Since the organization of the Church in 1830, Church leaders have written many letters, documents, declarations, proclamations, and public announcements. Only five formal declarations have been given the title “Proclamation.”
1. Proclamation of the First Presidency of the Church to the Saints Scattered Abroad (15 January 1841, Nauvoo, Illinois). At the time this proclamation was published the First Presidency was comprised of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith. The proclamation speaks of the development of the Church in spite of all the persecution suffered in Missouri and discusses the settlement of Nauvoo and the opportunities available there.
2. Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles (6 April 1845, in New York City, and on 22 October 1845, in Liverpool, England). On 19 January 1841, Joseph Smith had received a significant revelation commanding him to “make a solemn proclamation” to the rulers of all nations (D&C 124:2-4, 16-17, 107). It was not until 1845, however, after the death of the Prophet, that the Quorum of the Twelve under the leadership of Brigham Young finally completed this assignment. The resulting 16-page pamphlet was printed in New York and reprinted in Liverpool. Some discrepancy exists with regard to the author of this document. James R. Clark (1:252) quoted William H. Reeder Jr.’s statement that Wilford Woodruff was the author. While it is certain that Wilford Woodruff published the proclamation. B. H Roberts, in a footnote in the History of the Church, indicates that the author was Parley P. Pratt (7:558). The proclamation was signed by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles because there was no First Presidency at the time it was published. In this proclamation, the Twelve announced to the rulers of the nations of the earth that God has spoken once again in our day and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been fully restored to the earth. The solemn warning spoke not only of blessings, but of impending judgments that would come to a wicked world. All were invited to come unto Christ and assist in preparing the world for the coming of the Savior.
3. Proclamation of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles (21 October 1865). This proclamation was written for the benefit of the members of the Church. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve had published his own ideas and theories about the nature of the Godhead in official Church publications without clearing them with his brethren. This proclamation clarified that “No member of the Church had the right to publish any doctrines, as the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, without first submitting them for examination and approval to the First Presidency and the twelve (Clark, 2:239).
4. Proclamation of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (6 April 1980). This proclamation was an important part of the general conference commemorating the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church.
5. The Family: A Proclamation to the World (30 September 1995, in Salt Lake City).
Arnold K. Garr et al., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 954-55.