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 monthly 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. Additionally, a YA Weekly publication is available on the Gospel Library app in more than 20 languages.
- 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.
“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!”
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 26 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.
In 40 other languages, selected magazine content will be available only digitally each month.
Original Liahona Magazines
The Liahona magazines began publication in 1977. Until the April 1995 edition, the English-language version of the magazine was called Tambuli; other language versions of the magazine had different titles. Since 1999, all the languages had adopted some form of the title "Liahona." It derived its name from the Liahona mentioned in the Book of Mormon, a curious compass-like device which guided the Prophet Lehi and his family as they traveled in the wilderness toward their Promised Land. Unlike ordinary compasses, the Liahona was given by God and only worked according to a person's faith (see 1 Nephi 16:10, 28–29; Mosiah 1:16; Alma 37:40).
Each of the Liahona magazines were very similar. Each page contained the same information except for the news section, which had localized information about events and people in the particular area. Although some of the articles from the Ensign were printed in translation in the Liahona magazines, articles from the New Era and the [[Friend Magazine|Friend (the magazines published for youth and children, respectively) were also included. The Church printed the Liahona for its members in 46 different languages.
Not all of these international magazines were published monthly. Some were published once a month, others once a year. The frequency of printing the magazines was determined by Church leaders in Salt Lake City, with the help and advise of leaders from different areas. There is an exception, the message from the First Presidency and the Visiting Teaching messages are printed and distributed every month in each language.
The Church encouraged as many members as are able to subscribe to one of the Liahona magazines because they provide numerous benefits to members. The magazines are resources for personal study and for teaching Church principles within the home. The magazines also contain articles and activity ideas for the youth of the Church. Magazine articles can help members better fulfill their callings as home teachers, visiting teachers (now ministering brothers and sisters), in the Primary, and when preparing for lessons or talks. The magazines also provide members with local and worldwide Church news.
See also Church Magazines