Now more than ever, Latter-day Saint children have access to a multitude of resources The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created specifically for them. Among these is the Gospel for Kids app.
Gospel for Kids, which consolidates three previous gospel-focused apps for kids, has four main sections: Scripture Stories, Coloring Books, Sing Along and More Activities.
Scripture Stories features stories from the Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament and Doctrine and Covenants. Each story is designed like a children’s book and is narrated using language children can easily understand.
Coloring Books includes 21 different coloring books with pages that relate to various gospel and Church topics, such as scriptures, missionaries and service.
The Sing Along section has hymns, Children’s Songbook songs and other child-friendly gospel music. Each music video is customizable, giving app users the ability to replace the photos in each video with photos of their choosing. The words are highlighted and tracked with a bouncy ball, making it easy for children to follow along.
More Activities provides links to child-friendly resources and activities in the Gospel Library, Gospel Media and Family Search apps.
“The Gospel for Kids app is an exciting new resource that connects children to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Primary General President Camille N. Johnson. “I trust it will prove a blessing to parents and children who hunger for content to help families stay on the covenant path. I expect the music, stories and activities will invite the Spirit to attend to our precious Primary children.”
Gospel for Kids is a starting point in the effort to include children in the gospel in a way that makes sense to them. The app is meant to help children connect with Jesus Christ and the gospel at their level. Joshua Rich, the product manager for the Church over the app, explained, “Our hope is that this app provides an opportunity for kids to really step up and be able to learn and explore, and in some instances, even teach their families. It is a step forward to having more resources that are child centric.”
The app’s colorful and simple design allows children to navigate it by themselves. When Sara and Ella Thompson, 14-year-old twin sisters with Down syndrome, first downloaded the app, Sara spent some time showing Ella around the app, explaining what each section was and how to use it. As they continued to look through the app and interact with its features, Sara shared how to watch the scripture stories, color in the coloring books, and watch the singalong videos without any help from their parents.
Julie Thompson, the twins’ mother, said finding resources appropriate for her daughters’ developmental age has been a challenge. “Though they love the gospel and we teach them in our home, church has always been tough for them because of the inaccessibility of the materials,” she explained. Many activities are too hard for them to do, are too wordy, too busy or just too much for them to process. “We’ve tried for years to find appropriate material to aid us in teaching gospel principles. I think I’ve purchased every simplified scripture book available, but never found anything that was engaging and at an appropriate level.
“Things have become a little easier recently with the addition of videos and music on Gospel Library and the Gospel Living app,” Thompson continued. “My girls would engage for a little while, but not very long. And it usually required my involvement. But when we heard about the Gospel for Kids app and downloaded it — wow! Game changer!”
The Gospel for Kids app lets children take their gospel learning into their own hands and provides them with the tools necessary to share the gospel with others, Rich said. He shared how in the early stages when his team was testing the app, his 10-year-old son used the app to independently plan a Home Evening lesson about faith using Alma 32 from the Scripture Stories section, two songs from the Sing Along section and coloring pages from the Coloring Book section.
“It’s a perfect level for my girls and empowers them to search material themselves,” Thompson said. “They ask for it every Sunday and spend hours on it. They both love the videos, the coloring and the music. I am thankful for this new app, which is allowing my daughters to personally engage and learn the gospel without me as an intermediary.”