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June 13, 2021 - #4787 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: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Let All the World in Every Corner Sing”
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: George Herbert

“Morning Has Broken”1
Music: Gaelic melody
Lyrics: Eleanor Farjeon
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“In the Garden”2
Music and Lyrics: C. Austin Miles
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Marche Militaire” (organ solo)
Music: Franz Schubert

“Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz
Music: Harold Arlen
Lyrics: E. Y. Harburg
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“How Firm a Foundation”3
Music: Attributed to J. Ellis
Lyrics: Attributed to Robert Keen
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Consider the Lilies and in the CD set Encore Collection.
  2. On the CD He Is Risen.
  3. On the CD Called to Serve and in the CD set The Missionary Collection.

The Spoken Word

An Opportunity for Excellence

This year has been unlike any we can remember—and one we’ll never forget. We’ve been stretched and tested, and in the process, we’ve learned more about ourselves and our world. It has been a year of adjustments, disappointments, and canceled events. Even worse, it has been a year of loss, as many of us have lost loved ones. Sadly, no one has been left untouched by this global pandemic.

As a college president in the Midwest said of his students at the start of the outbreak: “They will put up with absence and isolation . . . and they will redouble their efforts to achieve the best things. They are determined to convert this disruption into an opportunity for excellence.”1

That’s not the typical way of looking at disruption or tragedy. Most of the time, we just want to minimize the damage, heal as much as possible, and try to return to normal, even if we still have to carry some scars. But could there really be something better than “normal” ahead for us? Can we “convert this disruption into an opportunity for excellence?"

For example, could our experiences make us more compassionate or more loving—what the Bible calls the “more excellent way?”2 Perhaps, as we remember some of the isolation we felt during lockdowns, we will find ways to reach out to people who (for whatever reasons) might still feel isolated. As we reflect on the generosity of neighbors who shared with us when grocery shelves were bare, we can find ways to share what we have with others in need. As we think of the innovations, large and small, that have helped us push through our difficulties, we can thank the medical personnel on the front lines and in the laboratories, who worked day and night to facilitate everything from ventilators to vaccines.  

And perhaps most important, as we remember those who are no longer with us, we can consider how they would want us to go forward with our lives. What kind of excellence could we pursue in their memory?

Without question, the experiences of the past year will change us. We will never truly be “back to normal.” But maybe normal is not what we want anyway, as long as “an opportunity for excellence” is within reach.

  1.  Larry P. Arnn, “Thoughts on the Current Crisis,” Imprimis, Mar.–Apr. 2020,
  2. 1 Corinthians 12:31; see also Luke 10:30–37.