• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Making Church Magazines

This month’s Ensign and Liahona contain an article that pulls back the curtain on how the Church magazines are created. Although it is titled “Making Church Magazines,” the article really ought to be called “Making the Liahona,” since it focuses so much on the cycles, deadlines, and processes for that particular publication.

As dry and boring as this article is, it does shed some light on the internal processes governing the magazines’ production. In addition, it explains how members can contribute articles and, perhaps more interestingly, what kinds of articles they should contribute. In a sidebar, the article says:

“You can send us manuscripts on almost any topic, but you will probably notice that articles teaching the meaning of doctrine or the meaning of scriptures are usually written by General Authorities.

“Your best opportunity to contribute to the magazines will be to write about your own spiritual insights or experiences. When you write about what you know and have experienced, your writing carries the weight of truth and authenticity. Please remember that what you write needs to be applicable in principle to readers in many nations and cultures.”

So there you have it. The reason the Church magazines rejected your deeply insightful treatise on the doctrine of premortal agency is because they would rather publish General Authorities on such matters. You would do better to write about the time your CTR ring saved your life. So get cracking. The magazines need you.

The Miracle of the Conference Magazines

I suppose the more often a miracle is repeated, the less miraculous it seems. That said, I’d like to remind us of one those miracles that affects all of us in the Church but goes somewhat unheralded.

The general conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona should be arriving in most people’s mailboxes this week—and what a miracle it is. Of course, the conference issue of the Ensign has been delivered in the May issue for some years now, but the same has been true for the Liahona only in recent years.

Think of it—over three dozen addresses, as well as biographies of around 20 new General Authorities and members of auxiliary presidencies, all totaling over 140 pages, and, oh, by the way, it has to be edited, designed, approved, translated into dozens of languages, printed, and distributed all over the world one month later.

We all marvel at the wonderful communications technology that allows general conference to be broadcast by satellite and the Internet every six months, but I wonder whether we truly appreciate the magnitude of the task of publishing the conference issues of the magazines in print. I daresay that, in spite of the quicker and more ubiquitous availability of the conference addresses online, the printed conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona are the most highly used versions of those addresses in the months (and perhaps years) immediately following the conference.

So, there’s a simple reminder of the semiannual miracle that is the conference issue of the Church magazines.

By Divine Design

This month’s Ensign and Liahona contain an article that uses images from Asian culture in order to highlight important teachings found in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” “By Divine Design”includes several examples of Asian art, which are a refreshing change of pace from what you usually see in the Church magazines.  


Liahona-By Divine DesignThis artwork is featured on the cover of this month’s Liahona and probably would have been on the cover of the Ensign as well if that magazine hadn’t included the article about the new First Presidency (though the cover photo of them at their press conference is also quite good). Check out this article, particularly the pictures, which you can view in context in the PDF version.