Music and the Spoken Word: One drop at a time

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 Nov. 17, 2019.

A drop of water may seem rather ordinary and unimpressive. And yet when very small amounts of water are dropped steadily, over extended periods of time, the results can be quite spectacular. Think, for example, of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, or the Reed Flute Cave in China, to name only a few. It’s amazing how often water does its remarkable work one drop at a time — giving life to a plant, turning a field green, invigorating parched soil, filling a river or lake, and yes, carving into solid rock. Over time, small drops of water can make a big difference.

We can learn a lot from water drops — especially when we feel small and insignificant, or when it seems our best efforts aren’t getting the effect we hoped for. It may just be that we need to give the drops of water time to do their work. Whether we are learning a new skill or building a new friendship, it’s most often the steady, consistent effort that leads to spectacular results.

Actually, we have all applied this truth from the time we were children. We learned to walk one step at a time, gradually gaining confidence and strength along the way. In school, one assignment after another led to measurable progress in knowledge and understanding. And as adults, we take one day at a time as we navigate the twists and turns of life. Anyone who has ever learned a new language, a new instrument, a new technology or any number of new abilities began simply by putting in steady effort over time.

So we just keep going, even when the task seems insurmountable and the challenge seems daunting. Some obstacles can be eroded only drop by drop. You can’t get a rock formation by throwing a boulder in the ocean, and dumping a tank of water on a plant can kill it. One drop at a time is the better approach. If we are patient and consistent, our small and simple efforts to change for the better, to help and lift another, can eventually produce something quite spectacular.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). 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