Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Why We Don’t Have Ads in Church Magazines Anymore

Why We Don’t Have Ads in Church Magazines Anymore

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 07, 2011

We can’t know for certain, of course, but I like to think that page layouts like this one from 1970 may have played a role in the discontinuance of advertising in Church magazines. (That’s the First Presidency: N. Eldon Tanner, Harold B. Lee, and Joseph Fielding Smith.)



  1. All this needs is a “Modest is Hottest” thought bubble.

    Comment by E. Wallace — July 7, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  2. Love this! Between this and google news archives I waste a lot of time.

    If you search for LeVoy’s you will find it was an interim business for James LeVoy Sorenson, in between medical device sales.

    He bought a factory for $40,000, took a fledgling lingerie business off the Mormon Church’s hands and called the company LeVoy’s. Though he knew nothing about fashion, Sorenson saw an untapped market for modest women’s nightwear in ultra-buttoned-up Salt Lake City, and hired a designer from Los Angeles to create a new line he called the “Elegance of Modesty.” His sales force: housewives who peddled the nightwear at Tupperware-ish parties. By 1967 sales exceeded $2 million.

    In 1960, Mr. Sorenson left Deseret Pharmaceutical and purchased a garment manufacturer he renamed LeVoy’s. This Salt Lake City company was innovative in a different way: it was one of the nation’s first successful direct marketing businesses, selling products through a network of women who sponsored home parties and went door-to-door.

    Here is a little more info.

    Comment by Jay S — July 7, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  3. I love it.

    Comment by Matt W. — July 7, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  4. Ha. That reminds me of an unfortunate spread from the Daily Universe a number of years ago with a story about the head of the RLDS church (at the time) right next to a photo from another story showing a middle-aged heavily pot-bellied man watching television, feet up, with an unidentified drink in his hand.

    Comment by Researcher — July 7, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  5. LOL!

    Comment by Julie M. Smith — July 7, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  6. keep ’em coming, that’s great fun.

    Comment by anita — July 7, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  7. Ardis,

    You just made my day!

    Comment by andrew h — July 7, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  8. Is it just me, or is that a really, really ugly peignoir, particularly for one advertised as honeymoon material? So i’m thinking that the reason we don’t have ads like that in church magazines is to attempt to distance the church from such poor fashion taste.

    (Sadly, looking at some of the “candid” shots in old general conference Ensigns proves that the lack of ads hasn’t made us immune from that failing.)

    Comment by David B — July 7, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  9. God bless those pure-in-heart folks who work for church magazines, and who just can’t imagine how someone with a jaundiced eye might view things.

    It still happens, in my opinion. Take a look at
    the cover of the October 2007 issue.

    If one doesn’t know anything about taking temple clothes to the temple, a non-member viewing that cover might think those are over-night bags, and that the couple are going to check into a motel, and the look on the guy’s face is that he’s going to get lucky.

    I don’t know how others visually process magazine covers, but I see the picture before I read the captions/headlines on the front.

    Comment by Bookslinger — July 7, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  10. Oh, and by the way, in the past, I’ve subscribed to several language editions of the Liahona/Ensign. I used to give them out to non-members. I didn’t give out any copies of that issue.

    Comment by Bookslinger — July 7, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

  11. Advertising lingerie in a Church magazine is bound to create some unfortunate juxtapositions.

    My question is why the Church had a “fledgling lingerie business on its hands” in the first place. Maybe to compensate for it’s other line of underwear?

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 7, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

  12. Hmmmmmm–I made it to a couple of LeVoys parties in the 70s. I even bought a couple of items. It all seemed pretty “swell” then.

    Comment by Marjorie Conder — July 7, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  13. I guess the “For the Heavenly Seventies’ Bride” is not a reference to the office of seventy?

    Comment by Niklas — July 8, 2011 @ 12:51 am

  14. Good catch, Niklas. The apostrophe makes it clear–that lovely peignoir is intended only for the bride of a Seventy. (Of course, in 1970 there were Seventies Quorums in the stakes–and they weren’t just old men.)

    Comment by Mark B. — July 8, 2011 @ 5:08 am

  15. Hmm, since it’s a plural possessive, Mark, wouldn’t that make the peignoir intended for the bride (singular) of the Seventies (plural)? Oh, dear. That must be why the First P’s jaws’ are dropping!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 8, 2011 @ 6:43 am

  16. Holy cats, that is awful. What’s worse is that obviously no one noticed that this layout was problematic before it went to print. Bookslinger: okay, but that couple is dressed pretty stodgy. Unlike ms. pegnoir and gown.

    Comment by jeans — July 8, 2011 @ 6:44 am

  17. This is what we disgruntled graphic designers do.

    So word to the wise: be nice to your designer!

    Comment by SilverRain — July 8, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  18. Good yuks!

    #17–I’ll second that. We’re a dangerous bunch.

    Comment by Brent Corcoran — July 8, 2011 @ 8:03 am

  19. And who can forget the ubiquitous Candlestick Salad
    Candlestick Salad in the Dec 2008 Friend? (Sorry, can’t find the picture, but it was the candlestick made of a banana standing up straight and proud in a ring of pineapple. Very unfortunate craft, that one…

    Comment by Maren — July 8, 2011 @ 10:00 am

  20. I’ve been buried at work the last two days, and the first time I get a chance to take a peek over here, I’m greeted with the most epic layout FAIL I’ve ever seen! Made my day!

    Comment by kevinf — July 8, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  21. I loved my LaVoy gown with the cap sleeves and wish they were still in business. Can’t find anything like it in the stores.

    Comment by Donna — July 11, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  22. We may not have ads anymore, but I was surprised to find book reviews in a recent Friend!

    Comment by Michelle — July 17, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  23. I was a dealer for LeVoy home parties and they were very well recieved. They were well made and lasted quite a long time. I wish they were still in business.

    Comment by Jo — May 11, 2013 @ 10:20 am

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