Great Additions to The Gospel Library

The latest edition of the Gospel Library (5.4.0) for iOS and Android has some exciting additions and improvements. The screenshots below are from an iPhone but are identical for Android.

In the Note Editor, undo and redo buttons have been added, which is a welcome addition. The bold, italics formats are now complete with the addition of underlining.

But there is more. It is now possible to indent and outdent a list, and text can be aligned left, center, right, and justified.

Another helpful feature is the ability to add a horizontal line and inserting a timestamp. The horizontal line will help in creating sub-divisions in a note, while the timestamp is useful when a note is updated, or a section is added.

Something that has always been available but has never discussed is using emoticons in Notes. An emoticon can convey nuances and can affect emotions, and they are fun to use. Tap on the smiley face that is to the left of the Space Bar and select the emoticon of your choice.

The list is extensive, so to see all of the formatting options on an iPhone in the portrait mode, slide the formatting bar to the left to see the remaining options. If you view the phone in the landscape mode, the entire bar can be seen.

The iPad in portrait and landscape mode shows all of the formatting options.

There has also been a massive increase in the maximum characters in a note. Up to now, the limit has been approximately 23k. This number was never an official limit, but a few years ago, through some of my contacts, I was given the above number. To be able to put 23k characters in perspective, I did a character count on a few conference talks and found they average 16-17k. Now the new limit of 500k characters can allow us to go crazy. This may seem extreme, but I have had incidents where I have copied and pasted an article that exceeded the previous limit forcing me to cut the material into sections.

Now for the most biggest news. The Note Editor now has hyperlinks. I am super excited to have hyperlinks now officially supported.

For several years I have pasted links from outside sources in my Library notes, and they worked (most of the time). But they were messy, long and not very attractive, and the biggest problem was while scrolling down a note, I would unintentionally touch the link and find myself outside of the Library, requiring me to jump back to the app. Now with hyperlinks, no mess, no fuss, no accidentally activating the link, and the link lowell, cool.

Some improvements also show up in the Search function. Search suggestions now appear based on where you are located in the Library. Here is an example:

  1. Go to Scriptures/Book of Mormon.
  2. Tap the Search icon at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Type in the search field “faith” (without the quotes)
  2. Tap the search suggestion “Find ‘faith’ in Book of Mormon.”
  1. Here are the results

The “Find on Page” feature has been simplified. Now tapping on the option goes directly to the page instead of loading results in the search panel. The final improvement is the date modified shows for notes on the Notes tab in search results.

Another nice touch is a general search for any related notes that appears in results; the date modified will show under the title.

Excellent addition to the Conference talks is topic tags are added to the bottom of the talk. While a great addition, I wish they were at the top of the talk.

These topics are the same that are in the “Topics” column in the General Conference library.

The final improvement is in the Doctrine & Covenants. Links to Revelation in Context have been added to the sidebar. The link icon is the same as used for the recently added photos and video links.

All in all, the update is a welcomed addition. The Gospel Library continues to grow and provide a productive environment to study the scriptures.

Yes, It Is All About Me! Listen to The Latest Cedar Fort Podcast

January 13, 2020

A few weeks ago, Cedar Fort Publishing interviewed me about my book. The podcast is now available on your favorite podcast app. If you do not have a podcast app, try Overcast or Castro. Do not want to download an app but want to listen to the podcast? Go to Cedar Fort directly and listen.

I think you will find it interesting how my book Digital Scripture Study for The Busy Latter-day Saint came to be.

Preparation for “Come, Follow Me” – February 4 – February 10

At the beginning of each weeks lesson it encourages you to “record your impressions.” There are several ways in which that can be accomplished.

  1. Write, using a pen and paper, in a journal
  2. Write, using a pen and paper, in a journal, then scanning it to a digital format
  3. Write in the built-in Note app in your digital device
  4. Write in a digital journal
  5. Write a note attached to the scripture in the Gospel Library

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the critical issue is retrieving the information in the future, so option one is not an option because of the difficulty searching through volume of notes.

Option 2 and 3 are workable but separate the impressions from the scripture.

Options 4 and 5 are the best options, if option 4 is a journal created in a Notebook in the Gospel Library.

For example, while reading Luke 4:14 you receive an impression about the “power of the spirit” and how it applies to your life. You select the verse, then create a Note and record your impression. Before saving the Note you also, tap on the “Add to Notebook” icon, and create a Notebook on “ The Spirit,” then save the Note.

Now you have your insight attached to the scripture and have created a Notebook about the Spirit, which will reference the scripture and the note you created.

To make this method even better. You can copy the impression recorded in the Notebook into your digital journal. The journal would be an excellent way, to pass on to your posterity, your insights, and provide an excellent backup. As in previous post I have mentioned that I highly recommend the Day One journal.

For you use iOS and have the Day One app, the copy and pasting process can be automated.

Tap on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner (the three horizontal dots), tap on “Share,” tap on Day One (you may have to swipe to the left to find it). If you have more than one journal, you will need to pick the journal you want the note sent to. You can also add tags at this point, then tap on Save.

To make the above process even faster, I have created a shortcut which will avoid having to pick the journal you want to send the Note to, and will add any tags you use.

You can download the shortcut here. Remember to download the shortcut you must be using your iPhone or iPad.

Now, in the future, when you want to review your impressions on the “spirit,” you can either do a search in the Gospel Library or go directly to your Notebook on the subject.

As always, I am very interested in your feedback and other methods that you use to record your impression.

Preparation for “Come, Follow Me” – January 28-February 3

There are two things that you can do to set up your Gospel Library so that you can easily access the lesson material for the week.

First, make sure to create a Bookmark for the “Come, Follow Me” manual. Go to the manual and open the lesson for the week. Tap on the Bookmark icon. For iOS it is at the bottom right of the screen, and for Android at the top right of the screen. Tap on the Plus sign and you now have a bookmark. In the future open the Bookmarks and tap on the Bookmark to go directly to the manual.

Second, setup your device so that it is easy to move among the three books that the lesson entails – Matthew 3, Mark 1 and Luke 3.

To do this use the Multi-screen feature in your Gospel Library. For iOS it is the 2nd icon from the right at the bottom right corner of the screen. For Android it is the the 2nd icon from the right at the top right corner of the screen. With Android, after tapping on the Multi-screen icon, make sure you then tap on Screen at the top of the screen.

To create a Multi-screen on either device tap on the Multi-screen icon, then the Plus sign, open the book and chapter you want, and you are done. Repeat the process for each book and chapter.

To open the books. Tap on the Multi-screen icon, then tap on the book you want to open.

The scriptures for this week are about John the Baptist and the baptism of our Savior. Go to Scriptures in the Library and then tap on Maps, then tap on map 11 and find “Bethabara” (If using a smartphone tap on the map so you can enlarge it). In the legend it is number 12. Notice the location of the place on the map. You could have also searched for “Bethabara” in the search function.

Now, open up map number 1. A look at the elevation of Jerusalem and then the elevation of the Dead Sea, then notice the area where Bethabara is located.

Now, do you see a connection between the elevation of the place the Savior was baptized and the scripture, “…he descended below all things?”

    

Creating Personal Collections

In the Gospel Library, you can create a personal Collection. Building a personal Collection will save you time as you study the scriptures.

For example, I create a Collection called “Scripture Study.” The Collection contains the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families, Bible Videos/Teachings, Maps, and Hymns.

Notice that most of the items are found in different Collections. By having a Scripture Study Collection, I have quick access to each of the materials I use frequently.

A Collection can only hold complete content. For example, I could have the entire October 2018 General Conference, but not one of the talks from that conference. Or, I could have the whole Come, Follow Me curriculum but not only January.

To create a Collection depends on if you have an Apple or Android device.

Apple

• While in the Library, tap on Edit in the upper right-hand corner.

• Tap on the plus sign in the lower right-hand corner.

• Type the name of the Collection.

• Tap on Save.

Android

• Tap on the options menu in the upper right-corner (the three vertical dots)

• Tap on Custom Collections.

• Tap on the plus sign.

• Type the name of the Collection

• Tap on Add.

To add content to your Collection is also device dependent. In the examples below I am going to add the Come, Follow Me curriculum to my Scripture Study Collection.

Apple

• Go to the Come, Follow Me Collection, and then tap on Individuals and Families.

• Touch and hold your finger on Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and Families

• Tap on Add to and a list of personal Collections will be listed. Notice that you can also create a Collection on the fly, so it is not necessary to create a Collection first.

• Tap on Scripture Study.

Android

• Go to the Come, Follow Me Collection, and then tap on Individuals and Families

• Tap on the options menu (the three vertical dots below the picture) on Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and Families

• Tap on Add to and a list of personal Collections will be listed. Notice that you can also create a Collection on the fly, so it is not necessary to create a Collection first.

• Tap on Scripture Study.

Hope you found this helpful.

New Features in the Citation Index

The Citation Index is a fantastic research tool for gospel study and preparing talks and lessons. It is the brainchild of Richard Galbraith and Stephen Liddle, both faculty members at BYU. It started as a website with mobile apps following.

The Citation library consists of the scriptural standard works, general conferences, Journal of Discourses and its Topical Guide, and the Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The newest version (3.9.7) has added several great features. The most exciting is the option to open scriptures and talks in the Gospel Library instead of the Citation Index. This option is off by default.

To turn it on tap on Settings, the gear icon in the upper left-hand corner. Settings are only available in the top level of the Citation Index and Library tabs found at the bottom of the screen.

Another improvement is three of the search terms are easier to use – “All Words,” “Any Words,” and “Exact Phrase.”

The power of the app is the Lucene search engine. Examples of the search terms are found in the Help Section which can be located at Search tab/Show Options/How to Search.

The app is easy to use, and with the newest features, it has become even more accessible. If you haven’t used the app, download it and use it. I promise you will be well rewarded.