September 12, 2021 - #4800 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 Music & the Spoken Word is the encore performance of “9/11 | Coming Together,” a 20th Anniversary special broadcast commemorating the compassion, caring, and unity shown after the tragedy of 9/11. Interwoven with the previously-recorded music of the Choir and Orchestra and featured guest artist Kristin Chenoweth and narration by journalist Jane Clayson Johnson are interviews with people throughout the United States and the world as they remember the impact of 9/11.


Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Richard Elliott
Host and Narrator: Jane Clayson Johnson
Featured Guest Artist: Kristin Chenoweth

“Wayfaring Stranger”
Music and Text: American folk hymn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep”1 from White Christmas
Music and Text: Irving Berlin
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“Angels Among Us”2
Music and Text: Becky Hobbs and Don Goodman
Arrangement: Sam Cardon
Guest Artist: Kristin Chenoweth

“You Raise Me Up”
Music: Rolf Løvland
Text: Brendon Graham
Arrangement: Nathan Hofheins

“One Person” from Dear World
Music and Text: Jerry Herman
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Peace Like a River”1
Music and Text: African-American spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”3
Music and Text: African-American spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Peace Like a River.
  2. On the CD Angels Among Us.
  3. A version of song is found on Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Spoken Word

9/11: Coming Together
A 20th Anniversary Commemoration
Hosted by Jane Clayson Johnson, with guest artist Kristin Chenoweth

[This is the full script of Jane Clayson Johnson’s narration shown with the music of the program listed in sequence. See below for a link to a shorter version.]

Choir and Orchestra: “Wayfaring Stranger”

I’m here in Essex County, New Jersey at the Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial, overlooking Manhattan Island. On that morning, twenty years ago, I was in the city, co-anchoring a national network news program. As live reports of the attacks went out, the world turned its eyes to the twin towers. Never before had so many, in so many nations, witnessed a tragedy like this one—in real time. Families, neighbors, students, and co-workers watched the coverage side-by-side. And here, on this hill, thousands gathered to grieve and comfort one another in-person. Later, we learned that citizens from more than 50 countries lost their lives that day. Which explains the over twelve-hundred permanent memorials that have been dedicated to their memory—many of them outside of the United States. Truly, the wounds of 9/11 were felt by the entire human family. And, as we suffered together, seeds of compassion, mutual understanding, and tolerance began to grow among us. Join The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square as we look back, remember, and commemorate 9/11: a world coming together.

Choir and Orchestra: “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” from White Christmas

Even though the tragedy took place before our eyes, it was impossible to comprehend the scope of loss and the degree of suffering. Despite immeasurable sorrow, the experience of that September morning deepened our gratitude for the simple blessings of life. Through heartache and tears, people across the world found themselves counting their blessings and cherishing the gift of another day. Among the greatest blessings of 9/11 was witnessing people open their hearts to one another, discovering that there truly are angels among us, everywhere.

Kristin Chenoweth, with Choir and Orchestra: “Angels Among Us”

As we watched the planes go into the towers, saw the aftermath at the Pentagon, and heard reports of Flight 93, our hearts went out to the immediate victims and their families. But 9/11 also turned our attention to firefighters, policemen, paramedics, and other emergency personnel. Many of these First Responders were not on duty when the tragedy struck, but they answered a call from within. For them, rushing to the rescue was more than a job. It was a mission. And fulfilling that mission meant putting others’ needs above their own. Many accounts from 9/11 have inspired us to be better, but none more than the true stories of those who willingly chose to “raise us up” by the sacrifice of their safety and, for too many, their lives.

Choir and Orchestra: “You Raise Me Up”

Just how many people does it take to raise another up? It takes only one.

Choir and Orchestra: “One Person,” from Dear World

Wherever we live, whatever the circumstances of our lives—a measure of tragedy seems to find everyone on earth. Perhaps a lesson of healing from 9/11 can be useful to us moving forward. It is, simply, that in times of trouble and sorrow, what we need most cannot be held back by fear and hatred. Peace on earth, faith in one another, and love for all people must flow...even as an endlessly rolling river.

Choir and Orchestra: “Peace Like a River”

Looking back, the tragic attacks of 9/11 showed us something about ourselves—what we’re actually capable of doing to help one another. For example, when commercial airliners were diverted to Canada, local families opened their homes to stranded passengers. Across the world, a more gentle, humane spirit was evident in the public square—in schools, communities, and workplaces. Many remarked that people were just a little kinder, more tolerant, and patient. Remembering and reviving that aspect of September 11th is how we pay tribute to all who have suffered its effects. As one American leader said, “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”[1]

Choir and Orchestra: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”

In September 2001, rising above tragedy meant coming together. And for a brief moment, many found that the world could indeed be one in hope and unity. Believing that again now is the legacy of 9/11 for the rising generation—a legacy they can’t afford to be without, and a gift we will be blessed to give them.

  1. President Barack Obama, from Weekly Address: “Observing 9/11 with National Service,” August 27, 2011.