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March 05, 2023 - #4877 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


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd D. Newell

Saints Bound for Heaven1
American folk hymn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Be Thou My Vision2,3
Music: traditional Irish hymn
Lyrics: Eleanor H. Hull; transl. Mary E. Byrne
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (organ solo)
Music: Irish melody
Arrangement: Brian Mathias

Hallelujah Chorus,” from Christ on the Mount of Olives4
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven

For the Beauty of the Earth5
Music: Conrad Kocher
Lyrics: Folliott S. Pierpoint
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

What a Wonderful World
Music and lyrics: George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

High on the Mountain Top6,7
Music: Ebenezer Beesley
Lyrics: Joel H. Johnson
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. From the album Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
  2. From the album America the Beautiful.
  3. From the album Heavensong.
  4. From the album America’s Choir.
  5. From the album Love Is Spoken Here.
  6. From the album Called to Serve.
  7. From the album Then Sings My Soul.

The Spoken Word

The Bitter and the Sweet

We all know that some days can be full of peace and happiness, while other days seem to be unrelentingly hard. As one six-year-old so wisely said, “You can have a no problem day, but you can’t have a no problem life.”1

What can we learn from this simple observation? Maybe one takeaway is that it doesn’t do much good to count up our good days and bad days. Life wasn’t meant to be a worry-free ride, and if our happiness depends on the absence of problems, most days will be disappointing.

What if, rather than dividing our lives into sunny days and rainy days, we saw life as one continuous cycle of seasons—where the rain is just as needed as the sunshine? Of course some moments are especially joyous, like the birth of a child, but this joy comes only after the stress—even the pain—of labor and delivery. When that child grows and eventually leaves home, we might feel a bit of heartbreak, but only because of the sweet memories we made over the years—memories we wouldn’t trade for anything. Thus the joy and the sadness, the bitter and the sweet depend on one another. Endings give way to beginnings just as beginnings give way to endings.

As much as we might want to skip over the tragedies and hold onto the triumphs, we can’t have one without the other. So, we come to appreciate the stark beauty of a snow-white winter, while also rejoicing when the snow melts and gives way to a glorious spring. After a long, hot summer, we welcome the brisk colors of fall, even as we recognize that those colors mean another winter is on its way. And the cycle continues.

Sure, we’re thankful for the occasional no-problem day. But we also know that good days are temporary and bad days, in time, become better. This larger perspective helps us carry on and hope on. No, none of us will have a no-problem life, but if we can learn to savor both the bitter and the sweet, we can still create a good life.

  1. Max Kenyon, in “Cougar Query: ‘You Will Find What You’re Looking for, So Look for the Good,” BYU News, Sept. 27, 2022,