LDS Beliefs

New Era

by Jen

The New Era is a magazine printed by The Mormon Church for teens and young adults ages 12-18 and their parents. The New Era began in 1971, when the Church consolidated its numerous magazines into just four different magazines. The New Era is published on a monthly basis and includes messages from the First Presidency and other leaders of the Mormon Church, fiction stories, stories from members such as their conversion or missionary experiences, a question and answer section, Church history, poetry from readers, music, photos, and Mormonads.

The mission of the magazine 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 [Mormon] what blessings can come from living the restored gospel. Readers learn from the examples and testimonies of others that being spiritually committed, wholesome, and [Mormon] is the most desirable way to be, that righteous living is the only source of peace and happiness in life.”

The editors of the magazine encourage creativity and hold an annual contest with different areas to enter such as music, poetry, fiction pieces and so on. Winning entries are published in the magazine. The magazine also provides scholarships for college students who show promise in writing and editing.

Mormon Church leaders encourage parents of teenagers to read the New Era with their kids and use it for Family Home Evening or as a way to start discussions. They remind families with children in this age group that the New Era can be an important resource. One Mormon teen who reads the New Era said, “[The New Era] lets me see I’m not alone in my thoughts. You know, about school, relationships with my parents, girls and stuff like that, like the Church and a mission. You get ideas to help your thoughts on those things. It’s good to have it around. It is! It’s good stuff.”

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Marriage, especially marriage in Mormon temples, is regarded as an important and essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the “Mormons”. Elder Boyd K. Packer, a Mormon Apostle, stated, “I wish to talk about an ordinary word. I have tried for months—really tried—to find some way to hold this word up in such a way that you would be very impressed with what it means. The word is marriage. I have wished that I could set before you a finely carved chest, placing it where the light is just right. I would carefully unlatch it and reverently uncover the word marriage. Perhaps then you would see that it is priceless!”

Marriage has been a part of God’s plan for his children from the beginning. In Genesis 2:18, the Bible states that, “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Eve was then created to be his companion and wife. This is one of the fundamental purposes of marriage; companionship.

Mormon temple marriages allow a couple to be sealed together as husband and wife, not just for this life but also after death. Marriage is meant to be forever, Christ taught this principle when he said, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (see Matt. 19:6). Elder James A. Cullimore, a Mormon leader, said, “Marriage in [a Mormon] temple for time and eternity should be the goal of every member of the Church, for marriage is ordained of God. Marriage is a commandment. Marriage was instituted by divine edict.”

The purpose of marriage in Mormonism is to rear a family. In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, which was written by modern prophets in the Mormon Church, it states, “the first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to care for each other and for their children.”

The Mormon Church encourages strong marriages and teaches couples to find ways to make the marriage and family strong. That is why things such as family home evening, family prayers, and scripture reading are such an important part of Mormon life. Elder F. Burton Howard spoke about marriage, “If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by. Eternal marriage is just like that. We need to treat it just that way. I pray that we may see it for the priceless gift that it is.”


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