Music and the Spoken Word: Want to live a more meaningful life? Here are a few things to keep in mind

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given March 31, 2019.

As we get older, we tend to look at ourselves, others and the world around us quite differently than when we were younger. Hopefully, we’ve learned a few things, gained wisdom and friendships along the way, and done our part to contribute to the world. Sometimes we become more interested in things that before didn’t capture our attention.

For example, one man, now well into his 60s, spends more time reading obituaries in the newspaper. He reads not only to see if people he knows have passed away but also to learn more about life from people whose journey is now complete.

Obituaries, like funerals, remind us of our own mortality, that it’s only a matter of time until “our time” will come. Most of us don’t like to think about such things. But there’s value in learning about the good in other people, how they lived their lives, what they accomplished, their successes and sorrows. Obituaries also give us a chance to feel just a bit of what the mourning loved ones feel — some of their grief but also some of their joy in remembering a life well lived. All of this can help us live with more purpose and meaning.

That’s because when we read about someone else’s life, we can’t help but think about our own. When our final tribute is written, what will it say? What relationships and experiences will really matter then? How do we want to be remembered?

Some people call this keeping the end in mind . The simple truth is that if you know where you want to end up, your daily journey will be more purposeful and meaningful. How can we live a little better today? How can we make a little more difference for others? How can we bring a little more light, a little more joy into the world? These questions and others like them give us an opportunity to, in a sense, write our obituary in advance. And someday, when someone reads our obituary, perhaps they’ll remember us fondly and be inspired to live a better life.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM,, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143) and on the Tabernacle Choir's website and YouTube channel. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

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