New Year's Special (January 1, 2017) - #4555 Music and the Spoken Word
Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. January 1, 2017 Broadcast Number 4555.
“When in Our Music God Is Glorified”
Music: Sine Nomine
Lyrics: Fred Pratt Green
Arrangement: Emily Crocker
Music and Lyrics: John Rutter
Prelude on “Auld Lang Syne” (Organ solo)
Arrangement: Andrew Unsworth
Music and Lyrics: Marta Keen
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
“There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today”2,3,4
Music: John R. Sweney
Lyrics: Eliza E. Hewitt
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
“When the Saints Go Marching In”
Music and Lyrics: Traditional American song
Arrangement: John Rutter
Follow the Sun
Although we can do it anytime, the beginning of a new year feels like a natural time to reflect upon the past, even as we look forward to the future. It’s a chance to leave behind yesterday’s regrets, build on yesterday’s successes, and look forward to a tomorrow full of potential. There’s no reason to doubt that this year can be the best ever. Indeed, when a positive spirit ignites realistic goals, the resulting flame can fuel our efforts to accomplish great things.
That doesn’t mean we expect the next year to be perfect, of course. None of us knows exactly what is coming, but it’s safe to assume that this year, like other years, will have its ups and downs. There will be moments of happiness and joy, along with moments of heartache and worry. Where can we find the courage and perspective to carry on throughout it all?
A helpful example may come from a sunflower. This hearty and brilliant plant seems to be able to spring up even in less-than-ideal soil. For some reason, adverse conditions are not able to stop the sunflower. In addition, sunflowers are noteworthy for another reason: their young blossoms always follow the sun. At daybreak they face east to catch the morning’s first rays of light, and as the sun moves across the sky during the day, the blossoms follow it until it sets in the west. Then, overnight, they turn east again, ready to greet the next day’s light and repeat the cycle. In this way, the sunflower receives the maximum amount of the sun’s vital energy throughout the day.1
We can begin this year determined to follow the sun, to look to the light, to focus our best efforts on those things of greatest worth. In this way, even if something about our circumstances seems to put us at a disadvantage, even if conditions seem hostile, we can have sunshine in our soul—today and every day.
1. See Quentin L. Cook, “The Lord Is My Light,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 62–63.