Adam Rushforth may leave home without his wallet, but he always remembers his phone. He told tech.lds.org that even though he is blind, having access to the scriptures through the Gospel Library mobile app is wonderful. "One of my favorite features is the diction option while searching the database," Rushforth said. "I love how easy it is to tell the phone a phrase and have the Gospel Library app give me several options where that phrase or those words are found. It searches through its entire library and organizes the results in a way that makes it fast and easy for me to find the desired reference." The Gospel Library mobile app is just one of the many new or lesser-known LDS resources available to users of all ages and abilities. As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow and technology advances, so does the information to learn, teach and promote the work of the Lord.
With an LDS Account, members can have a more personalized experience and interactive study of the gospel.
Many church websites, especially LDS.org, allow you to sign in with your LDS account. When you sign in, the website can deliver more personalized information to you.
"Without an LDS Account, you're missing a huge part of the online church experience," said Tom Johnson, a technical writer for the Church. Some sites using LDS Account include New.FamilySearch.org, Calendar, Directory, Maps, YW Personal Progress and Duty to God.
To sign up for an LDS Account, go to ldsaccount.lds.org and click "Register for an LDS Account." The full sign-up process requires you to know your membership record number (MRN). You can find your MRN on your Individual Ordinance Summary (available from your ward clerk), or on your temple recommend. If you don't know your MRN, you can still register for an LDS Account, but your access will be limited until you add it.
With instant access to mobile applications, members are finding the church apps to be a fun and convenient way to view church resources. Tech-savvy teens are no exception.
In the October 2011 Semiannual General Conference, Elder David A. Bednar spoke to the youth when he said, "Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord - not just to communicate quickly with your friends."
With a touch of the finger users can hear the Gospel Library app, which according to tech.lds.org, allows users to "listen to audio narrations for English scriptures, general conference addresses, magazines and some lesson material." Other apps include Bible Videos, Mormon Channel, LDS Tools, Scripture Mastery, LDS Youth, LDS Music and the Ensign. Learn more at mobile.lds.org.
When you're preparing a talk or lesson, or just studying the gospel, My Study Notebook can help you gather and organize your sources in a convenient way. To see My Study Notebook in action, sign in to LDS.org and start reading content. Look for a black toolbar in the footer. You can click buttons on this toolbar to bookmark articles or write journal entries. You can also highlight passages with your cursor. When you highlight a passage, a pop-up window appears that allows you to add notes and tags.
All your bookmarks, highlights and notes are saved in a personal, private space on LDS.org that you can access by going to Tools > My Study Notebook, or by clicking Open Notebook in the footer toolbar.
Recently, My Study Notebook was integrated into the Gospel Library app for Apple. You can now access My Study Notebook directly within the Gospel Library interface, rather than just from LDS.org. Highlights and notes you add to verses on the mobile device sync with the content in My Study Notebook on LDS.org, and vice versa.
"Learn, Share, Create" is the invitation from the LDS Media Library. The site notes that the object of the library is to "help members access different types of media, such as videos, audio and images
come unto Christ through the use of wholesome media."
According to an interview with Church News and Events, digital media producer Bret Barton said, "The idea is to allow members to visit the site to find media to use in lessons, in their homes and for missionary work." Members can use the resources in "Learn to study about the Savior." "Share" will allow users to email links to friends, share videos in a blog and use media for teaching in the home and at church. Members can also contribute their talents in the Create section of lds.org/media-library.
In December 2007, Elder M. Russell Ballard invited BYU-Hawaii students to "join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel..."
The goal of Create.lds.org does just that. Scott Olson, project manager of member engagement, said Create allows members to get "involved in sharing their media talents."
Marianne Jennings, associate producer of member engagement, added that the two-fold mission of Create is to help members share their creations and to help members share the gospel by sharing their talents.
Currently members can share their talents through photos, video, music and radio. There will be more options in the near future, including design and writing, and a new video contest was recently announced. Additional information is at Deseret News and Church News and Events.
Now everyone has the opportunity to serve, right from the convenience of a computer.
"Vineyard.lds.org provides service activities online that can be completed in minutes," noted Jayson Seegmiller, Vineyard product manager. "As a result, the church is able to share more resources worldwide."
According to the website, "Church departments break projects into small bits and submit them to Vineyard. Volunteers complete the activities online and then church departments review completed work and distribute worldwide." Some activities include contributing photos, adding image search words, translating documents, family history indexing and donations to church causes.
By giving a couple of minutes or a couple of hours of time, all can be "anxiously engaged in a good cause.
As part of the LDS Media Library, Book of Mormon Stories has been updated to include sound effects and an original soundtrack together with new parallax animation. As noted in an article by the Church News, this technique "was used to cut out two-dimensional figures and move them independently around the screen. This pseudo-3D technique allows background images to move by the camera slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth in 2D images."
In an interview with Church News and Events, Brent Meisinger, product manager in the Scriptures Coordination Division of the Church Curriculum Department, said, "These scriptural stories help to plant the seed of testimony in the hearts of children and others who view these videos by teaching gospel truths they will remember for the rest of their lives." The stories are available in 12 languages, on the LDS.org website and other video channels.
In an effort to provide church-approved lesson ideas to teachers and parents, the new Children's Lesson Helps website is now available.
"We felt there was quite a large demand for Primary leaders and teachers to use church-approved resources to supplement their lessons. This site provides them that opportunity," said Chad Phares, senior editor of The Friend magazine.
The website lessonhelps.lds.org includes three sections. "Resources for Primary Lessons" includes links to stories, activities and media that correspond to each lesson. "Resources by Gospel Topic" will be updated to include an alphabetical list of gospel topics. The third section, "Weekly Thoughts and Tips," includes ideas on how to share the gospel with children.
As quoted from the website: "You are doing much more than teaching a lesson - you are teaching children to know and love the Savior, and helping them to be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ."
Additional information is also available on the Church News website and Church News and Events.
Much effort has been put into creating a site that has content specific for youths. Mike Madsen, product manager of the youth.lds.org website, shared the outlook for the site.
"The youth website has three main goals: to help youth understand, live and share the basic doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to inspire youth to live the Gospel by seeing examples of other youth around the world living gospel principles; and to give families, youth and leaders access to programs and materials that will assist youth in their personal conversion, such as Personal Progress, Duty to God, scriptures, music and videos." Madsen also said the site will continue to be improved to meet the changing needs of youths and families.
Through topics such as Youth and Family History, For the Strength of Youth and messages From Church Leaders on subjects including dating, media and entertainment, and Sabbath observance, the youth of the church will be encouraged to "Arise and Shine Forth."
The First presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduced The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos during the 2011 Christmas devotional. President Henry B. Eyring said at that event, "The objective in that effort has been to remain true to the scriptural text. Like the scriptures which these short films on biblevideos.lds.org follow faithfully, they may seem to you quiet. Your faith and the Holy Ghost will create the emotion these world-changing events deserve."
Over 100 videos are planned and will be available online free of charge. The videos, based on the King James Version of the Bible, are also available as a free mobile app and in many other popular channels (YouTube, iTunes, ROKU, etc).
Do you ever wonder where in the world the brethren are? Now you can follow their travels as they go "Unto All the World." Exclusive content is posted on the Prophets and Apostles Speak Today website.
"Today, as in ancient times, prophets and apostles minister throughout the world." As available, articles and videos from their visits are posted to the site. Messages from current and past leaders are also available with new information added each week.