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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tech Gifts From The LDS Church

by Pete Codella (bio)

In case you missed it, this month The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released two pretty remarkable pieces of iPad technology.

During the First Presidency Christmas Devotional they announced Bible Videos. These are new videos that depict the life of Jesus Christ. There are about a half-dozen stories so far, each two to six minutes long. The production quality is excellent and the videos look great. You can watch them online and on the iPad. The mobile app, which can be found by searching for Bible Videos in the iTunes App store, also features an interactive map where you can learn more about Biblical cities and customs of the day.

On December 16th the Church announced Ensign for the iPad, which is found by searching for LDS Ensign in the iTunes App store. This is a beautiful app that delivers the power of a digital, multimedia magazine to your fingertips. The app takes the printed Ensign and turns it into something you can read, listen to, watch and explore. The issue currently available is the November 2011 issue, which features October 2011 General Conference addresses. Now, rather than just reading conference talks, you can watch a short video highlight of the speech, listen to the complete audio or go to the Church's website to watch the talk, with just a couple fingertip touches.

Think about the powerful teaching opportunities these new apps provide.

I have heard there are plans to provide Wi-Fi in LDS meeting houses in 2012, so it only make sense that the Church would devote more and more resources to apps and website delivery of multimedia content.

In addition to these mobile apps, this year the LDS Church has embraced Internet TV. There's the Roku Mormon Channel, as well as BYU TV. Our family only watches TV through the Internet. This year we were able to watch General Conference and other live events through Roku, and we've enjoyed receiving many BYU TV programs as well.

This Christmas season we have watched the LDS Bible Videos on the iPad many times. They make great bedtime stories and really hold the kids' attention. It has given us many opportunities to talk about the Savior and his birth and share our testimonies with our children.

Kudos to the digital strides being made by the LDS Church.

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