November 26, 2023 - Episode #4915


Conductor: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Bells Conductor: LeAnna Wilmore
Organist: Richard Eilliott
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

“Sussex Carol”
Music: English carol
Lyrics: Luke Wadding
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Whence Is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing?”
Music: French carol
Lyrics: trans. A.B. Ramsey
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“I Saw Three Ships” (organ solo)
Music: English carol
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Still, Still, Still”
Music: Austrian carol
Lyrics: trans. David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Carol of The Bells”
Music: Ukrainian carol
Arrangement: Kevin McChesney
Featuring Bells at Temple Square

“Noe! Noe!”
Music: French carol
Lyrics: David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Music: attr. John F. Wade
Lyrics: attr. John F. Wade; trans. Frederick Oakeley
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

The Spoken Word

A Reason of the Hope

26 November 2023
Lloyd D. Newell

All good things, all important things, take time. That’s a truth that even children learn, and the lesson seems to come most powerfully at Christmas. Each year, children—and those who are children at heart—wait eagerly for the magic and wonder of Christmas. Excitement mounts as we count down the weeks, anticipate the days. Surely at least some of the joy found at this festive season comes from the fact that we’ve been looking forward to it for so long.

This pattern of anticipating the advent of Christmas has its roots in the very first Christmas. The birth of Jesus the Christ was anticipated for centuries. All eternity watched and waited for His miraculous birth, His matchless gift of love and light. And yet only a relative few were aware when the glorious event finally happened—like humble shepherds who kept watch over their flocks or faithful Wise Men who kept watching the heavens, waiting for that wondrous star.

Long ago, a writer expressed that longing with these words: “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”[1]

Even so, it can be hard to be patient when the wait is long. We may sometimes feel like giving up hope. We may lose sight of the starlight of our ideals as the world seems to grow ever darker. But like those Wise Men, we can keep our eyes on the heavens and keep following the light of that Star of stars. As long as the Light of the World illuminates our path, hope is never completely lost.

The Apostle Peter encouraged, “[Reverence] the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every[one] that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus Christ is the answer and the reason. He is the answer to life’s questions and problems and heartaches,[2] and He is the reason we are full of hope—at Christmastime and always.

[1] Speeches, Correspondence, and Political Papers of Carl Schurz , sel. Frederic Bancroft (1913), 1:51; cited in Spencer W. Kimball, “The Second Century of Brigham Young University” (Brigham Young University devotional, Oct. 10, 1975), 3,

[2] See Russell M. Nelson The Answer Is Always Jesus Christ,” Liahona , May 2023, 127.