About LDSTech Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Wednesday, 05 June 2013

"Today the information highway, with all of its means of communication, affords an opportunity for us to carry the mission with a thousandfold greater speed and ease than Peter, James, and John and the other intrepid disciples." —President James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1999, 18-19

Welcome to the official technology website for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are excited to share with you information and resources to learn more about how the Church is using technology to carry the gospel message to all the world.

The mission of LDSTech is to enable Church members to donate their time and talents to the building of the kingdom, to facilitate ICS (Information and Communications Services Department) in magnifying its efforts through community engagement, and to enable portfolios to reach their goals in hastening the work.

LDSTech knows that the best ideas are powered by discussion, and discussions don’t happen without a community. LDSTech is all about community involvement. It takes a village to develop, test, and publish each technology used in the Church, so we need your involvement!

This site provides opportunities for those who want to help with technological developments and includes information for those who want to know more about how to use them.

Learn how to contribute your time and talents on the Contribute page. [Change title from “Contribute” to “Join the Community” ?]

The Wiki page will connect you with a multitude of projects where you can volunteer your talents. Watch this broadcast video where engineer Tim Riker gives an introduction presentation on how to sign up for projects and get started as a volunteer.

The Forum page is where anyone can ask and answer questions addressed to the entire LDSTech community. While making relevant comments on blog posts is appropriate, you are encouraged to search the Forum page where your question might already be answered, and if it isn't, the Forum is the environment with the widest reach to find people who have answers.

Search past forum topics to see for yourself the camaraderie and culture of the LDSTech community and the developments being made day by day. The various topics encourage community discussion, support, help, and feedback about technology and how it helps us serve in the Church. Come join in for a chat!

Once signed up for projects, users can manage issues and project progress on the LDSTech Jira page. Review this Wiki page to learn more about JIRA.

The Projects page lists all the available projects underway that you can browse through and join. Be sure to sign up as an LDSTech community member to join projects!

You can also learn about how to become a Church-service missionary. The Church-service missionaries who work with LDSTech make up an irreplaceable force for good. Their contributions and accomplishments are invaluable.

Our purpose is to communicate to the public how technology is being used at the Church and all the behind-the-scenes efforts of so many selfless volunteers help us to achieve that purpose.

Other helpful links:

Stay current using our RSS feed and by following LDSTech on Facebook and Twitter.

 
LDSTech Church-service Missionary Profile: Sister Vicki Haws Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Brutsch   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013

vicki haws church-service missionary

When Sister Vicki Haws’s grandson turned 16, she found herself out of a job. Though retired, she was used to acting as a chauffeur and nurse to her two grandchildren while her daughter worked.

But now that her grandson could drive himself around, Sister Haws’ services were no longer necessary.

“I was sitting at my computer, indexing, and started to cry and thought I needed something to do to make life meaningful for me. So I got online and looked at the Church-service missionary opportunities,” Sister Haws said.

At first, she couldn’t find anything that fit what she wanted to do.

“I wanted to do something outside of the home. I just kept getting deeper and deeper and deeper, and I ran into an organization called LDSTech and had no idea what it was,” she said.

 
BYU LDSTech Chapter Teaches Provo Ward Relief Society about Technology Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Monday, 13 May 2013

sisters and helpers learning technology

In April an LDSTech Church-service missionary couple, Elder and Sister Eliason, held a Church-application training session for the Relief Society in a Provo Utah ward. First the sisters listened to a 25-minute presentation conducted by an IT student involved with the BYU LDSTech Chapter. The sisters intently followed as he instructed the class on how to download the Gospel Library and how to use several of its functions. He also pointed out proper etiquette for using electronic devices in Church meetings.

Following the presentation, 40-minute workshops were led by experts in technology, including students and young single adult members. These young people are interested in helping Church members discover how easy and effective it is to use Church apps on any technological device. The sisters sat at designated tables determined by the technological device they brought. The ratio of students to experts was about 2 to 1.

Several sisters in attendance expressed how helpful the training was and that they hope to continue with additional training sessions. Comments heard: “Thanks for a spectacular and useful class!” and “Best Evening RS class ever.” The excitement for an understanding of Church technology is spreading, too. Several sisters told friends and family members about the class, and now other wards want to organize a similar training in their own wards.

Receiving training on the many helpful resources available to Church members inspired these sisters to hasten the Lord’s work in their own hearts, families, and communities. When we increase knowledge about our resources, our ability to share the gospel improves. There are members in your ward who would benefit from sharing your knowledge of technology!

We suggest that you try using a similar training event in your own ward. Those who want to share and those who want to learn will both benefit. For training resources and information, contact Elder and Sister Eliason through email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
LDSTech Broadcast: Where Can I Turn for Help with Meetinghouse Technology? Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Thursday, 30 May 2013

Date: Friday, June 7, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
Topic: Meetinghouse Technology Help

*Click this button to watch the broadcast live at 12 p.m. MDT on June 7, 2013

Keeping up with the various technologies available for meetinghouses can be challenging. Fortunately, many resources are also available for stake technology specialists around the world to help them magnify their callings.

This month’s LDSTech broadcast will discuss where a stake technology specialist and others can turn for help with meetinghouse technology. This broadcast is geared specifically to stake technology specialists, but may also be useful for stake presidencies, high councilors, bishoprics, clerks, and secretaries.

The broadcast will include several guest speakers representing the various resources available.

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.

 
Learn More about the LDSTech Meetinghouse Technology Helps Broadcast Print E-mail
Written by Emily Fairchild   
Thursday, 13 June 2013



If you missed last week’s excellent broadcast about meetinghouse technology helps for the Stake Technology Specialist, watch it here.

Read over these acronyms used in the broadcast before you watch it. See our acronyms page for more. Below the acronyms you will find helpful links to popular items discussed during the broadcast.

FM – Facilities Manager      PFR – Physical Facilities Representative     

TM – Technology Manager      MLS – Member and Leaders Service     

GSC – Global Service Center      STS – Stake Technology Specialist     

PVC – Personal Video Conference      TSR – Technology Service Representative     

Mhtech – Meetinghouse technology     

Helpful Links

mhtech.lds.org redirects users to the Meetinghouse Technology page on LDS.org. The site provides video and instruction for technology in Church meetinghouses around the world.

The Global Service Center (GSC) provides IT support, distribution ordering support, local unit MLS support, and family history center support services.

In addition to the Meetinghouse Technology page, the LDSTech Forum page provides a vast community of users with experience ranging from technology experts to ordinary people interested in Church technology. Specifically, the forum about Clerk and Technology Support was mentioned in the broadcast.

To learn about the forum and how it differs from the Wiki, read the Self Support page. Anyone can read various forum topics, and those with an LDS Account can sign in and join the conversations, provide advice, or ask questions.

LDSTech Chapters are groups of people interested in Church technology who live near each other. Find out how to join or start one in your area.

Church-service missionaries provide invaluable contributions to the technological advancements in the Church. If you're interested to know more about Church-service missions, visit the opportunities page where you can see all available options and complete the LDSTech Missionary and Service Opportunities form. You can also volunteer your time and talents by joining projects on the Wiki.

If you have questions about meetinghouse technology or other topics, we encourage you to visit the forum. Otherwise email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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.

 
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