The Family: A Proclamation to the World has since its publication in 1995 been considered one of the most important doctrinal statements of Church leaders.
“During the fall of 1994, at the urging of its Acting President, Boyd K. Packer, the Quorum of the Twelve discussed the need for a scripture-based proclamation to set forth the Church’s doctrinal position on the family. A committee consisting of Elders Faust, Nelson, and [Maxwell, later replaced by Elder] Oaks was assigned to prepare a draft. Their work, for which Elder Nelson was the principal draftsman, was completed over the Christmas holidays. After being approved by the Quorum of the Twelve, the draft was submitted to the First Presidency on January 9, 1995, and warmly received.
“Over the next several months, the First Presidency took the proposed proclamation under advisement and made needed amendments. Then on September 23, 1995, in the general Relief Society meeting held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and broadcast throughout the world, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley read ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ publicly for the first time.”
(Richard E. Turley Jr., “In the Hands of the Lord”: The Life of Dallin H. Oaks [Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2021], 215.)
Over the next quarter-century, the text went around the world in many contexts. Click here for a Church News story about that.
“Three things about the title are worth our careful reflection. First, the subject: the family. Second, the audience, which is the whole world. And third, those who proclaimed are those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. That means that the family must be as important to us as anything we can consider, that what the proclamation says could help anyone in the world, and that the proclamation fits the Lord’s promise when he said, ‘Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same’ (D&C 1:38).”
(Henry B. Eyring, “The Family,” Devotional Address, Brigham Young University, November 5, 1995.)
For the text of the proclamation and a video of President Gordon B. Hinckley reading it publicly for the first time, click here.