"Note that nearly one third of all scripture references are from the New Testament." Sure, but if current trends continue that will not continue to be the case.
The author should look at byu’s citation index. It is a website and mobile app that covers general conference addresses back to 1942. Additionally, scriptures are indexed to these talks and to the Journal of Discourses already.
That huge blue spike starting in 1985 is significant. That's the year Pres. Ezra Taft Benson became the prophet, following the death of Pres. Kimball. He started his tenure with a bang, declaring that the Book of Mormon would cover the earth 'like a flood'. He emphasized the Prophet Joseph Smith's declaration that "the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion." Is it any wonder that this particular book has been increasingly mentioned in Conference?
I would love to see how many times the word “promise” or “I promise you” is used. It seems to be increasing over the years.
Great Work. I once started to make a list of all the illiteration in Neil A Maxwells’s talks. I didn’t have the knowledge that you have or I might have continued. I’m hoping somebody will do this someday. Each alliteration is like a min sermon and very memorable, which of course was his iintent. Just a thought.
Speaking of normalization, it might be worthwhile to normalize the number of references taken from a particular work according to the number of words or verses or chapters or pages in that work.
I would be very interested to see the trend line for How many times in church history that the words "second Coming" are spoken of. I feel like the trend would show more as we draw closer to this current year.
I wonder if the sheer number of talks would be better if normalized by how long they were an apostle. The apostles that passed at younger ages will by default have fewer total talks but perhaps would be closer to the top if represented as number of talks over time or something similar.
Excellent work, thank you for compiling and sharing the information.Do you follow Nathan Yau's "FlowingData.com" site? He's an inspiration for visualizing data.
Thank you for this study. It's very interesting to see what scriptures were most used. In addition to the topics addressed, I would love a study done of the music performed by the Tabernacle Choir at General Conference. What hymns were most sung over the last 48 years would be very informative.
I have always enjoyed seeing analysis of scriptures. It may not lead to deep spiritual changes, but it is fun.
Sort of like studying the meanings of numbers used in scripture. May be uplifting sub-context to a verse but not its primary message. ( think 3, 12, 42, etc)
I have always thought it would be interesting to compile a list of "superlatives" from General Conference. For example, phrases like, "the most important...", or "the best...", or "the finest...". This would give us an overview of what subjects to which the brethren give topmost consideration.
Good work. Now track subjects of talks. Over the decades I have watched subjects change from Word of Wisdom, food storage, women not working outside the home to the Atonement, temple work for kindred dead and temple attendance. We have become a more spiritually mature church and have moved from temporal subjects to spiritual subjects. It would be nice to see how that perspective have shifted over the years.
Wow! Very interesting.
Thanks for sharing your insight -- very interesting!
This fascinating study clearly illustrates something which always saddens me: the lack of knowledge of and appreciation for the Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price on the part of so many members of the Church. These bodies of scriptures are an important part of our spiritual roots.
Dear Scott, As the French say, "if you did not exist, someone would have to invent you! :-)." This is a great contribution to uplifting our spirits in relation to the General Conference. Many thanks!
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