On Sunday, August 2, I was teaching the gospel doctrine class in my ward. Part of the lesson included the proclamation that the Lord commanded to be written (D&C 124:2-8). There was some interest in the class about the concept of a proclamation and how many the Church has made. There have been five Proclamations made by the Church since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The following is from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:
In performance of their calling as apostles, prophets, seers, revelators, and spokesmen for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have from time to time issued formal written proclamations, declarations, letters, and various public announcements. These have been addressed sometimes to the members of the Church (as a type of general epistle) and sometimes to the public at large. All such declarations have been solemn and sacred in nature and were issued with the intent to bring forth, build up, and regulate the affairs of the Church as the kingdom of God on the earth. Subject matter has included instruction on doctrine, faith, and history; warnings of judgments to come; invitations to assist in the work; and statements of Church growth and progress. Only a few of the many formal declarations have been labeled "Proclamations." Others have been characterized "Official Declarations," "Doctrinal Expositions," or "Epistles." Some have the signature of the First Presidency, some of the First Presidency and the Twelve, and some of the Twelve only. This article considers four documents: (1) Proclamation of the First Presidency on January 15, 1841, at Nauvoo, Illinois; (2) Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles on April 6, 1845, in New York City, and on October 22, 1845, in Liverpool, England; (3) Proclamation of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles on October 21, 1865, in Salt Lake City, Utah; and (4) Proclamation from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 6, 1980, issued from Fayette, New York. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992),, p.1151-)
The fifth Proclamation was written after the Encyclopedia of Mormonism was published and is the Proclamation, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World (September 23, 1995)."
For those of you who are interested in reading the full text of the first four Proclamations click here.