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Additional Features in Reading Scriptures on LDS.org Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Curtis Palmer   
Friday, 27 January 2012

While many of us enjoy reading our printed set of scriptures and hand-writing notes in the margins, the online scriptures on LDS.org provide the same text as the print version and have additional features, such as pop-up footnotes, My Study Notebook, and audio playback, that might be helpful in a number of ways.

You can access the scriptures on LDS.org by clicking on Menu, and then under the Study, click Scriptures. The scriptures homepage shows links to the standard works in the sidebar.

Listen rather than read

While you’re viewing a chapter online, you can listen to the scriptures like an audio book by clicking Listen in the right-hand navigation list.

Listen to scriptures online


This option not only helps those who are seeing impaired; if you’re too tired to read, or traveling in the car, or if you just prefer to hear the words, listening can be a welcome switch from reading. You can also choose the Listen option during family scripture study, or in other settings.


Share with friends

Another feature while reading scriptures online is the ability to share chapters with your friends through social media. Clicking the Share button while viewing a chapter makes it easy to be a member missionary. Share options include Email, Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious.

Share the gospel online through social media

Posting your favorite chapter on Facebook or Twitter is an easy way to invite others to learn about the gospel. Also, your sphere of influence online may be a much larger group than in your immediate physical location. When you share content on Facebook, others can also share the same content you posted, expanding the influence.

Navigate to scriptures quickly

When you’re reading scriptures online, you can click links to jump quickly from passage to passage. This can be especially helpful if you’re studying a topic and moving through a list of references to the topic. Rather than searching out each passage — an exercise that not only tests your knowledge of where each book is, but also your dexterity to turn pages and navigate chapters and verses — you simply click a link and go straight to the highlighted passage.

As an example, in the sidebar of the Scriptures page on LDS.org, click Study Helps, and then click Topical Guide. Choose a topic, such as Last Days, and then quickly click through each of the references to that topic.

Navigate links quickly

Filter your search results

When you search for words in the scriptures, you can use the filters on the left to narrow the results to the sources you want to see.

For example, suppose you search for living water. After the search results appear, use the links under "Refine Your Search" to narrow the list of results to the category you select. If you select Old Testament, you will see only results for “living water” that appear in the Old Testament.

Filter your search

You can further limit the filters by expanding the Old Testament link and selecting a sub-link, such as Genesis. Parentheses after each link show you the number of times the word appears in that book.

To cancel the filter, click the X next to the filter you selected. Overall, these filters make it easy to sort and narrow search results based on the sources you want to see.

View footnotes without losing your place

Like the scriptures in print, the online scriptures have footnotes embedded throughout the text, but instead of flipping back-and-forth to find the reference in print scriptures, you can just click the footnote.

When you click a footnote, a small window pops up containing references to other scriptures, related topics in the topical guide, and Greek or Hebrew translations.  When you click links in the footnote to read a cross reference, the reference appears directly within the footnote window, rather than directing you to a new page. This makes it easy to explore footnotes without losing your place.

View cross references without losing your place

If you don’t want footnotes cluttering up your view of verses, you can also turn footnotes off entirely with one click by clicking Hide Footnotes in the sidebar. This turns off all the footnote references in the verses so you can focus more clearly on the words. When you’re ready to turn them back on, click Show Footnotes.

View your highlights and notes in one place

When you’re reading content on LDS.org, you can make notes about verses, bookmark chapters you want to remember, and save the content to a personal, private space on LDS.org called My Study Notebook.

My Study Notebook can be especially helpful if you’re preparing a topic or lesson. For example, suppose you’re preparing a lesson on the Word of Wisdom, and you’re searching for stories, quotations, doctrine, and media to use. You’ll be searching a large number of pages on LDS.org. How will you keep track of everything you find? How will you organize all the content into a useful set of notes for your lesson?

My Study Notebook can help. First make sure you sign into LDS.org. Then navigate to a scripture, lesson, conference talk, or magazine article. At the bottom, look for a black toolbar that includes buttons to share, bookmark, and write journal entries.

Now highlight a passage. In the black pop-up window that appears, click Add note/tag. Then add a note and select a notebook to add it to.

View highlights and notes

Once you’ve gathered your content, you can view it all by going to Tools > My Study Notebook. When you select a notebook folder, you can drag your notes into different arrangements.

For a more detailed tutorial using My Study Notebook, click the Help link in My Study Notebook’s sidebar.

Study anywhere at any time

Through the Gospel Library app, you can easily fit the digital version of the scriptures in your pocket and take the scriptures anywhere you go. Any highlights, notes, and other bookmarks you created on LDS.org through My Study Notebook automatically sync to your mobile device.

With your scriptures ever present and available, you can study the scriptures at almost any spare opportunity — while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, at the dentist’s office, at the beach, in bed late at night when you can’t sleep, riding the elevator, traveling as a passenger in the car, and so on.

Study anywhere anytime

In the Gospel Library app, when you tap and hold a verse, you’re prompted with a Study toolbar that allows you to highlight and add notes to the verse. Your highlights and notes sync with Study Notebook on LDS.org, integrating the experience across both online and mobile formats.

Conclusion

The online format for the scriptures goes beyond merely arranging the same scriptural content on a web page. The online experience for studying scriptures allows you to do all of the following:

  • Listen rather than read
  • Share with friends
  • Navigate to scriptures quickly
  • View footnotes without losing your place
  • View your highlights and notes in one place
  • Study anywhere at any time

By no means are we suggesting that the online version of scriptures is superior to reading the printed formats. There’s an immeasurable benefit to isolating yourself from online distractions and focusing on words on a page in front of you. But in some scenarios, the online features may be helpful, and if so, you can make use of the resources available.

 

Comments  

 
# Joy 2012-01-27 22:49
Helpful article that provided information I didn't know. It's great to have another option for studying the scriptures. Thanks.
 
 
# Larry Bruce Goold 2015-02-07 10:37
Where are the footnotes on the printed copies of LDS scriptures on the online (LDS.ORG) version of the Scriptures?
 
 
# Marcelo Leite Silveira 2012-01-28 03:05
This is an excellent tool! However, currently it works only in English. Please can you inform when the "Share and Save" bar (the bottom black toolbar) will be available in Portuguese or Spanish? This toolbar greatly facilitates the user in saving notes and bookmarks in "My Study Notebook".
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2012-02-07 09:20
Plans are underway to make the Study Notebook and related tools available in languages during the first half of 2012.
 
 
# James F. Carroll 2016-07-09 03:46
Quoting Marcelo Leite Silveira:
Please can you inform when the "Share and Save" bar (the bottom black toolbar) will be available in Portuguese or Spanish?

Bro Silveira,

I have the same question. Any progress along these lines?

In the Gospel Library app, I can highlight and tag content in both English and Spanish. However, the Study Toolbar (still) isn't available in Spanish on lds.org.

FYI, before finding your post here, I found a replied to a related post: https://tech.lds.org/blog/545-gospel-library-for-android-version-23-released#comment-3915

Is this something that you would still like to see happen? What do you think the next step would be to make this happen? A volunteer effort through an LDS Tech project? Surveying Spanish-speaking members to demonstrate how many would be interested in this feature? Do you have other ideas?

Warmly,
Bro. Carroll
 
 
# Sheila 2012-01-30 09:20
I would like to know what are "tags" and " links" and how they differ from each other. How do I access my study notebook on my mobile app? I've not seen any reference to it. Thanks!
 
 
# Mark Hufford 2012-02-04 17:54
Sheila,

A link is like your own "Cross Reference". You can make your own links from one scripture to another. By doing so, you can then touch the link and be taken to the "linked" scripture.

Tags might be thought of as categories. You may create a tag called "Perseverance". Then you could "tag" all of the scriptures that you feel fall into that category. These are searchable so you can query at a later date.

Your mobile app SHOULD allow you to login to your LDS.org account. You must be logged in to access the study features.
 
 
# Stevenjjj 2012-02-04 18:09
It would be nice to have a static menu bar at the top or the bottom of the scripture window, so that as the audio is listened to that it can be paused and started.
 
 
# Russell Simon 2012-02-04 22:43
I have not been able to have my online lds.org scripture highlights and notes sync with my iOS ipod touch. I also have not been able to to see the "links" that I create on my iOS when accessing the sames scriptures on lds.org. Can you tell me about how I can resolve these issues? I would love to use my electronic version of the scriptures as a seamless sync system.
Also, I would like to be able to use my si.lds.org account in the same way. Are there any plans to interface si.lds.org with lds.org. We use the same login information for all LDS Account logins, so it seems that a sync between all sights could occur within the same user's profile. Please let me know any relevant or upcoming information you may have.
 
 
# Todd Robert Coons 2014-08-06 06:06
I have the same question.
 
 
# Janette 2012-02-05 05:17
I have enjoyed using the online scriptures. It has been nice to have a place to keep notes and references. The footnotes and bookmark are great. Thank you for providing this service. Having the scriptures and other teaching aids online has greatly enhances my lesson and talk prep. Not to mention being able to use them while giving the lesson. Thank you again!!
 
 
# Rick Ables 2012-02-05 10:33
One of the frustrations I have is when I am typing a note in my study notebook on my desktop or on my iPad or iPhone and I am typing a note (sometimes a long one) and I accidentally touch another part of the screen my note goes away and I lose everything I typed. I wish I had to close that window manually or that it could auto save.
 
 
# Michael Martin 2012-02-07 07:14
The online scriptures offer amazing features now, and I love the sync with IOS devices. Is there a way to change the background to adjust the contrast (e.g., instead of black text on a bright white background, choose a softer background color like this LDSTech page)?
 
 
# Marcelo Leite Silveira 2012-02-07 12:29
Quoting Michael Martin:
The online scriptures offer amazing features now, and I love the sync with IOS devices. Is there a way to change the background to adjust the contrast (e.g., instead of black text on a bright white background, choose a softer background color like this LDSTech page)?

Thanks Martin, it's great to know this.
(I really appreciated your "Findability" article published in July 23, 2008. This is the kind of metodology we need in lds search engines).
 
 
# STEVEN STLAURENT 2012-02-14 07:09
Stewart, is there a chance to add in the Gospelink (own by Deseret Books)Library or something similar to this collection of electronic books?
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2012-02-15 16:17
I'm not aware of any plans to include Gospelink in LDS.org. However, I will pass your idea on to the appropriate product managers for their consideration.
 
 
# JennySmith 2012-03-02 08:04
Am I understanding right that My Study Notebook is just a tagging and bookmarking system for the website only? You can't actually create links/cross-references online?

My scriptures are falling apart and I am trying to decide whether to buy a new set or move all my cross references and margin notes to the Gospel Library App. I was hoping to be able to do this online since my iPhone is cumbersome. How does one create a link, or cross-reference, online?

Regarding Russell's question, you can see your links if you click on the "links" item in the lefthand side of My Study Notebook under "Types". I *hope* this means that eventually those hyperlinks will be carried through to the online scriptures as well when we log in.
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2012-03-02 08:08
Cross-references are not part of the existing Study Notebook on LDS.org, but are planned for a release later this year. When that happens, cross-references you make in the Gospel Library app will work on the web as well.
 
 
# Benjamin 2012-05-15 05:58
Quoting Stewart Shelline:
Cross-references are not part of the existing Study Notebook on LDS.org, but are planned for a release later this year. When that happens, cross-references you make in the Gospel Library app will work on the web as well.

Cool. I can't wait until that's available. It's such a cool feature with the ipad, and I was searching for it on the web. I'll try to be patient :).
 
 
# Daniel Thomas Ditto 2016-04-12 07:28
I absolutely LOVE the things that have been done to make the scriptures more usable and more versatile. It is a marvelous blessing to all church members. I wonder if there is a way to prioritize the ability to cross reference using the scriptures on LDS.org. It looks like this project has been ongoing for at least 3-4 years now. I think that would facilitate revelation among church members. How many times have we been reading a scripture and another comes to mind? Having to go to the mobile app to create cross-references is OK, but is certainly more difficult and it makes the usefulness of LDS.org scriptures less usable. Thank-you for considering this.
 
 
# mark moffitt 2012-07-19 06:46
what is the significance of the "relevance" function of the scripture search tool? How is relevance determined and the order of the results listed?
 
 
# Imasurfer 2012-11-11 00:16
Also would love to see all or parts of the Gospelink collection on
LDS.org or as an IPad app
 
 
# Vookman 2012-12-09 19:06
Can I now, or are there maybe plans, to make it possible to create Links on LDS.org to my online scriptures? I truly love the ability to link verses together, but the way it is now I have to work on my iPad or iPhone if I want to be able to retain my thoughts and links.
Also, I would actually ask for a long term development path which would include scripture language tools, like a concordance and Lexical tools. There are some great tools that would be wonderful to add to help stud and preparation. Thanks.
 
 
# Dana Crowther 2013-01-02 09:23
Stewart, I am having trouble with the highlight and underline option. It does not appear when I click on the "journal entry" button. Any ideas? Thanks!
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2013-01-02 10:34
Dana:

Can you give me some more detail? For example, the URL of the page you were on, or where you were in the Notes and Journals web site?

SS
 
 
# Dana Crowther 2013-01-03 15:58
Yes, it was https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/1?lang=eng
I just wanted to highlight a passage in The Book of Mormon, but it doesn't show that option. It did a month or so ago when I tried it for my first time. Does that give you the background you needed?
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2013-01-03 16:03
Thanks, Dana. I just tried that and it worked for me. So some more questions:

1. What device were you using (tablet, smartphone, lap/desktop)?
2. Were you logged in (i.e., did you see the black bar at the bottom of the page)?
3. What browser (IEx, Chrome, FF, etc.) were you using?

SS
 
 
# Dana Crowther 2013-01-03 16:24
Ok, I got it. I played with it some more. I didn't remember it came up automatically when you highlighted something with the mouse to then highlight in a certain color. I was originally trying to highlight a passage in the "Introduction" section of The Book of Mormon. It appears that highlighting cannot be done in the Introduction section, but it is working in other areas. I believe my problem is solved. Thanks Stewart.
 
 
# Stewart Shelline 2013-01-03 16:27
Glad it's working for you now.

Also, you are correct that titles, introductions, summaries, lists, tables, footnotes and other sections of the scriptures are not yet highlightable. Effort is underway, however, to add these elements later this year. Stay tuned.
 
 
# Roger Birk Gardiner 2013-01-12 16:31
I love the scriptures app. One frustration is that when I click to add a scripture or quote to a notebook, the list of notebooks are not in alphabetical order but rather in the order that I added them. Is there any way I can adjust it so my notebooks appear in alpha-numeric order? Thanks!
 
 
# Morris Linton 2013-01-20 21:22
I enjoy listening to scriptures on my iPhone and iPad, but my iMac doesn't allow me to do that. When I click on "Listen," a small caption stating "Close Audio" appears above the chapter heading. But I get no audio. Is there a setting that I need to change to listen to the scriptures on my iMac. Does lds.org use FLASH or another program that I need to download to be able to listen to the scriptures? Thanks.
 
 
# Tiana Smith 2013-02-17 11:28
Is there a way to "save" the place where you are currently reading? I would love it if I could sign in to my study notebook, read some verses, and then save my location so that the next time I login, my notebook would remember where I was reading and I could pick up where I left off. Is that possible?
 
 
# Dori 2013-03-07 08:20
How do I retrieve my bookmarks from the previous day from the website on my pc? On my phone I have no problem, but when I try to attempt this from my computer by clicking on the bookmark link it does nothing.
 
 
# Lloyd D. Lee 2013-07-25 05:53
At the bottom of the page click open notebook. You should see your bookmarks on the left navigation bar after doing so.
 
 
# Lloyd D. Lee 2013-07-25 05:55
I would like to know how to update a bookmark from one chapter to the next on the desktop?
 
 
# Adam Olson 2013-10-07 05:42
I too would like to know how to update my bookmark from one chapter to the next. It seems like I can only do this if I have a portable device.

I set up a non church account for family scripture reading that we can all log into and see where we are last. My wife and I take turns reading to the children and this would be very helpful.
 
 
# L. Kirk Larsen 2014-07-21 21:16
How do I mark my place in the scriptures? I just want to pick up where I left off, i.e. the "old style" bookmark.
 
 
# Scott Thurman Smith 2014-08-06 14:55
Using Gospel Library, you can move a bookmark from one item to another by navigating to the new item and then opening the bookmarks and pressing and holding the bookmark you want to move.

lds.org does not allow that. You can create a bookmark but not move it.

You can add a bookmark on lds.org by clicking the bookmark button at the bottom of the screen and then click bookmark. You have to be signed into lds.org first then choose add bookmark. or as an alternative, right click on the page and choose Bookmark this page.
 
 
# Matthew Earl Randall 2014-09-26 12:22
Love the advancement in technology to make the scriptures even more accessible. We are truly blessed!

I can't seem to find the 'link' function when I am on my PC. I can link scriptures together on my android device but not the computer.
 
 
# Gordon Alexander Diewald 2014-11-10 09:22
I would love to see an update for the web page scriptures (or PC version) so that you can update bookmarks. I am currently just updating it on my phone and continuing to read on my laptop, but it would be nice if I were able to do it all from one place. Love the availability of the scriptures anywhere, anytime!
 
 
# Bruce Wallace Bennett 2015-03-17 08:49
When I use the links to the scriptures in the Gospel Doctrine manual, none of the footnotes appear in the scriptures. How can I get the footnotes to show?
 
 
# Heide Sharp 2015-03-27 13:11
n order to view the footnotes, you must select "Show Footnotes" found in the right side column. On smart phones and tablets, that option is at the bottom of the page being viewed.
 
 
# Sylvia Joyce Willett 2016-01-30 08:12
Is there a way to speed up the speaking when listening to the verses. When I listen I always end up reading ahead because they go so slow.
 

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