August 25, 2019 - #4693 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
With Bells on Temple Square, Leanna Wilmore conducting

“High on the Mountain Top”1,5
Music: Ebenezer Beesley
Lyrics: Joel H. Johnson
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“He Shall Feed His Flock”
Music: John Ness Beck
Lyrics: Scripture

“For the Beauty of the Earth”2
Music: John Rutter
Lyrics: Folliott S. Pierpoint

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (organ solo)
Music: Irish melody
Arrangement: Brian Mathias

“Allegro” from Concerto in A Minor
Music: Antonio Vivaldi/Johann Sebastian Bach
Arrangement: Fred Gramann
Featuring Bells on Temple Square

“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”3,5 from The Sound of Music
Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“Fill the World with Love”4 from Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Music and Lyrics: Leslie Bricusse
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CDs Called to Serve and Then Sings My Soul.
  2. On the CD Consider the Lilies and in the CD set Encore Collection.
  3. On the CD America's Choir.
  4. On the CD Showtime!
  5. In the CD Set Anniversary Collection.

The Spoken Word

Toward a More Civil Society

In the spring of 1945, with the world still staggering from the most devastating war in human history, leaders from 50 nations gathered in San Francisco with admittedly high aspirations: to create an international organization that would “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”1 Thus the United Nations was born, with a charter that also included the aim to promote human rights, international law, and a higher standard of living around the world.

Of course, there have been wars since 1945—although, thankfully, none as deadly as World War II. Human rights and international law are still violated far too often around the world. And while the overall standard of living is higher, too many people still live in substandard conditions. Yet these lofty purposes remain unchanged almost 75 years later; whatever critics might say about the U.N.’s accomplishments, one cannot accuse it of having mediocre goals. As one historian said, “The U.N.’s greatest challenge has been [the] wide gap between its ambitions and capacities.”2

But then, couldn’t the same be said of all of us? Don’t we all have hopes and dreams that lie outside—sometimes far outside—our current reach? If we don’t, if we only ever attempt things that seem doable, then we simply aren’t growing—and probably not accomplishing much that is meaningful. Whether our goal is to improve the world or just improve ourselves, isn’t it always better to aim high and fall short than to give up—or not try at all?

One journalist has observed that while the U.N. “has never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, it [has] accomplished a good deal nevertheless.”3  One way it has done this is by extending beyond its original scope of government leaders and enlisting the help of “civil society”: community groups, charities, churches—basically, local citizens who care. That’s instructive for all of us with lofty goals, including the goal of a more “civil society.” We need each other. We need to build bridges and open doors to those who share our high aspirations. No, we may not achieve every one of our hopes and dreams, but life’s greatest accomplishments come in the process of trying.

  1. United Nations, Charter of the United Nations, Oct. 24, 1945,
  2. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction (2008), 3.
  3. Stanley Meisler, United Nations: A History (1995), 390.