The first thing I want to talk about is the nature of this proclamation. Many members consider it scripture or revelation. This, however, is not the case. The most recent evidence of this can be found in the changes made to Elder Packer's recent controversial talk in General Conference. I am not going to go into that talk, enough has already been said about it, but there is one sentence that is very important in putting forth this point. Speaking of the proclamation mentioned above, Packer's original talk read:
"It qualifies according to the definition as a revelation and would do well that members of the church to read and follow it."After the changes, that same sentence now reads:
"It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow."Not such a minor change is it? Downgraded from revelation to guide. Well, you don't need that talk to prove that it isn't scripture, it is built into the doctrine of the church. As outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, a decision does not become established doctrine or scripture in the LDS Church until submitted to the "common consent" of church members. This hasn't happened.
So while the proclamation can be a helpful guide and good advice, it is not a blanket statement that can be draped around everyone. While no one should be judging another person anyway, they definitely shouldn't be judging someone using a statement as scripture when even the leaders who wrote it clearly teach that it is not scripture.
So. Before we go on this journey into the document, let's be clear that this is not a revelation, nor is it scripture. So we shouldn't be giving it that kind of weight.