New Era

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."

Subscribe to the New Era

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Mormon Marriage and Family

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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Values of Mormon Young Women

The young women and girls of the Mormon Church, properly called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are encouraged to participate in a program known as Personal Progress. This program is designed for young women ages 12-18. Each Young woman in the Mormon Church is asked to learn and understand seven values: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity. These values are designed to help each young woman gain a testimony of and faith in Jesus Christ and be happy. In the personal progress book each value is given a definition, scripture, and color.

Faith
Definition: I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me, and I will have faith in his eternal plan, which centers in Jesus Christ my Savior.
Scripture: Alma 32:21: Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.
Color: White

Divine Nature
Definition: I have inherited divine qualities which I will strive to develop.
Scripture: 2 Peter 1: 4-7: Be partakers of the divine nature. . . .Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Color: Blue

Individual Worth
Definition: I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission which I will strive to fulfill.
Scripture: D&C 18: 10: Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.
Color: Red

Knowledge
Definition: I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth.
Scripture: D&C 88:118: Seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
Color: Green

Choice and Accountability
Definition: I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions.
Scripture: Joshua 24: 15: Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Color: Orange

Good Works
Definition: I will help others and build the kingdom through righteous service.
Scripture: 3 Nephi 12:16: Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Color: Yellow

Integrity
Definition: I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.
Scripture: Job 27: 5: Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
Color: Purple

In the program there are specific activities that a young Mormon woman is asked to do within each value. For example, under faith one of the activities is to learn about faith from the scriptures, a few references are given, then the young woman is to try to increase her faith through daily prayer and then tell her experiences to a parent or other leader. The young women are asked to complete six activities and a ten-hour project within each value. The first presidency of the Mormon Church strongly encourages young women to "take advantage of [their] time in Young Women by preparing to receive the sacred ordinances of the temple, to be a faithful wife and mother, and to strengthen the home and family."

The Mormon Church’s website has a free online copy of the Personal Progress program.

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For the Strength of Youth

The pamphlet "For the Strength of Youth" is a guide given by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church (properly called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to Mormon teenagers, both boys and girls. It presents Mormon beliefs regarding moral standards and how teenagers and young adults can apply them in their lives. Elder Boyd K. Packer, a Mormon Apostle taught: "We do not set the standards, but we are commanded to teach them and maintain them" (Boyd K. Packer, "The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected," Ensign and Liahona, Nov. 2003, 26).

This guidebook helps youth understand the Mormon Church’s teachings in different areas of life. Mormon youth are reminded that they do not have to follow these guidelines but that if they do they will gain more blessings and have a better understanding of the gospel.

“For the Strength of the Youth” contains seventeen different categories in which all teenagers and families, and especially Mormon teens are reminded of the Lord Jesus Christ's boundaries and teachings about morality. These are: Agency and Accountability, Gratitude, Education, Family, Friends, Dress and Appearance, Entertainment and the Media, Music and Dancing, Language, Dating, Sexual Purity, Repentance, Honesty, Sabbath Day Observance, Tithes and Offerings, Physical Health, and Service to Others.

To understand what the guidelines are like here is an example from the Physical Health section:

The Lord has commanded you to take good care of your body. To do this, observe the Word of Wisdom, found in D&C 89. Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. When you do all these things, you remain free from harmful addictions and have control over your life. You gain the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Never use tobacco products, such as cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipe tobacco. They are very addictive and will damage your body and shorten your life. Also, do not drink coffee or tea, for these are addictive and harmful.

Any form of alcohol is harmful to your body and spirit. Being under the influence of alcohol weakens your judgment and self-control and could lead you to break the law of chastity or other commandments. Drinking can lead to alcoholism, which destroys individuals and families.

Any drug, chemical, or dangerous practice that is used to produce a sensation or "high" can destroy your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. These include hard drugs, prescription or over-the-counter medications that are abused, and household chemicals.


For the Strength of Youth is specifically geared toward the youth of the Mormon Church but Mormon leaders also suggest that it is a wonderful resource for new members of the Church regardless of age as well as for any parent, Mormon or not, when trying to teach and strengthen their family.

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