Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This has previously been broadcast and will be given again on July 19, 2020.
When The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square first began singing, not long after the wagon wheels came to a stop in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, there was more sagebrush than people in the listening audience. Now, that same choir produces the world’s longest-running continuous network broadcast — carried on more than 2,000 media stations and heard by millions of people each week.
That program, “Music & the Spoken Word,” has now completed celebrations of 90 years on the air. In the world of broadcasting, such longevity is almost unheard of. Popular taste in media programming changes so quickly. The media itself has changed too — from crystal radio sets to 5.1 surround sound, from black-and-white to high definition, from vacuum tubes to YouTube.
But other things never change. No matter where or when we live, we all need hope and faith. We all need to be encouraged, uplifted, and inspired. We have always needed that.
It has become popular lately to talk about unprecedented times. And while it’s true that many challenges we face today are unfamiliar to us, there’s also comfort in knowing that similar challenges have been faced — and overcome — in the past.
That’s part of the value of something that has endured for over 90 years. The Tabernacle Choir and “Music & the Spoken Word” have seen us through decades of peace and war, prosperity and poverty. Every week for nine decades, people have tuned in and found a trusted friend. They have found, again and again, a respite from worldly cares, a beacon of hope. The music and messages that have comforted troubled hearts, offered inspiration, and increased faith since 1929 continue to do so today.
As long as people need hope and beauty in the world, the Choir will continue to sing. As long as people seek peace and joy, we will raise our voices in praises to God. Knowing how much the world needs peace — how much we’ve always needed peace — we offer today the same invitation and benediction that we offer every Sunday: “May peace be with you … this day and always.”
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.