In Doctrine and Covenants 124:1-7, Joseph Smith was called by the Lord to make a solemn proclamation of the gospel to the kings of the world, the president of the United States and to rulers and people of all nations. From the time the revelation was given in 1841 until the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, he and others worked on the proclamation. It was then published by the Quorum of the Twelve in New York City on April 6, 1845, and in Liverpool, England, on Oct. 22 of that year. In it, Church leaders declared that God had spoken again from the heavens and that the kingdom of God and the holy priesthood had been restored to prepare the way for the Second Coming of the Savior.
This pattern of Church leaders publishing proclamations to the world has been followed subsequently, including:
- A proclamation from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve on April 6, 1980, the sesquicentennial anniversary of the organization of the Church, concerning the Church’s “progress, its doctrine, its mission and its message.”
- “The Family: a Proclamation to the World,” issued by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and read at the General Relief Society Meeting Sept. 23, 1995, regarding the centrality of the family to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
In each case, as with the first, the proclamations have been "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." (See Doctrine and Covenants 124:4.)
All the proclamations have been timely as well as timeless, containing instruction and exhortation beneficial to the world's inhabitants.