An Open Letter to LDS Living Magazine

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We were subscribers to LDS Living and enjoyed it somewhat, but decided not to re-subscribe because much of it seems inapplicable to members of the Church who don’t live in the Continental US, particularly in Utah or Idaho. We live in Alberta, Canada. I would also assume that non North Americans would feel it even more. Most of the articles were alright, but yes, sometimes they don’t seem applicable to non Americans. Since it is LDS Living and not LDS American Living, it would be great to see it more in tune with members of the Church who are NOT in the US. Especially since the church membership is larger outside of the States than it is in the States. We might consider subscribing again when it seems less American oriented and more worldwide Church oriented.

77 thoughts on “An Open Letter to LDS Living Magazine

  1. In the 1800’s there was a widespread movement for healthier lifestyles, leading to the Temperance movement among others.

    The LDS were a product of their social environment, in my opinion, at their inception.

    Many groups were opposed to smoking and chewing tobacco; the LDS being one of them.

  2. Many groups… such as? Funny that, adverts were still being shown in the 1900s promoting smoking as a great way of living.

  3. cola is gross, caffeine or no caffeine.

    and i should let you know ldsuk87, caffeine is something we ingest in other things too, we ingest a lot of different things. caffeine is only one type of chemical that isn’t particularly healthy, however it isn’t as bad as many. too MUCH of it is. you would be surprised what is out there.

    i think LDS (and anyone) would do better to eliminate white flour and refined sugar from their diets. and trust me, white flour is way more addicting to many LDS than caffeine could ever be.

  4. and as I have said before, LDS tend to focus WAY too much on caffeine when there is nothing in Church doctrine that ever said caffeine was the reason for anything.

    It’s kind of funny really seeing people who swear up and down they follow the Word of Wisdom as they scarf down donut after donut (oh and wash it down with cream soda).

  5. Totally agree Mary. Which is exactly why the Church advise to consume caffeine in moderation. The WoW as you say, doesn’t eliminate caffeine at all.

    I didn’t know about the white flour – but will take that into consideration.

  6. ldsuk87

    Now, not to say caffeine is good, but can you show me where anything has been said about consuming caffeine in moderation (or at all)? And this would have to be said by a General Authority in an official capacity. I have never seen anything about this, only lots of hearsay. President Hinckley talking to Larry King doesn’t count. :)

  7. LDS Living is not an official church magazine, and is not endorsed by the church. They are not a non profit organization. So, they write articles that are interesting to the people their advertisers are trying to reach.

    How many companies in Alberta are advertise in LDS Living?

    I am positive that if you can line up some Canadian advertisers, the editor will gladly include articles about Canada. Until then, my guess is that they will continue to publish articles that will keep their advertisers happy.

  8. No one said it is published by the Church. We are well aware it is not. The contention is that it is MARKETED outside of Utah and Idaho and claims to be a “LDS” oriented publication and it doesn’t cater to anyone outside of Utah or Idaho, so it doesn’t really represent the LDS population. It shouldn’t be called LDS Living, it should be called LDS Utah/Idaho Living. The LDS Church isn’t only centered in Utah and Idaho. There are members of the church outside of these two American states.

    It doesn’t really matter anymore. I am not interested in a magazine that is focusses such a small part of the LDS membership. I canceled my subscription and don’t have an interest in patronising the magazine again.

    They should be just as interested (if not more so) in keeping their subscribers happy as well as advertisers. Other magazines are. Other magazines I read listen to their readers and respond to them and address their concerns.

    A question; How many Alberta companies are approached for advertising? I am not trying to turn it into a Canadian Magazine. I am trying to encourage them to either broaden their scope (the onus is on them to do so) since they market themselves as a LDS magazine (not a Church magazine, no one said that) or change their name. It’s quite simple really.

  9. Perhaps the editors of the magazine are simply focusing on the market that is likeliest to produce the bulk of their subscriptions. Likewise, the advertisers are focused on the market that provides the most readers. Both sound like reasonable capitalistic choices.

    If the magazine *were* a Church publication, there might be an apparent obligation to make a special effort at reaching outside of Utah and Idaho. But for a magazine that wants to make money off readers and advertisers, focusig on the populations that will naturally provide the bulk of both just makes sense.

  10. Perhaps

    But as I said, they should not claim to be a global LDS magazine if they aren’t, and they are claiming to be so. They should call themselves LDS Utah or Idaho Living. But it is marketed as a LDS magazine, outside of these areas, to members of the Church outisde of Utah (and the US) and if they are doing so, they should reflect their subscribers in all areas, and not just in Utah or Idaho or the US.

  11. I’m just saying that there’s no “should” about this choice. If they think they can maximize their profits by doing so, then they “should.” But if they think the cost will outweigh the benefit, they “shouldn’t.”

  12. I agree,

    They can call their magazine whatever they feel will maximize profits. If the owners / shareholders are happy, then that’s all that really matters.

  13. I think it’s hilarious that you guys are so focused on LDS Living being a Utah/Idaho centered magazine. It is not! When was the last time any of you spent 10 minutes with it? It’s a great magazine – they have all kinds of articles for grandparents, dads, church leaders, moms. I hope people will ignore your blog because you simply are uneducated about what you’re saying.

  14. Cindy

    I had a subscription. I have spent more than 10 minutes with it. And yes, the majority, NOT the whole magazine, but most of it is Utah/Idaho centred.But perhaps you haven’t been outside of Utah, or the US for that matter and so don’t realise this.

    I also never said it was a bad magazine. I have enjoyed some of the articles, I just don’t feel much of it is applicable. And that would be “Mums” in Canada, not “Moms”.

    Oh, and this is only one thread, not the whole “blog” and not everyone holds the same opinion I do. Interesting you want people to “ignore” us. Somewhat juvenile comment just because you don’t agree.

  15. I have never lived inside the state of Utah OR Idaho. I guess there are always people in the world who are nay-sayers and haters. Too bad you guys decide to nay say against your brothers and sisters.

  16. Oh Cindy, relax. :) I certainly don’t hate the magazine, or Utah or am a nay-sayer. I don’t think anyone else is either. Why is it that some people have the need to always be right and can’t handle it when someone doesn’t agree? There are far more important issues to be concerned about.

    And actually, the Ensign, for example IS a Church magazine and I don’t find it to be Utah or Idaho centric. It’s very applicable to non Americans.

    You didn’t say you lived outside the US. Remember, I included that as a possibility too.

  17. HI,

    Not sure if this is the right place or if I will be shot down in flames!

    I am a UK magazine publisher and in June will launch the first issue of a magazine for LDS members called LDS Lifestyle – a practical guide to living gospel principles.

    I have previously purchased LDS living and it is a great quality magazine, many of its articles have inspired me and the production quality of the publication is outstanding.

    We will however be looking at things from a different angle – the non Utah Mormons, who are the minority and have many different issues. We will be a UK magazine and therefore have fewer adverts and more articles. We feel that there is a place for a title of this nature – beyond the British Isles – and will be happy to post copies further a field and will even allow it to be stocked in LDS / Christian bookstores worldwide (if they want it!)

    Our website is still under construction and we do not have the first issue totally put to bed as they say… so your thoughts and ideas would be most appreciated! Please email me (home email still at the moment!

    If I have listed or talked about something that I shouldn’t have here please could someone tell me – I am not a toe stepping on kind of person!

    Michelle x

  18. Michelle

    No worries, good for you, and I wish you lots of luck with your magazine! I am sure it will be exciting for UK and area Saints. I don’t know about ideas, lol, but I would love to see more of your mag.

  19. The most disturubing thing about LDS Living is the ownership. While the owners preach to the LDS community, they themselves do not live what they print in their magazine.

    I signed a contract to advertise in the magazine for a year because I was told that they had a circulation of over 600,000 people. While the number was seemingly high, I was dealing with the editor-in-chief and thought I could count on her word. It turns out that they send out a daily email that may reach a couple of hundred thousand, but they never see the print ads. The actual print magazine has a true circulation of less than 50,000 homes. I was grossly mislead and obviously naive.

    In another incident I took my family to Nauvoo last July for the pageant. On our trip out we stayed in a Holiday Inn in Wentzville, MO and I saw the owner in the parking lot in the morning. I was going to say hi to him, but decided against approaching him when I saw him loading a case of Budweiser into his Suburban.

  20. Hi! I ran out of time, so I can’t read all comments here. But I would like to state that I really appreciate LDS Living Magazine, for the reason that it helps to set a much-needed standard in the world today. While most media is going downhill when it comes to morals, values, and ethics, LDS Living Magazine draws a line, choosing to focus on that which is good, inspirational, and uplifting to the human soul. That is not to say that we should just ignore all that is repugnant in the world. But if we were to spend our energies expanding or building up that which is good, it seems it would eventually crowd out the bad, so that there would be no room for it, at all, in the world. I, for one, am FOR such a world. LDS Living Magazine seems headed in that direction, and I intend to stay on board.

    As for being an American or Utah Magazine, I say give it time. It is still young. It will expand, without a doubt. (P.S. No, I am not on the payroll, nor affiliated in any way with the magazine.)

  21. Marsha

    I am not saying it’s a bad magazine, it’s not, it’s good. But it’s being marketed as a magazine geared to all LDS, when really it isn’t. It’s targeted to American LDS, particularly Utah and Idaho centered Latter day Saints. I don’t have a problem with that. I wish that was clearer, since much of the stuff in there doesn’t apply to me. Some of the articles do, but not all. And having lived in Canada most of my life, and Ireland for a time, I can tell you it’s even less applicable the further away you get as the ‘lifestyle’ focus isn’t really the same worldwide. Remember, this is NOT the Ensign, New Era or Friend I refer to, which do apply to Saints worldwide, it’s a contemporary advertising based magazine that doesn’t apply to others. I am not sure where you live, but if you are in the US you will have a different perspective than the rest of the world.

    For what it’s worth, in spite of the letter I sent, I got no response from the magazine, which didn’t impress me.

  22. Last night I posted a comment, and saw it in print, at the bottom of all the ones above it. This morning it’s nowhere to be found. What gives?? Is it OK to discuss whether or not “LDS Living” is or is not a Utah-oriented magazine (slighting readers in Canada and elsewhere), and caffeine’s plusses (?) and minuses…but not the wrongs of gambling?? I don’t understand this, either. Please explain.

  23. It’s been very interesting reading these posts (About LDS Living, not as much the Coke / caffeine debate) :). But I have also advertised with LDS Living and wasn’t super pleased with the results. I think it would be great if they could get some readership outside of “the bubble”. I think it would help advertisers like myself reach areas that don’t have Deseret Book around every corner.

  24. I’d like to make two points. First, my sister gave me several copies of the magazine in question, and suggested that I subscribe. I read them all, from cover to cover (like I do with any magazine I pick up…if I read it at all). I found several articles and suggestions that weren’t in keeping with LDS standards. I was vary disappointed…and, of course, did not subscribe.
    Second, about caffeine…while in my mid-teens (I’m now a great-grandma), I was watching General Conference, and a General Authority was discussing the Word of Wisdom. He stated that to truly keep the Word of Wisdom (I’m paraphrasing. I don’t remember his exact words.), you must go beyond abstaining from tea and coffee. You must also abstain from soft drinks containing caffeine…such as Coke and Pepsi (I expected that), Dr Pepper (I’d recently given that up. Tastes horrible.) and Mountain Dew. Yikes! My jaw dropped. That was one of my favorite drinks…but a General Authority had said it was improper to drink it, so… Now-days people ask me, “Oh yeah? Who said it? I never heard that!” (Y’know…the seein’ is believin’ routine.) Sorry, but when I was a teeny-bopper it didn’t dawn on me to jot down the man’s name, for furture reference. I just knew that I had to give up Mountain Dew.

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