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August 27, 2023 - #4902 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Bells at Temple Square, Conductor: LeAnna Willmore
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

“Light Dawns on a Weary World”
Music: Mack Wilberg
Lyrics: Mary Louise Bringle

“All Things Bright and Beautiful”1
Music: John Rutter
Lyrics: Cecil Frances Alexander

“Give Glory to His Honored Name”
Music: George Frideric Handel
Lyrics: Samuel Humphreys

“For the Beauty of the Earth”2
Music: Conrad Kocher
Lyrics: Folliott S. Pierpont
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Fanfare” (organ solo)
Music: William Mathias

“How Great Thou Art” (Bells at Temple Square)
Music: Swedish folk tune
Arrangement: Joel Raney
Featuring Bells at Temple Square

“Lord, through Changing Days, Unchanged”
Music: Henry Smart
Lyrics: Walter Russell Bowie
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

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

  1. From the album Peace like a River.
  2. From the albums Love Is Spoken Here and 9/11: Rising Above.
  3. From the album Showtime.

The Spoken Word

Constant Truths in a Changing World 

August 27, 2023
By Lloyd D. Newell

The world is constantly changing. That’s not new information; the world has been changing since the very beginning, and we’re not the first to notice it. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived more than 2,500 years ago, is credited with the observation “The only constant in life is change.” Looking back through history, you will find a story of constant change. Flowers bloom and then fade. Kingdoms rise and fall. People grow, age, and pass away. It has always been hard to find anything permanent in this world.

And yet there does seem to be something unique about the pace of change in our time. No, change isn’t new, but it feels like we have more of it today than ever before. Rapidly advancing technologies seem to accelerate change to the point where the world is barely recognizable from one generation to the next. Even when things change for the better, it can be unsettling when so much about the future feels beyond our control. We long for something stable, something constant, something we can hold onto. And Heraclitus answers that there is nothing stable, nothing constant.

But was Heraclitus overstating things? Is change truly life’s only constant? The poet Robert Frost gave a slightly different view: “Most of the change we think we see in life,” he wrote, “is due to truths being in and out of favour."1 Truth is not subject to the whims of popular opinion. It endures across the centuries and around the world. Ideals like integrity and decency become more valuable as they become more rare. Virtues like kindness and compassion have the power to touch human hearts in every age. Everlasting truths remain true.

And where do we find such truths? All truth, like all goodness, comes from Jesus Christ, who, as the Apostle Paul taught, is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."2 He is the Truth, and in Him we find truth.3 By Him, we steady ourselves in an ever-changing world. So take comfort and hope when things that once seemed reliable in our world prove to be unstable. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed,” the Lord said, “but my kindness shall not depart from thee.4

  1. Robert Frost, “The Black Cottage,” in North of Boston (1914), 54–55.
  2. Hebrews 13:8.
  3. See John 8:32; 14:6.
  4. Isaiah 54:10.