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Farewell 'Ensign' and 'New Era': Church replacing current magazines with new global versions

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today 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).

The current four magazines include three magazines in English—the Friend (for children), New Era (for youth), and Ensign (for adults)—as well as a magazine translated into many languages called the Liahona (with material for children, youth and adults).

This adjustment to the magazines will provide several benefits to Latter-day Saints around the world, including the following:

  • • 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.

“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.”

The length and format of the new printed magazines will undergo changes. For example, print pages for adult English readers will be reduced while members who read languages that currently have translations in only one print magazine per year will now be able to receive a print magazine every other month. Several factors—such as the number of subscribers, availability of translators, and distribution capability—affect the frequency of publication in different languages. See more information about the frequency of publishing in specific languages.

Readers can also expect an improved and expanded digital magazines experience, including “YA Weekly,” located in the young adults section of the Gospel Library app. Digital magazine content will continue to be available for free.

Current Ensign, New Era, and Friend subscribers will automatically roll over to the new configuration in 2021 with whatever time remains on their subscriptions. Current Liahona subscribers who wish to receive print content for children or youth next year will need to subscribe to the new Friend or For the Strength of Youth magazine. New subscription options and updated product information will be available at store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and distribution center retail stores on September 1, 2020.

Learn more about the three worldwide Church magazines in the FAQ below.

What General Church Officers Are Saying about the Changes to Church Magazines

Primary General President Joy D. Jones

“With all the challenges and opportunities in the world today, our children have never had a greater need for the strength, comfort, and guidance offered by the Savior and His teachings. We are thrilled that the new global Friend magazine will now reach children in 47 languages around the world, inviting them to follow Jesus together and to serve as He did.”

Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon 

“I love the name of the For the Strength of Youth magazine because the youth of the Church of Jesus Christ are strong. The youth around the world are all getting the same magazine, in their own language, with content created under the direction of the First Presidency just for them. They will find answers to their questions. The truth of their divinity as sons and daughters of loving heavenly parents will be renewed.”

Young Men General President Steven J. Lund

“President Nelson has invited a worldwide response to a worldwide call to gather Zion. For the Strength of Youth will be a magazine worthy of such a majestic global mandate. If you liked the international focus of this year’s first-ever Youth Music Festival, you will love the new youth magazine. The publication will focus on the value of diversity and offer a global perspective.”

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace

“Whereas the Come, Follow Me curriculum provides lessons each week for the family, the new structure of Church magazines can support adults, youth, and children with supporting materials based on each month’s topics of study. Like Come, Follow Me, the new magazines can help strengthen members’ testimonies of Jesus Christ and solidify their resolve to stay on the covenant path.”

Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham

“It is exciting to think of Church magazines for adults, youth, and children being available all over the world. More members can now have these blessings at their fingertips—from scripture activity pages for children, to stories from youth around the world, to articles about gospel principles for adults. And all of it with the intended outcome of increasing faith in God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We are delighted that the First Presidency has been inspired to make this great gift available to more of God’s children!”

FAQ for Three Worldwide Church Magazines

How will the Church magazines change?

For many years, the Church has published three English magazines (Friend, New Era, and Ensign) as well as one magazine translated into other languages (Liahona). Beginning in January 2021, these publications will be replaced with three magazines that will serve members worldwide across multiple languages: the Friend for children ages 3–11, For the Strength of Youth for youth ages 12–18, and the Liahona for adults. The length and format of the printed magazines will undergo changes. Readers can expect improved digital magazines available online and in mobile apps. Digital magazine content will continue to be available free of charge.

Why are these changes being made?

These global magazines will help share more unified messages across a wider group of readers. This simplification will also allow the Church to send content to different areas of the world more frequently than ever before. For example, some languages that currently receive only one magazine per year will now receive magazines every other month. Several factors—such as the number of subscribers, availability of translators, and distribution capability—affect the frequency of publication in different languages.

How frequently will I be able to receive a magazine?

Beginning in January 2021, print and digital magazines will be available each month in the following languages: Cebuano, Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Tongan, and Ukrainian.

In the following languages, print and digital magazines will be available bimonthly (six times a year). Additionally, selected magazine content will be available digitally in the months a print magazine is not available: Albanian, Armenian, Bislama, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Fijian, Greek, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kiribati, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malagasy, Marshallese, Mongolian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Swahili, Tahitian, and Vietnamese.

In the following languages, selected magazine content will be available only digitally each month: Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chuukese, Efik, Fante, Georgian, Haitian, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hindi (Fiji), Hmong, Igbo, Ilokano, Kinyarwanda, Kosraean, Laotian, Lingala, Malay, Maltese, Nepali, Palauan, Pohnpeian, S. Sotho, Serbian, Shona, Sinhala, Slovak, Tamil, Telugu, Tshiluba, Tswana, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, Xhosa, Yapese, Yoruba, and Zulu.

Do I need to change my subscription?

If you are an Ensign, New Era, or Friend subscriber at the end of 2020, whatever time remains on your subscription will automatically transfer to the new magazine for the same age-group beginning in 2021. If you are a Liahona subscriber at the end of this year, whatever time remains on your subscription will automatically transfer to the new Liahona beginning in 2021. However, the new version of the Liahona will include material only for adults. If you’d like your family to receive content for children or youth, you will need to subscribe to the Friend or For the Strength of Youth. You can subscribe beginning September 1, 2020, at store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, through your local distribution center, or by contacting the Global Services Department.

Where can I find additional information about these changes?

Information about these changes will be shared throughout the year on Church social media pages, on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org home page, and in the December 2020 issues of the current magazines.

Press release from Newsroom
Images: Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 
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