Essential Net Resources

First thanks to everyone for actually allowing me to write on topics unrelated to my blog. Hopefully I can live up to some of the excellent guest bloggers from over the past year. (Damon Linker was among my favorites.) One thing I’ve noticed of late is that my favorite series on Times and Seasons has been neglected. I speak, of course, of the essential texts series that was so enjoyable in the early days of this blog. Beyond encouraging those who’ve not read through those lists to do so (and add their own comments) let me suggest another useful list: Essential Net Resources.

I bring this up because I think a lot of people are always looking for information and sometimes don’t know how to find it. For instance, one of the greatest books for both theology and history was Ehat’s and Cook’s Words of Joseph Smith. Alas it is out of print and oddly wasn’t included in the last few Infobases from Deseret Books. (I’ve no idea if it is on their recent online version since I think it vastly overpriced.) Yet the other day, entirely by chance, I came upon W. V. Smith’s Parallel Joseph which has all the original source documents for Joseph’s various sermons. Combine it with Google’s site searching and you have a nice way of searching Joseph’s sermons.

Which brings up another great resource: G oogle. Many don’t realize this but by typing site: and then your search terms you can limit your search to just one site. Many browsers, such as Firefox or Safair, allow plugins to limit their search pane to the current site. For instance if you have a Mac and use Safari (and you really should be for the most enjoyable web experience) you can download Acid Search which easily gives you this capability. It’s a fantastic and easy to use resource for searching various reference sites. You can even program it so that the Google search pane will search any of those sites on demand.

A few other resources that I use almost every day. Then I’ll turn the time over to everyone else to make their suggestions.

First off the one everyone knows about is the fantastic church scripture site. I bring it up just in case there is someone here who doesn’t know about it and have it bookmarked. A few limitations – such as having the annoying footnote letters in the text making cutting and pasting a pain. But other than that a near perfect site.

However it is limited in only having one translation. And if you want more the Bible Gateway is among the best. Lots of different translations you can search across.

If you look on the sidebar of Times and Seasons you can find a few others as well. One that I find useful is Ben Spackman’s Book of Mormon Resources. It’s kind of an aggregator of various commentaries and other resources on the Book of Mormon.

Many don’t know that BYU has put up a rather extensive set of their library collections as scanned PDFs with a very nice Java interface. Moving from page to page is unfortunately much more cumbersome than it ought to be. But overall it is an extremely valuable site with lots of important LDS books.

There’s lots more I could add. But instead I’ll turn the time over to all of you.

28 comments for “Essential Net Resources

  1. I appreciate the plug, but it’s ironic you’d say that, Clark. Nearly all the positive feedback I get on my webpages comes from my Book of Mormon page, yet it gets so little traffic (under 5 unique ip addresses/day) that I haven’t updated it for a good while. My temple page, on the other hand, is close to 30/day. (I’m working on several things to expand it-a thorough Temple restoration timeline with sources, and a temple preparation FAQ.)

    Other resources.
    Institute manuals

    The NET bible, with 60,0000+ footnotes explaining the translation and beautiful composite satellite bible maps. (scroll down to the bottom)

    Multiple translations and Greek/Hebrew capabilities at the blue letter bible

    Few people know about the BYU Religion library . It’s been chopped back a good bit, but still has The Religious Educator and all the Institute manuals.

    Lots of good stuff out there, if people know where to look.

  2. Wow, my first post, drowned out by the Signature and Sunstone controversy. (grin) Just to keep some notice, as I’m honestly curious if others have any good links I’ve missed, I’ll give a few others.

    I feel a little leery giving this link, since it is hosted by a fundamentalist sect. But unless I’m mistaken the text of the Journal of Discourses used by Deseret Books on their CDs came from the same place. So if you are looking for the full text, you can get it here. Combine it with the Google site searching and you can quickly find that old JD reference you were looking for. They also sell them as a set of PDFs.

  3. It’s all in the title, Clark. For example, if you title a post “How Signature books leads to SSM,” you’re certain to get a flood of comments. :)

    Um, my own resources are already in the sidebar, under “Resources.” That’s one of the benefits of running the place. :)

  4. …having the annoying footnote letters in the text making cutting and pasting a pain.

    There is a free ASCII text file of the entire LDS scriptures available for free on the internet. I have used it for years when I need to copy and paste from the scriptures into a post or an email rather than trying to remove all of the extra footnote letters when copying from

    The text file is a little over 7 megabytes and I keep a copy on the USB JumpDrive I have on my keychain. That way I have it available on nearly any computer I happen to be using.

    The quad.txt file comes with an MSDOS program for reading and searching through it, but I find it more convenient just to open the text file in Notepad or some other simple ASCII text viewer/editor program.

    You can download the compressed zip file containing quad.txt and the MSDOS viewer from:

    There is another collection of free ASCII files of the LDS scriptures that has individual files for each book (Moses, Abraham, JS Matthew, etc..) and includes .gif files of the Pearl of Great Price Facsimiles as well. I prefer the all in one quad text file above, but if you are interested in this version you can find it here:

  5. There is an option to turn off footnotes on the lds web page. Also, for those using Firefox (the new Mozilla Browser), one can get a nice toolbar search engine that lets you search most sites worth searching, one can pick from Amazon, IMDB, Wikipedia, etc. The punchline is they have extensions for searching each of and

    Suppose I just use the LDS resource edition of the standard works (available on CDROM), which has the ancient language versions. What additional resources do these other Bible study sites get me?

  6. Just to add to Frank’s comments, you can modify Acid Search to search the LDS Scriptures, Bible Gateway or any other site. (I have it setup, for instance, to search my blog) I’d heartily recommend anyone still using Internet Explorer to switch to Firefox. That’s all I use when I use XP at work. (Which is actually where I do most of my posting to the net)

    Ben, one thing I’ve noticed about resources is how many excellent ones there are out there. The problem is that they so often aren’t known about. (Thus this thread) The trick is really “advertising” them. For instance I’ll fully confess my posting of links to my blog in various forums I’ve been in. Usually to relevant articles. Want to drum up more traffic? Simply note when someone is discussing something that your site has commented on and post a link. I don’t think that a bad thing, I hasten to add. I usually enjoy the references people provide in this fashion. Further there are a lot of web sites on my bookmark bar that arose from just such links. (I also have a lot of regular readers to my blog from such links)

    Oh – one more link I ought mention. Brant Gardner has some fairly good commentary on the Book of Mormon. They originally were written as a regular column for Scripture-L. (I used to be a regular poster there in the late 90’s) He’s put them together on his website and Kofford Books is publishing them so they’ll get a little more exposure soon. Probably a lot of the comment are old hat for many here, but I really enjoy some of his comments informed by his extensive knowledge of mesoAmerica.

  7. One site I often use both for work and for personal research is, which provides the entire Catholic Encyclopedia online. It’s the 1910 edition, but still handy and useful to get thorough background reading on a couple millennia worth of religious, theological, and historical issues. What I appreciate most is the up-front, full-steam-ahead, no apologies Catholicism. While the articles are very fair and cover many sides of an issue–read the article on us, for example, which is quite evenhanded–there’s no pretense of objectivity to oscure the authors’ viewpoints. You know where they’re coming from.

  8. Wow. That’s a fantastic one I never knew about. Thanks Will.

    An other good one is Early Christian Writings which has all the early Christian texts by date (yea I know – a lot of dates are controversial). Click on a link and it has all the online translations available. Combine this with the ever mentioned Google site searching and you can really find some good stuff.

    The same author has put together a Early Jewish Writings site which basically has the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha along with a few other stuff. Note that there is also an online Talmud linked to by this site.

    One more great resource is the online encyclopedia The History of Ideas. It was published in the 70’s, so is a little dated, but is a pretty good source for ideas and their history in everything from mathematics, to literature, to art.

    The Encyclopedia Mythica is a fantastic resource, especially if you’re reading literature that references myths or are wonder about that odd name you encountered. It happens sometimes when reading 19th century sources. But heck, it’s fun in its own right whether it has a direct LDS application or not.

  9. Rosalynde,

    Thanks for the 1828 webster’s dictionary link. I use the American Heritage Dictionary online quite a bit when looking up words. I just like dictionaries in general. I sure do wish the Oxford English dictionary was freely accessible online. I’d already purchased a CD-Rom version years ago but it is now outmoded by the operating system I am using. Useless. Sigh.

  10. I know, Danithew. One of the great hardships of not being a student anymore is not having access to the online OED through the squid proxy (or something) anymore. Sigh.

  11. I looked at the Encyclopedia Mythica ( a bit earlier this year when I was teaching a Germanic/Scandivanian mythology course. It has impressive breadth, but the few articles I read had some questionable points. It’s a handy and useful site, but I treat it with a bit more caution than other network sources. That being said, I can’t easily point to another Internet resource that better fills the role of world mythological dictionary.

    Another site I’ve used for English translations of mythological and religious texts is They had a few things that I couldn’t find elsewhere. I haven’t looked closely at the quality of their editing and translations, but I didn’t notice any major problems with the few texts I used.

  12. Jonathan: I have used the New Advent version of the Catholic Encyclopedia as well. It is a good source. However, it is worth noting that while it is honestly an out and out Catholic perspective on things, my Catholic friends have informed me that it is no longer even an accurate statement of Catholic teachings. (Note, I didn’t get this from some wishy-washy liberal Kerry-voting Catholic embarassed of the Church’s more “rigorous” doctrines, but from a pro-life amicus brief writing, Opus Dei retreat attending Catholic conservative.) Good source, but use cautiously.

  13. A couple more online Dictionaries that I have found useful/interesting:

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.
    The main reason I like this dictionary from is that it has two useful appendices: Appendix I: Indo-European Roots and Appendix II: Semitic Roots. Many of the entries in the dictionary have a link to their reconstructed Indo-European root in the Appendix.

    Webster’s Online Dictionary: The Rosetta Editionâ„¢
    This dictionary gives you a glut of information, both useful and trivial. Try it out.

  14. Vatican II changed everything I guess Nate.

    A somewhat disappointing, but still useful link is the

    Nate: Right, it’s the (ca.) 1910 edition. For the most part, the New Advent site has avoided any kind of updating, although the last time I checked, the article on infant baptism added a note from the late 20th century about new Catholic teaching on the topic which backed away from the 1910 edition’s explanation of why it’s not a problem that unbaptized infants don’t go to heaven. Usually I’m more interested in seeing what church doctrine was like in the Middle Ages, or what the difference between a monk and a friar is, but I’ll keep your note in mind. Or did your friends mean that there are even questions about the encyclopedia’s accuracy for its own time?

    There are several good sites with translations and editions of medieval texts, but the one I really, really wish they could afford here is the Patrologia Latina database online. (And to forestall the concerned comments about Migne: Yes, yes, I know, but I still wish I had access to the PL.)

  15. ” Or did your friends mean that there are even questions about the encyclopedia’s accuracy for its own time?”

    I honestly don’t know. I think that it got the nihil obstat at the time that it was published, but it was such a huge work that I would be shocked if it didn’t contain some historical and doctrinal inaccuracies.

  16. I really enjoy using for quotes from literature and contemporary writers, as well as some good references from dictionaries to style manuals.

  17. Incidentally, the article on Mormonism was embarassingly fair, especially given the time in which it was written. I have added that site to my list of favorites.

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