On Sunday, Elder Ronald A Rasband spoke at the World Wide Youth Face to Face event on the movie set in Goshen, Utah. (Sidenote: the city of Goshen was formerly known as Sodom) Due to Covid-19, this special devotional was held outside in this almost to scale Jerusalem look-a-like Movie set. Here is blog post of photos I took when I visited the set. LINK .
It is important to notice that everyone in audience sat over 6 feet apart and wore masks. What is more unusual than that, Elder Rasband did something that I don't think has been done before. He gave us a little "peak" behind the scenes of how they receive the "mind and will of the Lord, Jesus Christ" for the Church, specifically how the 2020 Proclamation to the World came to be. The reading of the 2020 Proclamation in the Sacred Grove was the highlight of last General Conference which President Nelson said would be "not only memorable, it will be unforgettable." This new proclamation was called "a revelation to bless all people" by Elder Quentin L. Cook.
Here is a very short clip of Elder Rasband's words of him giving us this little peak "behind the scenes."
for the hearing impaired, here are his words:
"Now I would like to give you a little peak behind the scenes and tell you what we did for the month and months leading up to the Proclamation. In President Nelson's wonderful way, he allowed all of the prophets and apostles, all 15 of us, to work on putting together the Proclamation. We wrote it out, we edited it. I even think I have a couple of words in that proclamation that I may have contributed. But in the end, I want you all to know that we reached unity. And we knew that what we were doing in preparing that Proclamation to the World was the Mind and Will of the Lord, Jesus Christ. And then our dear prophet with his prophetic mantle finished the Proclamation and prepared it for his reading in the Sacred Grove at General Conference. It was a wonderfully, special, revelatory experience. And I bear my witness to all of you tonight that it is a true Proclamation of what the Lord Jesus Christ would have us know."
What many of you might not know is that 50 years before Elder Rasband and the other 14 prophets and apostles spent months on writing and editing the new 2020 Proclamation to the World another Proclamation in 1980 was presented to the Church by President Hinckley in a special memorable General Conference broadcasted from the farm house of Peter Whitmer. Below is a side by side comparison of the content of these two Proclamations. The one on the left is the 1980 document in exact order. The one on the right is the 2020 proclamation with some liberty to match up side by side to almost the exact same content. I have color coded to easily recognize the common themes and words. You can notice that the 1980 one is a lot longer and more detailed. It is interesting to read it, and compare it to the 2020 proclamation. It seems like the wording in the 1980 Proclamation is more bold and assertive. Today there seems to be a softening, words like "we declare" instead of "we testify", we "affirm" instead of "we solemnly affirm", etc. I am sure there are more differences to be found that would be interesting to study. Here it is:
I think the purpose of sharing this is to highlight how today the Mind and Will of the Lord is received. It seems like instead of receiving the words from God himself, our leaders spend months writing and editing. They then come together and if there is unity, they then call that revelation and the Mind and Will of the Lord, Jesus Christ. If I misunderstood anything, I would love to be corrected. Seems like alot has changed since Joseph Smith when he received the word of the Lord directly and now it is almost like revelation by committee.