SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Tonight, 15 videos appearing anonymously on Youtube this morning under the account name “Mormon Leaks” is calling into question the leaker’s identity and motivation behind it.
“I honestly don’t know how it could happen,” said Hannah Bunker, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Released on the final day of General Conference around 7:00 Sunday morning they show presentations given to the Quorum of the 12 Apostles on a variety of high profile issues. It also shows Q&A discussion between the members.
The videos are from between 2007 and 2012 and range between 5 minutes to over an hour in length covering the issues of politics, marijuana, marriage, Islam, religious freedom and homosexuality.
In response to the videos the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says:
“Most of these videos appear to be from briefings received by senior Church leaders between 2007 and 2012. In these committee meetings, presentations are routinely received from various religious, political and subject matter experts on a variety of topics. The purpose 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.” – Eric Hawkins, Church Spokesperson.
In a seven minute video from 2011, titled “In which the Apostles obsess over Chelsea Manning’s sexuality,” they address their own security concerns.
“Could Wikileaks or a group like Wikileaks embarrass or damage the Church,” Gong says.
The focus is on cybersecurity citing the case of Bradley Manning — now a transgender woman named Chelsea Manning — who released classified documents to WikiLeaks and was convicted under the Espionage Act. However, much of the discussion in the video surrounds the topic of homosexuality rather than security.
During the discussion, Elder Dallin Oaks adds, “I’m suspicious that the news media cover up anything involving homosexual when it would work to the disadvantage of the homosexual agenda.”
When asked if there was an investigation, any clue to the leaker’s identity or further concern over the security of the Church, a Church spokesperson said they have no further information at this point.
Reaction at Temple Square today ranged from shocked to upset. Many were learning about the videos from the first time from our ABC4 News team.
“I just got word that these videos have came out. It’s definitely a big concern,” said Zach Frampton, a member of the Church.
Bunker added, “Someone who believes in the Church and is faithful to the Church wouldn’t do that.”
Concerned with further security breaches or leaks Dixie Erickson said, “We need to trust in the Lord in all thine heart, lean not to our own understanding and he will direct our path and he will let us know those things as we’re suppose to know them.”