How to Understand and Use the LDS Scripture Citation Index

Less Complicated and More Useful Than You Might Think!

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Many tools are easier to use than they initially appear. A citation index is one of these tools. Do not let the name frighten you.

Searching via citations is not exclusive to religion. Citation indexes exist for most subjects and you can search Google Scholar via citations as well.

Anyone preparing a talk, lesson or anything else where they need to use the scriptures, could benefit from a citation index.

You do not have to know what citation or even index means. Perhaps it is better if you do not, because the name alone can scare people.

What Is A Citation Index?

Simply a different way of finding something, think of it as you would a reverse phone directory. Instead of searching for someone’s phone number via their name or address, you first find a phone number and then look for the name or address it is associated with.

In a scripture citation index, you start with a scripture and you look for where someone has used that scripture in a talk, lesson or some other forum.

Why Do I Need a Scripture Citation Index?

You need a scripture citation index for the following:

  • You are assigned a talk based around a particular scripture and need to find teachings about that scripture from Conference addresses.
  • You remember hearing a General Authority explain a particular scripture but you cannot find the talk that contains the remarks you remember, but you remember the scripture.
  • You encounter a scripture(s) in your scripture study and you do not understand it fully. You want to find guidance on this scripture(s) from Church leaders.

Where is the LDS Scripture Citation Index?

Located on a Brigham Young University (BYU) website, the LDS Scripture Citation Index was created by two BYU professors and is still maintained by them.

Although an independent effort, the Church has actually endorsed it in a Church magazine. The Church itself does not offer a citation index.

Additional good news: the General Conference records go back to 1942, not 1971 like the Church’s website, so your research can extend back further than if you use the Church’s official website.

How Does the LDS Scripture Citation Index Work?

Access the LDS Scripture Citation Index website. It is divided into three sections:

  • Left column: Contains all LDS scripture including the King James Version of the Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation.
  • Middle column: Contains the overview and instructions for the site until a scripture is located, then it contains the text of the citation reference.
  • Right column: Contains the citation index tool.

Identify a scripture you are interested in such as Nahum 2:6. In the right column select the Nahum tile under the Old Testament and click on it. Select the number 2 tile for the second chapter and click on it. Several choices appear. Click on the title, Nahum 2:6. You will see the following:

Nahum 2:6

1945-O:122, Spencer W. Kimball

Foundations for Peace

In an October, 1945, General Conference address, entitled, Foundations for Peace starting on page 122, Spencer W.

Kimball referenced Nahum 2:6. The tile under the scripture is clickable. Click on it and the full text of Kimball's address will appear in the middle column with Nahum 2:6 highlighted. You can scroll up and down to read the full address.

What Else Can I Do With the LDS Scripture Citation Index?

Besides Scriptures, General Conference texts and the Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, you can also search the Journal of Discourses.

Look at the bottom of the right column. You will see four tiles:

  1. Citation Index
  2. Contents
  3. Speakers
  4. Search

The citation index appears by default. Click on Contents to see the full text of General Conference and the other resources mentioned above. Click on the Speakers tile and you can search alphabetically by speaker name.

Clicking on the Search icon allows you to search using keywords and refine your search by speaker, a time frame or a specific source.

Locate apps for your device of choice by searching the phrase, LDS Scripture Citation Index.