Who wrote the chapter headings in the Scriptures? Bruce R McConkie? What is the history of the development of the 1981 LDS Scriptures? Also, how do you define the difference between the Index and the Topical Guide? They seem so similar to me.
Here is an answer to your question prepared by Robert J Matthews:
I would be glad to tell you who did that, but first let me say one other thing. The Scriptures Publications Committee used many people for many things. It was somewhat agreed that it was a group project and that although individuals worked on certain things, it would not be noised abroad that this person did this thing and that person did another thing. So that is why you cannot find in any published works who did what. I think it would be no breach of etiquette or of confidentiality if I were to say with pleasure that Elder Bruce R. McConkie produced those headings. Now I don’t know anybody else who could do it so well. All of the headings are definitive and interpretive; they are a valuable part of the new edition of the scriptures. Occasionally people say to me, “We have a marvelous topical guide” (and let me say that there are people here who helped on the topical guide), “there are a lot of other good things in this new edition of the scriptures, but there is no commentary.” It struck me one day that the commentary is in the chapter headings. In fact, try this exercise sometime. Start with Genesis and just read the headings–Genesis 1, then Genesis 2, Genesis 3, and do this for about fifteen chapters. You’ll see that those headings are not only good for the chapter in which they are placed, but they are consecutive and relate well to one another. (Monte S. Nyman and Robert L. Millet, The Joseph Smith Translation, p.300-301)