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Music & the Spoken Word: A reason of the hope

It can be hard to be patient when the wait is long. Like the Wise Men, watch the heavens and keep following the light of the star, observes Lloyd Newell

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 Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

All good things, all important things, take time. That’s a truth that even children learn, and the lesson seems to come most powerfully at Christmas. Each year, children — and those who are children at heart — wait eagerly for the magic and wonder of Christmas. Excitement mounts as we count down the weeks, anticipate the days. Surely at least some of the joy found at this festive season comes from the fact that we’ve been looking forward to it for so long.

This pattern of anticipating the advent of Christmas has its roots in the very first Christmas. The birth of Jesus the Christ was anticipated for centuries. All eternity watched and waited for His miraculous birth, His matchless gift of love and light. And yet only a relative few were aware when the glorious event finally happened — like humble shepherds who kept watch over their flocks or faithful Wise Men who kept watching the heavens, waiting for that wondrous star.

Long ago, a writer expressed that longing with these words: “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.” (See “Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz,” sel. Frederic Bancroft (1913), 1:51; cited in President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Second Century of Brigham Young University,” Brigham Young University devotional, Oct. 10, 1975, page 3, speeches.byu.edu.)  

The Wise Men continue their search of baby Jesus in this scene from the Bible Video series of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Wise Men continue their search of baby Jesus in this scene from the Bible Videos series of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Even so, it can be hard to be patient when the wait is long. We may sometimes feel like giving up hope. We may lose sight of the starlight of our ideals as the world seems to grow ever darker. But like those Wise Men, we can keep our eyes on the heavens and keep following the light of that Star of stars. As long as the Light of the World illuminates our path, hope is never completely lost.

The apostle Peter encouraged, “[Reverence] the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every[one] that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus Christ is the answer and the reason. He is the answer to life’s questions and problems and heartaches, and He is the reason we are full of hope — at Christmastime and always (see The Answer Is Always Jesus Christ,” by President Russell M. Nelson, Liahona, May 2023, page 127).

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143),  tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

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