Music & the Spoken Word: Tender mercies

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 May 1, 2022.

Events in life sometimes come at us so rapidly and randomly that it can be hard to find any meaning in them. So much of life can seem like a series of unrelated accidents, tied together with nothing more meaningful than mere coincidence.

But such a view of life underestimates the power of what the scriptures call the tender mercies of the Lord. The Psalmist wrote: “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (see Psalm 145:8-9; see also 1 Nephi 1:20; “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” by Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 99–102).

That isn’t to say that God micromanages the world or our lives. But He also does not ignore His children. A wise and loving Father, He finds countless ways — large and small, grand and mundane — to express His love and care. We don’t always notice His tender mercies, but He doesn’t stop extending them. If we look with the eye of faith, we can see His divine signature written on many moments of our lives.

In a busy intersection, a woman’s car stalled. Kind travelers a few cars back got out to help push her car to the side of the road, where they could jump-start the battery. That was a tender mercy. A teenage girl moved into a new neighborhood; her parents earnestly prayed she’d make good friends. The night before the first day at her new school, a neighbor girl texted and told her she’d save her a seat in the lunchroom. That was a tender mercy. An older man with a grim diagnosis received a phone call from his granddaughter just when he needed it most. That was a tender mercy.

But what of the hard times, the sorrow and heartbreak? Is God present in those moments too? Actually, many people find that He is most generous with His tender mercies during our hardest times — when we need them the most. Tender mercies rarely erase a difficulty, but they change the way we look at them. They open our hearts to the Lord’s quiet reassurances, comfort and support. They open our eyes, and we see that, all this time, God was never very far away.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir 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.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

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