A new Book of Mormon app is available for Windows Phone 7. The Book of Mormon app is available as a free download in the Windows Marketplace.
The Book of Mormon app is geared toward a non-member audience largely unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon. It provides another way for people who are curious about the Book of Mormon to access a copy of it. David Staheli, a senior engineer on the project, says, “If anybody out there is curious, they’ll come along and see the Book of Mormon, and they can download it for free just to see what it’s about.”
The following screenshots are from the Book of Mormon app:
The Application and its Features
The project started in December 2010 as an experiment. Brother Staheli says, “We thought, ‘Why don’t we take what we’ve already done—the whole gospel library and all the scriptures—but simplify it a bit for missionary purposes.’” The goal was to make the Book of Mormon less intimidating to investigators, so the team simplified the user interface by removing some of the advanced features, such as footnotes.
The Book of Mormon app offers a lot of study-friendly features. Users can read or listen to audio of the text as well as underline, make notes, and bookmark their page. The application also offers a search function that will locate verses containing search terms.
One of the most significant features of the Book of Mormon application is the “About” feature on the homepage. This allows users to connect to Mormon.org to learn more about the Church. They can also call the missionaries directly using a toll-free phone number specific to the application, which is one way to measure the application’s success amongst investigators.
The Progress of the Application
Though Brother Staheli is not yet aware of how many calls have been made using the application’s toll-free number, he is keeping track of the impact of the application as measured in download numbers. Since its release a month ago, the application has had approximately 500 downloads, about one-tenth of the downloads for Gospel Library for Windows Phone 7. Currently, downloads number about fifty a week. Brother Staheli says, “That’s like handing out fifty copies of the Book of Mormon a week!”
These numbers are somewhat low to start, but as the application takes off, it will likely be extended to other platforms to increase its visibility in the market. The app has the potential to be a very economical and effective distribution of the Book of Mormon.
Pass it On
Initial promotion of the Book of Mormon app took place in the LDS Tech community with the team requesting that members tell their friends about the application. Brother Staheli hopes that the word about this app will continue to spread and increase its contribution to missionary efforts. He says, “I think the application is a success because, even if we have a lot of members (rather than non-members) downloading it, it brings missionary work to the forefront of their minds, and they are familiar with it, they know that they can recommend it, and pass it on.”
If you know someone with a Windows 7 phone, let them know about the Book of Mormon app. Even small actions like this will help carry the gospel to all the world.