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May 29, 2022- #4837 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 musicandthespokenword.org

Special Note: This week’s Memorial Day broadcast includes “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones,” as a memorial to former United States Senator Orrin G. Hatch, who passed away in April 2022. This is one of several songs written by Hatch with other collaborators that have been performed by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Music

Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
Featuring the Wasatch & District Pipe Band

“God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand”1
Music: George W. Warren
Lyrics: Daniel C. Roberts
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones”
Music and Lyrics: Orrin Hatch, Lowell Alexander, and Phil Naish
Arrangement: Keith Christopher

“Irish Tune from County Derry” (organ solo)
Music: Percy Grainger
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Brother James’s Air”2
Music: James Leith Macbeth
Lyrics: Scripture
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“A Flower Remembered”
Music and Lyrics: John Rutter

“Amazing Grace”3
Music: Traditional
Lyrics: John Newton
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
Featuring the Utah Pipe Band

  1. From the album Spirit of America.
  2. From the album Heavensong.
  3. From the album Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

The Spoken Word

To Remember and Be Remembered

Dale Adams has an unusual hobby—one that has brought meaning and perspective to his life while also honoring those who have gone before. Dale reads and preserves obituaries.

As something of a history buff, he discovered an online archive of old newspapers a few years ago. Now he finds obituaries in these newspapers—most from the 19th century—and uploads them to the family history website FamilySearch.org. It’s a quiet act of service for people he doesn’t even know, and it creates a more permanent and public record of their lives. Many times, he has found that the obituary noting a person’s death was the only documented trace that he or she ever lived.

“It’s the saddest thing in the world to go to somebody’s site and conclude that you’re probably the only other person that has visited that site. That shouldn’t happen to anybody. It gives me a warm feeling to add something to someone’s site that otherwise has little on it. It is a little like taking an artificial flower and putting it on someone’s grave.

So Dale is trying to change that. So far, he has uploaded around 30,000 obituaries—and counting. In fact, the pandemic gave him time to increase his pace. And, to his surprise, Dale has learned that he’s performing a service not just for the deceased but also for their descendants.

“I get a telephone call or an email message several times a week, often by people who see I’ve added something to one of their ancestors’ sites and assume that I’m a close relative. They’re hoping that I have additional information or can direct them in ways that can provide more information. And they’ll end up talking to me for an hour, and you can tell that those people are just desperately lonely.”

Dale’s simple act of service has shown that we all long to connect, to remember and be remembered. And in that sense, none of us is truly alone.1

Have you ever noticed how we tend to think about a person’s life differently after he or she is gone? Suddenly, things that seemed so urgent, so important, seem to fade in time.

For example, our obituaries will probably not list how much money we made, the size of our house, or what kind of car we drove. Instead, what remains, what lasts in the memory of our loved ones, is the way we’ve lived our lives, the people we’ve helped, the service we’ve given, and the love we’ve shown. Here’s a small sampling of thoughts about these memories:

“My family will often sit around for hours and talk about all our funny family memories growing up. We laugh and laugh and just enjoy remembering.”

“The older I get, the more I appreciate learning about those who have gone before me. I feel so grateful for my parents and grandparents and my extended family. I think of them often and I remember them.”

“I love going to the cemetery and putting flowers on the graves of my loved ones. When I was young I didn’t think it was important, but now it really helps me to remember them and tell my children about them. So many of the blessings we have today would not be possible without the people in our family history.”

  1. See Lee Benson, “Obituaries Have Added Zip to His Life—and Helped with Navigating the Pandemic,” Deseret News, Mar. 27, 2022, deseret.com.