Monday, March 29, 2010

Official Proclamations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Upon arrival in Nauvoo, Illinois the Prophet Joseph Smith received Section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants wherein he was given specific instructions.

Look for what he was instructed to do, and why he was instructed to do it, in the following:

Section 124:2 Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.

3 This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president-elect, and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.

4 Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same;

5 For it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.

6 For, behold, I am about to call upon them to give heed to the light and glory of Zion, for the set time has come to favor her.

7 Call ye, therefore, upon them with loud proclamation, and with your testimony, fearing them not, for they are as grass, and all their glory as the flower thereof which soon falleth, that they may be left also without excuse—

8 And that I may visit them in the day of visitation, when I shall unveil the face of my covering, to appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites, where there is gnashing of teeth, if they reject my servants and my testimony which I have revealed unto them.

9 And again, I will visit and soften their hearts, many of them for your good, that ye may find grace in their eyes, that they may come to the light of truth, and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion.

10 For the day of my visitation cometh speedily, in an hour when ye think not of; and where shall be the safety of my people, and refuge for those who shall be left of them?

11 Awake, O kings of the earth! Come ye, O, come ye, with your gold and your silver, to the help of my people, to the house of the daughters of Zion.

Two years had passed since Joseph Smith had received official revelation from the Lord which would be recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. Breaking this silence the Lord gave instruction regarding the building up the Church in Nauvoo, but previous even to that he desired that a “solemn proclamation” be given to the rulers and kings of the world explaining the significance of what was about to take place there. This proclamation was to serve as not only a prophetic warning for them, but as a testimony of truth.

The term “proclamation” was specifically used to describe the discourse that would be given. It is interesting to note that in English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement, made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects. I believe that the Lord did not choose this word lightly. The word in and of itself is very symbolic. Using this definition it is to be understood that the King of Heaven and Earth desired a great matter to be declared, and sealed by his power. It also testified of his place of eminence over all other dominions as King of Kings.

There have been other declarations and testimonies given officially by the leaders of the Church over the years but there have been only five “official proclamations”.

The first proclamation was given just a few days previous to the reception of Section 124, on January 15, 1841. The focus of the Proclamation was directed toward the members of the Church scattered abroad. It described the state of the Church in Nauvoo and urged the member to gather there to receive the ordinances of the soon to be finished Temple.

The Proclamation which the Lord required at the hands of the Saints spoken of in Section 124 was not officially written until 1845. It was published in two different pamphlets, one in New York City on April 6, and one in Liverpool, England, on October 22. This Proclamation was written after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. On October 3, 1975 during General Conference, President Ezra Taft Benson quoted portions of this proclamation in his address:

“To the rulers and peoples of all nations, we solemnly declare again that the God of heaven has established his latter-day kingdom upon the earth in fulfillment of prophecies. Holy angels have again communed with men on the earth. God has again revealed himself from heaven and restored to the earth his holy priesthood with power to administer in all the sacred ordinances necessary for the exaltation of his children. His church has been reestablished among men with all the spiritual gifts enjoyed anciently. All this is done in preparation for Christ’s second coming. The great and dreadful day of the Lord is near at hand. In preparation for this great event and as a means of escaping the impending judgments, inspired messengers have gone, and are now going, forth to the nations of the earth carrying this testimony and warning.

“The nations of the earth continue in their sinful and unrighteous ways. Much of the unbounded knowledge with which men have been blessed has been used to destroy mankind instead of to bless the children of men as the Lord intended. Two great world wars, with fruitless efforts at lasting peace, are solemn evidence that peace has been taken from the earth because of the wickedness of the people. Nations cannot endure in sin. They will be broken up, but the kingdom of God will endure forever.

“Therefore, as humble servants of the Lord, we call upon the leaders of nations to humble themselves before God, to seek his inspiration and guidance. We call upon rulers and people alike to repent of their evil ways. Turn unto the Lord, seek his forgiveness, and unite yourselves in humility with his kingdom. There is no other way. If you will do this, your sins will be blotted out, peace will come and remain, and you will become a part of the kingdom of God in preparation for Christ’s second coming. But if you refuse to repent or to accept the testimony of his inspired messengers and unite yourselves with God’s kingdom, then the terrible judgments and calamities promised the wicked will be yours. . . .

“When the voice of warning goes forth it is always attended by testimony. In the great declaration issued by the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1845, this is the testimony which was borne, and we who are the apostles today renew it as our witness:

“‘We say, then, in life or in death, in bonds or free, that the great God has spoken in this age.— And we know it .

“‘He has given us the Holy Priesthood and Apostleship, and the keys of the kingdom of God, to bring about the restoration of all things as promised by the holy prophets of old.— And we know it .

“‘He has revealed the origin and the Records of the aboriginal tribes of America, and their future destiny.— And we know it .

“‘He has revealed the fulness of the gospel, with its gifts, blessings, and ordinances.— And we know it .

“‘He has commanded us to bear witness of it, first to the Gentiles, and then to the remnants of Israel and the Jews.— And we know it .

“‘He has also said that, if they do not repent, and come to the knowledge of the truth, . . . and also put away all murder, lying, pride, priestcraft, whoredom, and secret abomination, they shall soon perish from the earth, and be cast down to hell.— And we know it .

“‘He has said, that when . . . the gospel in all its fulness [is] preached to all nations for a witness and testimony, He will come, and all Saints with him, to reign on the earth one thousand years.— And we know it .

“‘He has said that he will not come in his glory and destroy the wicked, till these warnings were given and these preparations were made for his reception.— And we know it .

“‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of his revealed word shall fail to be fulfilled.

“‘Therefore, again we say to all people, Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins; and you shall receive the Holy Spirit, and shall know the truth, and be numbered with the house of Israel.’ ”

Two other proclamations were given, one in 1865 emphasizing the established order of the Church and the process for receiving doctrine, and one in 1980 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church.

The last official proclamation was given on September 23, 1995, and is better known as the Proclamation to the Church and to the World on Marriage and Family.

I believe that by the limited number of Proclamations that have been given, it shows the importance the Lord places on the instruction contained therein. These truly show how His kingdom is to be established and be directed on the Earth. As they have been labeled “official” it also shows the King has placed His “seal” on them too.

I have provided links to all of the Proclamations individually. If you have not taken the time to read them for yourself I recommend doing it. The instruction contained in each of them is unique and important.

4 comments:

Greg said...

Thank you for this post. I happened to be thinking about it the other day and posted the text to the 1845 proclamation at Solemn Proclamation to All Nations.

my name is john said...

not to be picky or anything, but i think the section 124 revelation was received on jan. 19, not feb. 18, of 1841
:)

In The Doghouse said...

Thanks John...that was totally an oversight. I have corrected the information.

Anonymous said...

What about the proclamation on the living Christ released on the first of January 2000? Is that not the most recent document?