Monday, September 17, 2012

The Family Proclamation: A Clarion Call

Welcome to Celebrate Family 2012...
where we will bring you new guest posts about The Family Proclamation every day for two weeks.  

To kick things off, please enjoy this post from blogger Susan Rust, and please feel free to join the discussion!  When you comment on any of the posts this week, you will be entered to win the giveaway mentioned at the end of today's post.  Enjoy!

What is a clarion??
Definition: The clarion was an instrument, the predecessor to the trumpet, used between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. It was quite typically used during wars to signal. As a result, a clarion call refers to a summons of sorts: one that should not/cannot be ignored, as it would have been during a medieval war
A clarion call is a powerful request for action or an irresistible mandate. It derives from the cloud of a clarion, a medieval trumpet.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World remains a clarion call to protect and strengthen families.

What a great time we live in! There is so much excitement in the air! We have The Family: A Proclamation to the World to guide us and keep us focused and grounded on what is most important: our families and our marriages.

On September 21, 1823 another clarion call was made to the world.  Moroni, the last prophet of the Book of Mormon, came to Joseph Smith, as if with a trumpet in his hand with a message for the world.  What was Moroni's message?

Among many things, he quoted Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3:
“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”
Sister Julie B. Beck from Teaching the Doctrine of the Family said, This scripture is talking about temple blessings—ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”

  How important was this message?  
  1.   If someone had a message for you and repeated it four times word for word, would you feel it was an important ? Moroni came three times in the same night and once more the next morning with the exact same message. 
  2.  If the same scripture was found in all four standard works, would that tell of it's importance?  "Turning the hearts to the fathers"  is the only scripture quoted in all four standard works. (Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:17, Matthew 17:11,  3 Nephi 25:5-6, Joseph Smith-History 1:38-39 Doctrine and Covenants 2)
  3.  The doctrine and destiny of the family was of such importance, it was revealed to Joseph Smith before he received the plates, before he translated the Book of Mormon, before he received the priesthood, and before the Church was restored.
  4. The message was of such necessity it was repeated again 172 years later as The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
President Henry B. Eyring shares the significance of  the title of the Proclamation,
“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 proclaiming it are those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators,” he says. “All this means that the family must be of tremendous importance to us, that whatever 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).”
I feel great strength from the power of The Family: A Proclamation to the World and Moroni's visit to Joseph.  For me, these two clarion messages fill me with urgency and purpose in my role as a daughter of God, a mother, and a wife.

Our prophets have encouraged us to have a copy of the family proclamation in our homes, and to read the clear, simple prophetic language and compare it to the messages and voices of today.

"... because parents will be held accountable for rearing their children in love and righteousness. Parents have the responsibility to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children while they teach them to love, serve, and obey the commandments and the laws of the land."
“Fulfilling these obligations is the key to protecting our families in these last days,”  Elder Robert D. Hales
About 5 years after the Proclamation was given, my parents called all of their adult children and challenged us to memorize the Proclamation. They had just finished memorizing it themselves after being challenged by their Stake President in Stake Conference. To the inspiration of hundreds, a thirteen-year old girl stood and quoted it in front of their whole stake.  I accepted my parents challenge and set off to memorize this inspired scripture.  I already knew it was true and powerful, but I didn't know it, like I came to know it through this memorizing journey. And it was a journey...of the Proclamation becoming apart of me...  one paragraph at a time....
 I carried a copy of the proclamation around with me while I took care of my home and family.
As I  washed breakfast dishes, the Proclamation sat in the window sill and I quoted,
"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 a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."  
"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image 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. "
 While vacuuming, I  recited,
"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."
 ...repeating the lines  out loud over and over again
trying to instill them into my brain.
While running errands around town, I went through the Proclamation...again and again and again.  Instilling the principles and phrases into my mind and heart.
"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."

While  rocking babies to sleep, I had the Proclamation in my hand reading and memorizing important phrases of family doctrine...making them a part of me.
"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..." 

Within a week or two, I had memorized one of the most important scriptures of all time, the clarion call of our day:
The Family: a Proclamation to the World


Susan Rust writes on her blog, Mothers Who Know, about strengthening mothers and families.  She is the mother of eight daughters and lives in Utah.


Be sure to check out today's other insightful posts about the Family Proclamation at the following blogs:

  Middle-agedMormonMan  diapersanddivinity

Interested in memorizing the Family Proclamation?
Here are a few resources to help you do that:

The Family Proclamation ABC's

A Family Proclamation Memorization Flipbook

Family Proclamation Cards

The giveaway this week is a Dream Big Family Rules Subway Art sign from Landee on Etsy. "One of the reasons we love to create things for our homes is because our favorite people live there! We love our families and want them to be in a happy & healthy environment. We always try to create products that are positive, motivating and uplifting. Stop by our shop and find that special detail for your home that you've been looking for!" In addition to her etsy shop, the ever talented Landee blogs at Landee See, Landee Do, where she shares a plethora of craft and home decor ideas. You can also find Landee on Facebook and Pinterest. All those who comment on the posts this week will be entered into the giveaway.


  1. I love the power of memorizing something to really make it a part of ourselves. It's sweet when that light bulb goes off in a child's eyes as they recognize something they've memorized being said in a talk or referenced in a lesson or conversation.

  2. I love the quote from Elder Hales. These next two weeks would be a perfect time for all of us to memorize the Proclamation to the Family!
    I better get going.

  3. I love the quote from Elder Hales. These next two weeks would be a perfect time for all of us to memorize the Proclamation to the Family!
    I better get going.

  4. I love the quote from Elder Hales. These next two weeks would be a perfect time for all of us to memorize the Proclamation to the Family!
    I better get going.

  5. I love the quote from Elder Hales. These next two weeks would be a perfect time for all of us to memorize the Proclamation to the Family!
    I better get going.

  6. true all..and there are so many clarion calls that don't get a proclamation to see/read/memorize. hard to know where to begin.

  7. When I woke up early this morning and saw these posts were posted, I may have squealed like a little girl...just maybe! What a beautiful insight. I never though about actually memorizing it. I'm totally going to do it!

  8. good to hear again the family proclamation, I have it hanging on my wall. Even though my nest is empty, I continue to reach out to strengthen my sons and my grandchildren as they struggle to find their way in these difficult times...

  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Mindy! Can't wait to read your post on Middle-aged Mormon Man!

    2. Susan, it's way less deep than yours. ;) Don't be expecting much!!!

  10. Very proud of you for memorizing the Proclamation. It makes it part of you!

  11. I am soaking in the meaning of clarion call and feeling moved to action! I memorized the Proclamation in college but quickly forgot it. Regrettable, really. Time to memorize it again!

  12. I love the explanation of a clarion call, for some reason I never took the time to figure out what a clarion is... I had a professor in college who had memorized the Proclamation with his family and I've often thought of doing it myself, but I think now is the time. Thank you for helping the Spirit to encourage me!

  13. I have thought several times to memorize the proclamation buy never have but now I really feel I need to and for some reason is never made the connection of josephs visions along with this inspiration together. Thank you

  14. I've thought for years how inspired our leaders were to give us The Family: A Proclamation to the World. When it was first given, things were headed downhill, but overall, they weren't too bad for families and marriages. I have been so impressed as different issues have come into prominence and the Church's answers are right there in black and white. All the current leaders have to do is reaffirm our stance. There is no frantic, pull a statement together for the media and wonder if leaders were swayed this way or that way or by this influence. Family always has been and will continue to be central to the teachings of the Church.

  15. Beautiful reminder of the importance of the proclamation in our lives! I have recently become aware that some of these fundamental truths in the proclamation that we hold precious and sacred are misunderstood by many members as well as those who don't share our religion. What a great idea to memorize it! As we and our families do that it will keep it ever-present in our minds.

  16. I have been so excited for these next few weeks as well, Thank you. What a call we have been given, I have noticed lately- a different urgency from our leaders- President Hollands CES fireside instructed us to Stand not to leave our religion at the door! Stand for all that we know to be right and true & always be true! The family, which is one of the hardest getting hit is our strong hold. We must continue to protect, honor & always make it a priority. President Howard W Hunter said "The family is the most important unit in time & eternity and as such it transcends every other interest in life"
    I am excited to start memorizing this wonderful Clarion.

  17. A few years ago, I started to memorize the Family Proclamation. I think that I made it to the second paragraph. (As in I only memorized the first). I love how you made the connection between the family proclamation and Malachi 4:5-6. That connection has been very apparent to me lately, too.

    Thanks for the inspiration...I bet loads of people will be memorizing the family proclamation thanks to your example and effort. :)

  18. This was a very well written post on the Family Proclamation. We attended our Stake Conference this weekend; it was all on families and strengthening the youth. We should view this as scripture to us and the world. Thanks for this inspiring post.

    1. Definitely! I have always felt and taught it as scripture. It IS scripture! It came through inspiration to our prophets. Maybe it will make it into the Doctrine and Covenants eventually. ; )

  19. My former bishop challenged us to memorize the Proclamation in 2 months and recite it at Easter. His 3 year old daughter did it in Primary and it was inspiring!! Thanks for the motivation.=)

  20. I really appreciate this post. I started memorizing the Proclamation last week and I'm about a third of the way through. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Your connection with D&C 2 really struck me today. We had stake conference yesterday and Elder Packer's whole talk was based on that scripture. This is a great tie in for me as I continue to ponder his words and counsel.
    I have tried to memorize the Living Christ before but never the Proclamation on the Family. For some reason I think the Proclamation would be easier. Maybe I'll give it a go.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, insights and testimony.

  22. This is a great post Susan!!! I had a similar experience with memorizing The Living Christ. The month before I had started memorizing The Family: A Proclamation to the world. Then our leaders asked us to memorize the other one. I was frustrated, but obedient. I guess it is time again to pick it up and finish the memorization process. Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. This month has been declared family month at our house. This blog series is really timely for me. I just spent two hard weeks debating between using my talents to go back to work and ease the financial burdens felt by my husband trying to work and go to school as we pay off student debt and try to get out from under a bad house loan, or to use them to teach my children at home to compensate for the poor schools here that aren’t meeting their needs. We have been homeschooling for a week now and it was definitely the right choice. I am using the Family Procolamation as our gospel study unit this month, as a reminder to us all why we do what we do. I just adjusted our goal to include memorization!

  24. I am so excited that as a family we are memorizing the Proclamation on the Family. Thank you for having a week dedicated to the Proclamation! You are truly inspired! I love, love your blog!

  25. I always enjoy this series. Celebrating family is one of my favorite things to do.


  26. I wish I'd read a copy of the proclamation whilst rocking my babies to sleep, it would have helped keep things in perspective!!!!

  27. Thank you. I stumbled onto MMM's blog over the weekend. This celebration is a great idea.

  28. Wow. I have felt the gentle tug to memorize this and now it is more clear to me that it needs to be a higher priority.

  29. this is an awesome post. Probably my favorite of the 4 that went up today. Clarion call indeed. I think we're going to be working on memorizing this soon in my little family.

  30. Thanks for your post! It seems I just keep getting a nudge reminding me to memorize this too. I want the Family Proclamation to become a part of me. I read an article a while ago about a man that did memorize it and lines of the proclamation came to him as he needed them to guide him in dealing with his family. Thanks no to get to memorizing

  31. This is very inspiring. I should really memorize it as well. Keeping the words of the Lord in my mind help keep me sane during hectic days and nights when I have trouble sleeping. I'm so grateful for the guidance we have on the earth. Wonderful post!

  32. I've been coming across little bits here and there about memorising the proclamation - I think someone is trying to tell me something! :-) I've never been fantastic at memorisation, but I think I'm going to give it a try and see how I get on.

    As a side note - I learned something new today. I didn't know what a clarion was before reading this post! And I didn't know that "turning the hearts to the fathers" was the only scripture in all four of the standard works, either. What a huge testament to the importance of the family!

    Thank you, Susan. A fantastic post!

  33. Thank you for taking time to put this together. I have been looking forward to reading the posts for quite a while!

  34. Thank You Susan and Jocelyn! Tears welled in my eyes as I read, and felt the Spirit. How timely this celebration, how helpful to us as we head into elections, that we have reviewed the words of the prophets concerning the family. May we all have these words in our hearts and our minds going about our daily lives, and reflected in our actions. I feel prompted to memorize The Family : A Proclamation to the World, as well as share the celebration on my FB.