Enhance Scripture Study with the Scripture Citation Index


General Conference is our twice-yearly connection with modern revelation and offers us marvelous insights into the gospel. LDS.org has a great interface to access these talks at LDS.org/general-conference but today I want to show a lesser known method for finding General Conference talks to improve scripture study—including talks before 1971.

The LDS Scripture Citation Index is a website (and free app) which lists out every scripture reference made over the pulpit. We mentioned this in a previous article about enhancing your scripture study, but didn’t go into detail. These citations are organized into book-chapter-verse. So in the example image here, I’ve dialed down to Book of Mormon – Jacob – Chapter Three. Hovering my mouse over the citation for Jacob 3:1-2 expands the code to a full entry telling me that in the Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young referred to these verses.  Some of the codes are obvious at a glance, like the two references GBH (Gordon B. Hinckley) made to Jacob 3:1 in the April Conferences of 1993 and 1997.

Clicking on the citation will pull up the LDS.org text for the talk in a window on the upper-right when it’s from the Ensign or Journal of Discourses. If the talk is found in “Teachings of the Prophet ____” the link opens in a new window hosted by BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library. When the scripture is cited directly you should see it in the talk in red. If you click on the verse a window in the bottom-right will show a portal to the LDS.org copy of the scriptures with your verse highlighted.

The numbers alongside each book show the frequency of citations. It’s interesting to note that the New Testament is cited about twice as often as the other books. If you click on the person icon you can filter to a specific speaker and see where they like to cite. For instance, Ezra Taft Benson, who taught us to read the Book of Mormon more, appropriately cited the Book of Mormon more than any other book.

The free app version is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices (seems like it could use an update, but works on most devices). It’s an amazingly powerful tool especially for an on-the-fly Sunday School comment.

Special thanks to BYU faculty members Richard C. Galbraith and Stephen W. Liddle along with countless other indexers for making this tool available.

UPDATE: Here’s a video of Tevya showing and explaining how it works:

Update 4/26/2015: there’s an updated, beta version of the Scripture Citation Index. Perhaps an updated app is coming too?


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Ryan Combs
Ryan is a subject librarian for Religion at BYU. His job puts him in touch with many online tools to study the scriptures.Connect: , Job: Subject Librarian at BYU

5 comments on “Enhance Scripture Study with the Scripture Citation Index

  1. jpv says:

    The topical index is truly amazing (click on the pages icon, or access it from the menu on your mobile).

    I had been meaning to submit this to the site for awhile, glad you did.
    I did some JD proofing for this. What’s awesome is there are also mobile apps available for this:

    Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.byu.scriptures&hl=en


  2. Patty says:

    I got really excited about this but then realized it won’t work for the Kindle Fire. Only Apple things and phones. I thought I might even be able to load onto my computer but, well, not such the case. Maybe someday, people that make these amazing apps, will make them so everyone can make use of them. Some day.
    Thank you though. Love mormon life hacker.

    1. Patty, you actually can load the Android App on your Kindle Fire. Here’s some info about how to do that: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/lds-sci/gBsBr1uSmcE

      1. Patty says:

        Thank you. I got it on the Kindle Fire. Now if you can tell me how to get the Deseret Bookshelf reader to have an expanded page I would just be so happy. I had to change the resolution on the lap top but I don’t think I can do that on my Kindle. Hope DB will get back to me one of these days.
        Thank you again Tevya Washburn, may your days be happy and healthy.

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