The Tabernacle Choir Blog

New Collection Marks 25 Years of Lloyd Newell Writing the “Spoken Word”

Nearly every week for the past 25 years, Lloyd Newell has stood at the microphone in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and presented a message of inspiration to people in all parts of the world. As the announcer for Music & the Spoken Word, the longest continuously running network broadcast, Newell welcomes listeners and viewers to the half-hour program as well as sharing a message he most often writes himself.

Now a collection of over 150 of these messages has been published in a new book Celebrating Music & the Spoken Word: 25 Years of Inspirational Spoken Words.  A separate 2-CD set includes over 50 Spoken Word messages narrated by Lloyd Newell.

Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Newell work closely together each week “to create a broadcast that will touch hearts and encourage people to find greater happiness and meaning in life,” said Mack Wilberg. Lloyd is a dear friend and colleague, and I am pleased to see this book which is a tribute to his dedicated service over the years.”

Newell says that his desire is to bring joy, inspiration, wisdom, and light to a sometimes darkening world. He reports he is always on the lookout for material for his messages and is constantly reading, looking for stories, examples, hints, and commentary that will appeal to listeners. He finds ideas from friends and family, daily life experiences, books, and newspapers.  “The greatest challenge is preparing a message, and the greatest joy is delivering a message,” said Newell.

He was called by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor to LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson, in 1991 to serve as the announcer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly broadcast.  Newell’s charge was to prepare and deliver non-denominational messages that conveyed universal truth, enlightened, and uplifted others. He was told by President Hinckley that each should be an “inspirational gem.” He never imagined that he would serve in this position for more than a quarter of a century.

Lloyd Newell is a professor of Church History and Doctrine and an associated faculty member in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University.