From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Tice, Richard
From the earliest years of the Church, it has sought to build and strengthen the LDS community through a wide variety of periodical publications. Although the early LDS periodicals looked like newspapers (some were called "papers" and carried some news), they mostly printed religious and general interest articles, multipart serials, editorials, sermons, revelations, Christian and Church history, hymns, poems, advertisements, and letters from missionaries. Church magazines have always endeavored "to strengthen the faith of Church members, promulgate the truths of the restored gospel, [and] keep members abreast of current and vital Church policies, programs, and happenings" (IE 73 [July 1970]:8). Many LDS missions started their own publications to communicate with and teach their people (see International Magazines).
Other periodicals were financed, edited, and published independently by members of the Church, and thus technically were not official Church publications. However, some of these journals were brought under the umbrella of the Church auxiliaries, and then of the Church. After 1866, many LDS English-language periodicals printed lesson materials and fiction. In 1971, the Church consolidated its English-language periodicals into three new magazines assigned to serve different groups: ensign (adults), new era (youth, ages twelve to eighteen), and friend (children, to age twelve). BYU Studies (1959-) was retained to be published by Brigham Young University for LDS scholars. The chart in Appendix 3 lists the major Church periodicals.
"Church Publications." Deseret News 1989 -1990 Church Almanac, pp. 187-91. Salt Lake City, 1989.
Green, Doyle L. "The Church and Its Magazines." Ensign 1 (Jan. 1971):12-15.