Women’s OrganizationsPublications


    Women’s Organizations Research Guide

    Relief Society Publications:

    Woman’s Exponent (1872-1914)

    First published on June 1, 1876, the Woman’s Exponent was a semimonthly periodical published by and for Latter-day Saint women. The magazine included local and national news (as it concerned women), women’s sermons, minutes of women’s club meetings, articles on educational matters, health and dress guidelines, correspondence, editorials, and household hints. It was the unofficial publication of the Relief Society. The periodical is not available digitally, but indexes to the issues are available.

    Relief Society Magazine (1914-1970)

    This monthly magazine was the official publication of the Relief Society from 1914 to 1970 and replaced the Woman’s Exponent. An index to the magazine is available through BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library. The magazine was published in multiple languages, which can be found by searching the catalog for “Relief Society Magazine.”

    Ensign (1971-present)

    The Ensign is the current official Church publication for adults. Beginning publication in 1971, this monthly magazine contains ministering principles and other material of interest to the women of the Church around the world. The Ensign can also be found in the Gospel Library app.

    Young Women’s Publications:

    Contributor (1879-1896)

    This monthly magazine was originally published with the Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of the Church as the intended audience. In 1889 the Y.L.M.I.A. began its own publication, and the magazine changed its focus to the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.

    Young Woman’s Journal

    Beginning publication in 1889, the Young Woman’s Journal was a monthly magazine for the young women of the Church. Indexes for the journal are also available.

    Improvement Era (1897-1970)

    The successor to the Contributor, this monthly publication was originally a magazine for the priesthood brethren, the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and several other organizations. In 1929 the Young Woman’s Journal was discontinued, and the Improvement Era became the joint youth magazine. It eventually became the Church’s periodical for both youth and adults.

    New Era (1971-present)

    This monthly magazine replaced the Improvement Era and is directed toward the young women and young men of the Church. The New Era can also be found in the Gospel Library app.

    Primary Publications:

    Juvenile Instructor

    This was the first children’s magazine published between the Mississippi River and the West Coast and began semimonthly publication in January 1866. Started by Elder George Q. Cannon, the magazine was intended for the children of the Church. In 1901, the Sunday School took over publication, which continued until 1929, when the magazine changed focus to the needs and interests of teachers and was renamed the Instructor.

    Children’s Friend

    An official periodical of the Church, this magazine was published for children ages 3 to 12. It was published from 1902 to 1970, when it was replaced by the Friend.


    First published in January 1971, this monthly magazine is still the official publication of the Church for children ages 3 to 12. The Friend can also be found in the Gospel Library app.