Official Declaration—2

"Official Declaration—2" is the formal 1978 announcement by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) that the church's priesthood would no longer be subject to restrictions based on race or skin color. Prior to the issuance of "Official Declaration—2", the church did not ordain black people of African descent to the priesthood.[1]

Canonization

"Official Declaration—2" was canonized by the LDS Church at its general conference on September 30, 1978, through the process of common consent.[2] Since 1981, the text has been included in the church's Doctrine and Covenants, one of its Standard Works of scripture.[3] It is the most recent text that has been added to the LDS Church's open canon of scripture.[4] The announcement that was canonized had previously been announced by a June 8, 1978 letter from the First Presidency, which was composed of Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney.

Revelation vs. declaration

Unlike much of the Doctrine and Covenants, "Official Declaration—2" is not itself presented as a revelation from God. However, its text announces that Jesus Christ "by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood."[5] Thus, it is regarded as "the official declaration of the revelation."[6] No text of the revelation has been released by the church, but it is common for Latter-day Saints to refer to the "revelation on the priesthood" in describing the changes wrought by the announcement and canonization of "Official Declaration—2".[7]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ LDS Church, "Gospel Topics: Priesthood Ordination before 1978".
  2. ^ N. Eldon Tanner, “Revelation on Priesthood Accepted, Church Officers Sustained,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 16.
  3. ^ Robert J. Woodford, “The Story of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, Dec. 1984, 32.
  4. ^ Sections 137 and 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants were added to the D&C in 1981; however, these texts had been part of the canon in the Pearl of Great Price since 1976: Leon R. Hartshorn, "Doctrine and Covenants: Sections 137–138" in Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1:423 and “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, May 1976, 18.
  5. ^ "Official Declaration—2".
  6. ^ Church Educational System (2001, 2d ed.). Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church) p. 364.
  7. ^ See, e.g., LDS Church, “Chapter Ten: The Worldwide Church,” Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church).

References

External links


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