"The Family"

A Proclamation to the World by the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, cross-referenced with the scriptures.

December 18, 2021

I think of "The Family", A Proclamation to the World as if it were a chapter in the standard works. So, why not give it similar treatment, with footnotes referring to study helps and related passages in the scriptures? What follows is my own (unconventional and unofficial) rendering of this important document, which was authored by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


  • We, the First Presidency and
    • the Council of the Twelve Apostles of
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
  • solemnly proclaim that
    • marriage between aa man and a woman
      • is bordained of God and that
    • the family is ccentral to the Creator’s plan
      • for the eternal destiny of His children.
  1. 1 Corinthians 11:11
  2. Genesis 2:24
  3. Malachi 4:5-6;
    Joseph Smith—History 1:38-39;
    3 Nephi 25:5-6;
    Doctrine and Covenants 2:1;
    Doctrine and Covenants 110:14-15
    (This passage is included in
    - The Holy Bible,
    - The Book of Mormon,
    - The Doctrine and Covenants, and
    - The Pearl of Great Price.)


  • All human beings
    • —male and female—
      • are created in the aimage of God.
  • Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents,
    • and, as such, each has a divine
      • nature and
      • destiny.
  • Gender is an essential characteristic of individual
    • premortal,
    • mortal, and
    • eternal
      • identity and purpose.
  1. Genesis 1:27;
    Doctrine and Covenants 20:18


  • In the premortal realm,
    • spirit sons and daughters
      • knew and worshipped God
        • as their Eternal Father and
      • accepted His plan
        • by which His children could
          • obtain a physical body and
          • gain earthly experience
            • to progress toward perfection and
            • ultimately realize their divine destiny
              • as heirs of eternal life.
  • The divine plan of happiness
    • enables family relationships to be
    • perpetuated beyond the grave.
  • Sacred ordinances and covenants
    • available in holy temples
      • make it possible
        • for individuals to return
          • to the presence of God and
        • for families to be united eternally.


  • The first commandment that
    • God gave to Adam and Eve
    • pertained to their potential
      • for parenthood as
        • husband and wife.
  • We declare that God’s commandment
    • for His children to
      • multiply and
      • replenish the earth
        • remains in force.
  • 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.


  • We declare the means
    • by which mortal life is created
      • to be divinely appointed.
  • We affirm the
    • sanctity of life and of
      • its importance in God’s eternal plan.


  • Husband and wife have a
    • solemn responsibility to
      • love and care
        • for each other and
        • for their children.
  • “Children are an heritage
    • of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
  • Parents have a sacred duty to
    • rear their children in love and righteousness, to
    • provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to
    • teach them to love and serve one another,
    • observe the commandments of God, and
    • be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.
  • Husbands and wives
    • —mothers and fathers—
      • will be held accountable
        • before God
      • for the discharge of these obligations.


  • The family is ordained of God.
  • Marriage between man and woman is
    • essential to His eternal plan.
  • Children are entitled
    • to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and
    • to be reared by a father and a mother
      • who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
  • Happiness in family life
    • is most likely to be achieved
      • when founded upon the teachings of
        • the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Successful marriages and families
    • are established and maintained
      • on principles of
        • faith,
        • prayer,
        • repentance,
        • forgiveness,
        • respect,
        • love,
        • compassion,
        • work, and
        • wholesome recreational activities.
  • By divine design,
    • fathers are
      • to preside over their families
        • in love and righteousness and are
      • responsible to provide
        • the necessities of life and protection
          • for their families.
    • Mothers are
      • primarily responsible
        • for the nurture of their children.
  • In these sacred responsibilities,
    • fathers and mothers are obligated
      • to help one another as equal partners.
  • Disability,
    • death, or
    • other circumstances
      • may necessitate individual adaptation.
  • Extended families should
    • lend support when needed.


  • We warn that individuals who
    • violate covenants of chastity, who
    • abuse spouse or offspring, or who
    • fail to fulfill family responsibilities
      • will one day stand accountable
        • before God.
  • Further, we warn that
    • the disintegration of the family
      • will bring upon
        • individuals,
        • communities, and
        • nations
          • the calamities
            • foretold by ancient and modern prophets.


  • We call upon
    • responsible citizens and
    • officers of government
      • everywhere
        • to promote those measures
          • designed to maintain and
            • strengthen the family as
            • the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

-Michael Whatcott