News Release

The Friend Magazine to Go Global in Its 50th Year With Features Directed to Children Worldwide   

Beginning in 2021, the Church’s updated children’s magazine will reach more than 90% of members’ children worldwide

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A mother and her daughter read an article in the "Friend" together at home. The "Friend" is going global and now children around the world will be able to read messages specifically meant for them. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Friend is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the upcoming year. And with it, the magazine is going global. 

Since the Friend began publication in 1971, it has been primarily directed to an English-speaking audience. But starting in January of 2021, the Friend will be translated into 48 different languages and sent to about 150 countries. This change will ensure that children across the globe can benefit from the Church’s children’s magazine, which is meant for children ages 3 to 11 and their families.

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The "Friend" will have simplified scripture excerpts with beautiful images to help children understand doctrinal concepts and stories. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

While many of the beloved aspects of the Friend will remain the same, the magazine will enhance its reach by including even more real stories from children in each part of the world.

Primary General President Joy D. Jones said this global focus will ensure that children everywhere will feel like they can relate to someone in the magazine, no matter where they are from.

“We are a global Church, but we each have different backgrounds and experiences,” she said. “It is essential for children to feel like they belong and are needed in this glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Each child needs to know they are remembered, valued and appreciated in their uniqueness. And it’s important that each be blessed with the same ‘faith-sustaining influence’ in their hearts and homes.”

Before this change, children outside of the United States received a 24-page section that was included with their parents’ copy of the Liahona, the Church’s international magazine. Now, children in countries around the world can look forward to receiving a full-length magazine filled with stories, coloring pages and activities to help them learn the gospel at home.

A Worldwide Young Audience

In the past, children who speak some languages received Church magazines only once or twice a year. Now, most children throughout the world can receive the Friend every month, with a small number of readers receiving it every other month.

“Many children throughout the world who have not had regular access to the Friend will now be able to enjoy it in their own language,” President Jones said. “What a blessing it will be for them to see and read about other children from around the world who share their same faith and values as they learn together to follow the Savior.”

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A young girl reads the "Friend" with her parents. 2020

The Friend will also help children with challenges such as finding peace in a turbulent world, dealing with media and other influences, and respecting and including others who are different from themselves. In each issue, the magazine’s new tagline, “Following Jesus Together,” will be exemplified through messages that will help children follow Jesus Christ, the greatest friend of all.

New Additions

The worldwide shift is not the only change that will be taking place in the “Friend.” Readers can also anticipate fun new additions that will be seen in each of the issues of their new magazines. Following are a few examples.

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The cover page of "Helping Hands around the World." Each issue of the "Friend" will feature children who are making a difference around the world by serving those around them. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Helping Hands Around the World

A new “Helping Hands around the World” story will demonstrate the potential children have to change the world. Each story will feature real-life stories of children who are positively changing the world through their Christlike actions. “We hope children will watch for the ‘Helping Hands’ challenge in the Friend, President Jones said. In each issue, they will get to know individual Primary children from various parts of the world who are helping others like Jesus did. We invite children to use their loving hearts and helping hands to follow Jesus’s example of serving others. Children can help change the world!”

Margo and Paolo

A new cartoon featuring Margo and Paolo will correlate with the Helping Hands story and be a constant feature in each of the magazine’s issues. This dynamic Brazilian duo will teach fun facts about different countries and challenge young readers to implement positive changes in their lives.

Two Church history cards will be in each monthly issue of the "Friend" and will allow children to fold, cut and keep fun facts about historical figures. © 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Church History Cards

Each issue of the magazine will include two Church history cards that children can cut out and fold. When finished, one side will have the name and picture of the historical figure, while the other side will have quick facts and quotes. By the end of the year, readers will have gotten to know many notable figures in the Restoration.

Apostles Around the World

Children will be able to see each member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles experience a different country as they dedicate temples and visit Church members virtually and in person, exemplifying Christlike service. They will also be able to see interactions between the Apostles and children just like them.

Pioneers in Every Land

The tween section of the magazine will include stories about individuals who helped spread the gospel and strengthen the Church in their countries. Through these authentic stories, young people will be able to see how by small and simple measures, great things can come to pass.


Subscribe to the Friend

“We are so excited and grateful that Heavenly Father has made it possible for this global magazine to bless the children and to remind them that they are His precious daughters and sons — that they are dearly loved and watched over by Him,” President Jones said. “All children deserve to have access to this wonderful tool that will help them learn the gospel of Jesus Christ and apply its principles in their everyday lives.”

Parents and, if needed, wards and branches are encouraged to help all children receive the Friend.

For those interested in subscribing to the magazine, visit

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