Proclaiming Declarations

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So what is the difference between a declaration and a proclamation? Is it just semantics, or is it significant whether general authorities issue a proclamation as compared to a declaration?

50 thoughts on “Proclaiming Declarations

  1. I have been upset with the proclamation on the family as it seems to have been passed off as revelation. In actuality the proclamation on the family was made by several committees who sat together to write it out. Then it went to the lawyers to be sure that there was nothing in that would cause a law suit to come against the church. This is NOT the way revelation is to be received.

    In addition it is NOT a proclamation on the family but a proclamation against gays. It is FAR FAR from a proclamation on families. It is a piece of hate literature made to put down gay people. That is ALL it is. Nothing more, nothing less….. and revelation it certainly is not.

  2. “This is NOT the way revelation is to be received.”

    I’m glad you were here to tell us all exactly how the Prophet is and is not allowed to receive revelations. I hope you’ll send your instructions to him, so he won’t make any more mistakes.

    To think, all this time, I believed it was the Prophet who had the authority to determine these things! Nope. It’s Dean.

  3. No one said it was revelation. It was sent as a proclamation. And whether it is “hate literature made to put down gay people” or the proclamation to set, or reafirm the standards the Lord has set back in the bible is purely and ONLY a matter of opinion.

    I can see your opinion. It looks as if that was sent out to harrass the Gay people.

    I obviously disagree.

  4. I’ll be very surprised if the Procalamation on the Family isn’t added to the Doctrine & Covenants within a decade.

  5. ah, there’s the difference, see ltbugaf? It’s how it is said. Ray, for example, explains why he disagrees with Dean’s stance, without being offensive. You belittle Dean’s opinion as being of no worth. That’s why people get upset with you. You could disagree without trying to make a person feel bad.

    I don’t agree with Dean either, though I can see how he sees it that way, but I can still respect his right to have that opinion. Can’t you do that for people? Just respect their right to have a point of view, whether you like it or not? It’s just common courtesy.

  6. Kim, re: #5, I don’t think the very short time it took for Official Declaration to be added to the scriptures (first to the Pearl of Great Price and then to the Doctrine & Covenants) really indicates anything at all about whether the Proclamation on the Family will be added, or how long it will take.

  7. Rats! another typo. :0 That should be “time it took for Official Declaration 2 to be added…”

  8. If you would just be nice, there wouldn’t be any need for etiquette lectures. Besides, it’s not etiquette, it’s something every Kindergartner is taught. Be polite, kind and respectful. How hard is that? I know you hate being told you are rude, mean or wrong, but you wouldn’t have to be told that if you would just stop DOING it.

  9. Mary, you’re free to go on (and on and on and on) telling me how rude I am if you like.

    I remain somewhat surprised that you’re so fond of telling me this, but not saying the same thing to others who are at least as sarcastic and impolite as I am. But that’s neither here nor there. You can choose to continue or you can choose to stop. I leave it to you.

  10. Maybe I don’t see it as much from others, because it doesn’t seem so personal (personal attacks, I mean). Kris was like this, but she never really contributed much to the conversations besides that, at all, and so I didn’t see the point.

    The thing is, you are an intelligent person, you contribute much to the discussions, but when you start getting personal, many find it irritating. If you can show me where anyone else has been so juvenile in their attacks on people, I will become mother to all. Lively discussion is fine. Even sarcasm is fine, but when it turns into personal jibes and nastiness, that’s when I say something.

    The thing is, you are rude. I am the only one (well almost the only one) who tells you so. I have a habit of doing that when someone picks on people. Don’t ask me why. I just don’t like to hear ANYONE, and yes, that would include YOU, being belittled.

    I am not sure why it surprises you that I am “so fond of telling you this”. It’s not fondness, it’s dislike for the belittling, cutting comments. Like I said, this behaviour is caught in kindergarten. I am not sure why some adults feel they are more entitled to behave like this, when the same behaviour is unacceptable in children.

  11. “I don’t think the very short time it took for Official Declaration to be added to the scriptures (first to the Pearl of Great Price and then to the Doctrine & Covenants) really indicates anything at all about whether the Proclamation on the Family will be added, or how long it will take.”

    You could very well be correct. Then again I don’t think your opinion on the matter really indicates anything at all about whether the Proclamation on the Family will be added, or how long it will take.

  12. Obviously true. I don’t expect my opinion to have any impact what will happen (except insofar as I may raise my hand in a sustaining vote at a future solemn assembly). I just expressed my opinion anyway, which I thought was one of the purposes of the ‘blog.

    We’re both making predictions. Your prediction was based, in part, on what happened with Declaration 2. I think you’re probably making a mistake by using that as a basis for your prediction.

  13. To illustrate why I think it’s a mistake:

    You look at the short time it took for Declaration 2 to be added and apparently suggest that since the Proclamation on the Family has already waited longer than that, the time has sort of expired. But there are contrary examples in abundance, such as Section 137, which was given in 1836, and Section 138, which was given in 1918. Both had to wait much longer than Declaration 2, but they were added nonetheless.

    My prediction about the Proclamation being added is mostly a gut feeling, based somewhat on the frequency and vigor with which the Church’s general leaders have promoted it. My prediction that it will happen in the next decade is similarly just a gut feeling.

  14. Anyway, your original post was about the difference, or lack thereof, between a “proclamation” and a “declaration.”

    PROCLAIM: 1 a : to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly, or defiantly and in either speech or writing : ANNOUNCE b : to give outward indication of : SHOW
    2 : to declare or declare to be solemnly, officially, or formally

    DECLARE: 1 : to make known formally, officially, or explicitly
    2 obsolete : to make clear
    3 : to make evident : SHOW
    4 : to state emphatically : AFFIRM
    5 : to make a full statement of (one’s taxable or dutiable property)
    6 a : to announce

    The two things appear to be synonyms or near-synonyms, with ‘proclamation’ carrying perhaps a greater connotation of addressing a wide public.

    I can’t see any meaningful distinction between the two words as used in the case of the Official Declarations and the Proclamation on the Family.

  15. This discussion brings up a collateral issue: the nature of the Proclamation as a “revelation,” and how this affects it as authorized instruction or potential scripture.

    I think Sections 102, 134, and 135 are instructive. None of these are first-person, direct revelations, but simply proclamations of what we stand for as a Church–just like the Articles of Faith. If the Proclamation on the Family were to be added to the scriptures, it would be much like thse sections.

    Official Declarations 1 & 2 are announcements concerning revelations rather than being the directly worded revelations themselves.

  16. Thank you Itbugoff… excuse me, I mean Itbugat ( type mistake) …. for inviting me to send insturctions to the prophet so that he will not make any more mistakes. I am glad that you understand the importance of individual opinion…….. Really BIG of you. I am very surprised and happy that you believe that one day soon that the proclamation will be made a part of the D&C. This shows that you are actually able to think….. and have your own opionion. BRAVO! You are actually on your way to being able to think for yourself.

    As for your comments being rude, as Mary suggested. I do not find them rude at all….. they only display the ignorant nature of your person. This is VERY good….. for it diminishes ALL your comments…. one only needs to read who is the author and say….. oh well…. it is only Itbug…… ho hum….. never mind!

    I will NOT be writing the prophet however about the proclamation on the family. I am most certain that he is already aware of its significance to the thousands of members of the church who are gay and to their families…… making up thousands more…….. who are either being excluded……. or must watch their loved ones leave the church because of the way they were born.

    In my opionion……. and yes…. it IS an opionion only… (I am able to think on my own….. as the church leaders tell us to do)…… I personally believe that gradually over the time the proclamation on the family will decline in importance. Already ……. here in Canada…. gays are able to get married. Many are adopting and having families… many people are becoming more accepting of gays as “Normal” people and their life style one to be accptable. IF the world becomes a place where gay people are accepted and their life style becomes one that is so intigrated into society… such, for example….. as blacks now are…. THEN the churches…. ALL of them…. not just the LDS church….. will gradually accept gays within their membership the way they are. Those who do not will simple come across as bigotted. The LDS church does NOT want this immage. I personally think they will wait before they add the proclaimation to the D&C. To do so would lock the church in a corner that would be hard to get out of…. but then….. and I admit…. this is ONLY my opinion.

    You said, “to think all this time, I believed it was the prophet who had the authority to determine thesse things! Nope it’s Dean!

    Thank you so much for putting me at par with the prophet. That is very kind of you. I am glad that you realize….. and I am surprised actually that you do… That each one of us has two hands, two feet and a brain to think with….. just as the prophet does. We are each capable of thinking on our own…. just as he does……. and although we do not have the authority to act for the church… we have the ability to think on our own.

    The prohet may speak for the church…… but then….. they DO make mistakes…. just like we do… and although it has been said that the a prophet will never be allowed to lead the church astray….. The Lord has certainly given quite a bit of leway on many items. The black issue being one of them. Joseph Smith ordained black people to the priesthood for example….. Brigham Young changed that and that ruling stuck until just 20 years ago or so…. Was Joseph Smith wrong…… MMMMMMmm… many will say that Brigham Young received a revelation on that subject that Joseph had not received…… I simply find it to be mistake that the church would like to forget about. MY OPIONION……. I think on my own.

    And the list could go on and on where what might be concidered by some at least …… to be mistakes…. yet the Lord alowed them to be made…….. but the church goes on. The mistakes made therefore must never have been so large that Lord felt He needed to intervien. He would never let the leaders lead the church astray so far as to do that. THAT is MY interpretation….. It may not be YOURS… but it is mine.. and for me… thank goodness I have it…. for it is with THAT interpretaion that I am able to hold on to my testimoney.

    I saw President Benson put in a man as stake patriarch….. he had been previously my mission pesidents councilor (I served the Western Canadian Mission and then moved to Canada after my mission), and then a stake mens president and after that a councilor to the stake president….. and he tried to have sex with me…. TWICE ! ! ! Finally after 30 years he has been excommunicated for LIFE as he aproached hundreds of young men in the church and out of the church…… SO…. i have learned NOT to accept each thing the prophet says…….. They make BIG mistakes. In addition to this.. the man from the Calgary Police Department handling the investigation told me that the church had done EVERYTHING that they could to prevent further investigation of this matter. As evidance of this…. only three of us were strong enough to come up as witnesses. I had nothing to worry about…. I was already excomunicated. I was one of those three. Yet President Benson….. when a dozzen people raised their hands at stake conference in oposition to having this man become stake patriarch….. told them that they must be mistaken… the calling of this man was a call of inspiration! ! ! !

    PLEASE Itbugoff…… DON’T tell me that prophets are so perfect that they DON’T make mistakes. They do… and thousands of people suffer because of it.

    Does this make the church false….. Not at all….. it makes the church have a human element… something we ALL know.

    Now then… you have accused people of telling lies. MMMMmmm…… it seems to me that it takes one who has told lies to think that others would be so dishonest to lie about such important things. What deep dark lies do YOU tell….

    You remind me very much of Laman and Lemual .. who, when they were visited by an angel ….. could still not see the truth. You, Itbugat…… want only to believe what YOU think is. If you met someone who actually had recieved shock treatment…. and they told you exactly what happened…. you would still say…. they are lieing. You do not want to hear it. Evidance of this is when I offered you to write me at my personal email address so that you could talk to someone who acutally has had shock treatment…. you did not bother to contact me. You do not want to hear it. And after reading your comments…. I am not certain that I would give you my friends email address now anyway…. as it would be casting pearls before the swine. It is beyond you to believe that the church has a human nature to it…… that mistakes have been made…. This is not fantasy land.

    Now I am sure you shall take many of the thngs I have said in this letter… and make fun of them…. or make more sarcastic comments. That is quite alright….. everyone is expecting it of you ….. we would be surprised if you did not. It is your nature to be ignorant…… so we all concider the source….. and ignore….. So, although I have responded to your comments…. they do NOT offend me at all……. I have met many ignorant people before…. and perhaps you should change your name to itbugass…. but then… that would be much too discriptive of your real nature.

  17. ok, ok, if it makes you feel better; Dean, don’t call names.

    The thing is, though, ltbugaf, he was reacting in defense to what you said to him. But good grief boys, just play nice and get along.

  18. As impressive and intellectually devastating as Dean’s name-calling skills are, I think I’ve now managed to overcome the emotional trauma enough to make a response. (I’m just glad we weren’t in the same room, or I’d be wiping away spitballs and trying to fix a wedgie.)

    Digging through his lengthy post, I think I’ve managed to identify two points Dean was trying to make. Let me see if I can state them more succinctly than he did:

    1. Ltbugaf is a poo-poo head.

    2. Prophets and Apostles make mistakes.

    Now for my responses:

    1. This is a tough one. I considered following the spirit of Dean’s comment and replying with, “I know you are but what am I.” Instead, I think I’ll settle for this: Let’s just assume that I am the worst person in the world and move on to discussing the topic.
    2. Yes, they do.

    In support of this second point, Dean regales us with the story of a man who was ordained to an important office and then used his agency to commit grievous sins. This, however, doesn’t show that ordaining him was a mistake, any more than the betrayal of Judas shows that Christ made a mistake in choosing his original Apostles.

    I’d like to return, now, to the point that inspired my first comment. Perhaps I should clarify what I said there. Dean explained that, (apparently according to some rumors he’s heard) the Proclamation on the Family was prepared for publication in a certain way. He then instructed us, “This is NOT the way revelation is to be received.” Laying aside what previous comments have already pointed out about whether the Proclamation claims to be a revelation, or needs to be a revelation, we’re still left with Dean’s assertion that he knows the way in which revelations may be received and the way they may not be received. So apparently, the 15 Apostles of Jesus Christ who signed the Proclamation just don’t understand the procedure as well as Dean does. I thanked Dean for notifying us of his superior knowledge and suggested he notify the Brethren.

    After this, Dean turned his attention to the subjects discussed on other threads but not especially relevant to this thread. However, I’ll go along. On another thread, I expressed my utter disbelief in some stories told about BYU goon squads dragging students out of classes and forcing them to undergo electroshock and aversion therapy for no other reason than their “looking gay” or their choice of majors. I also pointed out that writing these rumors down in a book didn’t amount to “documentation. To this, Dean was again generous in imparting his vast wisdom about those who suspect others of dishonesty:

    “[I]t seems to me that it takes one who has told lies to think that others would be so dishonest to lie about such important things.” So only deeply dishonest people ever suspect others of being deeply dishonest. Conversely, perfectly honest people must always believe everyone is being perfectly honest. In other words, it takes one to know one. Again, I thank Dean for explaining this. It sheds a whole new light on the personal character of Jesus Christ, who attacked the Pharisees and Scribes as dishonest hypocrites. It just never occurred to me that this meant Christ was a dishonest hypocrite himself. I’m glad this has been cleared up.

    Dean offered to give me contact information for a man who received electroshock therapy. I don’t need it. I’m already aware that electroshock therapy happened. What I deny is that anyone was kidnapped and forced to undergo it because he “looked gay.”

    I hope that will do for now. You may resume hurling epithets.

  19. Kim, I notice that of the first 21 comments on this thread, only one has been on the topic of the thread. Do you agree? And don’t we usually do a little better than that?

  20. thankyou for your comment above. I will clarify only two things. First the way I have always felt revelation was to be given. I guess I am old fashioned but to me, revelation is to be given as it was to Moses….. when he saw God face to face. Or perhaps in a dream…… but it was given directly to the man or prophet personally. We are told that the Declaration of Indipendence and the Constitution were inspired. They were written by men who sat in committees. I could understand the church to say that the proclamation is inspired…… but not at all revealed. That is MY interpretation. For the moment I am not sure the church has said it is inspired or revealed, but I think many members concider it to be revelation. I disagree strongly. As for all of the apostles who signed it….. the majority of them are the ones who wrote it together in committees. This does not mean that it is revelation…. they did not say that …….. it is a statement of policy that the church adhears to. That is how I understand it.

    I do not take upon myself to say HOW revelation should be received. I take it from all the things I have learned from the church over my 40 years of membership in the church. It is what I understood as to how revelation was to be given. Inspiration is another thing. Please explain to me if I have misunderstood something.

    As for telling lies…. I would think thatacusing a person of telling a lie is a bit strong when you have not yet investigated to be sure. It seems to me that really you do not know for certain that it is a lie. You THINK it is a lie… you feel very strongly that it probably is….. but you can not be 100% sure until you check out all sources and prove it to be wrong. The same would be for the person who made the statement…… they would have to come forth with proof. Since neither one of you has done that… neither has proof of anything being true or false.

    My one friend told me some stories and I honestly did not believe … until I checked into it further and discovered to my sadness that the things he told me were true. At first I thought most certainly ALL that he sad was a large exageration. Unfortunately it was not.

    As for President Benson calling my former mission presidents councilor to be a stake patriarch….. I still do not think it was inspired. I personally think it was a mistake. Christ when he chose Judas had a purpose or a mission for Judas to perform. I have for many years felt sorry for my former mission presidents councilor who contacted so many young men both in and out of the church. He had already been convicted of this behavior BEFORE his calling was made as stake patriarch…… unfortunately, it was settled outside of court and NO ONE new about it until the latter charge was made. It is against church policy to give such a large position to a man with a criminal record of sexually aproaching young men. This has nothng to do with the churches truthfulness. It shows only the human element that I spoke of before. Joseph Smith called John Bennet to be his councilor… he turned out to be a very bad choice and caused much grief to the church. So….. Pres Benson made a mistake in making a call…… GOOD….. I’m glad to see he is human… we all make mistakes. This one however caused a great deal of harm to many people. Many testimonies I am sure have been touched and for myself I had to search a long time before I could accept it all.

    So…… to get back to the topic…. are proclamations and declarations revealed, inspired…. or are they only statements on church policy? For the proclamation on the family…. I find it is only the latter.,,, but then, that is MY opinoin.

  21. Dean, are the Articles of Faith, and Sections 102, 134 and 135 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and Official Declarations 1 & 2 unworthy of our respect or obedience because they are merely statements on church policy? Are the epistles of Paul similarly unworthy because they are statements on church policy?

  22. Dean: I believe that the calling of the counselor to be a Patriarch might have been or might not have been inspiration. I was not with the President Benson so I cannot say. Sometimes a person is given a calling that will either be to their exultation or condemnation, depending on how they recieve it, and fulfil it. As the Sunday School president, I have submitted a name to the bishop for a calling that I knew the person would decline. But I, and my counselors felt impressed to submit the name. He was supposed to be given the offer for that calling.

  23. I agree with Ray. It comes down to choice. Inspiration is there, but people still have the choice with how to accept, decline or use that calling, etc. It doesn’t mean the leaders were not inspired.

  24. I have been very busy the past little bit. My spouse and I are remodelling a 100 year old victotorian home and turning it into a care facitily for the elderly. So when I read some of your comments I was a bit overwhelmed as how to respond. About a year after I was exed…. I gave all of my church books to my daughter. I had a very large collection. Now I have only one history book and the standard works… and as we are in a mess…the house looks like a bomb hit it… even those are packed.

    I no longer read my scriptures every day. So when itbugat mentioned his comments i had no way of checking anything out about what he said, however his comments were well taken and I had not really thought about that. Good ideas. To me, however, if I remember my church history well, some reporter or some one such as that asked Joseph Smith for the general beliefs of the Church. It was in answer to that that he gave the Articles of Faith. I can not remember for certain, perhaps you could shed light on that, if Joseph Smith wrote it all himself or if he had help… but I think he wrote himself. Not in a committee. It is certain however, that it is more like a proclamation.

    The other two sections I would have to read. Unlike anything else recorded in the D&C that I am aware of, the proclamation on the family is discriminatory. It leaves out 10% of the church that is gay. It makes NO place for us.

    It is not enough to say we are born male of female. I know two people who were born with both sex organs of a male and female. One is still not sure which sex she/he favors! ! ! That person is in their 50’s! Where is the place for those of us who do NOT fit into the mold. For this reason I do not see the proclamation as the other things that have been put in the scriptures…. however, as you referred … it is NOT me who will decide that. I would never be able to accept it however. IT IS WRONG AND BIGGITTED in my view point.

    As for the calling of my former mission president’s councilor who was exed…. I guess I am just stuborn. I see your point… but YOU did not have to go through what I did. I was only 24 years old when I was aproached by this man. (I am now 60)I was in such shock…. I could not believe what he did to me. I was not able to put the matter to rest until about 3 or 4 years ago when he was exed. There was seldom a day that went by that I did not think about it for that many years… so you see…. it was not a little thing for me. He is in his 80’s now.

    I spoke with the sister of the man who layed charges against him. I did not lay the charges… I was only asked to give further information as to what happened to me. As the sister relayed to me what this man did to her brother… and what happened to him during the remaining years of his life… until he broke down a second time 25 t0 30 years after it happened…. and HIS WIFE insisted that he lay charges.

    Many young men, including myself, simply went to their biship to report what had happened. NOTHING was done…. until this man’s wife decided she would NOT go to the bishop… but directly to the police! ! ! Then the church in Salt Lake took action.

    The man who layed charges had gone to his Stake President after breaking down on his mission and told the Stake President what had happend …. according to what his sister told me, the young man was exed for slandering a high leader of the church.

    He had his first brakedown when he was on his mission and came home early. That is when he told his Stake President what had happened. When he was exed… everyone thought it was because he had done something bad on his mission. It was not for that… it was because he had told the truth about what had happened to him…

    When he was 16 years old he visited the morturary where his religious leader worked. He was undressed, fondeled, shown some undressed nude deceaced bodies and comments were made about the particulars… he was fondeled some more.. and was told to put on his clothes and he left. (I also spoke to the police man in charge of the investigation. When he could tell that I had heard all the story from the man’s sister he confirmed to me that this is what had been reported…. but that the dead bodies were NOT touched… only looked at)

    that is pretty much what happened to me as well.. except for me I was fondeled with my clothes on and the dead bodies were also clothed.

    How could we let this man do this to us…. I was in total shock… He could have done almost anything to me I was in such shock ….. i just stood there…. not knowing what to do….

    So….. PLEASE NEVER tell me again that this was a call of inspiration. IT WAS NOT…. it was a mistake…. leaders make mistakes. President Benson’s son in law called this man to be his councilor in the Stake Presidancy and so President Benson knew him well…

    This man came across as being a very wonderful man…. and he was when he was not doing “other things”

    I may be gay… but I NEVER tried to harm other young people. I was a ward young mens president…. and I NEVER did anything like that. I was faithful to my young men.

  25. Dean, the Articles of Faith were written in a document called The Wentworth Letter, which was, as you say, a response to a newspaper editor who was seeking information about Joseph Smith and his followers. I don’t know how much help he had in composing it. I fail to understand why you think it would have less validity if written by a “committee.” The actions of the leading quorums of the Church are actions of united councils. They have more validity, not less, because they are done by the unanimous voice of a council. Why does putting more than one person behind a declaration make it less valid?

  26. I’m with Dean on the Proclamation. However, I don’t think it is anti-gay. Rather, it is anti gay-marriage. The primary purpose of the Proclamation was to carefully and solemnly articulate in writing, and by the full authority of the church leadership, the position of the church regarding same-sex marriage. Yes, the writers expanded it a bit to make it more useful in a general way to support the ideal family. But, first and formost, it is an anti-SSM document. To add it to the canon would be comparable to the anti-SSM legislation which is writing discrimination into government constitutions.

  27. Re #32: Every commandment of God is a form of discrimination. It discriminates between those who choose to follow it and those who choose to disobey it. Yes, the Proclamation on the Family discriminates between those who engage in same-sex marriage and those who don’t. It also discriminates between those who abuse children and those who don’t. It discriminates between those who have sex outside of marriage and those who don’t. It discriminates between those who teach their children the Gospel and those who don’t.

    Let’s have more of that discrimination.

  28. I suppose it depends on how you define inspiration and revelation. I believe that the Reformers were inspired, but I do not believe the will of the Lord was revealed to them.

  29. Then you’re insisting on a pretty restricted use of the word “revelation.” Revelation comes in a lot of different forms of varying strength and clarity.

  30. Kim, one more comment in regard to #31: You say that when several people are involved it “has an effect on whether it is revealed or inspired.” What effect are you talking about? The effect that was produced when the revelation behind Declaration 2 was given simultaneously to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve?

    Here’s an excerpt from Elder McConkie that describes the situation:

    “Well, in that setting, on the first day of June in this year, 1978, the First Presidency and the Twelve, after full discussion of the proposition and all the premises and principles that are involved, importuned the Lord for a revelation. President Kimball was mouth, and he prayed with great faith and great fervor; this was one of those occasions when an inspired prayer was offered. You know the Doctrine and Covenants statement, that if we pray by the power of the Spirit we will receive answers to our prayers and it will be given us what we shall ask; (D&C 50:30). It was given President Kimball what he should ask. He prayed by the power of the Spirit, and there was perfect unity, total and complete harmony, between the Presidency and the Twelve on the issue involved.

    “And when President Kimball finished his prayer, the Lord gave a revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost…

    “On this occasion, because of the importuning and the faith, and because the hour and the time had arrived, the Lord in his providences poured out the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous and marvelous manner, beyond anything that any then present had ever experienced. The revelation came to the President of the Church; it also came to each individual present. There were ten members of the Council of the Twelve and three of the First Presidency there assembled. The result was that President Kimball knew, and each one of us knew, independent of any other person, by direct and personal revelation to us, that the time had now come to extend the gospel and all its blessings and all its obligations, including the priesthood and the blessings of the house of the Lord, to those of every nation, culture, and race, including the black race. There was no question whatsoever as to what happened or as to the word and message that came.

    “The revelation came to the President of the Church and, in harmony with Church government, was announced by him; the announcement was made eight days later over the signature of the First Presidency. But in this instance, in addition to the revelation coming to the man who would announce it to the Church and to the world, and who was sustained as the mouthpiece of God on earth, the revelation came to every member of the body that I have named. They all knew it in the temple.”

    So what was the effect of having a large group of people involved rather than a single person, on whether this was inspired or revealed?

  31. Should have offered the reference—that was Bruce R. McConkie, “All Are Alike unto God.” Address to the Church Educators Symposium, Brigham Young University, August 18, 1978.

  32. No, it isn’t, although the other examples I previously gave of documents that are now part of the scriptures were.

    The example I gave was to show that when a group of leaders are united in declaring/proclaiming/revealing something, their words don’t deserve less credence for that reason.

    I’m still looking for you to explain what is the “effect on whether it is revealed or inspired,” when a lot of people help to prepare a document for publication.

    (This all begs the question of whether the committee process that Dean describes ever happened, of course. As near as I can tell, he has only rumor to support it.)

  33. Sorry I didn’t answer #37–it got buried.

    I don’t know that there’s a name for each “rung” on the “ladder” of revelation. My point is that when someone receives inspiration from the Holy Ghost, that person is receiving knowledge. Knowledge is being revealed to him by the Holy Ghost. Hence, inspiration is a form of revelation. Whenever someone receives any kind of information from the Father, Son or Holy Ghost, that’s revelation. There are contexts in which the word revelation takes on more specific meaning, as, for example, when we ask who has the right to receive revelation regarding the whole Church (or more accurately, who has the authority to announce revelation regarding the whole Church). But if the people who wrote and prepared the Proclamation were inspired, or even if only the people who approved it for publication were inspired, it’s reasonable to refer to it as revelation.

  34. Th effect is that if more people are working on it, the more likely it is that opinions will surface to what should be included and the less likely it is that the wording will be revealed to each committee member.

    I don’t know that there’s a name for each “rung” on the “ladder” of revelation.”

    Okay, then don’t provide the names. Feel free to simply describe the different forms of revelation.

    “My point is that when someone receives inspiration from the Holy Ghost, that person is receiving knowledge.”

    I’m not sure I would go so far as to equate inspiration as receiving knowledge. For example, from time to time, I have received inspiration to not do something. Instruction was given, but the amount of knowledge I had at that time (aside from knowing I was prompted to make a choice) did not increase.

    “But if the people who wrote and prepared the Proclamation were inspired, or even if only the people who approved it for publication were inspired, it’s reasonable to refer to it as revelation.”

    Unless the person who wrote, prepared and/or approved it was the president of the Church. Or at least according to D&C 28:2,6-7 which states that revelation for the Church is given through the president.

  35. Kim, if you didn’t know whether you should do something one moment, and the next moment you did know that you should not do it, your knowledge increased.

    The Proclamation WAS given through the President of the Church. It was also signed by his counselors and by the entire Quorum of the Twelve. If (and that still remains an “if” until someone produces a shred of evidence to support Dean’s version of events) there was also help from others in composing the wording of the Proclamation, that really doesn’t matter. President Hinckley gave it to the Church (along with all the other Apostles).

  36. Although it’s peripheral to my point, here are a few I can think of:

    1. Receiving the words of God without any contribution by the recipient–just words given straight from Heaven. (I’m not sure this has ever happened. I think even the first-person revelations of the Doctrine & Covenants required some effort on Joseph’s part–both while receiving and after, while editing–to put into the proper words.)

    2. Receiving thoughts and impressions that the recipient must put into his own words. (I suppose most of the D&C is like this. So are most Priesthood blessings.)

    3. Receiving an impression that doesn’t call for expression in words but simply affirms to the recipient what he must do.

    4. Receiving a feeling or impression that a considered course of action is right (or not right)

    5. Receiving a feeling or impression that a teaching is true (or false)

    6. Hearing a literal voice speaking in words that are directed only to the recipient

    7. Speaking face-to-face with divine beings in physical proximity

    I’m sure I could go on, but this makes a good list for present purposes. One problem is that these are not necessarily discrete; there’s a lot of overlap.

  37. #34 You mentioned that the Proclamation discriminates against those who abuse children, those who have sex out of marriage and those who do not, those who teach the gospel and those who do not.

    In the case of gay marriage….. we are talking about a condition that even Dallen Oaks referrs to as one that we are more than likely born with. He mentions that it is quite possible that we are born with the tendancy to be gay. He then goes on to say that even though we are born with that tendancy….. we are responcible to keep that in control, and encourages us to be celibate. No fast fix marriages.

    In addition to totally changing the churches policy on this …. for when I was young the church was encourageing “fast fix” marriages, which is why I got married, I do not see gay marriage in the same catagory as child abuse. Although often those who abuse their children may themselves come from abusive families, it is not something one is born with. In addition, we are talking about commitment to ONE other person. This is also because of a condition that most, not all, but all of the reputable pshycological organizaions would agree is NOT changeable. For me it is something that I either had from birth…… or from an extreamly young age. I find that the other items you mentioned have a certain amount of choice involved. I can choose if I teach the gospel or not to my children. I can choose if I want to be chaste or not. I have no choice as to if I can feel atraction to women or men. I tried for most of my life to change that….. it just never did happen. The only choice I have left then is to remain alone, unloved …or celibate, or find that one special person who adds joy to my life.

    The scriptures say men are not to be alone….and men are that they might have joy. There is no place in the scriptures where it talks about meaningful gay relationships. The few places where gay activities are mentioned is when there is sex for lust. Sex for lust would be against any hetero sexual relationship as well. In deed there is at present no mention of homosexual relationships in any of the modern scriptures and only a few in the old and new testiment which refer to sex with other men in a none committed relationship. I find that the other things you mentioned that are discriminated in have a choice involved….. There is little choice when one is gay…. the only choice involved is that of being alone and depressed, or being able to have a partner to share ones life with. This is true discrimination….. for it sets a line against a person for the way they ARE….. the others you mentioned clearly are a matter of choice… or in the case of an abusive parent….. one that came because they may in deed come from an abusive family and it was a “learned behaviour.”

  38. “In the case of gay marriage….. we are talking about a condition that even Dallen Oaks referrs to as one that we are more than likely born with.”

    No, we’re not more than likely born with marriage. Marriage is something we choose to do, not something we are. Same-sex marriage is something one does, not something one is.

    “I do not see gay marriage in the same catagory as child abuse.”

    Neither do I. It’s a different kind of sin.

    “There is no place in the scriptures where it talks about meaningful gay relationships. The few places where gay activities are mentioned is when there is sex for lust.”

    I’m in agreement there.

    Dean, I think living with a condition—whether inborn or not—that causes a chronic, persistent temptation to do that which God commands not to do is very burdensome. But it doesn’t excuse one from the commands of God. He doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not steal unless thou hast a deep, natural, persistent desire to do so.” He doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not commit adultery unless thine inborn desire to commit adultery and thy natural attraction to other women is very strong.” Christ says that sometimes we need to take up our crosses. Sometimes the very difficult is required of us. Why this burden is placed on many people, I don’t know. But I do know what Prophets of God have said they are to do.

  39. Several other threads have discussed the topic of homosexual temptation and behavior very thoroughly. I think it would be better for you to go there, rather than continue to derail this thread—which is supposed to be about the difference between a Proclamation and a Declaration.

    So far, I know of only ONE comment on this entire thread that has addressed its actual topic.

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