SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — President Russell M. Nelson presented a proclamation in honor of the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision during the Sunday morning session of the 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Titled “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,” this document outlines core Latter-day Saint beliefs, said a news release from the LDS Church. “These include the supremacy of Jesus Christ in salvation, the divinity of Joseph Smith’s revelations and the Book of Mormon, the unique mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the ongoing nature of the Restoration that began with Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity in 1820,” the news release said. “The proclamation invites people everywhere to know for themselves that God speaks and that this Restoration of truth is occurring to help them prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
Nelson introduced and delivered the proclamation, authored by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in a previously recorded video from the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. That grove was the site of Joseph Smith’s vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, the news release said.
Instead of erecting a physical monument in honor of that time in Church history, as has been done previously, Nelson said the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles felt inspired to create a “monument of words—words of solemn and sacred proclamation—written not to be carved in ‘tables of stone,’ but in words that could be etched in the ‘fleshy tables’ of all human hearts’ (2 Corinthians 3:3).”
After the reading of the proclamation, Nelson led the worldwide congregation in the Hosanna Shout. This shout has biblical roots and goes back to the early days of the Church. It is a way for Latter-day Saints to give honor and praise to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. “This is an especially notable act to occur as the Church celebrates the bicentennial of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity,” the news release said.
This is the sixth proclamation issued by the Church. The others were made in 1841 (to the Saints only), 1845, 1865, 1980 and 1995.
The 1980 proclamation most closely resembles the one President Nelson introduced Sunday. During the April 1980 general conference, the Church celebrated 150 years since its organization by issuing a proclamation from a reconstructed log home on the site of the Peter and Mary Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York. It was in the Whitmers’ original home that Joseph Smith translated some pages of the Book of Mormon in 1829 and formally organized the Church in 1830.