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July 03, 2022- #4842 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organists: Andrew Unsworth and Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
Music: Wiliam Croft
Lyrics: Isaac Watts
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”
Music: Traditional
Lyrics: Samuel F. Smith
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“National Emblem March” (organ duet)
Music: Edwin Eugene Bagley
Arrangement: Robert Cundick

“America, the Dream Goes On”1
Music: John Williams
Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“America the Beautiful” 1
Music: Samuel A. Ward
Lyrics: Katherine Lee Bates
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Battle Hymn of the Republic”1,2,3
Music: Willaim Steffe
Lyrics: Julia Ward Howe
Arrangement: Peter J. Wilhousky

  1. From the album Spirit of America.
  2. From the album Homeward Bound with Bryn Terfel.
  3. From the album America’s Choir.

The Spoken Word

Self-Control, Liberty, and Law

For over 40 years, Richard L. Evans was the voice and writer of Music & the Spoken Word. In 1956 he delivered a message that, today, feels as timely as ever. He began by quoting a line from a well-known patriotic hymn: “Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.”1 He then made keen observations about the relationship between self-control, liberty, and law:

“[These principles] are basic to life, basic to the eternal plans and purposes of the Lord . . . .  But sometimes we seem more to have remembered freedom than self-control, liberty more than the law.

“As we come together, live together . . . in a world where physically we come ever closer together, always we have to have self-control, always we have to live our lives with law as well as with liberty. Always we have to consider the rights, the privileges, the comfort, the convenience of others, with an awareness that we have no right to do anything we want, to take anything we want, or irresponsibly to say anything we want, or to befoul the moral atmosphere, or the water others use, the air where others are, the peace that others have, or their rightful privacy, or to live uninhibited lives. We have to be considerate of others always. Self-control, with law, is the only safeguard of liberty; and not the existence of law only, but respect for law, obeying the law—the laws of God, the laws of the land.

“[Acclaimed filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille] said this of laws and liberty . . . ‘We are too inclined,’ he said ‘to think of law as something merely restrictive—something hemming us in. We sometimes think of law as the opposite of liberty. But that is a false conception . . . .  God does not contradict Himself. He did not create [us] and then, as an afterthought, impose upon [us] a set of arbitrary, irritating, restrictive rules. He made [us] free—and then gave [us] the commandments to keep [us] free . . . .2

“To this great utterance we would add: The greatest threat to liberty is lawlessness. And the greatest assurance of liberty is respect for law. ‘Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.’”3

  1. “America the Beautiful,” Hymns, no. 338.
  2. Cecil B. DeMille, “The Ten Commandments and You” (Brigham Young University commencement address, May 31, 1957),
  3. Richard L. Evans, May Peace Be with You (1961), 125–26.