Are you ready to test your scripture mastery knowledge? Need to look up that favorite primary song you can’t quite remember the words to? Want the latest conference talks at your fingertips? There’s an app for that. Well, six, actually.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is broadening its outreach and enhancing personal study for members everywhere through mobile apps.
“For years, the Church has used the best available technology to help share the gospel message with others,” he said. “As apps have become more popular we have begun to explore how we can use them to help members learn, live and share the gospel more effectively.”
Gibbons said there are six apps available at lds.org for various devices and mobile operating systems — Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, LDS Tools, Scripture Mastery, LDS Youth and LDS Music.
He said the Gospel Library app allows people to download and study the scriptures, general conference addresses, teaching manuals and other Church content.
“It also allows you to search, bookmark, annotate, link and highlight content,” he said. “As you do, it syncs with the same content on lds.org so that your annotations may be used from the website, too.”
The Mormon Channel app allows members to listen the Church’s 24-hour-a-day audio station.
“It features gospel-oriented programs, music and interviews as well as scriptures, general conference and Church magazines,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons said the LDS Tools app allows ward members to download directory information to their mobile device.
“Scheduled ward events can also be downloaded from the Church’s new calendaring system,” he said.
The Scripture Mastery app contains various options for memorizing scripture versus as well as the Articles of Faith.
Gibbons said the LDS Youth app facilitates access to the latest content from the Church’s website on mobile devices.
The LDS Music app allows people to search hymns and the Children’s Songbook.
“You can view the words and sheet music and listen to hymns and songs,” Gibbons said.
With myriad options instantly at your fingertips, it’s easy to see the benefits of apps. Gibbons said there are five major advantages apps have over traditional sources — mobility, flexibility, connectivity, convenience and authority.
Because the Church apps can be downloaded to personal mobile devices, Gibbons said members can have materials with them wherever they are.
“Gospel learning materials are now more available than at any point in history,” he said.
He said the apps give members the flexibility to download as little or as much as they want.
“You can load all or part of the Gospel Library content onto your mobile device,” he said. “It’s up to you.”
Gibbons said app connectivity allows people to download content once, and have it on their phone regardless of internet availability.
“Apps often allow you to download all the content so that if you are not connected to the Internet you can still have digital access to your Church materials,” he said.
The convenience apps offer is undoubtedly one of their most attractive features. Gibbons said the Church apps go far beyond traditional sources when it comes to handiness
“While your leather-bound scriptures and laptop are portable, they are not as portable as your phone,” he said. “You carry your phone almost everywhere anyway — now it can have all your Church materials on it. Furthermore, every word is searchable, making is super easy to retrieve any scripture that comes to mind and annotate it on the spot.”
Gibbons said by downloading the Church’s apps, members can make certain the information they are viewing comes from a credible source.
“There are some really great apps out there for LDS content,” he said. “But users who use the apps from the Church can be certain of their authenticity and the development of the app was done under direction of Church leaders who are sensitive to providing the very best learning tools, while being careful not to be overly prescriptive as to how you learn.”
BYU student, Jacob Flake, a junior from Vancouver Wash., who is studying applied statistics, said he uses the Gospel Library app to prepare for church lessons and aid in personal study. Flake said he enjoys the convenience apps offer.
“I can study whenever and wherever,” he said. “If I have a few minutes in between classes I can look over part of my lesson or find answers to a gospel question I have during the day.”
Flake said the Gospel Library app helps keep his day centered on the gospel.
My life is pretty busy with school, work, family and church,” he said. “It is a lot easier for me to open an app on my phone and read for a few minutes several times a day rather than pull out my scriptures or the Ensign and read for 15 minutes all at once. I have noticed by doing this that my whole day stays focused on the gospel instead of just during the 15 minutes before I go to bed.”
Johanna Chausow, a senior from Germantown, WI, majoring in English education, said she also uses the Gospel Library app.
“It’s so convenient,” she said. “I have it on my iPod which fits in my pocket and is a lot lighter than my scriptures. So if I have any downtime, I can just pull up the scriptures and read them on campus, or if I’m talking with a friend and I want to share something with them, it’s easy to have that there and to show it to them.”
Chausow said she not only loves the convenience, but the variety Church apps offer.
“I really the Gospel Library because you have every manual, the hymn book, the scriptures and Church magazines,” she said. “I would definitely recommend it.”
All Church apps are free to download and use. For a full list of the Church’s apps, platform compatibility and links to download each app visit: lds.org/mobileapps.