SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — In recent months, the media have devoted increasing attention to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This coverage has spanned a broad spectrum, ranging from sensational and superficial to substantive and respectful.

Among the more serious attempts to get at the essence of the Church’s beliefs and practices is a report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which recently interviewed two prominent leaders of the Church — Elder Russell M. Nelson, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Lance B. Wickman, member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

The Pew Forum is a major religious research organization, highly regarded by professional journalists and academics. The aim of the organization, according to its Web site, is to “promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs.”

Elders Nelson and Wickman spoke widely about topics as diverse as the Church’s role in public and political life, same-gender marriage, evolution, international humanitarian efforts and relationships with other religions.

The entire transcript of the interview can be found here.

This article was prepared by the LDS Newsroom at lds.org.