At seventeen he was meeting Moroni.
At twenty-one he was translating a book that would change the course of history.
At twenty-four he was founding a kingdom that is to prepare the world for the heralded second coming of Christ and the subsequent millennium.
The new era has been here ever since. One of its hallmarks has been the place of youth within it. All six founders of the Church were thirty years old or younger. Of the original twelve apostles chosen in these last days, four were twenty-three years old, two were twenty-seven, one was twenty-nine, and one was thirty—eight of the Twelve. Their wives were of similar ages.
Primarily it was through the courage, knowledge, and testimony of young men and young women that the Lord established his kingdom, and today it is upon the shoulders of the youth that so many important responsibilities continue to be placed. It has always been so, simply because youth has what it takes.
As in the days of Joseph Smith, youth today is charged to voice the call to all who will hear: God has spoken again to the world. A kingdom has been established through which happiness may be found on earth and throughout the eternities. The time for informing interested persons is still with us. And even though it seems unreal to the modern mind, a day of judgment and second coming will come to earth!
The Lord has said that there is nothing bigger or more important in our era than the building up of this kingdom and the carrying forth of this basic announcement.
Because of this and probably many other reasons, the First Presidency named this new magazine the New Era. In a thousand ways the 1970s and the decades ahead portend something remarkable. It is a new era for the world, the Church—and every year can be a new era for each of us.
The dawning of this new magazine is upon the whole earth. This is a worldwide church—universal gospel—with citizens in its kingdom from nearly all lands, cultures, and political settings. The New Era will reflect honestly that universality. Its editorial philosophy will be determined by the ideological framework of the gospel as well as by good taste.
However, the New Era is just beginning. If these first issues do not have what you want and need, let us know. As a staff, our goal is to publish those things that will help, inform, bless, and motivate as many youth and young adults of the Church as possible.
By direction of the First Presidency, the New Era is the publication arm of the Church to the unmarried persons of the kingdom—those from twelve up to marriage. It will reflect those qualities that have given rise to the Lord’s confidence in youth: sincerity, authenticity, intellectual stimulation, and inspiration.
But to do this, it needs your prayers, ideas, and constructive comments.
Therefore, let it be known worldwide—this is the place for you to send:
Questions—See “Q&A,” page 8.
Articles—on gospel topics and insights, contemporary issues, a look at the past, reports on what today’s Latter-day Saint youth is doing and thinking.
Fiction and poetry—particularly pieces on our way of life, concerns, and values.
Photographs—Those scenes, settings, and expressions that say something about being young—or being a Latter-day Saint. (See page 51.)
Art—on Latter-day Saint topics, concepts, and our way of life.
Testimonials and experiences—on what it’s like to live the gospel and apply its principles.
Discoveries—learned from major research projects or theses. (See FYI, page 46.)
Letters—beginning in the April issue. (Your letters about the January issue will arrive as we send the April issue to press.)
All else: Humor—incidents about our way of life and our kind of people. Short notes and comments—on anything you think would be interesting and important to other Latter-day Saints around the world; if it is “lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
This is a great challenge. It is especially challenging when one considers the differences in age, interests, maturity, culture, and background that divide us throughout the world. But none of these is as strong as those things which unite us—our testimony in the restored Church and its leaders, our faith in each other’s goodness, and our faith in the Lord’s faith that the youth of this church have things to do, places to go, and people to meet now as we teach and defend the message of our Savior.
This is a great challenge. We’re glad you’re part of it.
Welcome to the pages of the New Era.
Jay M. Todd