Only for American Mormons, July 2011

For years our family has received theLiahona instead of theEnsign. I used to work for Distribution Services which is where I discovered that theEnsign magazine is only published for English-speaking American/Canadian Latter-day Saints. While I knew that theLiahona served non-English LDS around the world, I discovered that an English version of theLiahona is what LDS in South Africa, Austrailia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom receive —not theEnsign.

For those who are unaware of the distinctions, the LDS Church publishes five official periodicals: TheChurch News, which is a weekly newspaper insert that is distributed as part of theDeseret News; theEnsign, which is meant for adult members of the Church; theNew Era, which is meant for the young adult membership; theFriend which is for primary-age youth; and theLiahona, which, as I’ve mentioned, is the international publication. Only theLiahona is published in foreign languages. TheLiahona itself is actually composed of articles from theEnsign,New Era, andFriend (theFriend section is actually detachable as its own mini-magazine, which I still think is kinda cool for kids). Because the Liahona does not carry every story from the other three magazines there are a number of articles and stories from those three that are only published for English-speaking North Americans.

I signed up only a few years ago for five years worth ofLiahona, so I still receive the magazine. (I figured why pay forthree magazines, when I could getone that covered all the same bases?) After all of the outcry over Bruce Porter’s anti-gay and anti-individual-empowerment article in the June 2011 issue of theEnsign, I was surprised to find that this article didnot appear in the international magazine: I had to read it online. If I were a Latter-day Saint in Britain or Australia I would be completely unaware that such an article had been published. With the large number of correlation committees that each article must pass through in order to be published, the decision to not publish Porter’s article in the internationalLiahona was certainly a conscious one. I wondered what else might be targeted towards the American (and Canadian, I guess) Mormons? Thus I will, for each month, point out those articles that have been dropped from the international magazine.

These posts are pretty much just data for other people to use. I make no claims of what they are about or what they mean. Use them how you will. I am extremely interested in what conclusions might be drawn from this distinction between the foreign and domestic attention of the LDS Church.

Only For American Mormons – July 2011

The following is a list of the articles that only appear in the English magazines that the LDS Church publishes for its American audience. Some of these are self-explanatory, of course (e.g., World Briefs).

Ensign Articles:
New Era Articles:
Friend Articles:

And, for completeness’s sake, here are the articles that are unique to the Liahona. They are almost entirely letters to the magazine from LDS around the world, although there is a call for testimonies from “Modern-Day Pioneers” that I did not find in the other English-language magazines.

Liahona Articles:

I’ll try and get around to also posting the results from June, which is what I first posted over at /r/exmormon.

I’m also interested in any feedback anyone has about this sort of raw data dump type of post. I personally enjoy this sort of analysis, but I understand if this is rather boring to others.

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3 Responses

  1. Chino Blanco says:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of the Middle Initial is no friend to trees.

    Edit: Wow, that was grumpy of me. Sorry! I guess my first question would be whether there’s a consistent pattern of difference between the Liahona and other TSCC publications regarding certain issues? For example, was Porter’s the first anti-LGBT Ensign article that wound up not being reprinted?

  2. chanson says:

    Thanks NoCoolName_Tom! It will be especially interesting to see patterns emerge as over time.

  3. Ryan says:

    Uh, not sure whete you heard the Ensign wasn’t available in th UK? I went on, was allowed a five year subscription to be shipped to the UK. It was shipped to me from the magazine department here. Also in our meetings we all refer to the Ensign, I had to Google what Liahona was as I saw it on the Gospel library and wondered what it was as it seemed pretty much a carbon copy of the Ensign. Also our copies of Ensign come with UK local pages slotted and bound into the volume?

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