Prepare for the Broadcast: How Church-Service Missionaries Help Build the Kingdom Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Friday, 05 July 2013

The number of full-time missionaries serving around the world has soared since President Monson announced that members can begin missions at a younger age. The response of faithful youth and couple missionaries accepting missions is clear evidence that the Lord is encouraging members to serve and share the gospel.

However, there may be some members who wish they could respond to those same desires to serve, and yet for one reason or another, find that full-time proselyting service isn’t an option. These individuals can still apply for Church-service missions.

It may be common knowledge that the Church has service missionary opportunities, but are you aware of just how many opportunities there are? Church-wide, there are more than 32,000 positions for Church-service missionaries (CSMs) to fill. Currently there are just over 16,000 of those positions filled, leaving more than half of the opportunities open to volunteers! Some of these opportunities even allow missionaries to serve from home.

The Church-service missionary website provides resources to help candidates understand qualifications, get started, browse opportunities, and fill out forms, and it offers additional material such as videos of missionaries sharing their service experiences.

The upcoming LDSTech broadcast will be a presentation on the opportunities and processes surrounding Church-service missionaries. It will provide visual aids to help Stake Presidents and clerks better understand how to manage their CSMs. It will also help worthy young men and women whose circumstances prevent a proselyting mission to discover new avenues for service.

The broadcast will cover the wide variety of volunteer opportunities as well as how volunteers can become Church-service missionaries for LDSTech. There are currently 62 missionaries serving LDSTech-specific missions. LDSTech offers full or part-time Church-service missionary opportunities for those single and couple missionaries who are interested in helping Church technology build the kingdom.

This broadcast will be the perfect introduction for those wondering how to take the first step to become a Church-service missionary, a great reminder for missionary coordinators and stake presidents on the missionary management tools, and a review for general Church membership on just how much Church-service missionaries can do! Mark your calendars for July 12, 2013 at noon MDT for the upcoming broadcast.

 
LDSTech Broadcast: Church-Service Missionary Opportunities and Technology Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013

Date: Friday, July 12, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
Topic: Church-Service Missionary Program

*Click this button to watch the broadcast live at 12 p.m. (noon) MDT on July 12, 2013

This month’s LDSTech broadcast is a presentation on the opportunities and processes surrounding Church-service missionaries (CSMs). It provides a demo to help Stake Presidents and clerks better understand how to manage their CSMs. It also helps worthy young men and women whose circumstances prevent a proselyting mission to discover new avenues for service.

The broadcast covers the wide variety of volunteer opportunities as well as how volunteers—young, career-driven, and retired—can become Church-service missionaries for LDSTech. There are currently over 60 missionaries serving LDSTech-specific missions.

This broadcast is the perfect introduction for those wondering how to take the first step to become a Church-service missionary, a great reminder for missionary coordinators and stake presidents about the missionary management tools, and a review for general Church membership on just how much Church-service missionaries can do!

Elder Richard R. Langford held positions in store operations, accounting and finance, human resources and payroll, and information technology. The last 12 years of his career he served as senior vice president and chief information officer for Movie Gallery which, at the time of his retirement, was the 2nd largest video retailer in North America. He served as a young missionary in the New York New York City Spanish mission, and has served two full-time missions with his wife in the Utah Ogden Mission Office and the Utah Provo Mission office. He currently is serving with his wife in the Church Service Missionary department in Salt Lake City.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To watch the LDSTech broadcast, click the "Watch it now" link at the time of the broadcast. If you would like to attend the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you tune in late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

 
LDSTech Church-Service Missionary Spotlight: Barbara Gardner Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild and Barbara Gardner   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sister Gardner sitting at her home computer

Stumbling Blocks Are Removed

Forty years ago, with a brand new degree in journalism from Iowa State University, Sister Barbara Gardner’s career began at the Des Moines Register. Her first assignment, in addition to being the in-house magazine editor, was to write the training manual for “hot type” operators to become proficient in “cold type” technology. Ten years later she conducted a beta site for WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) typesetting technology and set up the first west coast demand publishing application for provider directories.

“Thirty years have passed," Gardner notes," and today ‘toner’ never meets paper, and the entire world is WYSIWYG! Isn’t technology wonderful?”

In 1991, Sister Gardner and her husband, Miles, became Latter-day Saints, three months after their sixteen year old daughter, Brittany, “wheeled” herself into the kingdom after being friendshipped by the wonderful youth of the Church in their area. Brittany was born with spina bifida and has been confined to a wheelchair all of her life.

Through the years, Sister Gardner and her husband attended many senior missionary homecomings and developed a yearning to serve in the Church full time when they retired.

“We knew that we would never be able to leave home due to our daughter’s disabilities," said Sister Gardner. "While we understood we were needed at home, it made us sad—but it made Brittany even sadder. She felt like she was a stumbling block on our path of service.

“Can you imagine her excitement when I found a missionary opportunity that embraced my love of technology, an opportunity to dust off my journalism degree, and an ability to serve from home? This mission allows me to serve in the technology center of the church, Salt Lake City, Utah, while tapping away on my keyboard in Surprise, Arizona. Isn’t technology wonderful!”

Sister Gardner considers it a huge bonus that she isn’t required to give up any ward or stake callings as a Church-service missionary. “I can still be involved with the Early Morning Seminary program, teach Gospel Doctrine class, and serve in the temple each week.”

With LDSTech, Sister Gardner will be interviewing other Church-service missionaries and writing articles for the blog about the impact CSMs have on Church technology and hastening the work of the Lord. She is enthusiastic to use her talents to spotlight the talents of others and invite more members to consider service missions.

She said, “I am excited to serve as an LDS Tech Church Service Missionary, help with the LDSTech blog, put my writing skills to good use, and continue to embrace the technology that I love.

“It is my testimony that the internet is available to us, by design, as an instrument to bring the gospel to all of God’s children. It is my desire to play a small part in bringing the PLAN OF H_ _ _INESS to all the world.

“Oh, yeah, there’s an APP for that!”


If you're interested to know more about Church-service missions, visit the opportunities page where you can see available options and complete the LDSTech Missionary and Service Opportunities form.

 
LDSTech Broadcast: Feedback Improving Meetinghouse Technology Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Friday, 02 August 2013

Date: Friday, August 2, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
Topic: Feedback Improving Meetinghouse Technology

*Click this button to watch the broadcast live at 12 p.m. MDT on August 2, 2013

Meetinghouse technology has come a long way in the last few years, and we want to continue making it even better. Come learn about what the Church is doing to improve meetinghouse technology and how you can help!

The August LDSTech broadcast focuses on meetinghouse technology feedback, including:

  • How to give feedback
  • What happens with your comments
  • Common requests
  • Status of projects that are improving as a result of common feedback

Whether you attend or watch online, you have the chance to ask questions and give live feedback. The broadcast includes a panel of product managers who will present and speak to some of the solutions they are working on. They will answer questions at the conclusion of the broadcast.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To watch the LDSTech broadcast, click the "Watch it now" link at the time of the broadcast. If you would like to attend the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you tune in late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Live Participation

During the live stream of this broadcast you will have the opportunity to participate in interactive polls designed to gather answers and display the results in real time. At the time of the broadcast, navigate to pollev.com/mhtech on your computer or smart phone to contribute your answers.

Viewers can also ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

 
Updated Gospel Library app for iOS: Behind the Scenes Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

When the iOS Gospel Library team received the request for an upgraded app for iOS devices, they were eager to complete the task. It was time to do it. And it was time to develop and design it differently than it had been done before.

The app would need to be able to add new content, implement changes, and ship upgrades in a new way. Within 48 hours the team had drawn up plans for new development, design, and testing processes for the app’s structure, and came up with ten design principles to improve the app’s user interface.

The team posted a mission statement at their workstations as a reminder. The whole purpose for the Gospel Library app is to “deepen, broaden, and improve gospel learning and teaching by giving members mobile access to all published Church content in an easy and immediate offline experience.”

Most important was the platform redesign. To push out content updates without the app becoming unstable content is now added in a separate process; the user won’t need to install a new version of the app every time new content is published. For example, new issues of the Ensign, any corrections to content, other new additions to the library, etc., will appear the next time the user opens the app. When the next set of features or bug fixes is added, it will happen without interference.

The app’s platform also expands to fit new library content. Engineer David Weiss described how they mapped it all out. “We took actual note cards, one representing every publication the Church has ever produced, and made a place for each one in the system. If the Church were to make all of that material available, we’ve designed the app to fit it.” Mapping things in the real world helped the team create a better user experience.

This potential of the app is what excites developer Stephan Heilner. “When the app shipped,” he said, “my wife asked, ‘Well, now what are you going to work on?’ But we haven’t crossed the finish line. By shipping the app we’ve just crossed the starting line. Now we will keep working to improve the functions and features of the app.”

One of the feature details Heilner was particularly instrumental with was the content highlighting feature. After a concentrated effort on the highlighting feature, the app now highlights with a more realistic display of translucent colors, and the Bezier gradient style gives true scripture-marker authenticity. “It’s details like these that maybe not many users will notice, but they really make a difference.”


Weiss added, “We’ve found that people are annotating a third more than before. The designers on the team selected a more user-friendly typesetting that makes reading easier. They did a great job making the experience more realistic for users to study content.”

Throughout the development process there were over a thousand testers for the app. To help on such projects, volunteers should browse through and join projects on the LDSTech Projects page. When you join projects on LDSTech, you will receive notifications to participate in beta testing and other development. The testers for the iOS Gospel Library provided critical feedback for the app during the creation phase and they will be instrumental as the team keeps working.

Another great place to discuss the app is the LDSTech Forum. It receives almost-daily posts about various aspects of the upgrade and users are invited to go participate and learn from others about the app. To submit feedback for the Gospel Library app, send your comments and details about which device you’re using to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . On the other end of your email are Church-service missionaries Elder and Sister Gunn and Elder and Sister Smith, called to help manage and direct user feedback to all the right people and solutions. You can follow iOS Gospel Library pages on Facebook and Twitter for the latest app information and tips.

 
LDS Tools App Print E-mail
Written by Greg Duerden   
Monday, 25 November 2013

                                      

The LDS Tools app is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry to get your directory information, event calendar for your ward, branch, stake or district.. Clerks and executive secretaries can download additional membership data and reports for their ward, branch, stake, or district.

This app is available in many languages. It is available in the Internet 10 languages for both iOS and Android, as well as in English, Spanish, and Portuguese for the Blackberry.  LDS Tools is currently only available in English on Windows phones.

LDS Tools is available on LDS.org and includes the following in the on-line drop-down menu:  Notes & Journal, Calendar, Maps, Directory, Patriarchal Blessing, Mobile Apps, All Tools, Newsletters, Lesson Schedules.

Clicking on Mobile Apps lists:  Gospel Library, LDS Tools, Mormon Channel, Bible Videos, Book of Mormon, LDS Music, LDS Youth, Scripture Mastery, Ensign.  Each app lists the phones (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Window phones, etc.) or platforms (Apple and/or PC) they are available on. There are also EPUB files of Church Publications for E-Readers.

The main languages availability for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, for all mobile apps are: Chinese,  English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

New releases are promised early next year (2014) for iOS and Android to include a new maps menu, allowing users to locate meetinghouses and temples; and the ability to update their household visibility settings. (Note: In some countries, due to privacy laws, members are opted out by default, and members will have to opt in to make their information visible in LDS Tools.)

 
LDSTech Church-service Missionary Profile: Sister Kylie Knight Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Brutsch   
Thursday, 09 May 2013
service missionary kylie knight

Sister Kylie Knight knew she would serve a mission, but when and where was another matter.

“It kind of got to the point where I was putting it off,” she said. “My dad brought it up; he was saying I should do a mission before school. I thought school first.”

Sister Knight attended Westwood College in Colorado for a year, where she studied 3D Game Art and Design. Then financial issues put her education on hold and returned her attention to serving a mission.

“God has a way of telling you, ‘No, you need to do it this way.’ You don’t want to argue with God; He always wins in the end,” Sister Knight said.

She turned in her mission papers in fall 2011 and was called to serve a full-time proselyting mission in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. She began serving in February 2012, and after six months was transferred home to Utah to finish her mission as a service missionary.

“I was called out to Minnesota because there were people I needed to be with and be there for. Once I had fulfilled my duties out there, I was needed at home for other things,” she said.

 
LDSTech Broadcast: Introduction to LDSTech Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Brutsch   
Monday, 29 April 2013

Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time
Topic: Introduction to LDSTech

*Click this button to watch the broadcast live at 12 p.m. MST on May 3, 2013

Are you new to LDSTech, or would you like to learn more about using its features or how to get involved as a volunteer or Church-service missionary on LDSTech projects?

This month’s LDSTech broadcast will feature an introduction to LDSTech by principal engineer Tim Riker. He will give an overview of LDSTech and its purpose, the tools and resources available, and instructions on how to participate in the LDSTech community as a volunteer.

Included in the presentation will be information on using tools such as the wiki, forums, Google Groups, JIRA, Swarm, and the new iOS installer to assist with development, testing, and support of projects hosted on LDSTech.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To attend the LDSTech broadcast, click the Watch Now link at the time of the broadcast. If you would like to watch the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you arrive late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Remote viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

 
Ways to Watch General Conference Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Brutsch   
Friday, 05 April 2013

The 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will convene in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7, 2013, with general sessions each day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time.

People can watch or listen to conference using a variety of broadcast channels:

  • Conference.lds.org: Video and audio in 16 languages.

  • Mormonchannel.org: Video and audio in English only.

  • Mormon Channel mobile apps: Video and audio in English only.

  • BYU.tv: Video and audio in English only.

  • BYU.tv International: Video and audio in Spanish and Portuguese.

  • Facebook.com/LDS: Video in English only.

  • Mormon Channel on Roku: Video only in American Sign Language, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. (Search for general conference under the “Spiritual” category.)

  • Local cable and radio stations. Visit www.bonneville.info for broadcast information, or check local listings.
  • Check out this infographic (click to enlarge) for more information about general conference and technology:

     
    LDSTech Broadcast: Clayton Christensen Print E-mail
    Written by Rachel Brutsch   
    Friday, 22 March 2013

    Date: Friday, April 5, 2013
    Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time
    Topic: Clayton Christensen

    *Click this button to watch the broadcast at 12 p.m. MST on April 5, 2013

    This month’s LDSTech broadcast will feature a presentation given by Clayton Christensen at a devotional for Church employees in the Information and Communication Services (ICS) department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Blaine Maxfield, the Managing Director of ICS and Chief Information Officer of the Church, will conduct the devotional.

    Clayton Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth, and his ideas have been widely used in industries and organizations throughout the world.

    He is the best-selling author of nine books, including “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” which received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year in 1997 and was named by the Economist in 2011 as one of the six most important books about business ever written.

    More information on Clayton Christensen is available at his website, www.claytonchristensen.com

    How to Attend the Broadcast

    To attend the LDSTech broadcast, click the Watch Now link at the time of the broadcast. If you live or work near Riverton, Utah, you can also come to the Riverton Office Building (ground floor, Zion Room A) to view the pre-recorded broadcast.

    If you are attending online and arrive late or miss the broadcast, you can rewind or re-watch the recording at any time. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

    Asking Questions

    Because this event is being pre-recorded, Clayton Christensen will be unable to answer questions from remote viewers via Twitter.

     
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