In 1971, leaders of the Church thought it would be wise to consolidate the magazines it published and create one magazine for all of its adult members. This new magazine was called The Ensign of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or simply the Ensign. The magazine is printed with ten regular issues and two issues that contain General Conference addresses. Leaders of the Church have expressed that the Ensign is the link between Church Headquarters and its adult members and should help in strengthening the faith of the members, set forth gospel truths, and keep members up to date on Church policies, programs, and events.
The title of the magazine holds great significance; the word "ensign" is rich in meaning. The King James Bible translators used it to mean a signal, sign, identifying symbol, standard, or banner. Hence, we read the biblical prophecy that in the last days the Lord would "set up an ensign for the nations" (Isa. 11:12), a standard to which Israel and the righteous of all nations might gather in preparation for the Millennium. In latter-day scriptures, ensign symbolizes such standards as the new and everlasting covenant (D&C 45:9), the gospel of salvation (D&C 49:8-9; 2 Ne. 29:2), the latter-day Zion (D&C 64:41-43), and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115:4-6).
The magazine contains a monthly First Presidency message, used in Home Teaching; a monthly Relief Society Visiting Teaching message; articles on scripture and doctrine, plus the experiences and testimonies of members and leaders; and provide supportive articles for individuals, couples, parents, and local Church leaders and teachers. Since 1976 the editor for the Ensign has always been a General Authority. This is because it is official curriculum of the Church and as such needs to be looked over by a General Authority.
Subscriptions can be ordered online, by going to www.ldscatalog.com and clicking Subscribe. You can also get a subscription by talking with your ward or branch leaders or through any Church distribution center. Gift subscriptions can also be ordered. In some areas, magazines cannot be delivered directly to people’s homes. In these cases, the magazines are mailed to the ward or branch for distribution to its members. Full PDF versions of the Ensign are also available on the Church's website, www.lds.org