Glowing faces in Sunday School don’t always reveal a person’s increased proximity to heaven — sometimes, it just means they’re looking at their phone. Though they might be playing Angry Birds, it’s more likely they’re following along with the lesson.
Most mobile devices today, including cell phones, tablets and e-Readers, offer a variety of apps Church members can use both in meetings and on the go. Some provide simple entertainment. Games like Scripture Golf and apps with various quizzes on apostles, prophets and Book of Mormon facts offer creative and interactive ways to learn about the gospel. Others contain a library of gospel references.
For Rhurana Sowers, a freshman from Tomball, Texas, studying special education, the “Gospel Library” app is her favorite. In addition to the standard works, General Conference talks, church magazines, manuals and hymns, it can read the scriptures to the user.
“I can listen to the (religion class) assignment while doing other things,” Sowers said. “It’s really convenient.”
Computers and laptops allow users to access the scriptures online. In “My Study Notebook” on the LDS website, members can log in and highlight, tag and bookmark church materials.
Joseph Brown, a junior from Midway studying finance, said he frequently accesses the standard works and General Conference talks through the LDS website, but his favorite aspect is the “Bible Videos” feature.
“They help me see the stories in a different way. They give perspective on how things really were instead of just imagining it,” Brown said.
While convenience is an important factor for many who use online and mobile scriptures, David Rosenvall, publishing systems director for the Church and co-creator of the online scriptures, said he thinks the significance of today’s technology runs much deeper.
“I think (technology) has been put on the earth for our benefit,” he said. “I truly believe it’s part of what is to be used to spread the Gospel to all the world.”