Music and the Spoken Word: ‘The way, the truth and the life’

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This was given Oct. 6, 2019.

When we look at an acorn, we see more than an acorn. We know its potential to become a mighty oak tree and start producing acorns itself. It doesn’t bother us that this process can take decades or that growth is slow, almost imperceptible. We know that an acorn is not meant to remain an acorn.

When we look at a human life — including our own — what do we see? Life is not just about getting older. None of us is meant to remain forever the way we are now. Like the acorn, we were meant to become something greater. We were created for growth, improvement, and progression. And for that reason, we have an innate longing to reach for something higher. 

Of course, it can take us time to develop into our best self, the person who we truly want to be. We make mistakes along the way; we confront uncertainties and ambiguities. We experience both fear and faith, joy and heartache, belief and unbelief. We’re a lot like the tearful father who said to Jesus, “I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). But that shouldn’t discourage us too much, because authentic growth comes best when we, like that father, admit what we lack and seek heaven’s help.

Yes, life is a long walk on a long road, but it helps to have a vision of where that road leads. Pondering the purpose of life, reading holy words, and obeying divine law can provide that vision and guide our course. Learning from the lives of exemplary men and women can help us along the path. 

Ultimately, there is One to whom we can look, One whom we can trust with our whole hearts. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He shows us the way of kindness, forgiveness, courage, and compassion. He offers us the truth about who we are and why we are here. He promises us an abundant life — not just life here on earth but life everlasting with Him. This is what we were created for — to become, in process of time, more like Him.

That’s the way, the truth, and the life. And so, remembering what a miracle it is for something small like an acorn to grow into something great like an oak tree, we offer the Lord this heartfelt plea: “May we be more like Thee.” 

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