Music & the Spoken Word: ‘The Good Fight’

People fight to keep the faith — because faith doesn’t just happen, Lloyd Newell shares this week

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, May 21, 2023.

The hymn “Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might” sung by the Choir was written well over 150 years ago, and it was inspired by words that are much older than that. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a companion and fellow believer who had served alongside Paul in his ministry. Paul encouraged his beloved young friend with these words: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12).

In a similar spirit, the hymn “Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might” encourages us to:
Faint not nor fear,
God’s arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear:
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.
(See “Hymns of Love and Praise for the Church’s Year,” by John S. B. Monsell, published in 1863, page 164.)

It might seem odd to describe Christian life as a “fight” when Jesus spoke so much of love and kindness and turning the other cheek (see Matthew 5:38-44). But the fact is that living with faith, hope and charity in a world awash with doubt, discouragement, and hatred can sometimes feel like a fight, a struggle. As Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood” but against darkness (Ephesians 6:12). We fight to keep the faith — because faith doesn’t just happen. Without a fight, we are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” or opinion or momentary fad (Ephesians 4:14).

Those who have faith have fought for it. It’s as if they have “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19). They reject the idea that truth is relative or that it must be seen to be believed. They resist the human tendency toward selfishness, and they open their hearts to others. They patiently and relentlessly seek the good in everyone. They courageously move forward, even when the path ahead is dark or rugged. That is “the good fight.”

In that sense, Paul, though a loving Christian, was also a fighter. Near the end of his life, he wrote again to Timothy: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).

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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