The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday the church will replace its four current magazines with three global publications beginning Jan. 2021.
The “Friend,” “New Era,” “Ensign” and “Liahona” will cease publication early next year and be replaced by the “Friend,” “For the Strength of Youth” and the “Liahona.” The new magazines will be curated for different age groups, with the “Friend” geared toward children ages 3-11, “For the Strength of Youth” for youth 12-18 years old and the “Liahona” for adults over the age of 18.
According to a press release published by the church’s newsroom, the adjustments will allow families outside of English-speaking countries to subscribe to church magazines for children and youth for the first time, as the “Friend,” “New Era” and “Ensign” were only produced in English. This will also mean content will be shared more frequently in some areas and languages.
With the new magazines, members of the church from around the world will also be able to receive the same messages through the 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 members. “Our desire is that members everywhere will subscribe and welcome this faith-sustaining influence into their hearts and homes.”
In addition to changes of scope and organization, the magazines will also undergo changes in length and format. Print pages for adult English readers, for example, will be reduced so members who read languages that currently have translations in only one print magazine each year are able to receive a print magazine every other month.
There are several factors that affect the frequency of print contact in different languages, including the number of subscribers, availability of translators and distribution capabilities.
Digital magazines, including the “YA Weekly” will still be available in the young adults section of the Gospel Library app, but members can now also expect an improved and expanded digital experience, according to the press release. Digital magazines will continue to be available for free.
Members who are already subscribed to the “Ensign,” “New Era” and “Friend” will automatically roll over to the new configuration beginning in 2021 for the remainder of their subscriptions.
Members who are currently subscribed to the “Liahona,” and who wish to receive print content for children or youth next year, will be required to subscribe to the “Friend” or “For the Strength of Youth” magazines.
Print and digital magazines will be available in 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 each month beginning in Jan. 2021.
Print and digital magazines will be available every other month and selected content will be available digitally in the months a print magazine is not available in 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.
Additionally, selected content will be available each month only in a digital format in 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.
New subscription options and updated product information will be available online and in distribution center retail stores on Sept. 1.