Five New Features in the 2018 Friend Help Fortify Children
Contributed By Hannah DeTavis, ChurchofJesusChrist.org Church News staff writer
- New features in the Friend encourage children to study the gospel and share their thoughts.
“Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, and leaders.” —Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President
“Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, and leaders,” said Primary General President Joy D. Jones in an April 2017 general conference address (“A Sin-Resistant Generation”).
This year the Friend magazine has added five new interactive features to help parents and leaders do just that.
The new features encourage children to read the Book of Mormon, do family history work, learn about the Old Testament, find answers to gospel questions, and share their testimonies.
1. Book of Mormon Reading Club
In the October 2017 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson promised that studying the Book of Mormon each day will help us make better decisions (see “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?”).
The Friend magazine is helping children experience this blessing with the Book of Mormon Reading Club, a feature that encourages scripture study. It highlights a monthly scripture from the Book of Mormon and shares children’s testimonies of their reading experiences.
2. Family History Quest
To give children a head start on their family history, the Friend has added a fun monthly activity to help them learn about their family and experience the spirit of Elijah.
After completing each Family History Quest activity, kids can cut out a paper badge and add it to a badge keeper from the January 2018 issue of the Friend. By the end of the year, children will have 12 badges and will have learned how to do family history work.
3. Old Testament Heroes
Each issue of the Friend supports Primary curriculum and teaches basic gospel principles. This year, a series of Old Testament Hero Cards will correspond with Old Testament stories used in sharing time lessons.
Children can cut out these hero cards and collect them throughout the year. Each card will include challenges to memorize a scripture, watch scripture videos, journal, or live a principle from the story.
4. What’s on Your Mind?
The Friend also addresses an audience of older children in the feature What’s on Your Mind? The magazine invites pre-teens to send in questions about the gospel, growing up, and gaining a testimony.
What’s on Your Mind then offers uplifting advice and productive suggestions to help the children find a solution. As children direct their questions to the Friend, they can start a habit of looking for answers to life’s troubles in the right places.
5. Shine Your Light: Send Us a Star!
In 2018, the Friend is inviting children around the world to answer the Savior’s call to let their light shine (see Matthew 5:16) and then to send the magazine a paper star sharing their experiences. This activity can help children realize that they are a powerful source of good in their families and communities.
Submit feedback on the new features
As children become more involved in the gospel through the Friend’s new features, they can develop “wholeness, internal consistency, and strong moral values” (“A Sin-Resistant Generation”).