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January 31, 2021 - #4768 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.


Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Simple Gifts”
Shaker song
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Psalm 150”
Music: César Franck
Lyrics: Scripture

“There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today”1
Music: John R. Sweney
Lyrics: Eliza E. Hewitt
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Little David, Play on Your Harp” (organ solo)
African-American Spiritual
Arrangement: Andrew Unsworth

“I Whistle a Happy Tune” from The King and I
Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Arrangement: Sam Cardon

“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”2
Music: Attributed to Louis Bourgeois
Lyrics: William Kethe
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD This Is The Christ.
  2. On the CD Tree of Life.

The Spoken Word

Trying a Little Harder to Be a Little Better

Ardeth Kapp, now almost 90 years young, has always had a gift for connecting with young people. She knows, for example, that many kids don’t feel comfortable at school. They worry they’re not smart enough or good enough, and she wants to build their confidence and inspire them with a sense of their great potential. 

So whenever Ardeth talks with the children in her neighborhood, she teaches them two simple phrases that she feels can change the way they look at themselves and at life. Whenever someone asks, “How are you?” Ardeth encourages the children to say, “Better than I was but not as good as I’m going to be!” And to the question “What are you doing?” she suggests that they respond, “Trying a little harder to be a little better!”

That’s good advice for school children—and for anyone who is trying to overcome doubts or insecurities. Sometimes it can feel like a steep climb to get from who we are to who we can become. It helps to remember that we can be a little better today than we were yesterday, just as we look forward to being even better tomorrow. And the best way to get there is by trying a little harder each day.

Such a simple thing, really. But great things often come from simple things. No one climbs the mountain in one step. Giant leaps and bold steps usually consist of a series of small choices in the right direction. The little things we do each day lift us higher and higher, bringing us ever closer to the glorious summit. 

So the next time someone asks, “How are you?” you might remember Ardeth’s wise words and think not just about how you are or how you have been but how you’re going to be! And while there are many appropriate ways to respond to a question like “What are you doing?” the right answer can always include “I’m trying a little harder to be a little better.” 


  1.  See Morgan Jones, “What I Learned from Spending a Morning with Former Young Women General President Ardeth Kapp,” LDS Living, Feb. 4, 2020,