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SALT LAKE CITY -- Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have various options when it comes to selecting iOS mobile devices. From the standard works to stake directories, church members have several official sources of church information.
You can find all the apps mentioned here from Apple either in iTunes or the app store on your device. It should be noted that some of these apps are also available for other mobile devices. You can get more information at LDS.org.
The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos is the latest iOS app out of testing by the LDS Church. This app was released last December and is available for the iPad. Bible Videos tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in three ways. You can watch the videos, which were produced in the typical high-production-value quality we have come to expect. You can read a guided tour through the scriptures related to Jesus' birth, with or without narration. Finally, you can explore the story through an interactive map. The app is beautifully designed and artistic in its own right.
Gospel Library is the official source for church publications. The app allows you to download the standard works, as well as general conference reports and texts for magazines, manuals and music. These texts are not laid out and formatted as they are in the printed versions, but the essential information is faithfully reproduced.
The app also includes videos from general conference, leadership training library, seminary and institute and others. The videos even include the ever popular feature film "Johnny Lingo," just in case your iOS experience was incomplete without it.
Mormon Channel combines a variety of audio and video resources for study, reference and inspiration.
The app is divided into radio, audio and video tabs. The radio section is a live streaming radio station containing various talks, musical and other programs, which follow a schedule. The audio section is filled with general conference talks and recordings of church magazines and the scriptures, as well as programs from the radio section you can listen to on demand.
The video section includes much of the same video in the Gospel Library app. The key difference between the two apps is that in Gospel Library the videos are downloaded and in Mormon Channel they are streamed.
LDS Music is like having a hymn book and "Children's Songbook" in hand. Each hymn and song is presented with sheet music, exactly as in the printed version. You also can use the control below the music to play just the accompaniment, so you can sing along.
The music is organized into tabs by songs, topics, authors and composers. You will need an Internet connection to download the audio accompaniment the first time you play it. It is best to check the audio before you use the app, if you won't have an Internet connection where you will use it.
LDS Tools is the pragmatic app of this roundup. This app is primarily a directory, not only of your ward, but of your whole stake. You need an LDS account to download stake and ward directories. In addition to a standard directory, the app provides calling information for your ward and stake. You can also make custom and favorites lists.
All the apps previously mentioned, except Bible Videos, are universal, meaning they are designed for use on all iOS devices. These are not all the official apps for church members. If you want the latest information about mobile apps made by the LDS Church, go to LDSTech. There you will find the news of the latest developments in church technology. There are also opportunities to contribute your skills and expertise. These mobile apps are a great resource. The number of apps and their capabilities are sure to continue to grow.
Apple authority Patrick Cassell is a blogger living in Utah. He is also a member of the LDSTech community. Read his views on many things related to Apple at iTechCrossroads.com.