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January 17, 2021 - #4766 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Narrator: Lloyd Newell
Special guest Robert Sims
with Bells at Temple Square 

“Oh, Peter, Go Ring Them Bells”
Music and Lyrics: Spiritual
Arrangement: Howard Helvey
Featuring Bells at Temple Square 

“My Good Lord Done Been Here”
Music and Lyrics: Spiritual
Arrangement: Jacqueline Harrison; orchd. Paul Hamilton
Featuring Robert Sims 

“This Little Light of Mine”
Music: Spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
Featuring Bells at Temple Square 

“Ride On, King Jesus” (organ solo)
Music: Spiritual
Arrangement: David Kidwell

“Deep River”
Music and Lyrics: Spiritual
Arrangement: Hart Morris
Featuring Bells at Temple Square 

“Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You ‘Round”
Music and Lyrics: Spiritual
Arrangement: Lena J. McLin
Featuring Robert Sims

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Music: J. Rosamond Johnson
Lyrics: James Weldon Johnson
Arrangement: Roland Carter

The Spoken Word

All of Us Together

“A free society is a moral achievement,” wrote the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in a book published just months before his passing. Freedom does not come from economic policies or political power, he observed. It requires morality, which Rabbi Sacks defined as “a concern for the welfare of others, an active commitment to justice and compassion, a willingness to ask not just what is good for me but what is good for ‘all of us together.’ It is about ‘Us,’ not ‘Me’; about ‘We,’ not ‘I.’”1

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to exercise an abundance of caution, we could also use an abundance of care and compassion during these troubling times. The world seems so polarized, so divided, and yet our desires to pull together can be stronger than the forces that pull us apart. And they must be, because we need each other. The problems our world faces today will not be solved by individuals or isolated groups. We face these problems together, and we will find solutions together. To do this, we need to talk with each other, listen to each other, respect differences, and acknowledge our shared humanity. 

Sometimes we think complex problems require complex solutions. But the key to building a moral, compassionate society is surprisingly simple. It involves applying some ancient wisdom that is still relevant in our modern world: Love one another. Treat all with dignity. Share your blessings with the less fortunate. And give special attention to those who are sick in body and spirit. We “do these things,” Rabbi Sacks noted, “because, being human, we are bound by a covenant of human solidarity, whatever our color or culture, class or creed.”2

It’s true that living in a free society gives us some independence. But we still depend on each other. Preserving our freedom will require our cooperation and our compassion. Each of us plays a part in making our society moral—and free—by our habits of heart, thought, speech, and action. It is indeed “a moral achievement” to do what is good for all of us—together. 

  1. Jonathan Sacks, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times (2020).
  2. Sacks, Morality, x.