Music & the Spoken Word: ‘A spiritual awakening’

While people need physical strength to rebuild their homes, they need spiritual strength to rebuild their future, Lloyd Newell shares

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, March 12, 2023.

Most would agree that the world today seems to be in turmoil. Troubling events large and small swirl around us, from war to poverty to natural disasters. During such tragedies, it’s inspiring to see compassionate people come to the rescue. Humble heroes see others in need and provide essentials like food and shelter, but they also provide something less tangible — though not less essential: They give hope.

And quite often, that hope comes from faith in God. People need physical strength to rebuild their homes, but they need spiritual strength to rebuild their future. Food and water sustain life, but spirituality gives life meaning (see “Perspective: The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Crisis,” by Bishop Gérald Caussé, Deseret News, Feb. 21, 2022,

Nearly 100 years ago, the world was in the midst of a different kind of disaster — an economic crisis that came to be known as the Great Depression. As United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced the task of rebuilding the nation, he recognized the need for spiritual strength in the people he led.

“No greater thing could come to our land today,” he said, “than a revival of the spirit of religion — a revival that would sweep through the homes of the nation and stir the hearts of men and women of all faiths to a reassertion of their belief in God and their dedication to His will for themselves and for their world.”

The president concluded with a truth that feels relevant to today’s troubles: “I doubt if there is any problem — social, political or economic — that would not melt away before the fire of such a spiritual awakening” (see “Radio Address on Brotherhood Day, February 23, 1936,” in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1938), 5:86; cited in “The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Crisis,”

What does it mean to be awakened spiritually? It means to open our eyes to the needs of others and to God’s goodness all around us. It means to rise up in defense of truth and in defense of the vulnerable. It means to clothe ourselves in what the apostle Paul called “the whole armour of God” — surrounding ourselves with truth, righteousness, peace, faith and the word of God (see Ephesians 6:11–17).

Such spiritual preparation doesn’t make our troubles go away, any more than armor ends a war. But it does help us to stand strong, no matter what. It gives us hope, perspective and peace during tumultuous times.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the, 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

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