What's in the leaked videos of meetings with senior LDS Church leaders?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Oct. 11, 2016 8:31 a.m.

    @Misty Mountain:

    Your design seems to be that they should have people in to try and change the Lord's mind on matters of eternal significance, such as the nature of human families. When the psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being of adults and children are both at stake, such a proposal would be like the American president borrowing Japan, Germany, and Italy's war room advisors during World War II.

    There can be no debate about the rights of children or the minds and intents of those who don't want to watch their society continue to degenerate under the worship of one's own "sexual orientation" when one entire side closes its eyes, covers its ears, and screams "equality and rights!", until all is unequal and the rights of all who patiently, lovingly disagree are destroyed.

    As for the videos themselves? I'm fascinated to gain just a little more of the perspective and understanding that these people have. When I was young, I always dismissed general authorities as "old out-of-touch white men." Now I realize they're some of the few left who are in touch at all.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Oct. 6, 2016 10:12 a.m.

    @bricha wrote, "I don't understand why we would look down on them for legitimately trying to understand what is happening in the lives of their members."

    You don't get to understand much of anything when the advisors you bring in are already heavily biased in the opinions you already favor. When gay marriage was brought up, there was no attempt to "understand" anything--it was a brief presentation on how to change public opinion (by using "mothering" and fathering" and making a big deal about how these are "different" rather than using the word "parenting".

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Oct. 5, 2016 9:09 a.m.

    To all those commenting on Sen. Smith

    Hindsight really is 20/20 I highly suggest any and all to go back and read/watch any news from that time. Our country was in a complete panic/uproar. Now that we have had over 15 years to understand and analyze what was really going on we can see that Iraq was a mistake, but man while everything was going down we were willing to give away anything in the name of safety.

    Also to any who are saying that the church should have released these videos themselves. I want you to put yourself in their shoes a little bit. How would you feel if every business meeting was recorded for all to criticize or critic? Every interaction with your kid, family, or friends. I don't understand why we would look down on them for legitimately trying to understand what is happening in the lives of their members.

  • EPoint Roy, UT
    Oct. 4, 2016 5:40 p.m.

    Appreciate this article, and reading the comments to get a feel of how others are receiving this news. I have no problem with the format and instruction the GA's are getting, does seem good and needful that they seek out info and thoughts of those with expertise in various subjects. The LGBTQ agenda is nefarious and militant in demanding tolerance they are themselves unwilling to give; they are a "sticky wicket" or like quicksand that draw in and then won't let go of people with compassionate feelings for the youth that are struggling with these issues. The Deseret News would do well to keep presenting religious freedom issues and pointing out that self-destructive behaviors should be sympathized with but never empowered or embraced.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 4, 2016 1:30 p.m.

    @ John Marx - Layton, UT - Oct. 3, 2016 1:42 p.m. - "From the article: "Smith said he voted for the Iraq War, in part, to spread the gospel" That is deeply troubling. Putting the lives of Iraqis and U.S. Soliders on the line to "spread the gospel" is not acceptable."

    You are taking things out of context. Smith would not start a war just so he could send in missionaries. His comment was more like "take lemons and make lemonade out of them", ie, "this will be messy and painful but I believe that good can come from it".

    I don't think you would like me putting words in your mouth so please don't do that to Mr. Smith as well.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 4, 2016 1:26 p.m.

    @ 65TossPowerTrap - Salmon, ID - Oct. 3, 2016 12:12 a.m. - "The only thing in the tapes that I wish they hadn't discussed was Prop-8. That was a disaster. Nothing good came from that political adventure."

    Totally untrue.

    First, it was not a "political venture", it was 100% moral in nature.

    Second, it let the world know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 100% pro-family and 100% against homosexual activity/actions being seen as morally acceptable. (Key words being "activity/actions").

    Third, it became a sounding board or test, if you will, of what millions of individuals, both LDS and non-LDS believed concerning the morality of these two issues; family and the acceptance (or lack thereof) of homosexual actions/behavior.

    I've read your comments before and know you are pro-LDS. If you really think the Lord did not guide the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve on Proposition 8, you are seriously mistaken.

  • Jello is Good Washington, DC
    Oct. 4, 2016 1:22 p.m.

    @a bit of reality - Shawnee Mission, KS
    Oct. 3, 2016 4:36 p.m.

    "When Mitt Romney was running for president, some people were concerned that the vows he made to his Church posed a conflict of interest with being President. The conversations Gordon Smith and Mike Leavitt had with the apostles validated these concerns."

    There is no such validation. Smith gave a briefing on what he felt the political landscape was. Do you recall the Brethren then telling him how to vote? How to act? Did they demean another party? There is no basis whatsoever for you accusation.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 4, 2016 11:43 a.m.

    I remember hearing about President Hinckley reading from a variety of periodicals while riding in aircraft going around the world to keep informed. Church general authorities are not normally government leaders. However, these men and women in their offices and callings come from many backgrounds and expertise with many experiences to give knowledge and balance throughout the world. They gain light and knowledge, temporally and spiritually.

    Thanks to our Heavenly Father's plan for His family.

  • CAB90 Logan, UT
    Oct. 4, 2016 8:42 a.m.

    People say the church isn't transparent but I would propose that two of the reasons might be: 1) things can often be taken out of context no matter how transparent you attempt to be, 2) it isn't relevant to the mission of the church. These men leading the church want to stay on top of current events so they know how it might affect their members but their primary responsibility is to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ. It would be a waste of time and effort to release every little thing they say or do while dealing with administrative functions of the church rather than focusing on their spiritual ministry.

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Oct. 4, 2016 7:13 a.m.


    "If these meetings and their content were hacked, why is this paper summarizing them for all to see? Shouldn't this be private information???"

    They weren't hacked per se but someone that had access to this videos leaked them. The paper is summarizing them because detractors of the Church Anonymously published them to Youtube.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 9:33 p.m.

    WOW, how we can take one moment in time out of context. I am especially appalled at the attacks on Senator Smith. Let me tell you about him. I knew him a long time ago young person of age 15 and a catholic. We went to HS together and for what ever reason he took particular interest in me. I was a very angry and confused young person. When my daughter worked for Congressman Matheson, Senator Smith showed her the utmost respect and courtesy, even though she was part of the opposing Party. He and his family are instrumental in where I and my family are today. As a side note, Gordon way phenomenal athlete, but he choose academics over athletics and our Country over personal endeavors. His integrity is unquestionable and when I read this story to my wife she said, " he was inspired." For me that was "enough said."

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 6:58 p.m.

    Kudos to the good staff at DN for the timely and informative summaries of these meetings.

    I have a full calendar of work and church meetings this week...any volunteers???

  • Nel American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 5:49 p.m.

    If these meetings and their content were hacked, why is this paper summarizing them for all to see? Shouldn't this be private information???

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 5:46 p.m.

    Of course they receive "briefings" from qualified individuals. I'm just impressed that 12+ men can keep it all together. That would be a very challenging job, as reflected in Pres. Packer's response to Elder Perry's light joke on the economy. Tough crowd. I wonder how it was when President Hinkley was there.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Oct. 3, 2016 4:36 p.m.

    When Mitt Romney was running for president, some people were concerned that the vows he made to his Church posed a conflict of interest with being President. The conversations Gordon Smith and Mike Leavitt had with the apostles validated these concerns.

  • Taterhead West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 4:23 p.m.

    What saddens me is to watch these videos and see just how outdated their thoughts are, even when remembering these videos are years old.
    As a case in point is the video about medical marijuana, where the needs of patients are ignored to assure that recreational use never occurs here. Their level of understanding seems to have become bogged down in 1973, not 2012.
    I'd hate to have to remind them of the Doctrine of Inclusion spoken by M. Russell Ballard.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 3:17 p.m.

    Shondolo, I am not a Democrat, but I am far from Republican as well. I could write diatribes by the volumes on my political perspectives and how they both converge with and diverge from standard LDS leadership political positions.

    I too am offended (by choice) at those who belittle and name call others based on their political leanings.

    However, the important thing to note there; was that it was a politician who called democrats 'assorted miscreants' (Gordon Smith is a former United States Senator from Oregon who served from 1997 to 2009); and not the brethren. That is par for the course when it comes to politicians--partisan politics is the norm.

    One reason I am neither Republican nor Democrat is because of the very fact that politicians don't practice what they preach (politically, not religiously). They always revile against the other party about things that even they themselves do. Hypocrisy is the name of the game when it comes to politicians.

  • THOMASD Washington, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 2:39 p.m.

    "In October 2002, Senator Smith voted to authorize military force against Iraq. Smith said he voted for the Iraq War, in part, to spread the gospel. "I felt the Lord's hand in it."

    As an active Mormon, I'm disgusted by that statement made by a member of my church (Senator Gordon). I don't believe the Iraq War--which has claimed countless innocent lives--was anything but a blatant violation of the spirit and letter of the moral / Constitutional law. The fact that we are so easily persuaded to embrace death and destruction via propaganda by the money powers (IE. Gadianton) is discouraging. I hope that the Church leaders are getting advice from other political parties that aren't adherents to the Military Industrial Complex.

    Just because we send missionaries in doesn't mean that God supports the bloodshed of hundreds of thousands. This bloody catastrophe was brought about by "spiritual wickedness" in high places.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 2:38 p.m.

    I don't intend to watch the videos, even the descriptions were too long, but, it interests me to compare/contrast words spoken in conference with such internal meetings. I can tell the brethren are trying their best to understand the many problems that face the Saints in these latter-days; which is very laudable.

    I do see a sad case of re-hashing the status quo. It is a matter of birds of a feather; the brethren flock together and often miss some important insight.

    On the other hand, they are guided by the Holy Ghost; as was very apparent in all of Conference talks this weekend. I was yet again amazed at how well they spoke to me specifically; but that would be off topic.

    On topic to these videos; I take interest in two regarding neurosciences and drugs. Word of Wisdom is God's law; but let's look at man's law; some drugs are legal; others are illegal. Science has shown addiction is a major problem of both. Why not decriminalize and rather than imprison and impoverish use current resources to treat the addiction? That is much more Christ-like. Let's change the status quo; and end the pointless war.

  • KyleC Provo, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 1:58 p.m.

    Awesome. The only question I have is where can I sign up for these courses?

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 1:42 p.m.

    From the article:

    "Smith said he voted for the Iraq War, in part, to spread the gospel"

    That is deeply troubling. Putting the lives of Iraqis and U.S. Soliders on the line to "spread the gospel" is not acceptable.

  • singleLDSmom Orem, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 1:24 p.m.

    How many other people and their experiences signify nothing?

  • ricecakes Murray, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 12:52 p.m.

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • njpray Polson, MT
    Oct. 3, 2016 12:09 p.m.

    So grateful they are informed and stay informed. The only problem I see is whoever leaked the videos. Not sure what the purpose was but if anything it shows the brethren stay up to date on current affairs.

  • muja02 Syracuse, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 11:53 a.m.

    Grasping at straws or not...I just don't understand the need for a church to have so much secrecy in it's dealings.

  • InMyOpinionAlso sandy, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 11:24 a.m.

    Best quote in all the article: " LGBT advocated have successfully characterized the marriage debate as one of hate and intolerance." My testimony just increased that these "old men" really do know what's going on.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Oct. 3, 2016 10:51 a.m.

    I have a cousin who used to work in the Pentagon. One of his many responsibilities back then was to prepare and present military briefings for General Powell and General Schwarzkopf, among other military leaders. These videos of briefings on topics of significant interest/concern represent standard operating procedure for any major enterprise, whether it be business, government, military, or religion. The purpose of the briefings is to ensure that the top-level leaders are well informed on a host of key issues. That someone managed to find and leak these videos says more about the perpetrator than briefings themselves. Although the leak of the videos represents an egregious invasion of privacy, the videos do nothing to impugn the integrity of the Church leaders.

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Oct. 3, 2016 9:26 a.m.

    I have watched many of these videos and all I can say is there is really nothing here.

    Having read comments by detractors on Youtube all I can say that it is amazing how deluded by hate some can get. There was so much grasping at straws.

    It just seems like someone needed to put something out to keep the detractors fire going.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Oct. 3, 2016 8:47 a.m.

    Back in 2006 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland hit right at the core of this:

    "...over the years some sources have suggested that the Brethren are out of touch in their declarations, that they don’t know the issues, that some of their policies and practices are out-of-date, not relevant to our times.

    As the least of those who have been sustained by you to witness the guidance of this Church firsthand, I say with all the fervor of my soul that never in my personal or professional life have I ever associated with any group who are so in touch, who know so profoundly the issues facing us, who look so deeply into the old, stay so open to the new, and weigh so carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully everything in between."

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 7:48 a.m.

    As a gentile I read much of the "leak" transcripts and wonder why someone would do this and why anyone outside of the Mormon Church would care. I think the real story is someone exposed what was meant to be a private conversation and not what their church leaders were discussing.

  • Pragmatic One Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 3, 2016 7:34 a.m.

    And the big issue is what??? This is no different than the Pope being briefed on affairs that affect his church, or a pastor being briefed about issues that affect his local area of responsibility. In all honesty there wouldn't have been any attention given if it hadn't been for the fact that there were former politicians involved, which is unfortunate.

    My personal belief is that once an individual has served in public office they should distance themselves from such events to avoid the appearance of impropriety even though none exists.

  • sam1 Washington, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 7:02 a.m.

    My calculation could be off a year or two but I believe that the current members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have, collectively, about 1,126 years of life experience and about 254 years of Apostolic experience. Add on to that the years of experience serving as husbands, fathers, grandfathers, home teachers, young men adult leaders, quorum leaders, bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents, etc. Only those who have served in some of these capacities know the time and effort that is spent ministering to the one. In addition, think of their experience in the world of education and their careers before they were called to full-time church service. These men and their families are not immune to the challenges of mortality. I seriously doubt that there is an affliction known to mankind that, collectively, they have not, either personally or vicariously through their ministering experienced many, many times. They certainly know what is going on in the world. There is not another group of individuals on the face of the planet that I would rather listen to, take counsel from, and try to follow. Thank you for your service and unending encouragement.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2016 6:46 a.m.

    It is comforting to me that Church leaders are informed and interested in national and international affairs that would affect eventually all members of the Church.

    The only problem here is that these are not private conversations, which they deserve to be. Why were these captured on tape is the only question I have?

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Oct. 3, 2016 12:12 a.m.

    The only thing in the tapes that I wish they hadn't discussed was Prop-8. That was a disaster. Nothing good came from that political adventure.