Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Online

I still amazed that I talk with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who do not have a login or password for As a genealogist, this also means that they have not looked at either. Even if many of those I speak with do happen to have a password and login, they have forgotten it which also indicates they do not visit these two websites. Looking at Google Trends, here is the graph showing website usage of since 2011. The graph sets the highest usage of the website at 100 and so the trend is usage that falls below the highest previous point.

If I compare to, here is the graph.

Without the comparison, here is the trend for

For, the highest point of usage was in February, 2013 which is counted as 100. Currently, the usage is running at 14, a significant drop in interest and usage. It seems to me that the trend showing here correlates with my own experience in talking to people about both the main website and The graph for show the distinct upticks in April and October for added usage around the time of General Conference.

To show another view of the online usage, I looked at the trend for, also starting in 2011.

In this case, the high point was right at the beginning of the graph for 100 and the current number is 34 with a definite uptick recently. But when you compare to, you get a different perspective.

If I add in, I get the following graph.

What I think is happening is rather simple. There is a distinct movement throughout the world to move from desktop, more traditional usage of computer devices, to mobile devices. People are far less likely to search for and use a traditional website than they were just a few years ago. In fact, in 2015, Google changed its search technology to favor mobile friendly websites over those not adapted to mobile usage. See Wikipedia: Google Search. Although both and have a certain amount of adaptation to mobile usage, neither website is really promoted for mobile usage and from a genealogical standpoint, the FamilySearch Indexing program is still not available in an online application and the program has to be downloaded to a desktop computer to work.

It is also interesting that searching for either "LDS" or "FamilySearch" on the Apple App Store does not result in finding any of the Church sponsored apps and the App Gallery on is hidden at the bottom of the webpages and virtually unused and unknown according to my experience. Searches for a "family tree app" have recently spiked according to the following graph from Google Trends.

Searches for "familysearch app" spiked in 2014, and finding a FamilySearch app is as easy as doing a Google search for the term. It seems to me that to increase user interest and use in both and, there should be a clearer pathway to mobile usage and mobile usage should be encouraged, enabled and promoted.


  1. If I put “lds" in the search box in the iTunes store I get the following list:

    lds hymns
    lds music
    lds tools
    lds doctrinal mastery
    lds coloring book free
    lds mobile apps llc
    lds youth
    lds art
    lds scripture citation index

    If I pick the first choice, the first four apps on the results are Gospel Library, LDS Tools, Mormon Channel, and LDS Music.

    If I pick any of those, then click on the publisher’s name (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) I get a listing of all of the thirteen apps the Church puts out.

    If I put “Mormon” in the search box, I mainly get music results.

    If I start typing in “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” as soon as I type in “the Church”, the full name appears as the second choice in the list of results and clicking there gives the same list of thirteen apps.

    If I type in “FamilySearch”, my result list gives:

    familysearch - tree
    familysearch - international
    familysearch - memories
    unofficial guide to

    If I type “Family Search” in the search box, I don’t get any results.

    If I type “Family Tree” in the search box, then click on the very first result of “family tree” the first app to appear in the list is FamilySearch - Tree

    If I use the App Store app on my iPod I get very similar results, although one big difference is that I get results if I type in “Family Search.” I don’t have to use “FamilySearch.”

    I have no idea why you did not get any results when you searched. You were not by any chance using the App Store on a laptop or desktop which gives only applications for those machines and is a very different animal than the App Store on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod even though the name is the same, were you?

    1. Yes, as a matter of fact I was. Thanks for the additional information. That helps a lot. Next time I will use my iPad to do some searches.

  2. I wonder if the decrease in use of has to do with the gospel library app. My guess is that most people used to go to to view scriptures, magazines, lesson manuals, general conference, etc. Now all of that is in the app.