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July 23, 2023 - #4897 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

“Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah”
Music: John Hughes
Lyrics: William Williams
Arrangement: Mack Wilber

“All Things Bright and Beautiful”1
Music: John Rutter
Lyrics: Cecil Frances Alexander

“Hornpipe,” from Water Music (organ solo)
Music: George Frideric Handel
Arrangement: Carl McKinley

"Love Is Spoken Here”2
Music and lyrics: Janice Kapp Perry
Arrangement: Sam Cardon

“The Handcart Song”
Music: John Daniel Thompson McAllister
Lyrics: John Daniel Thompson McAllister and Lucile Cardon Reading
Arrangement: Sam Cardon

“Faith in Every Footstep”
Music and lyrics: K. Newell Dayley

“Music in the Air”
African American spiritual
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

  1. From the album Peace like a River.
  2. From the album Love Is Spoken Here.
  3. From the album Come, Come, Ye Saints.

The Spoken Word

The Pioneering Spirit

July 23, 2023
Lloyd D. Newell

On July 24, 1849, John Benson was headed west, drawn by the prospect of gold in California. The American West was sparsely populated in those days. But on his way, John was surprised when he crossed paths with several thousand others who in the last two years had settled in the desert wilderness of the Salt Lake Valley. They insisted that he join them for dinner. Afterward, as John continued his journey, these pioneers stayed in his mind. “Where did they come from?” he later wrote in his journal. “How did they get here?"1

The answer to John’s first question is simple. They came from many places, mostly Europe, Canada, and New England. How did they get here? Well, that’s a much bigger question, and wagons, handcarts, and ox teams are only part of the answer.

What inspires people to leave the familiar in favor of the unknown? We might call it the “pioneering spirit.” It’s the spirit that whispers, “There’s something better out there—a better world. You can’t see it yet; no one has. But it’s there. And it will remain undiscovered until someone’s brave enough to go get it. Might as well be you!”

For the pioneers John Benson met, that better world was a place where they could worship and serve God in peace. But that’s just one example. There are many other kinds of pioneers worldwide who draw from that same well of determination. Their journeys take them into the unknowns of science, art, medicine, technology, communication, human rights, and more.

Take for example Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who in 1960 became the first female prime minister in history. To her “a better world” meant helping her homeland of Sri Lanka establish a national identity and stability after centuries of colonial rule.2 Or consider the pioneering spirit of Dr. Fe del Mundo, who founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. Her “better world” involved groundbreaking research in infant care and 70 years of bringing health and healing to children.3

How did they get here? Pioneers of all types are driven by the desire, deep in the human soul, to make a difference, to make the world better—even if only for future generations. Despite hardships, they persist and push forward to an unseen future, visible only with the eye of faith. That is the pioneering spirit.

  1. John H. Benson journal, July 24, 1849, Nebraska Historical Society,
  2. See “The World’s First Female Prime Minister,”
  3. See Mary Bellis, “Biography of Fe del Mundo, Noted Filipino Pediatrician,” ThoughtCo, May 15, 2019,