December 29, 2019 - #4711 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Narrator: Lloyd Newell
With Dallyn Vail Bayles and Bells on Temple Square, LeAnna Willmore conducting

“This Little Light of Mine”
Music: African-American spiritual
Lyrics: Traditional
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
With Bells on Temple Square

“Arise, O God, and Shine”
Music: John Darwell
Lyrics: William Hurn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“The Ash Grove” organ solo
Music: Welsh melody
Arrangement: John Longhurst

“Vivace con Spirito”
Music: Jason W. Krug
Featuring Bells on Temple Square

“I’ll Begin Again” from Scrooge
Music and Lyrics: Leslie Bricusse
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Hold On” from The Secret Garden
Music: Lucy Simon
Lyrics: Marsha Norman
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Music and Lyrics: Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
Arrangement: Michael Davis
Featuring Dallyn Vail Bayles

The Spoken Word

The Best Days Ahead

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson.1 At first, that may seem like an overstatement. But while some days are clearly better than others, every day deserves at least the chance to be the best day of the year. That’s good to remember as we look forward to another year of “best days”—every day is worth living, and every day holds promise and possibility.

Emerson once wrote to his daughter while she was away at school: “Finish every day and be done with it. … You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. To-morrow is a new day; … begin it well and serenely. … It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays.”2

The ability to live fully in the present—while continuing to look forward to the future—is the essence of hope. Yes, the past can give us wisdom and perspective, but it can also be disheartening if we stay there too long. Tomorrow is precious because it is yet unwritten, unlived, and full of opportunity. That’s why a sunrise, a new day, and a new year are so meaningful. They give us hope for better days ahead.

Very often, this truth is best understood by those who have more days behind them than in front of them. One such man was known to say, “Every day is precious—what a gift!” Or as a woman in her 80s used to say, “I’m so grateful for another day of life.” Whatever our age or stage of life, we can all give thanks for the opportunities that come with each new day.

What is it you want to do this year? What kind of person do you want to become? Maybe you want to read a little more, eat a little better, be a little kinder, and feel a little happier. Perhaps you want to slow down and enjoy life a little more, or maybe you want to be more productive and spend more time on things of lasting worth. Whatever your hopes may be, your “best days” are still ahead for you.

1. Society and Solitude (1870), 157

2. In James Elliot Cabot, A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1888), 2:489.