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'The Family: A Proclamation to the World': 25 years of prophetic implications and worldwide impact

by | Sep. 23, 2020

September 23, 1995, was a historic and unforgettable date in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Exactly 25 years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley revealed “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

A Deseret News article written by Hal Boyd and Alan Hawkins highlights the proclamation’s significance as not only thoughtful, but also prophetic. Boyd and Hawkins specify many of the concerning trends regarding families that have occurred over the past 25 years.

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Among these trends is changing opinions on chastity: “A sizable plurality of Americans 25 years ago believed premarital sex was ‘always or almost always’ wrong. Today, only a quarter of Americans feel the same,” they shared. In contrast, the words in the family proclamation are bold and clear: “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.”

Read the full article at Deseret News to discover more reasons why the family proclamation was ahead of its time.

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.

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To a faith-based panel at the United Nations, President Jean B. Bingham shared an insight derived from the proclamation. “As defined by my faith, and by the United Nations, the family is the fundamental unity of society. Thus, care should be taken to protect the family, especially those in dire circumstances,” she said.

To read even more instances where the family proclamation has been used around the world, read the full article at Church News.

To learn more, you can also check out the September 2020 issue of the Ensign, which is centered on the family proclamation and its applications. In one article, “Seeing Yourself in the Proclamation,” nine practical and universal truths drawn from the proclamation are discussed.

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.”

Read the full Ensign article to learn more ways to apply the family proclamation in everyday life. You can also find the full September 2020 issue of the Ensign here.

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Author profile

Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is the current editorial intern for LDS Living. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, which is also where she discovered the restored gospel and joined the Church. With a bachelor’s degree in human biology, she delights in translating her research and analytical skills into journalism. She believes that nothing is too hard for the Savior and that life is made infinitely better by good stories and sweet dogs.

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