“Church News Celebrates 60th Anniversary,” Ensign, May 1991, 109
Sixty years ago—on 4 April 1931—readers of the Church-owned Deseret News opened their newspaper to find a new feature: the LDS Church section, which would later become the Church News.
The Deseret News, founded three years after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, had regularly covered Church events. However, by 1931, the newspaper’s readership was no longer predominantly LDS, and a decision was made to cover LDS Church events in a weekly section.
Through the years, the Church News has kept pace with a growing church. The first Church section had eight pages and contained a drawing depicting the Book of Mormon account of Christ’s visit to the Nephites. A lengthy article by Elder B. H. Roberts of the First Council of the Seventy was also included in that first publication.
Today the Church News is sixteen pages long, with several full-color pages. Included in its weekly coverage are Church-related news stories from all over the world, feature-type motivational and inspirational stories, announcements, and instructional and educational articles.
The publication is available by mail subscription outside Utah and is delivered to almost a quarter of a million households.
“A milestone such as this provides us with the opportunity to look into our past and pay tribute to the many dedicated people who have served on the staff of the Church News through the years,” said Dell Van Orden, Church News editor. “To them we give our thanks and acknowledge the contribution they have made.
The anniversary “also gives us an opportunity to look ahead and reflect on the role we are performing to help build the kingdom of God,” he added. “We hope by informing, instructing and motivating our readers through the pages of the Church News we are helping to strengthen them in their Church membership and, thereby, helping them draw closer to the Savior.”