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I understood from a previous question (How does LDS handle doctrine changes?) that in the LDS church changes (including doctrine changes) are based on revelations from the prophets. Those are shared in the churches and eventually at the General Conferences.

For example, as mentioned in one of the answers, in 1978, a revelation came to the President Spencer W. Kimball which removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood. This is published as the Official Declaration 2.

However, I can find only two such Official Declarations. I assume there should be other revelations which led to changing some things, including but not limited to doctrine.

Is there a place where one can see the archive of those documents? When they appeared and what they contain?

I expect such a list would be public. If they are not published online, how can one request such an archive and from whom (and eventually pay shipping etc)?


While related to What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture?, this question is more from the organizational point of view (policy changes etc).

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    Possible duplicate of What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture? – Matt Feb 16 '18 at 16:24
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    Official declaration 2 is a weird one, because there was technically no revelation given to preclude blacks from the blessings of the priesthood. Blacks were baptized, ordained, and served as temple workers before the church moved to Utah. Somewhere along the way a policy was made to exclude blacks for whatever reason. One of the more likely explanations was the persecution the church was receiving in general was compounded by their relationship with the black community (the Utah War mixed with the Mormon opposition to slavery, etc.). – ShemSeger Feb 16 '18 at 18:22
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    The policy was likely politically driven, and eventually became adopted by the body of church as "doctrine" even though it was never officially declared as such. It's was almost a "folk doctrine". It wasn't until the civil rights movement that the question was brought before the church again, and it was revealed that all of God's children were meant to receive the full blessings of the gospel. It's somewhat of a mystery still how the official exclusion of blacks from the priesthood was enacted, but there's no proof it was by revelation. – ShemSeger Feb 16 '18 at 18:36
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As members of the Church we believe there is revelation that can be shared, and revelation that is so personal it cannot. Each member of the church can receive personal revelation. It is not restricted to the leadership. As with the individual, so it is with the leadership of the church. They receive revelation that is strictly for them, and others that can be shared with the general population.

For my answer, I will go with the latter, the revelation that is allowed to be shared as a whole.

I do not know, nor do I think there could be a single list of the revelations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are too many. We believe the Heavens are open and revelation comes to those who seek and are worthy to receive.

The church is becoming more transparent in its history and other aspects. You will find many previously unpublished revelations (and more) of Joseph Smith by viewing the Joseph Smith Papers. Many historical accounts can be found at the LDS History website.

If you care more about more recent revelations. General Conference is a good place to start. Every 6 months the church meets as a whole and the sermons are recorded and posted for all to review and study. Within the General Conference addresses, new temples are announced, policy changes are announced (Missionary age change), etc.

There is also the Mormon Newsroom, which publishes church statements which often clarify a position the church takes, or releases new statements.

The First Presidency will send letters to the Bishops to read to the general congregations. These contain direction, policy change, and so forth. They are only accessible if you are a member of the church and have an LDS Account and the accessibility is limited by church calling as well as membership. Occasionally they are published on the LDS Church News Website

In summary, there is no "one list to rule them all" but the revelations are not held in secret.

  • Like Alamb answered, I think what I'm looking for is this kind of letters which contain direction, policy change etc, like you mentioned. Is there a reason why they are accessible by the members, but not accessible by someone outside of the church? Assuming one would like to be a member and wants to study those letters as well, how would that work? – Ionică Bizău Feb 16 '18 at 15:36
  • I don't know. I didn't know there was an official online place for keeping them until this morning. The sub-header when I log in states: "The documents in the list below are those that are authorized by your church calling." ldsliving.com (not authorized by the church) will occasionally have those letters, but it is not in a coherent list you are looking for. You can google "lds living letters from the first presidency" and see what comes up. – staples Feb 16 '18 at 18:42
  • @IonicăBizău is there a topic you are looking for? Even if the letters on that site aren't public, LDS church policies are and I doubt there is anything in the letters you can't find on lds.org or mormonnewsroom.org – depperm Feb 16 '18 at 21:12
  • @staples, you should modify you answer regarding First Presidency letters to say that accessibility is limited by church calling as well as membership. – NeutronStar Feb 17 '18 at 14:02
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    @IonicăBizău My theory is that some directions are only given leadership in order to avoid situations where a member calls out leaders for not following handbook to the letter. I believe for some things the perceived damage to the authority of local leaders when, for one reason or another, they adapt the general guidelines and policies to local circumstances (which they are encouraged to do if necessary and inspired to do so), outweighs the benefit of having them follow these directions to the letter. – kutschkem Feb 21 '18 at 12:59
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I'm going to assume you're asking about the letters read in Sacrament meetings about policy changes. Like staples mentioned in his answer, the only way to get an easy to navigate list of those letters is with access to the "Leader and Clerk Resources" in an LDS account. LDS members have to be in certain leadership callings to access that. However, that doesn't mean you can't find the letters. The easiest way is to go to lds.org or mormonnewsroom.org and type something like "first presidency letters" into the search bar. That returns a random list that's terrible to navigate (on both sites), but it's still something. Not all the letters are about policy, so it's best if you know what you're looking for.

If you want to find if there is a letter on a specific topic, you can go to the Topics tab in mormonnewsroom.org and look through a desired topic.

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    Interesting! I found letters.lds.org which requires authentication. Is there a reason why the archive is private and some letters are public? – Ionică Bizău Feb 16 '18 at 15:33
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    @IonicăBizău I have access to that site. The letters are mostly instruction given to local leaders to be delivered to their congregations during Sunday meetings. They are addressed, "To: General Authorities; General Auxiliary Presidencies; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and Temple Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents; Stake and Ward Young Men, Young Women, and Primary Presidencies (To be read in sacrament meeting) " . – ShemSeger Feb 16 '18 at 18:53
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    @IonicăBizău The letters are subsequently published on the official church news site. I checked on a few, for every letter I searched there was a corresponding public article. – ShemSeger Feb 16 '18 at 19:04
  • The Letters.LDS.org archive also does not go back indefinitely. – Samuel Bradshaw Feb 19 '18 at 16:56
  • @ShemSeger That's exactly what I'd like to take a look at (I quickly checked the ones from 2015-17 and that's what I'm looking for). Is there a way for me to request an official archive with those letters from the organisation? Thank you! :) – Ionică Bizău Feb 19 '18 at 18:53

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