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The New Era

To order the New Era, call U.S. 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2947 for U.S., ext. 2031 for Canada. Credit Card orders (American Express, MasterCard, Visa) may be taken by phone. Or send $8.00 check or money order to Church Magazines, Salt Lake Distribution Center, Church Magazines, P.O. Box 26368, Salt Lake City, Utah 84126-0368, United States of America.

by Richard M. Romney

The New Era is the official English language publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for youth (ages 12-18), their parents, and their Church leaders and teachers. Established in 1971 during a period of consolidation of all Church magazines, the New Era is published monthly. In its earliest days, it was addressed to readers twelve to twenty-six years old (to include single college students), but after four years its scope was reduced to twelve- to eighteen-year-olds to coincide with the age levels of the Aaronic Priesthood and young women programs. Its features include inspirational messages from General Authorities; stories about young Latter-day Saints throughout the world; first-person accounts of family life, missionary experiences, conversion stories, and spiritual insights; personality profiles; a question-and-answer section; a news and information section; Church history; poetry; photography; and humor. Another special feature is Mormonads, which appear as one-page "advertisements" of gospel ideals. Some of these ads are made into posters and sold through Church distribution centers and LDS book outlets.

Special issues of the New Era have covered such topics as Christlike service, courtship and marriage, sharing the gospel, the Aaronic Priesthood, the Young Women program, career preparation, leadership, its own tenth anniversary, and a guide to "surviving and thriving in the 1990s." Special insertions have included a recording of speeches by presidents of the church, a leadership game, and an advent calendar based on the life of Christ.

The New Era is a significant source of LDS fiction and music. It sponsors an annual creative talent contest for the youth of the Church with categories in writing, art, photography, and music. The winning entries are published in subsequent issues of the magazine. Consequently, the New Era is known for its policy of encouraging promising young LDS authors, artists, and composers, which includes an internship program in writing and editing for LDS college students who show promise.

The New Era has a reputation for being positive and idealistic, and it does not hesitate to combat problems like drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, immorality, suicide, exploitation of "nannies," and eating disorders. It has also won awards for design and typographical excellence.

The magazine's charter statement reflects its editorial philosophy: "As an official line of communication to the youth of the Church, the New Era is to provide a positive, uplifting voice for young people to hear. Therefore, each issue must be an example of editorial, photographic, and artistic excellence. The New Era shows every twelve- through eighteen-year-old Latter-day Saint what blessings can come from living the restored gospel. Readers learn from the examples and testimonies of others that being spiritually committed, wholesome, and LDS is the most desirable way to be, that righteous living is the only source of peace and happiness in life." Its managing editors have been Brian K. Kelly (1972-1989) and Richard M. Romney since 1989.

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page; Church Publications home page)

Bibliography

Gostick, Adrian. "So You Want to Write for the New Era?" New Era 21 (Aug. 1991).

Todd, Jay M. "The New Era." New Era 1 (1971):3.

Wilkins, Richard G. "How to Write for the New Era Without Developing Ulcers." New Era 7 (Feb. 1977):16-19.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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