The Family: A Proclamation to the World
January 2016

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, January 2016, 7

Visiting Teaching Message

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the doctrine of the family bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Relief Society seal

Faith, Family, Relief

family at the ocean

Of the general Relief Society meeting in 1995, when President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) first read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, said: “We were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. … The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth … are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.”1

“From the family proclamation,” adds Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, “we learn, ‘In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father.’2 …

“… We each belong to and are needed in the family of God.”3

We live in a time when parents must protect their homes and their families. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” can guide us.

Additional Scriptures

Mosiah 8:16–17; Doctrine and Covenants 1:38

Living Stories

“Lee Mei Chen Ho from the Tao Yuan Third Ward, Tao Yuan Taiwan Stake, said the proclamation has taught her that family relationships help develop divine characteristics such as faith, patience, and love. ‘When I try to improve myself according to the proclamation, I can experience real happiness,’ she said.”4

Barbara Thompson, who was present when the proclamation was read for the first time and later served as a counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, said: “I thought for a moment that [the family proclamation] really didn’t pertain too much to me since I wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. But almost as quickly I thought, ‘But it does pertain to me. I am a member of a family. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, and a granddaughter. … Even if I were the only living member of my family, I am still a member of God’s family.’”5


  1. Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation,” Ensign, May 2015, 14–15.

  2. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.

  3. Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” Ensign, May 2015, 11.

  4. Nicole Seymour, “‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ Reaches 10-Year Milestone,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 127.

  5. Barbara Thompson, in Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 148.