Dec 04

LDS Study Tools – Encyclopedia of Mormonism

There are some wonderful gospel study tools provided by BYU. Today, we wanted to share one of the richest resources available for studying the Gospel. It’s called the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

This excellent tool is available online in its entirety. It contains doctrinal entries on just about any Gospel topic you can think of. Each entry has scripture references about the topic you’re researching. You can copy and paste portions of the article into your research or talk. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is an insightful and informative way to study the Gospel.

Take a look at a quick intro to the tool in the video below.

Here is the link to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Check out other tools outlined on our Study Tools page.

Dec 02

LDS Study Tools – RSS Feeds

There are myriad ways to communicate and disseminate information on the Internet. One that helps me keep up with news is called RSS (or Really Simple Syndication). These types of feeds are great for retrieving the latest articles and information directly from a website. This only works if the site offers RSS feeds, of course. You just copy the feed link from the site and put it into your RSS reader.

Of the thousands available, there are a few RSS feeds that will give you news and current events of the Church. Some give you access to wonderful articles on Gospel topics. Yet others will provide you with academic or scholarly research done on other theological subjects.

I wanted to provide you with a list of RSS feeds that I have found to be most related to the Church and Gospel. They are listed below:

So grab your favorite RSS feed reader and load those feeds into it. They are quite enlightening and informative.

Do you have other LDS RSS feeds that you really like? Post them in the comments below so we can share them with everyone.

Take a look at some of the other Gospel study tools that there are available.

Nov 28

LDS Study Tools – General Conference Talks

The collection of General Conference Talks found on churchofjesuschrist.org is an excellent resource for studying the Gospel. It literally contains the words of the Prophets and Apostles and other Church leaders. There are many ways to go through the information found there. You can search through it, look through it by a specific conference, watch videos of the talks, or download MP3s of them, to name a few.

This is an absolute must if you’re doing research for a talk or simply want to know more about what our Church leaders have taught on a topic. This is a very good resource to bookmark and use often.

Take a look at the video below for a very quick introduction to the Conference Talks section of the Church website:

Link to talks:

General Conference Talks

Nov 27

LDS Study Tools – Scripture Citation Index

When we speak of scripture study, what comes to mind is having the scriptures open with perhaps a notebook and a pen for taking notes.  This is great when we want to ponder and discover the scriptures for ourselves.  What if we could get the help of many of the great scriptorians of both our day and the past in understanding the Gospel?  An incredible tool, the Scripture Citation Index, serves this purpose efficiently and effectively.

The description provided on the site is:

“Welcome to the LDS Scripture Citation Index. This index links from scriptures to the general conference talks, Journal of Discourses speeches, and writings in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that cite those scriptures.  So, for example, suppose you want to know who has cited 1 Ne. 3:7 in general conference; click on the Book of Mormon link at the left and scroll down to 1 Ne. 3; there you’ll find the answer.  Who has quoted Matt. 5:48?  Use the New Testament index to find out.

We have indexed the scriptures cited by speakers in LDS General Conference between 1942 and the present, and those cited by speakers recorded in the Journal of Discourses between 1839 and 1886.  The citations in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith come from the special edition, Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, edited by Richard C. Galbraith and published by Deseret Book in 1993 (ISBN 0875796478).”

A potentially useful process of using this incredible tool is offered to you below.  In no way is it intended to be the best or most authoritative way of drawing upon this great work.  The steps are as follows:

  • Log into your Study Journal.
  • Open your scriptures to wherever you are in your personal studies.  Let’s suppose we are in Alma 13, for example.  Read the first verse.
  • Visit http://scriptures.byu.edu/.  In the left pane, there is a place to click down to Alma 13.  There are many citations that include the first verse.  Click each of them.
  • As you read each citation, you may come upon one or more that shed an incredible amount of light on the meaning of that passage for you.
  • When something touches your heart, take a note of it in your Study Journal.  Link your new note to whatever scripture reference you are studying.  Link in applicable keywords.  If appropriate, link it to other entries in your Study Journal.

Consulting the words of Church leaders and authorities can open the scriptures to you in a very uplifting and edifying way.  This great tool can help propel your Gospel learning more quickly than otherwise might be possible.

This helpful resource is also available for Apple iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) and Android devices in the respective app store or marketplace.

Here is another helpful article on using the Scripture Citation Index: Enhance Scripture Study with the Scripture Citation Index

Nov 24

LDS Study Tools – BYU Speeches

There are some wonderful gospel study tools provided by BYU. Today, we wanted to share one of the richest resources available for studying the Gospel. It’s called BYU Speeches. The site has speeches given at BYU over the past several decades. You can search by topic or by speaker.

Each speech has several methods of obtaining it. You can read the speeches, listen to them, watch, download, or print them. This is a great resource to see what folks have said on certain topics.

Take a look at a quick intro to the tool in the video below.

Here is the link to BYU Speeches:

BYU Speeches

Check out other tools outlined on our Study Tools page.

Nov 19

LDS Study Tools – Gospel Topics

Gospel study tools can be very useful in our quest to understand the Gospel. What we’d like to do is suggest tools and methods of studying that will help in your pursuit of the truth. Today, the tool we’re presenting is the “Gospel Topics” study tool on the Church website. It has a long list of topics down the left side. When you select one, an article on that topic appears on the right side.

This could be great for personal study and understanding. Or, it could be used to help in writing a talk. Maybe it could be used in other insightful and uplifting ways.

Here is a short video introducing the Gospel Topics section of the Church website:

Here is the tool:

Gospel Topics on churchofjesuschrist.org

Nov 11

Free Gospel Study Journal

Would you like to have the perfect scripture study journal? One that you will never lose? The Gospel study journal offered at LDSScriptureStudy.com is just what you’re looking for. You can have your notes online, printed out, or both.

The Gospel study journal will:

  • allow you to quickly retrieve notes and thoughts that you have recorded.
  • make it easy to share thoughts and ideas with others.
  • make it easy to remember the entire thought you had when you made the note.
  • allow for new inspiration – not bind you to only what you’ve already learned.
  • help keep your scriptures from wearing out because of over-marking them.
  • help prevent losing all of your notes should your scriptures get lost.
  • provide some structure but without being overly rigid.

The journal entries you create can be linked together. You can tag them with keywords. You can link scripture references to them. Entries may also contain citations from other books which you feel are relevant.

To create your free Gospel study journal, visit http://www.ldsscripturestudy.com/

For a more detailed explanation of how the study journal works, see “The Study Journal.”

Oct 31

What Are the Scriptures?

Scriptures are a great reference to the standards of the Gospel. They teach us wonderful principles about how to live. However, they do not contain all the wisdom and knowledge there is to know for each person. They are to open the mind. They are to make us ask questions. They are a gateway to all the wisdom and knowledge that lies beyond the veil.

The pattern for revelation is: first, you are doing something that causes you to have a question in your mind. Next, you ponder over that question, and seek information and resources that may help you answer it. While this is happening, you do things to bring the Spirit. At the right moment, you will receive the answer to your question.

So, you see, you need an instrument to catalyze thought and questioning. That’s what the scriptures do. So this is why scriptures to me are absolutely positively without a doubt unquestionably essential.

2 Nephi 28:30 explains a bit more about the Lord’s thoughts concerning the matter:

“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”

“The idea that scripture reading can lead to inspiration and revelation opens the door to the truth that a scripture is not limited to what it meant when it was written but may also include what that scripture means to a reader today.  Even more, scripture reading may also lead to current revelation on whatever else the Lord wishes to communicate to the reader at that time.  We do not overstate the point when we say that the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, p.8)

Jan 24

Journal Edition of the Book of Mormon

At Deseret Book this morning, I noticed that there were Books of Mormon that were so-called “Journal” editions. As I opened one up, I quickly figured out why. They have over-sized margins so that you can write a lot more out to the side of the verses.

This is great news for us. Each time you create a note, it gets a note number and you create a title for it. You write this out in the margin of each scripture that you link to that note. This allows you to quickly refresh your memory of what the note is or look it up in your journal if you want to, whether that’s online or in the PDF of your notes that you can create and carry with you (either digitally in a device or printed out).

If you’d like to take a look at these journals, here is a link:

Book of Mormon – Journal Edition