I spent some time watching a few misering-inducing clips of the Mormon Leaks on YouTube.
There’s two different things going on with the various films. First, presentations from some “authority” on a subject, a BYU professor or whatnot. He speaks on the topic, and then the men in the room make comments or ask questions.
Regarding the presentation on “Young Single Adults,” we are told by the presenter that “activity rates” in the U.S. are at 30%. Five minutes later the same guy explains that they have no way of recording activity rates. So, whence the 30% figure? Apparently, someone asked some number of bishops to more or less go over the ward rolls (in YSA congregations, not “home wards”) and give then some figure of activity rates. Right, 30%…the presenters explain various things, from Somali pirates to Credit Default Swaps, sometimes as legitimate authorities on a subject, but generally with no more understanding than I would find among college freshmen. I get the sense that a group of men have found themselves with no understanding of the world around them, which they are supposed to shepherd into Eternity, and this is their cramming for a final exam.
So we are on to the men in the audience, prophets, seers, revelators, authorities general. It’s like listening to a stereotype of the “Crazy Old Uncle,” where he talks about “The Homosexuals,” and speaks of “the Africans” (African-Americans), and how “the Media” and “the World” and so on are out to get him. They are comfortable, assured of their own salvation, apparently, and mere bystandings to a world rolling to Hell. They seem to have no grief over the problems of living on this world, and only want to point out whose a homosexual, and who is causing all the trouble.
If you watch how L. Tom Perry reacts to anything said by Packer, it is obvious the Quorum is not marked by universal respect of one man for another. Perry has the look of a man seated next to a human embarassment. They display no wisdom, nor understanding of our lives today, and how we are shaped by economy, politics, and so on.
All of their concerns and the resultant problems they cannot solve can be reduced, I think, to a single slide:
Minute 14:14 of the clip, “In Which They Fret Over The Young Single Adults”
Summary of Findings:
We are losing an increasing number of our young single adults.
This poses a threat to the growth of a multi-generational Church.
Paradoxically, we are losing them because we aren’t using them in meaningful ways.
What of their happiness, their souls, their future in Hell or Heaven? Nothing. What about Jesus or God or the truth or love? Nothing.
They display no concern about souls, only about the expansion of their imaginary corporate empire, for which they still require humans, apparently. The threats are to the Church, film after film, this is clear; not to souls, nor salvations, nor happiness, joy or eternal life. Their minds are darkened, and run on the hamster wheels common to powerful, ignorant men: “We are losing [them]”, meaning, they aren’t showing up, and they aren’t showing up, “because we aren’t using them in meaningful ways.” Using different phrases to confuse cause and effect: people aren’t there, so you can’t use them. Using them doesn’t get them there, because they aren’t there to be used in the first place. The threat is to the Church, not to them. Yep. Exactly.