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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?