The late 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proceeded to introduce a proclamation declaring and reaffirming the Church’s standards, doctrines and practices relative to the family: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” issued by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles.
The proclamation didn’t just foresee changing trends. Over the past quarter of a century, the family proclamation has been used worldwide as a tool for learning about and sharing gospel truths. This week, an article from Church News looks back and identifies where the proclamation has been shared—such as at the World Congress of Families, the Vatican, the BYU School of Family Life, and even the United Nations.
These truths include “‘Family’ can mean more than just parents and children,” and “You can make a difference in starting or restoring an eternal family.” The article also acknowledges the imperfections inherent in families, and asserts that the family proclamation can still have an important influence even when circumstances are not ideal: “Though no family is perfect, God can help us progress with the family we have.”
Since President Hinckley issued the family proclamation 25 years ago, its teachings have been widely referenced by Church leaders in meeting with Latter-day Saints and in interfaith settings. Its principles have shaped research and curriculum on the family at Brigham Young University. The proclamation hangs on the wall in countless members’ homes and is shared by missionaries around the world.
Since the Church was established in 1830, only six proclamations have been issued by Church leaders — the two most recent being the family proclamation and “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World” read by President Russell M. Nelson during the April 2020 general conference.