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Sunday, November 20, 2005 

The Ensign and the Red-faced Minister

Like several other denominations, our church publishes media for its members worldwide. Here’s a list of magazines from the church website and my ratings from one to four stars:

“The Ensign is an English-language magazine for adults. It contains the First Presidency Message and other words of latter-day prophets. It also includes the Visiting Teaching Message, personal experiences and testimonies of members, curriculum support material, and other articles to strengthen members and help them in their callings.”

Rating: 3 ½ I would totally give the Ensign four stars seeing as how it carries the words of the prophet and the apostles, but it’s the personal experiences and the testimonies that make me get choked up every time…even if they are totally dumb…like when I watch “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas”…and I hate that feeling of a lump in my throat or ruining my make-up so I just read the First Presidency’s and the Visiting Teacher’s messages.

“The New Era is an English-language magazine for youth ages 12-18, their parents and families, and their leaders and teachers. It contains the words of the latter-day prophets and many testimonies and experiences of youth.”

Rating: 3 ½ Again, I resent the manipulation of the choke-up factor…I’m a softy who chokes up at parades (choking up is not crying). While the Church publications can sometimes have controversial articles (the great article about motherhood in a recent Ensign only showed photos of moms doing laundry and other mundane chores with their impressionable daughters. Where was the scrap-booking and other important life lessons?) I give props to the editors who put two FEMALE missionaries on the cover of the New Era last month. Can I give a shout out to my sistahs? And occasionally, in the Q & A section, some good questions get asked, and then get answered by some fairly self-righteous Laurel trying to get her Young Womanhood Medallion.

“The Friend is an English-language magazine for children, their parents and families, and their leaders and teachers. It contains the words of the latter-day prophets and other material that supports the annual Primary theme and sharing time.”

Rating: 4 stars I loved the Friend when I was of Friend appreciating age (now). Being raised in the “mission field” I loved seeing the page showing kids from all over the world (and by the world I mean mostly Bountiful) and knowing their interests. I faithfully looked for myself on that page each month thinking that they just randomly chose those kids from the Primary rolls from around the world. I’m still waiting. I figure that the church has grown so large they have a lot of catching up to do…I’m still waiting.

“The Liahona is the international magazine of the Church. It contains the First Presidency Message and other words of the latter-day prophets. It also includes the Visiting Teaching Message, local news pages, material from the other Church magazines, and original material. It has articles for adults, youth, and children. Members in any area of the world may subscribe to the Liahona in any language edition.”

Rating: 4 stars Since I don’t read Swedish or French well enough appreciate the Liahona I will endorse it anyway. Since it’s a combo of the above-mentioned three, I guess it all averages out.

“The Church News is an English-only weekly publication of current Church events. A subscription to the Church News entitles subscribers to full access of the Web edition of the Church News. For more information visit www.ldschurchnews.com.”

Rating: 1 ½ stars Since it has been about 13 years since I looked in the Church News I don’t have much to rave about…other than that, 13 years ago it was really boring. I think that the church news used to be interesting because once upon a time, the church was really small, so when someone got a calling in Oklahoma, you probably knew them and when it was published in the Church News that “TJ Green of Bountiful, Utah was called and ordained to be the bishop of the Bartlesville, Oklahoma branch” you could call him up and congratulate him or give him your condolences as you saw fit. Nowadays…who cares?

I generally like the church publications. I’ve seen the Watchtower, but I just can’t get into it.

I didn't even get to the red-faced minister....ah, that one will have to wait.

C'mon. You can't leave us hanging like that!

You might be interested in these two links:


Hey Aaron,

As a former (and current) missionary myself you might want to check out LDS.org.

I hope you have a great experience in Provo. I'm sure you will have a lot of contacts with mormons. Congratulations on your new baby. I will pray that your heart softens as well.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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