With the publication in July 2004 of True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, the Church has taken another step toward a unified body of authoritative doctrine. This concise 190-page document, organized alphabetically from A (Aaronic Priesthood) to Z (Zion) thus joins the missionary “white book” of behavioral rules, the newest revision of For the Strength of Youth (explanations of principles governing correct behavior), Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine (very authoritarian but not “authorized”), and the procedures and policies in the Church Handbook of Instructions (not generally available to members). Although aimed specifically at “youth, young single adults, and new converts,” it for the first time makes available a source upon which members can draw with complete reliance that “this is what we believe.” This paper samples some entries from this under-advertised but significant work in the context of other behavioral handbooks now available. — & — The Proclamation on the Family is now 10 years old. It has been widely promulgated and heavily promoted in official church literature. Decorative copies adorn church building walls and the walls of devout Mormon family homes. This paper explores how the Family Proclamation is used in official Mormon discourse and how it is viewed by faithful Mormons. It also takes a brief look at official Mormon proclamations of the past and asks whether the Family Proclamation has a future as a permanent feature of Mormon belief.
Lavina Fielding Anderson, Nadine Hansen