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‘Friend’ Special Issue Focuses on Baptism and Confirmation

The Primary General Presidency worked together with the ‘Friend’ magazine’s staff to create an issue to help all children better understand the baptismal covenant

The August 2023 issue of the Church’s “Friend” magazine, released on July 20, focuses on helping children understand the importance of baptism and confirmation. Photo is a screenshot from Friend.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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By Ryan Jensen, Church News

Arriving in member homes in the coming days and weeks will be a special issue of the  “Friend” magazine with a unique appearance and message.

Available online July 20, this issue of the “Friend,” published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains messages focused on helping children understand the covenant of baptism. The special issue has an introductory message from the First Presidency in which they encourage newly baptized children “to remember the covenant you made at baptism and try to follow Jesus every day.”

The magazine’s staff worked closely with the Primary General Presidency to create this issue and provide content that may be referenced by parents, children, Primary teachers and other Church leaders for years to come.

“We were grateful to work with the ‘Friend’ magazine staff to prepare this special issue that helps children understand the covenant they make with Heavenly Father when they are baptized,” Primary General President Susan H. Porter said. “This issue also helps children prepare to be confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As we invite baptized and confirmed children to participate as members of His Church, their testimonies of the Savior will be strengthened and we will find they have so much to offer.”

The magazine will include four sections: Following Jesus Christ by Being Baptized, Confirmation and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Belonging to Jesus Christ’s Church, and Following Jesus Every Day. Each of those sections has stories, activities and learning resources to help teach gospel principles.

“Our team has spent extra effort and truly sought direction of the Spirit to know how we can support God’s children as they prepare to make covenants with Him. He loves them,” said Cynthia Herron Glad, the magazine’s creative director. “We hope this special issue can help them understand the significance and blessings of baptism and confirmation as we follow Jesus together.”

The special August 2023 issue of the “Friend” magazine includes an introductory letter from the Church’s First Presidency. Photo is a screenshot from Friend.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The issue could be shared with new families who are baptized as members of the Church to help them understand the baptismal covenant and study it together as a family as they strive to stay on the covenant path.

Sister Amy A. Wright, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, said, “Baptism and confirmation are joyful ordinances of hope that bring the power of God into a child’s life. This new resource is meant to help children understand the covenants they are making, and the promised blessings Heavenly Father has in store for them.”

Tens of thousands of children converts are baptized each year without a parent who is a member of the Church. Missionaries and local leaders can share this issue with these children and their families to help them understand this important covenant.

Sister Tracy Y. Browning, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, said, “These young children are amongst the most fearless disciples of Jesus Christ…

“We hope parents and leaders can use this issue of the ‘Friend’ to teach and prepare these young disciples of our Savior for the covenants they’ll make with Him and their Father in Heaven.”

History of the ‘Friend’ Magazine

The “Friend” has been published by the Church of Jesus Christ for 121 years. It first started as “The Children’s Friend” in 1902 and was renamed simply as the “Friend” in 1971.

The “Friend” has evolved over time to provide content for children, parents, teachers and leaders through more than the pages of the monthly magazine. The Friend’s staff also provides additional content on its website, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Content in the pages of the magazine is designed to teach gospel principles to strengthen faith in Jesus Christ. Some content each month is created specifically to support “Come, Follow Me” lessons as well. In recent years, even the paper has changed to help children be able to color in and mark the pages of their magazines. The magazine is also available to download as a PDF each month.

Subscriptions to the “Friend,” “For the Strength of Youth” or the “Liahona” magazines are available in 49 languages and can be purchased at store.churchofjesuschrist.org. Prices vary by country.

Copyright 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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