A New RSC Website: Harnessing Technology to Hasten the Work of Salvation

Editor's Note

Scott Esplin

On any given day, one of the most popular websites at Brigham Young University is accessed thousands of times. Teachers and students, individuals and families find their way to rsc.byu.edu, seeking to enhance their study of the scriptures and history of the Church. In 2019 alone, the site was accessed nearly a million times by users from over 200 countries. The most common day each week to access the site is Sunday, with nearly 10,000 people using its most popular features.[1] These include robust resources to augment Come, Follow Me study such as our archive of books, chapters, and articles about teachings and doctrine of the Church.

“We are blessed to live, learn, and serve in this most remarkable dispensation,” Elder David A. Bednar declared, speaking of the proliferation of resources at our fingertips. “An important aspect of the fulness that is available to us in this special season is a miraculous progression of innovations and inventions that have enabled and accelerated the work of salvation. . . . The Lord is hastening His work, and it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fulness of times.”[2]

At the Religious Studies Center, we are excited to contribute to this proliferation of technological resources that can accelerate the work of salvation by announcing our newly designed website. For more than a year, Religious Education technology specialists Marshall Morrise and Richard Crookston, RSC employees Brent Nordgren and Emily Strong, and a small army of students have been reshaping the way we deliver content. In early 2020, the new site was launched, maintaining the same URL (rsc.byu.edu) but updating and augmenting its utility.

Prominent features of the website include information about the more than 220 books published by the RSC in its forty-five-year history. The full content of nearly 200 of these books are available to read for free on the website, together with links to purchase the other titles. Additionally, two decades of our journal, the Religious Educator, are available, providing more than 600 articles to enhance study and teaching of the gospel. On the site, users can subscribe to the journal as well as sign up to receive free print copies of our Review magazine or a monthly electronic newsletter.

New features include popular media resources, including both the original and recently revised roundtable scripture discussions and a new podcast series titled “Y Religion.” The podcast features interviews with faculty discussing their latest research. Details about upcoming conferences, together with videos from past events, are also available.

We are pleased to extend the reach of Religious Education and Brigham Young University through this new website. Speaking of that reach, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, founder of the Religious Studies Center, commented, “I think we are just beginning; I think we are just barely sprouting out of the ground on this thing. I would hope we would do a lot more, become a lot better known and get more than your current 30,000 hits. I hope it is 300,000 five months from now, because there is an immense need for people to have their understanding of the gospel increased. I think we are all going to need our faith fortified, and one way we fortify it is by solid study. So I think for people to have opportunities, avenues, ways, channels, places to study and fortify their faith, to learn the wonders and beauties and marvels of the Restoration—I think you have just barely started on that, and so I would hope the RSC becomes much more widely known.”[3] We invite you to share with us in this charge.


[1] Statistics from Google analytics for rsc.byu.edu.

[2] David A. Bednar, “To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood,” Campus Education Week at Brigham Young University, 19 August 2014, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/to-sweep-the-earth-as-with-a-flood?lang=eng .

[3] Quoted in Thomas A. Wayment, “The RSC Turns Forty: A Conversation with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland,” Religious Educator 16, no. 2 (2015): 4–5.