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May 22, 2022 - #4836 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 and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Saints Bound for Heaven”1
Music and Lyrics: American folk song
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“If the Savior Stood Beside Me”2
Music and Lyrics: Sally DeFord
Arrangement: Sam Cardon

Finale, from Symphony No. 1 (organ solo)
Music: Louis Vierne

“Morning Has Broken”3
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
Music: Gaelic Melody
Lyrics: Eleanor Farjeon

“Look Up” from Lifesongs
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: Howard Walter

“What a Wonderful World”
Music and Lyrics: George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Redeemer of Israel”4
Music: Freeman Lewis
Lyrics: William W. Phelps
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. From the album Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
  2. From the album Teach Me to Walk in the Light.
  3. From the album Consider the Lilies.
  4. From the album Then Sings My Soul.

The Spoken Word

Indebtedness and Gratitude

Not long ago, a university researcher decided to conduct an experiment on gratitude. But her motives weren’t purely academic. This researcher is also a mother of four teenagers. She explained, “I wanted to learn more about how I can raise my kids to be more grateful in an era of entitlement.”

What she learned might be a bit surprising: gratitude is tied to feelings of indebtedness. We often think of debt as a burden, an obligation that must be paid. But the research study found that feeling indebted to God, acknowledging what He has done for us, “leads to increased overall happiness and well-being.” The debt we owe to Him is one we can never pay, and yet those who recognize that debt actually feel closer to Him, not intimidated by Him. What’s more, they are also more likely to reach out to others in acts of service and kindness. Rather than feeling burdened, they seem to be uplifted and inspired by their debt to the Giver of all good gifts.

The study was published in a major academic journal, but it also had a major influence in the researcher’s family. “In our house,” she said, “we don't just practice the feeling of gratitude; we practice acknowledging our indebtedness and expressing our gratitude through service.”1

We all owe much to the kindness and goodness of others. While we’re certainly responsible for our own choices in life, we are also indebted to those who have taught us, nurtured us, and helped us along the way. And, above all, we are indebted to our Maker for life and everything in it. Indeed, every good thing comes from Him.

The more deeply we feel that, the more inclined we are to see that goodness all around us. We start to see God’s hand not just in our lives but in others’ as well. In this way, we draw closer both to God and to His other children—our brothers and sisters in God’s wonderful world.

  1. See Katie Child, “Cultivating Feelings of Indebtedness to God Results in Increased Happiness, Desire to Serve Others,” Brigham Young University News, Mar. 15, 2022,