The LDS Church released a statement following Mormon Leaks‘ YouTube videos published Oct. 2 of leaked church leader committee meetings.

The 15 videos dated 2007 through 2012 show discussions in which senior church leaders, including members of the Quorum of the Twelve, receive briefings on various religious, political and social topics, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

“The purpose (of the meetings),” Hawkins said, “is to understand issues that may face the church and is in pursuit of the obligation church leaders feel to be informed on and have open discussion about current issues. This is an informational forum, not a decision-making body.”

In his statement, Hawkins said presentations are “routinely received” in the meetings on “a variety of topics.” Speakers at the meetings feature “various religious, political and subject-matter experts,” according to Hawkins.

Presenters in the videos include former BYU assistant for planning and assessment Gerrit W. Gong, BYU political science professor David Magleby, and former Utah Governor and U.S. Presidential Cabinet member Mike Leavitt.

The Deseret News published an article Oct. 2 with brief summaries of the content of each video.

Discussions in the videos explore topics including delayed marriage, election results, oceanic piracy, marijuana legalization, the science of conscience, housing and financial crises, WikiLeaks, religious freedom, and Kurdish and Islamic history.

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