Music and the Spoken Word: ‘Strong, positive, hopeful’

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 Feb. 2, 2020.

Most of the time, life is pretty wonderful. The world around us is filled with beauty. We are surrounded by people who care about us. And we wonder how life could be any better.

But then there are other times when life seems overwhelming and gloomy, and those happier days are a distant memory. At those times the best thing to do — maybe the only thing to do — is hold on to hope. Not just wishful thinking. Not even mere positive thinking. But robust, fearless hope.

This kind of hope is not for the faint of heart. It demands courage to believe, strength to carry on, and the resolve to not give up. If our hope is to get us through the truly dark days, through life’s real storms, it must be anchored to something stronger than we are, something deeper than what we see around us. Hope has power as we focus on everlasting things, on eternal principles, on trust in God.

Most of life’s darkness and dreariness is temporary. Things tend to work out in the end. President Gordon B. Hinckley was known for these reassuring words: “It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. … Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake (you)” (see “Latter-day Counsel: Excerpts from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, October 2000, page 73). He is the reason for our hope.

Not long ago, a man learned that he needed a major operation to preserve his health. As he faced this sobering news, three words came to his mind over and over again: strong, positive, hopeful. Although he was concerned about the operation and his recovery, the man determined to go to the hospital with those three words in his mind and heart. In the months of recovery that followed, he repeated those three words as a kind of motto to live by: Strong. Positive. Hopeful.

As he did, he found strength within himself he didn’t know he had. He found that positive things happened every day that he could be thankful for. And he found that there was reason to hope that things would improve and work out for the best. Life wasn’t always easy, but he saw that it was pretty wonderful.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare 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 musicandthespokenword.org/schedules