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"Friend" Magazine Reveals Exciting Changes for 2016

During the year, the staff at The Friend magazine has been working on some exciting new changes—ones that will better engage children from 3 years old all the way up to middle school.

The new magazine will be presented in a flip format, where one side will have a cover and stories perfect for young children, and the other side will feature stories that engage older Primary children.

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Additional changes to the magazine include:

  • Friend Junior—A new magazine section with its own cover, filled with fun content for 3–5-year-olds to help parents give their little ones a good foundation in gospel learning.
  • Family Night Fun—Stories, activities, recipes, and games for four fun, easy-to-prepare FHEs each month.
  • Book of Mormon teaching helps—Each issue will have a monthly scripture hero card, family reading chart, and simplified Book of Mormon story, resources that will also be published in the Liahona.
  • Stand Tall challenge—An invitation for children to be courageous in living the gospel, and to send in their footprints telling The Friend and others how they did!

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Jan Pinborough, managing editor of The Friend, said this design will help both new and experienced parents know how to teach their children the gospel in engaging and understandable ways. "Children today are being challenged as perhaps never before, and the very best time to help children lay a strong foundation of gospel understanding in their early years," she says. "We hope that the new section will help parents do just that! We hope, too, that parents, grandparents, and older siblings will get involved in sharing Friend Junior with little ones."

The new design and features of The Friend will also help children become more invested in Primary and Family Home Evenings, helping them to learn and experience Book of Mormon stories and heroes first-hand and to be able to create FHE lessons on their own.

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"Our new Family Night Fun pages can help even the busiest family make FHE a regular part of their lives," Pinborough says.

One of the most interactive aspects of the 2016 Friend is the opportunity for Primary children to send in their footprints, along with their stories, about standing tall in living the gospel.

"In 2015, we challenged children to 'be the Savior's hands' by serving others and then to send us handprints to tell how they did, and we received more than 37,000 inspiring responses from children and Primaries all over the world," Pinborough shares. "This year we decided to invite children to show courage in following in the Savior's footsteps and then send us their footprints telling us how they did. We're very excited to see the many ways children will stand tall this year."

You did such a good job sharing handprints with us that we are asking for footprints in 2016! How will you stand tall? Send us your pledge—we can't wait to hear from you! Posted by The Friend Magazine on Friday, December 18, 2015