The new Church magazines were released this month. Here’s how they will deliver global, timely messages

New Church magazines unveiled this month will deliver messages from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that are “relevant and timely,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

The new magazines for children, youth and adults “will have a spiritual and doctrinal power,” said Elder Cook, chairman of the Church’s Priesthood and Family Executive Council. “The topics will support the Church curriculum and address relevant issues. Many of the articles will be prepared by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.” 

The First Presidency announced in August, that, beginning in January 2021, the Church will replace its four current magazines with three global magazines: The Friend for children, For the Strength of Youth for youth, and the Liahona for adults.

As a result of the change:

  • For the first time, families outside of English-speaking countries will have the opportunity to subscribe to magazines specifically for children and youth.
  • Content will be shared more frequently in some areas and languages.
  • The global Church family will receive the same unifying messages through the worldwide magazines.
A mother and her son in Ghana read the Liahona. Starting in January 2021 there will be three global magazines: the Liahona for adults, For the Strength of Youth for teenagers and the Friend for children.
A mother and her son in Ghana read the Liahona. Starting in January 2021 there will be three global magazines: the Liahona for adults, For the Strength of Youth for teenagers and the Friend for children. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

“Church magazines are a valuable resource for learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ and feeling a sense of belonging in His Church,” the First Presidency said in a letter to all Latter-day Saints. “Our desire is that members everywhere will subscribe and welcome this faith-sustaining influence into their hearts and homes.”

Elder Cook said the decision to update the magazines and ensure products for children, youth and adults reached a worldwide audience came after extensive research and planning. Major decisions were made directly by the First Presidency.

Learn more about the Church’s 3 new global magazines

Elder Cook and Elder Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who sits on the Priesthood and Family Executive Council, praised the work of Allan Loyborg, the now retired director of Church Magazines, and of Aaron Johnston, who will now direct the products.  

The magazines, which will undergo changes to length and format, will be available both digitally and in print, said Elder Randy D. Funk, a General Authority Seventy and editor of the magazines. Church leaders will also use social media and email to alert Latter-day Saints of certain content.

Elder Randy D. Funk of the Seventy explains that the new Church magazines will be available for free on all mobile devices worldwide while speaking at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. The new magazines will be available to read digitally and in print in January 2021.
Elder Randy D. Funk of the Seventy explains that the new Church magazines will be available for free on all mobile devices worldwide while speaking at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. The new magazines will be available to read digitally and in print in January 2021. Credit: Intelectual Reserve Inc.

Research found one-third of the Church still consumes content in a print form, he said. 

“The magazines will be heavily used and deeply appreciated,” Elder Gong added. “It is very significant that they have them in their own tongue.”

Elder Michael T. Ringwood, a General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Priesthood and Family Department, said it is important for the Church to have a worldwide magazine for the youth and one for the Primary children.

“A magazine with messages from living Prophets and Apostles that is geared for them and their unique challenges is thrilling,” he said. “The First Presidency has approved a subscription for each youth and Primary child who doesn’t have parents or guardians who are members. This gesture is evidence of the importance of these new worldwide magazines.”

Elder Cook said the names of the magazines — New Era changed to For the Strength of Youth and Ensign changed to Liahona — were very carefully chosen.

Even though For the Strength of Youth shares its name with a popular Church pamphlet, Church leaders felt the name was current and relevant to deliver information to that age group. It has a “powerful, spiritually resonating feeling” to it, he said. 

The design and the content were all approved at the highest levels, he said. 

Elder Ringwood said additional resources for “Come, Follow Me” curriculum will be included in all three magazines. “This is a resource to support families and individuals as they participate in home-centered study,” he said.