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LDS Tech experts working on scripture mastery app

By Trent Toone

Mormon Times

Published: Tuesday, April 5 2011 6:30 a.m. MDT

RIVERTON, Utah – Memorizing scripture has never been so fun or so easy.

More than 25,000 have already downloaded the official scripture mastery app (short for application) from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is designed to help people memorize scripture mastery verses and the Articles of Faith.

The scripture mastery app, released earlier this year, is currently designed for both the iPhone and iPad. Users can memorize using a flash-card method or by reciting the verse with key words removed. Get your name in the “Hall of Fame” by taking a quiz and posting your high scores.

Because the app is so popular and effective (it has a five-star rating in the App Store), participants at the LDS Tech Conference are working to develop an Android version, along with versions in Spanish, Portuguese and eventually other languages.

Chad Ward, a computer programmer from Denver, started developing iPhone apps a few years ago and came up with the idea of building an app to help people such as actors memorize text. When his memorization app was in the App Store, he decided he wanted to use the same coding to benefit seminary students and missionaries.

The concept excited Ward, who imagined seminary students using such methods to practice and memorize scripture mastery verses, so the words would come back during the defining moments of life.

“In my mind, this was about helping people memorize scriptures, but it was also about helping them spiritually,” Ward said. “A memorized scripture can pop into your head at a key time in your life.”

Around October 2010, Ward approached the LDS Church and shared the idea. Graphics and other features were added to enhance the product, and since then Ward has tried to stay involved with the project, which was one of the reasons he attended the two-day conference in Utah.

“It’s cool to see something take on a life of its own and run off," he said. "It’s wonderful to have started something that other people have now taken an interest in and are doing something with it."

John Hilton III represents seminaries and institutes in the project. The experienced seminary teacher said the biggest challenge has been finding volunteers with time to push the project along. He said anyone with technology development skills is welcome to help with the project. Those interested can sign up at tech.lds.org.

“This is a great opportunity to extend scripture mastery," Hilton said. "It’s fun. If you have an IOS device, you should go download it right now and start memorizing your scripture mastery verses. That’s key.”

Email: ttoone@desnews.com

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