With a new First Presidency at the helm, change is natural and expected. A new prophet speaks for the Lord, but does so through is own style and understanding, and it’s only natural he focuses on different areas than his predecessor. That’s the nature of continuing revelation.
So, chalk it up to revelation or common sense (I’m of the opinion the two work in tandem more often than not), a brief note at the end of the April issue of the Ensign and Liahona informs us that monthly First Presidency messages—you know, the one you casually look at five minutes before the home teaching visit you forgot you had scheduled until 10 minutes before that—are going the way of The Improvement Era.
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 LDS.org.
“What the what?!” you say? “But how will I hear from the prophets?” Never you fear. As the media landscape has evolved, and in many ways, balkanized, there is less of a need to coalesce teachings from prophets into one monthly piece. Church leaders can now publish digital-only messages on LDS.org, utilize social media (the Church is on Snapchat, yo), send email blasts, conduct an ever-increasing number of live broadcasts, and more. Technology is furthering the work.
Now, this will likely come as a huge blow to home teachers, unfortunately. And I say unfortunately because if we’ve been leaning on a random message to meet the needs of our families, then we aren’t espousing the true spirit of home teaching. So now, home teachers might have to, you know, try harder, be more prayerful about their assignments, etc. The horror! Besides, visiting teachers are already doing things differently, focusing more on personal ministry than a rote message. It only makes sense that Melchizedek Priesthood holders should follow suit.
Naturally, there’s a certain irony in the timing of this, considering the late President Thomas S. Monson worked in publishing prior to his ecclesiastical service. Print media can’t catch a break, folks.
Rest assured, however. LDS.org is loaded with remarks from General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.