Navigating the LDS Church's mobile apps

Published: Thursday, Aug. 22 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Fernando Camilo, right, visits with a woman after his class on "The Mormon Mobile Revolution An Introduction to the Church's Mobile Products" at BYU Education Week Wednesday.

Trent Toone, Deseret News

PROVO — Fernando Camilo loves it when LDS Church leaders reference social media in their general conference talks.

“It gives me chills when I hear an apostle say ‘Instagram” or ‘Facebook,’ ” Camilo said during his presentation at BYU's Campus Education Week on Wednesday, drawing chuckles from the class.

Those references will likely continue, based on the time and resources The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is directing to social media and digital technology, Camilo continued, especially now with 75,000 full-time missionaries serving around the world and online.

Camilo, a product manager for the church, titled his remarks "The Mormon Mobile Revolution — An Introduction to the Church's Mobile Products" as part of his weeklong series, "The Church’s Mobile and Social Presence: Tweeting, Pinning and Blogging the Gospel."

Camilo cited a Pew Research study that broke down how adults and teenagers are using mobile technology:

91 percent of adults own a cellphone.

61 percent of adults own a smartphone.

34 percent of adults use tablet computers.

78 percent of teens have cellphones.

23 percent of teens have tablet computers.

95 percent of teens use the Internet.

“Even though (technology is) expensive, it’s becoming more prevalent,” said Camilo, who at one time helped manage the church’s Facebook page. “Everyone has this technology. And the older generation is adopting it faster than anyone else.”

Camilo said the church is constantly looking for ways to take mobile technology/social media and convert it into tools for enhancing gospel study and missionary work. As a result, the church has developed a variety of mobile apps to “the gospel on the go,” Camilo said. During the class he discussed the new Gospel Library App, LDS Tools, Scripture Mastery, LDS Hymns, the Mormon Channel and others. A list of the apps can be found on LDS.org.

The majority of Camilo’s class had gray hair but wanted to learn. They asked several questions during the class regarding basic functions of church websites and apps.

One woman asked Camilo to explain why a certain feature on LDS.org was in an awkward place and hard to find. When Camilo said he didn't really know and it was outside his duties, the woman sparked laughter by saying, “Can you tell them that it bothers Julie?”

Camilo then showed her the “Submit Feedback” button on the website.

While demonstrating how to navigate the new Gospel Library App, another woman raised her hand and said, “You make that look so easy. How did you do that?”

“It’s practice,” Camilo said.

A third woman then said, “My husband has tried, but his fingers are too fat.”

Camilo concluded the class by encouraging those present to explore these apps and learn to use them, whether it’s memorizing a scripture with the Scripture Mastery app, watching Bible videos or finding opportunities to serve by going to LDSTech.org.

“There are opportunities to serve there, be Beta testers,” Camilo said. “... You can help.”

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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