Many members of the Quorum of the Twelve have referenced social media and mobile devices in talks and devotionals. It’s now common to see several people in sacrament meeting or in Sunday School on their smartphones and tablets. During April’s 2012 general conference, Twitter streams trended several gospel topics, with 30,678 total tweets sent by 7,835 users after the first two sessions. These tweets reached an estimated 3.5 million people, according to Jesse Stay’s Google+ stream.
Stan Way, a manager at Verizon in Jasper, Ala., said when the first iPhone came out, his stake president used it to read quotes, scriptures and even callings over the pulpit. Although it upset many people in his stake at the time, Way said he has seen a “total conversion” over the last year as many people in his branch and stake have started using smartphones and tablets during church.
“It’s not uncommon now for letters from the First Presidency to now be read via an iPad, or entire lessons to be taught using smartphones,” Way said. “And I love it.”
The church has several gospel apps to make reading scriptures, listening to hymns or watching church videos even more accessible. One of the most popular apps is LDS Tools, which allows members with an lds.org login to download their ward and stake information. Users have ward and stake directories, along with contact information and addresses, at their fingertips.
Way said using LDS Tools with Google Maps makes planning visits to members quick and easy.
“While everyone is is flipping through outdated rosters and trying to figure out where people live, I have everything up-to-date right on my phone or tablet,” he said.
Along with LDS Tools, these church apps are also quite popular:
LDS Scriptures: The Church offers a free app with the ability to take notes, search for passages and highlight phrases. There are also a few other paid apps with added functionality.
Clint Calder is studying advertising and used to be a “book lover.” However, the junior from Huntsville now studies and takes notes on his iPad much more often than in his hard copy of the scriptures. He said notes and highlighting are more convenient.
“Instead of taking my red pen, yellow highlighter, scriptures and study journal, I can now simply grab my iPad and study anywhere,” Calder said.
LDS Temples: This app allows Android users to search for temples in the area, get contact information and track attendance history.
FamilySearch Indexing: This app allows users to work on indexing without having to download the software to a computer. It also will bookmark progress for quick continuing of indexing when the app is opened.
Glenn Rowley, a public relations junior from St. George, said he had never been interested in indexing until a challenge was issued in his ward and he downloaded the app. Now he says it has almost become an addiction.
“I don’t have to take an hour out of my day to do service,” he said. “I can hop on my phone and do five minutes when I have time.”
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