Friend Magazine

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Joy D. Jones, former Primary general president, holds the Friend

The Friend is a magazine published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the children (ages 3–11).

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on August 14, 2020, that effective January 2021 the Church would replace its four current magazines with three global magazines: the Friend (for children 3–11), For the Strength of Youth (for youth 12–18), and the Liahona (for adults).

The four magazines being replaced 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). After January 2021, the content for children and youth previously found in the Liahona will instead be found in For the Strength of Youth Magazine, which will replace the current New Era, and content for children will be found in the Friend.

These three magazines will serve members worldwide across multiple languages. 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.

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.[1]

Joy D. Jones, Primary general president serving at the time of the changes, said,

“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.”[2]

Beginning in January 2021, print and digital magazines became 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 26 languages, print and digital magazines became available bimonthly (six times a year). Additionally, selected magazine content is available digitally in the months a print magazine is not available.

In 40 other languages, selected magazine content is available only digitally each month.

Adult Companion to the Friend

A new resource launched Friday, June 16, 2023, to help all those who care for children and who are striving to help them build testimonies of the Savior.

Instagram users can now follow the Church’s “Friend” magazine and see articles, artwork and stories from children around the world through this new account.

Cynthia Glad, the Church’s creative director for children’s content and the managing editor of the Friend magazine, said. “Our Instagram is a place they can find ready-made, kid-friendly ‘Come, Follow Me’ activities, videos, crafts and recipes, stories, encouragement, tips for teaching the gospel and more.”

Charlotte Larcabal Speakman, digital assistant managing editor for the “Friend,” said she hopes the account will be the adult companion to the children’s magazine.

“The ‘Friend’ magazine is for the kids, but our Instagram is for their parents. For their Primary teachers. For all the people who join us in teaching children the gospel.”[3]

The “Friend” also shares similar materials on its Facebook account and will continue to do so. The Church’s Gospel for Kids YouTube channel also includes videos from the “Friend” team.

History of the Friend

As early as 1894, the first president of the Primary asked the First Presidency of the Church for permission to publish a magazine for the leaders and teachers of the children of the Church. The First Presidency finally gave permission, but no funds were available to start the magazine, so Primary president Louise B. Felt used her home to raise money. At first the magazine was simply a teacher’s manual, but after a few years the Primary president decided to add a few stories and activities specifically for children.

In 1971, the Church changed their policy regarding publications and consolidated them into four magazines: the Ensign and Liahona magazines for adults, the New Era for youth, and the Friend for children. The First Presidency took on the responsibility of printing them, so that they could be used as a way for the members to get information directly from the First Presidency.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said that the Friend should become a new friend to the children of the Church as well as children outside the Church. It is designed to uplift with its wonderful stories and teach eternal and marvelous gospel principles in a way that children can understand. The Friend magazine should be a blessing in every home it enters.

Lucile C. Reading was the first managing editor.

Like the other Church magazines, the underlying purposes of the Friend are:

  • To strengthen the faith of Church members.
  • To promulgate (proclaim) the truths of the restored gospel.
  • To keep members [informed about] church policies, programs, and happenings.
  • To entertain and enrich the lives of Church members.”
(The First Presidency, 1971)

The Friend reaches out to the children of the Church directly, even those not involved with the Primary. It presents the gospel in a way that children can appreciate and it reinforces family values. The Friend contains gospel messages, inspirational stories, songs, and activities, as well as artwork and poems that children send in.

Full length PDF versions were available online at Subscriptions were also available through

External Link