The Church is working on a beta program that will allow third-party developers to apply for approved access to the Church’s repository of gospel content. The access will require developers to sign an intellectual property license agreement and will specify what content is approved for distribution. The third-party developers will then receive an API that allows them to access Church content (such as magazines, manuals, scriptures, conference addresses, and other gospel resources) for use in their applications.
Currently, some third-party developers are using backdoor methods to screen-scrape the Church’s copyrighted content. This will no longer be permitted. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, the Church will require all third parties to have permission prior to using copyrighted material.
Note that this API access to the Church’s content will not extend to membership data. Membership data is always private and never integrated through APIs. Additionally, third-party developers are restricted from using LDS Account, which could give access to membership data. This restriction protects the privacy of membership data (a legal requirement in many countries) and safeguards how membership data is viewed and used.
The API released in September will allow third-party applications (particularly abundant in the mobile space) to leverage gospel content. The API will also automatically push updates to content when the original sources are updated.
If you have questions about the third-party API, send an e-mail to