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: www.sitename.com 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.