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Twenty Years of Celebrating  ‘The Family:  A Proclamation to the World’!

Twenty Years of Celebrating  ‘The Family:  A Proclamation to the World’!

2015 Marks the 20 Year Anniversary of this Proclamation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the World!

 “Stillness was in the congregation but also a sense of excitement, a reaction of,  ‘Yes, we need help with our families! I remember feeling it was so right.  The proclamation affirms the dignity of women.”   These were the comments of Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, who served as the fourteenth Relief Society General President.  She was present twenty years ago in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when President Gordon B. Hinckley read the document.

As the proclamation’s title emphasizes, it was published as “A Proclamation to the World”- reminding all people, including the leaders of nations, of the eternal importance of the Family.

President Hinckley choose to announce this proclamation in a General Women’s Meeting.

President James E. Faust a councilor in The First Presidency commented,  “Because you mothers are the heart and soul of any family, it was appropriate that it [the proclamation] was first read in the General Relief Society Meeting.

Eight months after presenting the proclamation, President Hinckley spoke in a press conference in Tokyo, Japan.  He said:  “Why do we have this proclamation on the family now?  Because the family is under attack.  All across the world families are falling apart.  The place to improve society is in the home.  Children do, for the most part, what they are taught.  We are trying to make the world better by making the family stronger.” 

The teachings in the family proclamation were not new in 1995.  As President Hinckley stated, they were a “reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices.  They have been “central to the Creator’s plan” even before He created the earth.

Before President Gordon B. Hinckley read The Proclamation he said, “With so much of sophistry that is passed off as truth, with so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history” (“Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,”Ensign,Nov. 1995, 100).

And now in this year 2015, as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of these declarations, the Proclamation on the family is needed even more.  As we as nations around the world live by these principles, we will see direct effects in our society for good.

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”  A timeless proclamation.


                                THE FAMILY:  A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD

                            The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of

                                      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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