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May 1, 2022- #4833 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
Featuring: St. Olaf Choir, Anton Armstrong, conductor

“How Firm a Foundation”1, 2
Music: Attributed to J. Ellis
Lyrics: Attributed to Robert Kean
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Light Dawns on a Weary World”
Music: Mack Wilberg3
Lyrics: Mary Louise Bringle
St. Olaf Choir joins The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square with Anton Armstrong conducting the combined ensembles

“Processional” (organ solo)
Music: William Mathias

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
Music: German chorale
Lyrics: Joachim Neander; trans. Catherine Winkworth
Arrangement: F. Melius Christiansen4
Featuring: St. Olaf Choir with Anton Armstrong, conducting

“Jesus Loves Me”
Music: William B. Bradbury
Lyrics: Anna B. Warner
Arrangement: John A. Ferguson
Featuring: St. Olaf Choir with Anton Armstrong, conducting

“Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends” 5,6
Music: English folk tune
Lyrics: Oliver W. Holmes, Sr.
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
St. Olaf Choir joins The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square with Mack Wilberg conducting the combined ensembles

  1. On the album Called to Serve.
  2. On the album Then Sings My Soul.
  3. Written by Mack Wilberg in 2016 especially for St. Olaf Choir.
  4. Founding conductor of St. Olaf Choir.
  5. On the album set Anniversary Collection.
  6. On the album Peace Like a River.

The Spoken Word

Tender Mercies

Events in life sometimes come at us so rapidly and randomly that it can be hard to find any meaning in them. So much of life can seem like a series of unrelated accidents, tied together with nothing more meaningful than mere coincidence.

But such a view of life underestimates the power of what the scriptures call the tender mercies of the Lord. The Psalmist wrote: “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”1

That isn’t to say that God micromanages the world or our lives. But He also does not ignore His children. A wise and loving Father, He finds countless ways—large and small, grand and mundane—to express His love and care. We don’t always notice His tender mercies, but He doesn’t stop extending them. If we look with the eye of faith, we can see His divine signature written on many moments of our lives.

In a busy intersection, a woman’s car stalled. Kind travelers a few cars back got out to help push her car to the side of the road, where they could jump-start the battery. That was a tender mercy. A teenage girl moved into a new neighborhood; her parents earnestly prayed she’d make good friends. The night before the first day at her new school, a neighbor girl texted and told her she’d save her a seat in the lunchroom. That was a tender mercy. An older man with a grim diagnosis received a phone call from his granddaughter just when he needed it most. That was a tender mercy.

But what of the hard times, the sorrow and heartbreak? Is God present in those moments too? Actually, many people find that He is most generous with His tender mercies during our hardest times—when we need them the most. Tender mercies rarely erase a difficulty, but they change the way we look at them. They open our hearts to the Lord’s quiet reassurances, comfort, and support. They open our eyes, and we see that, all this time, God was never very far away.

  1. Psalm 145:8–9; see also 1 Nephi 1:20; David A. Bednar, “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 99–102.