Music & the Spoken Word: The labor love

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This is an encore performance of “Music & the Spoken Word” with a new “Spoken Word” selected and recorded while the choir is practicing social distancing. This will be given Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021.

Labor, by definition, is hard. It can be exhausting, uncomfortable, even painful at times. So why do we do it? There are many possible motivations for labor, but the greatest is love. And the interesting thing about a labor of love is that it leads to more love.

When we put loving effort into something, it becomes more meaningful to us. Whether we’re preparing a meal, a handwritten card or a little homespun work of art, we care more about the things we make when we care about the person for whom we’re making them. The labor and the love become intertwined, and somehow, we weave a little part of ourselves into our creations.

The same is true of our relationships. When we work hard to understand, connect with and love someone, we forge a bond that is not easily broken. In the end, the people we labor over most, we love the most. This truth is most obvious in parents who feed, clothe, hold, soothe, and tirelessly care for their helpless infant. In the fire of their sacrifices, they forge an unbreakable bond, strong enough to withstand the stresses and pulls that come as the children grow.

And they need those strong bonds, because as any parent of teenagers knows, the late nights, the early mornings, and the need for support and soothing and sacrifice don’t stop even when children become more independent. But through it all, parents and teens continue to weld lasting links of love.

Likewise, a marriage relationship is surely a labor of love. Falling in love is a nice start. But you don’t just “fall” into an enduring marriage. You grow into it — together. It requires a husband and wife to make heartfelt efforts to nurture their relationship, to resolve differences, to understand each other — to do the labor that builds love.

Perhaps our most important labor of love is our relationship with God. He invites, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Our holy effort, imperfect though it may be, to do what the Lord asks of us not only demonstrates our love for Him — it also opens the way to receive more of His perfect love. Labor that is motivated by love always leads to more love.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143),, YouTube and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MST on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages