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December 1, 2013 - #4394 "The Way to Bethlehem"

Music & the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. December 1, 2013 Broadcast Number 4394.


"Christmas Bells Are Ringing"
Composer: Robert P. Manookin
Lyrics: Robert P. Manookin

"One December, Bright and Clear"1
Catalonian Carol
English Text by David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

"Away in a Manger"2 
Composer: William J. Kirkpatrick
Lyrics: Anonymous
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

"Ding Dong! Merrily on High" (Organ Solo)
French Carol
Arrangement: Andrew Unsworth

"Magnificat and Gloria Patri,"2 from Magnificat in D, BWE 243
Composer: John Rutter
Lyrics: David Grant

"How Far Is It to Bethlehem?"
English Carol
Lyrics: Frances Chesterton
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

"Christmas Is Coming"
English Carol
Additional Lyrics by David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Rejoice and Be Merry! and the DVDs Rejoice and Be Merry!Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square: Featuring Frederica von Stade and Bryn Terfel

  2. On the CD Glad Christmas Tidings: Live in ConcertSing, Choirs of Angels! and This is Christmas (Legacy Series). Also available on the DVDs Live in Concert: Glad Christmas Tidings (DVD) and Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, featuring Sissel And on Blu-ray Live in Concert: Glad Christmas Tidings (Blu-ray)

Spoken Word

The Way to Bethlehem

At this time of year, people all over the world turn their thoughts to 

Bethlehem, as did the shepherds of so long ago when they declared, "Let 

us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to 

pass" (Luke 2:15).


The ancient city of Bethlehem is located along an old caravan route a few 

miles southwest of Jerusalem. It was known as the City of David because it 

was there that the prophet Samuel anointed young David to be the king of 

Israel (see 1 Samuel 16:1–13). Today it is known as the long-foretold 

birthplace of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. It has been referred to as a 

"little town," and indeed it was 2,000 years ago. But from small things very 

often comes that which is great—"the hinge of history," one writer 

observed, "is on the door of a Bethlehem stable."1


Traveling to Bethlehem today would be a long and costly journey for most 

of us. Few are fortunate enough to go there; most of us will never see it in 

person. Nonetheless, our hearts and our actions can take us to Bethlehem 

every day. And very often the journey may be as important as the actual 



The way to Bethlehem—and to the King who was born there—is marked by

good thoughts and good deeds. We go to Bethlehem every time we turn 

the other cheek and respond with kindness instead of anger; we journey to 

Bethlehem when we open our hearts to others and let them into our lives—

even when it's inconvenient or difficult; we travel to Bethlehem as we set 

aside selfish pursuits and focus our thoughts and energies on the things 

that matter most; and we go to Bethlehem as we hold on to hope in the 

face of discouragement and tribulation.


The journey to Bethlehem is not just for a day or even a special season of 

the year. Truly, it is the journey of a lifetime. 


1. Ralph Sockman, in Spencer W. Kimball, "Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and 

Do Not the Things Which I Say?" Ensign, May 1975, 4.