First Presidency monthly message to be discontinued

April’s Ensign includes the following note at the end of the First Presidency message:

Monthly First Presidency Message to Be Discontinued
This message will be the last First Presidency Message published in the Ensign on a monthly basis. In the future, the First Presidency will share important messages as needed through the Church’s various channels, including Church magazines and


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

11 thoughts on “First Presidency monthly message to be discontinued

  1. Awesome. This way they can share as often as they are moved by the spirit, and we’ll know it isn’t something produced merely to match a magazine deadline.

    Don’t anticipate Twitter frequency, though.

  2. I approve of these changes. If anything, it will make (hopefully) home and visiting teachers think about the needs of their families.

  3. I was sad to hear this. Since we moved to Utah in 2004, we have had home teachers come once or twice a year. Never more, quite often less. When the First Presidency message was in the Ensign, at least I could read it myself when no one came, & feel like at least my Heavenly Father cared enough to make sure we got the message anyway. Now even that is gone. I have yet to live in a ward, in or out of Utah, where the HTing is over 50% on any month but December, when delivering treats ups the numbers.

  4. I feel mixed. I understand why they’re doing this, as the push has been for the members to be more in tune with the spirit on their own and to really pray and become aware of the needs of their families. That said, and I feel the same way regarding the teacher councils and the new council Sundays, that this will be brilliant if the person is in tune with the spirit and does not have an agenda. However, we know that there are people who do have agendas, and I worry that needs will not be met. Like Mariveen, above, we have mostly *not* had consistent HTs through out our married life, I kind of feel like in so many ways, I’ve been thrown in the pool without my floaties.

  5. I feel a quarterly or monthly ward message will become a more common item. I have heard of quarterly messages done in some areas with reasonable success. Now there will be no generic HQ message to supplant/ignore/supplement.
    I hope this does not make the marginal/reluctant home teachers less likely to fulfill their assignments.
    I saw only a few hard copy lesson books in HP group last year. Even the old retired guys are going on line and staying connected that way. The LDS newsroom is going to be the favorite message site for some, I am sure.

  6. It will be interesting to see what direction is given regarding HT messages. It will also be interesting to see the trickle effect.

    We were blessed to have the Stake Patriarch as our HT for years, but he moved out of our ward. He didn’t visit us every month, but when he did visit, it was always wonderful. And I have the attention span of a gnat, so perhaps he visited us 95% of the months and I’m just remembering a single time he missed.

    When I was young, I would invite my HTs over for dinner. So there are ways and ways to make that connection.

  7. It will also be interesting to see how this change affects the contents of Ensign/Liahona. Will the absence of the First Presidency message be compensated somehow? Or is the magazine just going to be a couple of pages shorter?

  8. General Conferences every six months delivers to us a treasure trove of spiritual insight, guidance, and inspiration. These nearly 40 talks each GC should easily provide home teachers with material to base their monthly messages on.

  9. It’s a long time since it felt like the First Presidency wasn’t just “phoning it in” for the First Presidency message, having the editors adapt something from a talk they gave years ago, instead of issuing through the medium of the Ensign an original message. Then the Ensign adapted to readers with short attention spans, and the talk excerpts published as First Presidency messages became really short. The responses from other commenters above indicate that the First Presidency message came to be seen as nothing more than an aid for home teachers to turn to if they can’t think of something else, and not a direct communication to members of the church.

  10. Between the high availability of Conference talks, the firesides for youth and singles, temple dedications, regional conferenes, personal Facebook pages for the General Authorities, personal inspiration on behalf of those we visit, there is a great deal of material for both personal study and sharing both in families and our stewardship as home and visiting teachers. Like many I was initially discomfited by the new directions, but now I enjoy the freedom to exercise a bit of creativity in choosing from a wealth of options. There are a few who have limited access to the internet, but in our culture that is particularly rare. Family History and the low cost of devices such as Kindle and the prevalence of smart phones have been drivers in introducing with all its riches to almost everyone.

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