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August 08, 2021 - Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
Guest Conductor: Anton Armstrong 

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”1
Music: German hymn tune
Lyrics: Joachim Neander; trans. by Catherine Winkworth
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“All Things Bright and Beautiful”2
Music: John Rutter
Lyrics: Cecil Frances Alexander

“Salvation” (organ solo)
Music: Gilbert M. Martin

“Climb to the Top of the Highest Mountain”
Music: Carolyn Jennings
Lyrics: Adapted from Isaiah 40
Guest Conductor: Anton Armstrong

“Antiphon” from Five Mystical Songs
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lyrics: George Herbert
Guest Conductor: Anton Armstrong

“Love One Another”3,5
Music and Lyrics: Luacine Clark Fox
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“How Firm a Foundation”4,5
Music: Attributed to J. Ellis
Lyrics: Attributed to Robert Keen
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg 

  1. On the CD America's Choir.
  2. On the CD Peace Like a River.
  3. On the CD Teach Me To Walk In The Light.
  4. On the CDs Called to Serve and Then Sings My Soul.   
  5. On the CD set The Missionary Collection.

The Spoken Word

Of Kindness and Rabbits

Decades ago, researchers measured the effects of diet on the heart health of rabbits. Not surprisingly, rabbits that were fed fatty foods developed cholesterol problems. But something else was surprising—one group of rabbits had significantly better health outcomes. They had eaten the same foods as the other rabbits, but they had also been cared for by a particular researcher—one who happened to be “an unusually kind and caring individual.”1 She didn’t just feed the rabbits. “She talked to them, cuddled and petted them.”2 She didn’t know she was altering the results—she was just being herself.

Suddenly this wasn’t just an experiment about genetics and diet. These researchers were learning that relationships matter too. A recent book titled The Rabbit Effect cites these findings and concludes, “Ultimately, what affects our health in the most meaningful ways has … much to do with how we treat one another, how we live, and how we think about what it means to be human.”3

In other words, “the rabbit effect” could just as easily be called “the human effect.” 

So many seem so angry as they interact with others—online and in person. Some are raging inside at the outside world, annoyed and impatient with people around them as well as themselves. Even many who aren’t openly hostile have simply become cold, distant, and impersonal. And we wonder why general health and happiness suffer, why peace and calm are so elusive.

Humans, perhaps even more than rabbits, need kindness and caring, affection and love in order to thrive. No one can flourish in an atmosphere of contention and animosity. When we are kind—even if others don’t return the favor—we carry a healthy inner peace, knowing we have generated light instead of heat. When we sincerely care for and about others, we spread compassion and helpfulness more freely throughout the world. And in the process, we create a healthier, happier environment for everyone.

If cuddling a rabbit can lower its cholesterol, imagine what can happen if we look around and reach out in simple, loving ways to people around us. That’s the power of human kindness.

  1. Robert Nerem, in Kelli Harding, The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness (2019), xxiv.
  2. 2 Harding, The Rabbit Effect, xxiv.
  3. 3 Harding, The Rabbit Effect, xxv; see also Gary E. Stevenson, “Hearts Knit Together,” Liahona, May 2021.