Friend Magazine Web Site

by Larry Richman on June 26, 2009

When was the last time you checked out the Web site for the Church’s Friend magazine at friend.lds.org? If it’s been a while, you may be surprised by what you’ll find there today.

All the Church magazine Web sites are in their very early stages of development. They started by being a library of current and past issues of the magazines. However, they are now beginning to develop additional content and interactivity. The Friend magazine is a great example of this. The home page is divided into two sections:

Why visit the site?

The center of the home page offers to children a selection of entertaining ways to learn many of the same things they already enjoy in the magazine. Hopefully, children will enjoy their time on the site because it helps bring gospel principles to them in a way that’s fun and spiritually uplifting. Plans are to add several new features to the site each month.

The right sash on the home page includes features geared toward assisting parents, teachers, and Primary leaders. Parents can trust the site to have safe games and no advertisements that may be inappropriate for children. Parents also like that the site’s activities give parents a chance to engage with their children in teaching opportunities that often lead to child-parent discussions.

What’s available on the site?

For children:

  • Hidden Pictures. The hidden pictures puzzles allow children to look through a drawing just as they would in the magazine and find hidden pictures. However, instead of circling or coloring the hidden pictures, children on the Web site click on each image they find. As they do, the image appears in color. After all the images have been found, the whole page appears in color. There are currently 5 hidden picture pages.
  • Puzzles: There are currently 16 puzzles. Most of the puzzles include art from stories found in the scriptures, however there are a few puzzles of temples and church history events. There is a related song that plays in the background of each puzzle and hints are included to help children who are a too young to figure the puzzles out.
  • Matching Games. There are currently 4 matching games: Temples, Scripture Stories, Prophets and Apostles, and Latter-day Prophets. These games also have music that plays in the background as well as a timer that children can use to see how long it takes them to complete a game. There is a background image  behind the cards that slowly reveals as each match is found. The background pictures and the order in which the cards are displayed changes each time a new game is loaded. The photos of the latter-day prophets and current prophets and apostles line up along the bottom of the page and when they are scrolled over, the name of the prophet or apostle appears.
  • Interactive Coloring Pages. The Web site includes four interactive coloring pages that allow children to color online. Music also plays in the background as children color these pages. The pages can be printed, although the images will not print full page.
  • Our Creative Friends Slideshow. This is one of the most popular sections in the Friend magazine. The Web version simply takes the drawings and includes them in a slideshow format. This is updated each month.
  • “Matt and Mandy” and “For Little Friends” videos. These videos are also updated each month. The videos combine the drawings from the magazine with the audio story. Each video is 1-2 minutes long. There are almost 20 videos on the site.
  • Listen to Stories. This link on the home page allows children to easily navigate to the stories from an issue. Children can choose a story to listen to by selecting the image from the magazine that relates to the story. Updated monthly.
  • Scripture Stories. This link simply sends visitors to scripturestories.lds.org, where they can view the videos or listen to the MP3 audio files of the stories that are in the Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine & Covenants, and Book of Mormon readers.
  • Surveys. This is a Web-only feature that asks children 3 or 4 simple questions. When the next month’s magazine is posted, the results from the previous month’s survey are posted as well.

For Parents and Teachers:

  • Print Coloring Pages. This link, which is located in the children’s section of the page, allows parents to print coloring pages published in the Friend over the last few years.
  • Sharing Time. This helps Primary leaders to plan for next month’s sharing time. Resources for a month’s sharing time are posted about the middle of the previous month.
  • Print Activities. Parents or teachers can find and print any of the pages from an issue that would be considered to be an activity, such as Funstuf pages, crafts, recipes, and coloring pages.
  • Music. The home page includes a link to the Children’s Songbook. It currently also includes a link to a song published last October called “The Family is of God.” In the near future, more music printed in the Friend will be made available.

Feedback

The Friend staff would welcome your comments and suggestions for future content. E-mail them at friend@ldschurch.org. Those hoping to have their work published in the Friend can find Writers’ Guidelines on the bottom right of the Friend home page. Likewise, submissions by children and by adults can now be submitted using the “Submit Your Material” link on that page.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon Jones February 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hello,
My name is Shannon and I have been looking at the new church website and am finding it difficult to find what I am looking for. Maybe you can advise me on how to find “all the pictures from the Friend magazine. I would like to be able to use many different pictures for different teaching experiances and I just wanted to be able to pull from the Friend library of pictures. Is there such a thing.
Any help would be very appreciated.
Shannon Jones
Mesa AZ

ldsWebguy (Larry Richman) February 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Shannon,

I think you’re looking for the PDF files of the magazines, where you can see the full page layout and pictures. Just go to the issue you want, then click “Download” in the right column to see the PDF for any story in that issue. Let me know if that helps.

Natalie Ellis March 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I love the little “mormon ad” looking pages in each Friend that I’ve seen lately. Like “Ye are the light of the world”. Is there any way of buying a package of these that have been printed on heavier paper for framing? Thanks!

Staci Creswell June 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I love how the church is moving forward with technology. However, I’m still a little behind the times. I was wondering if the Friend magazine has an archive of all it’s pictures. I was just called as the Primary Chorister and have been encouraged to use only Church Approved materials, including pictures. I want to do this right!

Thanks!

Larry Richman June 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Staci, there is no central place with all the pictures, but the following may help.

1. As mentioned above, you can see the PDF files of the magazines, where you can see the full page layout and pictures, just like in the printed magazine. Just go to the issue you want, then click “Download” in the right column to see the PDF for any story in that issue.

2. There are a lot of pictures in the Gospel Art Book, which you can buy at http://store.lds.org, or download the pictures from http://gospelart.lds.org.

3. There will also be a lot of pictures in the future at http://MediaLibrary.lds.org. Right now there are just videos on that site, but a future update will add hundreds of pictures. Learn more about it at http://ldsmediatalk.com/2011/05/29/lds-media-library-on-lds-org/

Crystal February 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

My son loves the activities on the churches web site. I was curious, however, if they will ever add more to it. There are so few puzzles, hidden pictures and online coloring and he has done them so many times over. I know there are lots of new things in the Friend magazine, but I was hoping they would continue to add to the online activities. Do you know if they plan to add to the activities?

Larry Richman February 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Crystal, yes, there are new things added to the Friend website from time to time. I think in the future you’ll see more things more often.

okechukwu precious February 28, 2012 at 6:04 am

I want to summit an experience to the friend magazine which can help my fellow teachers and also find pictures and new musics for teaching but it is not gaining ground. pls how do i do it.

Larry Richman February 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Okechukwu, just go to http://friend.lds.org and click “Submit Your Material” at the bottom of the page.

paulavial June 15, 2012 at 8:31 am

I’m looking for the song.”The Flag the Flag”
1975 July friend
Two part song. First words, first part “The flag the the flag is floating High.”
First second part..”The flag of our country is floating HIgh”

Larry Richman June 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Paulavial, it’s on the Friend website at http://www.lds.org/friend/1975/07/my-flag-my-flag?lang=eng

Chris October 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I am searching for a Christmas song I heard back in 1982/83. I lived in PA and was the Primary pianist when I heard it. I can’t find it. Anyone out there ever heard of it? I don’t know the title! Minor problem!!! Here is the first line: Look at the Baby lying there, look at the light upon His hair, I wonder why he doesn’t cry, a bed made of straw must be scratchy. I think it has 3 verses and a chorus. The chorus says: Why is the sky so bright, may I stay up tonight…. I would sure appreciate any help if possible. Thanks

Larry Richman October 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Chris,

I had the Church music section do some research in their library, on the internet, and with old and young musicians here. No one recognizes those lyrics. It may have been something brought in locally or popular at the time.

Janae April 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I am looking for the sheet music to “that’s my mother” it was in the 70′s or 80′s friend, I think. “see the light in her eyes, That’s my mother, see her smile and her face all aglow. If I wave she will wink, and a tear she will blink, she is proud of me, that I know.”

Larry Richman April 26, 2013 at 9:24 am

Janae, Sorry. I couldn’t find the song.

Larry Richman April 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Janae, it turns out that the song did not appear in the Friend. The copyright on the song is dated 1978 and was written by Pat Graham. I have emailed you her contact information.

Jerrie Denniston February 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I am trying to find a particular story in an old Childrens Friend. It was published in the early 1950s. The story is about a little girl named Susie and her adventure after she climbed out of the covered wagon to go back and get her doll. The settlers are leaving and going to a fort because the Indians are coming. While she is retrieving her doll, the wagons leave and she is left alone. She hides from the Indians when they come into her house. In the end her father comes back and rescues her. My mother told this story to her children and her grandchilden
and her children told it to their children and their grandchildren. I am the one who actually received the magazine back in the 50s. My Mother will be 90 in June and we want to retell this favorite childhood story. Through the years each of us have added a little here and there and changed the story a bit. It would be great to have a copy of the original. Any help you can give as to where I might find the issue I need so I can get a copy of the story will be greatly appreciated.

Larry Richman February 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Jerrie,

None of the magazines staff has yet been able to find this. We’ll keep looking.

Larry

Pamela Bleach February 10, 2014 at 12:54 am

I am trying to find a story-poem from the November Friend about the grasshopper and the ant. I have the flannelboard pictures, but the directions say, “Due to Church copyright regulations we are unable to include the story-poem that accompanies the figures to this flannelboard presentation. Families, however may copy or use the story-poem as found on pg 28 of the Friend magazine, Nov ’78″.
I searched on LDS.org, but only selected portions were available to view, and this story-poem was not one of them. How else can I get a copy of that poem. a google search did not help either?
Thank you,
Pamela

Larry Richman February 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Pamela,

Sorry, but because of restrictions from the copyright owners, we are not able to put this story-poem online. It was printed in the magazine, so perhaps a neighbor or the meetinghouse library may have a copy of the magazine where you can find it.

Larry

Pamela Bleach February 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Larry,
Can you give me the copyright owners information (name, telephone, email) so I can contact them?

Thank you,
Pamela Bleach

Larry Richman February 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Pamela,

To find out who the copyright owner is, contact:

Attention: Licensing
Intellectual Property Office
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-0018

Phone: 801-240-3959 or 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2-3959
Fax: 801-240-1187
E-mail: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org

lecia March 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

My mom used to tell her children and grandchildren stories about pioneers and I believe several of them were stories she had read in the childrens friend, probably in the 1950′s. Are these magazines archived so I could look for them? Our favorite, that I would particularly like to find it about a pioneer woman who was home while her husband was gone to town and an indian tried to enter the home through a window. She hit him on the head with a pot and it stuck on his head. Her husband returned and all was well with them but the indian became known as the pot headed indian.

Larry Richman March 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Lecia,

You could contact the Church History Library http://history.lds.org/section/library?lang=eng as they have all the previous issues of Church magazines.

Larry

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