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The digital word of God

Scriptures are available in a variety of digital formats

"A knowledge of the scriptures is important," said President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve. "From them we learn about spiritual guidance. Everywhere in the world, humble members draw inspiration from the scriptures to guide them through life" (The Friend, February 2011).

Living at an unprecedented time in world history, the word of God goes forth at an incredible rate due to the wonderful technologies available. The Deseret News reported in its Oct. 14 national edition that technology is crucial for learning. The report indicated that 98 percent of college students own a digital device, and 38 percent say they can't go for more than 10 minutes without using one. People can interact with the scriptures in ways never before dreamed of because of technology.

The Church provides a variety of mobile apps that allow users to interact with the scriptures on several different types of devices.
The Church provides a variety of mobile apps that allow users to interact with the scriptures on several different types of devices. Photo: Intellectual Reserve Inc.

President Thomas S. Monson in October general conference 2011 said, "…yesterday's science fiction has become today's reality. And that reality, thanks to the technology of our times, is changing so fast we can barely keep up with it — if we do at all. For those of us who remember dial telephones and manual typewriters, today's technology is more than merely amazing."

The Church has dedicated many resources to producing the scriptures in a variety of formats using today's technological advancements. These formats can be accessed by going to lds.org/scriptures/formats. A brief description of each available format is explained below.

Text formats

Web page HTML: The entire standard works can be read online at lds.org/scriptures. This version includes direct one-click links to footnotes and the ability to copy and paste information. If you have created an LDS Account, you are also able to highlight, bookmark, add notes and tag scriptures. All of your annotations will be stored and available each time you log in. If you have the gospel library mobile app, it will recognize any highlights or bookmarks from lds.org. The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are available in 30 languages.

PDF: The scriptures as .pdf files are available for computers with .pdf reading software including eReaders. The scriptures look like the original printed version and still maintain search and annotation capabilities. However, annotations can only be made through the PDF reader program being used and cannot be synchronized with the Study Notebook on LDS.org. PDF versions of The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are available in more than 90 languages.

EPUB: This is the main format for the Barnes and Noble Nook and other eReaders. EPUB versions of the entire Book of Mormon, Holy Bible, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price can be downloaded and transferred to your eReader device. The Amazon Kindle does not natively support EPUB files.

The Church has several formats that utilize technology to allow members to interact with scriptures.
The Church has several formats that utilize technology to allow members to interact with scriptures. Photo: Intellectual Reserve Inc.

Formats for those with disabilities

Braille: The web braille format of the scriptures can be downloaded at braille.lds.org. These files can be read through a machine called Refreshable Braille Display, which reads the web braille format and displays the text in raised braille dots. iOS devices provide wireless support for many braille displays.

ASL videos, machines for the blind, iPads, .mp3 audio and HTML web pages contain the fullness of the gospel as found in the holy scriptures. There have never been so many different ways to learn.
ASL videos, machines for the blind, iPads, .mp3 audio and HTML web pages contain the fullness of the gospel as found in the holy scriptures. There have never been so many different ways to learn. Photo: Intellectual Reserve Inc.

DAISY: In addition to braille support, DAISY (digital accessible information system) files are available at daisy.lds.org.

These files allow people who are vision impaired to access printed text. DAISY files allow users to listen to the audio version of a book or manual and navigate to a chapter, article or bookmark. A special device or software is necessary to play DAISY files.

ASL: For the hearing impaired, the Church has put together videos of a sign language instructor signing the scriptures. Currently the only available videos are for The Book of Mormon. The videos can be accessed at www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,9274-1-5265-1,00.html.

Audio formats

Streaming: You can stream the audio version of the scriptures directly from the Internet. This version is Flash based and will not work on Apple devices or devices that do not support Flash.

This option is available in the right column of each online chapter of the text version under "Listen."

MP3: You can download .mp3 files to your .mp3 player at lds.org/scriptures/formats. Enjoy the entire Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price or download a single chapter or book. Audio files are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese.

M4b: The .m4b file is also available at lds.org/scriptures/formats. It is an audio format that can be played back on most digital audio players as an audio book and has the ability to do bookmarks.

The .m4b file is not available as an individual book or chapter of the standard works.

Podcast: Files can be downloaded as a podcast through iTunes. These individual chapters are optimized for iPhone and iPod use; however, those files can be easily imported to other devices as well.

Mobile device formats

Gospel Library: An app available for Android, Apple, BlackBerry, webOS and Windows phones provides the scriptures, as well as several other Church materials, in audio and text formats. Materials can be annotated, highlighted, linked and bookmarked. It will sync with your Study Notebook.

Mormon Channel: In addition to uplifting music and programs, you can also listen to the scriptures directly on the Mormon Channel (mormonchannel.org/scriptures) for Android, Apple, BlackBerry and webOS devices. (Please see Church News, Oct. 21, pp. 10-11.)

Book of Mormon App (New): The Book of Mormon mobile app is perfect for sharing the gospel. It is a digital version with text and audio without footnotes or cross references. The self-contained audio is unique and the app is available in five languages for Windows, Android and Apple devices. Download it for free at the Apple or Google store, Windows marketplace or at lds.org/pages/mobileapps.

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