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Introducing the General Conference, Improvement Era, and Journal of Discourses Bibliography Collections

Have you ever had questions like the following, while preparing a talk or article or when just curious:

[Question] Are there General Conference talks mentioning “many mansions”?
[Answer] There have been 79 General Conference talks that include this specific phrase, the first in a 1921 talk by Elder David A. Smith of the Presiding Bishopric, as reported in Conference Report: 92nd Semi-Annual Conference October 1921, pg. 141 and the latest in a talk by President Dallin H. Oaks titled “Divine Love in the Father’s Plan,” delivered at the Sunday Afternoon Session of the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 2022.

The phrase was also used in 25 talks included in the Journal of Discourses, including one by Joseph Smith: “Character and Being of God—Creation—Salvation of the Dead—The Unpardonable Sin—Resurrection—Baptism of the Spirit, Etc,” delivered at the Conference held near the Temple, in Nauvoo, April 6, 1844 after the death of Elder King Follett.

[Question] When were airplanes first mentioned in General Conference?
[Answer] The first mention of ‘airplane’ was in a talk by Elder John A. Widtsoe in the October, 1926 Conference and the latest was by Elder Dale G. Renlund in the October, 2022 Conference. There are a total of 160 mentions of ‘airplane,’ with only 9 of them by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf!

The first mention of airplanes in the Improvement Era was in an article by Dr. Joseph M. Tanner titled “Problems of the Age: Dealing with Religious, Social and Economic Questions and their Solution. A Study for the Quorums and Classes of the Melchizedek Priesthood” in the April, 1918 magazine.

[Question] What was the first talk given by President Russell M. Nelson in General Conference?
[Answer] In the Priesthood Session of the October, 1968 Conference, then Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Bonneville Stake, spoke on “Placing Our Homes in Order.” Since then he has spoken 108 times in General Conferences.

All of these questions were answered using three new collections that have been added to the Interpreter Foundation Bibliography database at

General Conference – Indexing the April, 1880 Conference and all of the Conferences since October, 1897. Access is provided to:

  • Transcripts of talks from 1942 through 2022
  • Audio recordings of each session from 1936 through 1970 and of each talk from 1971 through 2022
  • Videos of talks from 1971 through 2022 plus a few videos from earlier Conferences
  • PDF and image versions of the Conference Reports from 1880 through 2011
  • Content searches of all of the indexed Conferences

Journal of Discourses – Indexing all 26 Volumes, which were published between 1854 and 1886 and the 1,438 sermons by Presidents Brigham Young and John Taylor, “Their Counselors, The Twelve Apostles, and Others.” Access is provided to:

  • All of the individual talks (on BYUs Scripture Citation Index page,
  • Text, image, and PDF copies of each Volume
  • Content searches

Improvement Era – Indexing all issues from November, 1897 (Vol. 1, Issue 1) through December, 1970 (Vol. 73, Issue 12). Access is provided to:

  • The image and PDF version of each issue on
  • Content searches

These collections join our six other bibliography collections:

  • Hugh W. Nibley
  • The Book of Moses
  • Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS)
  • The Interpreter Foundation (both Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship and the many articles and other media on the Interpreter website)
  • BYU Studies (all issues)
  • Book of Mormon Central KnoWhys

For all of these collections (as well as the complete bibliography database), we provide indexes sorted by Title, Author and Chronologically, as well as Topical and Scriptural indexes for some of them. Except in a few cases, we do not store the documents on our site but instead provide links to the documents in any available media formats wherever they are located on the internet.

In addition, there are Basic and Advanced search capabilities, both within specific collections and for the entire database, providing answers to questons like those above. Advanced searches allow searching specific fields (author, title, content, a range of dates, etc) and also allow the use of boolean operators (quotes, plus and minus signs, etc) to more exactly find the citations you are looking for.

We’d appreciate your comments with any additional sources for these collections, suggestions of other collections to add, additional features you’d like to see, and any errors you encounter.

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