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Music and the Spoken Word: How to make the new year even better than 2018

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 Dec. 30, 2018.

As we close the calendars on one year, we open them to another. We reflect on days past and anticipate days ahead; we look back and we look forward every time we begin another year.

In reality, Jan. 1 is just another day — not that different from the other 364 in the year. But it has become a day to celebrate. Why all the excitement? Maybe it has something to do with the wonder and mystery of a new year. None of us really knows what the next 12 months will bring, what new experiences we will have, or what surprises lie in store.

Of course, sometimes we don’t like surprises. Uncertainty can be uncomfortable, even frightening. But it can also be liberating. A new year represents a fresh start, a chance to do better and be better, to accomplish things we’ve never done before. Yes, we may have made mistakes in the past, but the new year invites us to leave them behind. “That was last year,” it cheerfully declares. “Let’s make this year different!”

More than six decades ago on this broadcast, announcer Richard L. Evans observed: “Sometimes we overemphasize uncertainty.” A better approach to the new year, he suggested, is faith, work and patience. “We must be willing to work without knowing all the outcome in advance. … We must be willing to wait for final answers.” We must “shun false pride and pettiness” and trust that God “will not leave us alone nor let anything be lost, nor any good go unrewarded.”

Yes, we celebrate New Year’s Day as an expression of faith. We believe that if we are diligent and patient, every year can be better than the last. In that spirit, Richard L. Evans offered these words of benediction to the past year and welcome to the year ahead: “God grant us faith, work, patience and a little time to live the goodness of life with our loved ones, to live above the contentious controversies, and to see the eternal certainties beyond the uncertainties, and to walk in prayerful humility with Him who gave us everlasting life and who keeps Creation in its course" (see "From the Crossroads," 1955, 233–34).

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, 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 musicandthespokenword.org.

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