Friday, September 18, 2015

The Proclamation: A Clarion Call




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 apart 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