Tutorial 1: How to use Collection Notes in Scripture Notes


tutorial 1 collection notes

Scripture Notes Tutorial Day 1: Your Director

Welcome to Scripture Notes and your first tutorial using the program.

Today’s tutorial will show you how to use the search feature to create collection notes. A collection note is like creating a scripture chain but better. You create a collection of related verses, and then a master note to go along with the topic. Sort of like your own topical guide with the ability to write and save your thoughts about the topic. The title of the collection note will then appear next to each of the verses that are part of the collection like this:

ViewCollection Notes

Getting started

Full Screen Mode Tip: Most browsers have a full-screen mode which hides the tabs and address bar and lets you maximize your workspace. This is really helpful for Scripture Notes and lets it feel like a full screen application. Most browsers use the F11 key to toggle full-screen mode. Try it in your browser right now. Just press F11 to exit full-screen mode as well. If that doesn’t work, do a web search for your browser name and “full-screen mode” appended to it.

Lets get started. Make sure you are logged into Scripture Notes in another browser tab so you can follow this tutorial and jump quickly to the app.

Yesterday you probably played a little with the site and hopefully tried out the features and used your basic verse notes while reading a chapter. Today we’ll start with searching.

In this tutorial we are going to examine a word that stood out to me one day regarding the Liahona. The word used to identify it was “director,” which is appropriate since it directed Nephi’s family on their journey. If you are a new member of the church and don’t know what the Liahona is, it would be well worth your time to read 1 Nephi 16 where this curious ball first makes its appearance.

Now, click on the search icon on the left menu bar.

Do a search for


(with an asterisk at the end) and Scripture Notes will find you 5 verses. The asterisk is a wildcard so it finds all variations after what you type. It is a very powerful tool. You’ll use it again at the end of this tutorial. Without the wildcard here, you would only find 4 verses.

Your immediate options are:

  1. Click the right pointing arrow to expand the column and read the verses and make notes.
  2. You can click the “Create CN” button to transfer these results to a new Collection Note and work on the collection of verses there.

In either view pane you can highlight text and mark it up as you desire.

Lets pick option 2 since we want to save this collection with a master note. Click the “Create CN” button.

When this new pane opens, click the arrow pointing right to expand it so you can view the verse notes.

Expand CN Pane

Read the 5 verses and note the use of the word “director.” Feel free to highlight it or anything else as you read.

In the space to the right of each verse, type any notes you want to that are specific to that verse.

At the top of the collection note, in the master note area, summarize thoughts that go with all the verses taken together.

To read a verse in context you can:

  1. Click the up or down pointing triangle to add the previous or next verse. You can then remove verses by clicking on the delete (minus) button in-between them.
  2. Click the verse reference link and open the chapter in a reading pane to the right of the pane you’re working in. (You won’t lose your place.)

verse icons

I strongly encourage you to experience these verses for yourself before I share my own thoughts with you. Experiencing revelation for yourself is powerful and there’s an “Easter Egg” here that the Lord put into the scriptures for those that search for it. So stop reading this post or pause the video, do the search, and see what’s unique in these verses. Come back when you’re done.

Did you complete that assignment??? 🙂

So what’s different about the use of the word director in these verses?

In 4 of the verses we see the director is clearly talking about the Liahona, but in Doctrine & Covenants 3:15, it’s talking about Jesus Christ being our director. Think about that. The only uses of this word in scripture is to mention the Liahona, except one mentions Jesus Christ as our director. This is to bring home the point that the Liahona is a symbol of Jesus Christ. In my Scripture Notes I have recorded this:

“Of the five verses in scripture that use the word ‘director,’ four are references to the Liahona, and one (D&C 3:15) is a reference to the Lord being the director. Just as Lehi’s family was led in the wilderness by the Liahona when they were faithful, the Lord is our director in our wilderness (mortality) when we are faithful. The Liahona is a symbol of the Lord. I also like that D&C 17:1 calls the Liahona “miraculous” because God is a God of miracles.”

You can copy/paste that text into your master note or type up your own note.

At the top, I titled my collection note: “The Lord is the Liahona in our Wilderness”.

I then tag this note with the following topics: Liahona; Director; Jesus Christ:Symbols of (Press Enter on your keyboard after each one). These tags are searchable later so use relevant keywords you might search for in the future. Note on the last tag, I use a colon to create a subcategory of Jesus Christ. On my tag tree it will appear slightly indented.

To enter a tag into this field, just type the word or phrase and hit enter. That will lock it in and you can then add another tag. Clicking the “X” next to a tag will remove it. After you save this note you will see these tags in the tag pane if you click the icon on the left to open it.

Click the category field dropdown to see what categories are available to you. None apply for this note so I won’t select any. You can select multiple categories if they apply and later on they will be valuable in doing advanced searches.

Unlike the basic verse notes that save when you click outside them, the collection note must be manually saved. You need to click the save or update button under the master note area.

Now there are some other verses that should be added to this collection note that don’t use the word “director” but refer to the Liahona as the ball.

In a search pane do a search for:


Add all the verses that mention the Liahona as a ball by dragging and dropping them into the note verse area of the collection note.

Drag Icon

Click and hold on the drag icon, and then take your verse and drop it into the verse area of a collection note till the area turns blue and drop it. You will then see a green circle check mark appear next to the save/update button notifying you that your verse was successfully added to the collection.

dropping a verse

Now do the same with a search for:


and drag it in if the verse relates to the Liahona.

When you do multiple searches from the main search window, each set of search results will appear in its own pane. You can close the main search window when you’re done. You can also refine a search within a search result pane or perform new searches. It’s very flexible.

When you are adding the verses in 1 Nephi 16, click the down-pointing plus triangle on verse 28 so you add verse 29 as well. Click save or update under the master note area to lock in all your changes.

Two Spindles

Lets take a closer look at this Liahona device. Feel free to start marking up your scriptures while you study. Just highlight text and the toolbar will appear.

1 Nephi 16

10 …And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.

26 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord said unto him: Look upon the ball, and behold the things which are written.

27 And it came to pass that when my father beheld the things which were written upon the ball, he did fear and tremble exceedingly, and also my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and our wives.

28 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.

The Light of Christ and Gift of the Holy Ghost

The Lord always has a purpose in the things he does. We know there are two spindles and one points the way they should travel. What is the other one for? It appears that the other one may be more of an instruction transmitter. Verse 29 indicates a plural “them” as having writing upon them, but perhaps that second spindle is primarily for instruction.

President Marion G. Romney gave a great talk in April 1977 General Conference titled, “The Light of Christ”. In it he points out that there is a magnitude difference, or phases, between the light of Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the more sure word of prophecy. I encourage you to read it at this link:


It seems to me that the first spindle represents the light of Christ in our lives, which is our conscience. It’s the first level of instruction which says “do this” and “don’t do that.” It’s a direct instruction implanted in us by Jesus Christ and all mankind have this gift unless they so harden themselves against it that they lose it (Moroni 8:28).

The second spindle would then represent the gift of the Holy Ghost which expands, instructs, testifies, and elaborates on truth.

Following their directions leads us to the more sure word of prophecy, Jesus Christ.

You may want to add President Romney’s talk link into your master collection note.

The “Eyes” Have It

If you haven’t clicked save or update on your collection note, you may want to now to protect the work you’ve done on it. Basic notes save automatically when you click outside of them, but collection notes require you to click the save button.

Now whenever you visit one of these verses in the scriptures that you have added to this collection note, and click on the small ‘eye’ shaped icon to the right of the verse, you will see all the associated notes with this verse. You could also highlight keywords in these verses like “director” and create your own footnotes with something like “D&C 3:15 Christ is our Director”. User footnotes popup as tool tips when you click on them. You can do this however you choose. With Scripture Notes you have multiple options.

That’s the end of the first tutorial example but not the end of your exploring this topic. If you want to continue your study of this topic, do the following.

Bonus Study Topic Material

1) Keep your collection note open and open a new search pane. Do a search for “direct*” (with the * wildcard on the end to pick up all the variations). This will find 68 verses (and include the ones we found above). Add appropriate references to the Collection Note where it teaches that Jesus Christ is our director. Just drag and drop the verses using the 3 horizontal bar icon, into the verse area of your collection note.

For example, look at Ether chapter 2, verses 5 and 6. Note the use of the word “directions” and “directed”. All through the scriptures the Lord is directing us. He is truly the Liahona in our personal wilderness. We just have to pray for direction and he’s always there.

Also Proverbs 3:6 says “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

You might add more tags to the note like “Direction”, “Directed”, etc… It’s up to you.

Look for other synonyms of direct like guide and lead. Look up compass* and you’ll find that compass is the root of compassion. Is there a relationship? Does compassion tie into compass?

2) If you have time, I encourage you to listen to this wonderful hour long podcast by retired CES instructor Mike Stroud on 1 Nephi 16 where he further elaborates on the Liahona and being a detective in the scriptures. Click here to open it.

3) Consider adding the remaining verses of Alma 37:38-46 to your collection note where Alma explains more about the Liahona. Just find one of the verses in your collection note and use the + buttons to add the verses.

4) President Monson also called Patriarchal Blessings a Liahona in our lives because it’s a personal guide. You might reference this talk in your collection note. (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1986/10/your-patriarchal-blessing-a-liahona-of-light?lang=eng)

Keep Going!

As you read the scriptures, look for words that stand out to you and open a new search pane next to your reading pane. Examine the search results and see what treasures you discover.

That’s it for this tutorial. I’ll see you in a couple days to cover the next tutorial. Till then, search the scriptures and save some collections. Start to experience the power Scripture Notes puts at your fingertips.

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About the Author

God, family, country, scriptures, soccer, Sanderson, disc golf, dessert, development. These are a few of my favorite things. :) - Oak Norton

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