Bloggernacle Back Bench: LDS tech news you can use

Published: Tuesday, July 17 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

The logo for the new Mormon Historic Sites Alberta app for iPad. (Mormon Historic Sites) The logo for the new Mormon Historic Sites Alberta app for iPad. (Mormon Historic Sites)

For some reason, blogs touting fantastic new apps and resource sites caught my eye this week. Discover history on your iPad. Use a handy conference study tool. Virtually visit a London chapel, right in time for the Olympics. And more.

At the Mormon History Conference a few weeks ago, I was privileged to sit down with one of the brains behind the new Mormon Historic Sites: Alberta App for iPad. In the first of its kind (of many to come, from what I was told), this app takes you into the Mormon history of Southern Canada, opening up photos, timelines, maps, audio and much more. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any church history tour to Alberta. I’m excited to see which sites are app’d next.

The LDS Scripture Citation Index is completely cool and the Mormon Life Hacker explains why: “The LDS Scripture Citation Index is a website (and free app) which lists out every scripture reference made over the pulpit. ... These citations are organized into book-chapter-verse. ... Clicking on the citation will pull up the lds.org text for the talk in a window on the upper right when it’s from the Ensign or Journal of Discourses. If the talk is found in “Teachings of the Prophet ____,” the link opens in a new window hosted by BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library. When the scripture is cited directly, you should see it in the talk in red. If you click on the verse a window in the bottom right will show a portal to the lds.org copy of the scriptures with your verse highlighted.” And there’s more to it. Click in to learn all about this awesome resource.

Have you ever heard of the “Dictionary of Mormon Biography”? It’s just now getting off the ground, but looks to be amazing. Project leader Tod Robbins explains, “I hope the title of the project is self-evident, as it will primarily be about people: the notable, the not-so-notable and the forgotten. The first phase of the project has been the conversion of biographies from Andrew Jenson’s Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia to digital format. This includes doing verification of the OCR text, extracting the scanned photos from biographies and documenting the location of each biography via citation/hyperlinking of the Internet archive and BYU scans of the volumes. We may also document the histories of geographical units (stakes, wards, branches) and built works.” Wow, sounds exciting. Check it out!

Finally, I love how the Hyde Park Chapel is both virtually and in-real-life preparing to be a missionary tool as the Olympics descend. Click in to visit the Facebook page, which, as Larry Richman explains, includes “pictures, videos and an extensive timeline with the history of the church in the region. Scroll down the Facebook page timeline to see pictures of pioneer missionaries in England, significant events, historic visits and several short videos about the history of the church in the British Isles and the history of the Hyde Park chapel.” Awesome!

Now let’s see what else excited the Bloggernacle this week:

Power pick: Exciting missionary news may be starting in the Central Africa Republic, as this mission president and his wife explain in this post that outlines its trip to “Beautiful Bangui,” where they met with members of the small branch there as well as toured the country. But the most exciting thing was they were able to meet with the president of the country (which they did with permission from both area church officials and those based out of Salt Lake City). I’ll let the mission president's wife explain: “We visited with him for a few minutes, gave him a Book of Mormon, a CD of the Tabernacle Choir, a "Family: Proclamation to the World," For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and the Articles of Faith. (My husband) Brent (Jameson) explained our purpose for being in the Central Africa Republic and our goal to bring people to Christ and our emphasis on the family. He read the 12th Article of Faith which talks about being good citizens of our country. It was a simple, brief visit. At the end, Brent asked if we could take a picture. I had left my camera in the car at the suggestion of (branch) President (Roger) Langue, but having the press take so many pictures gave Brent the courage to ask to take some ourselves. So, with his phone, we took a picture of the four of us. After the meeting, he walked us out of his office and we were immediately greeted by the press. We had pictures of long handshakes with the president and then the press held a short interview with Brent. The next day, members and our taxi driver said that they had seen the interview and pictures on TV that night. It was good to share our reason for being there and to help build relations with this country. We hope that we have left a good feeling with this head of state.” Wow! I’m excited to hear about what happens next!

Techie tip: I’ll conclude with a Facebook Meme from LDS Bookstore going around celebrating the life of Stephen R. Covey, who passed away yesterday morning. This isn’t so much a techie tip as it is good advice from a business guru who was so adapt at giving good advice. Click in to be inspired from Covey one more time.

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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