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Digital scriptures popular

Thirty years after the LDS Church released a new edition of the King James Version of the Bible, scriptures have settled into the digital age.

The official LDS Standard Works are accessible via electronic text and audio in several formats, affording students of scripture more options for customized and focused study.

While not everyone carries print copies of the scriptures with them at all times, the Standard Works can be found "on any desktop at work" with the church's online edition, said Rob Jex, director of scriptures coordination for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It allows you to have the convenience of instant access," Jex said.

Electronic text of the official LDS Standard Works can be accessed on the Internet or on CD-ROM, while audio can by heard via CD, online streaming audio or MP3 downloads.

Among such alternate formats, online scriptures are "by far" the most popular format, Jex said.

"The Scriptures: Internet Edition," found at, offers users several features, including marking and highlighting and the option to view verses without footnotes and cross-references.

But search capacity is the most utilized application. Users can navigate the scriptures by keyword or topic, which can assist in more customized and focused study, according to Jex.

"One of the key benefits is simply that people have a new convenience to find what they're looking for," Jex said.

Another unique feature for English readers is an online study resource that is unavailable in print. "Guide to the Scriptures," a combination of what is found in the Bible Dictionary, Topical Guide and triple combination index, is a study help found in all non-English language editions. An English version is available online.

"It's a condensed, three-in-one study help," Jex said.

Those navigating other resources in the gospel library, such as Ensign articles or conference talks, often find their way to the online Standard Works by clicking on scriptural references, which are all linked on

"People will read an individual verse or two because they clicked in from somewhere else," Jex said.

Searchable online scriptural text is currently available in 14 languages, while audio recordings are offered in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The church is in the process of converting more language translations into text and digital formats.

Several text formats for mobile devices and handhelds are available, but none that are currently offered by the church. Links to these outside resources, as well as official church content that fits these formats, can be accessed through under "Gospel Library" and "Media Formats."

The church is currently looking to provide the scriptures in a standard electronic format for mobile devices.

MP3 files of the scriptures, along with compressed files of music, general conference talks and church magazine content, can be found at An American Sign Language version of the scriptures is available on DVD.

Ultimately, the purpose of these "alternate formats" is to facilitate the same type of spiritual growth that the print editions do, Jex said.

"In essence, all scripture study leads to helping people receive personal inspiration and guidance in their lives."