Music & the Spoken Word: Constant truths in a changing world

Change may be a constant in life, but truth is also unchanging. Through Jesus Christ, ‘we steady ourselves in an ever-changing world,’ Lloyd Newell shares in this week’s ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

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, Aug. 27, 2023.

The world is constantly changing. That’s not new information; the world has been changing since the very beginning, and we’re not the first to notice it. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived more than 2,500 years ago, is credited with the observation “The only constant in life is change.” Looking back through history, you will find a story of constant change. Flowers bloom and then fade. Kingdoms rise and fall. People grow, age, and pass away. It has always been hard to find anything permanent in this world.

And yet there does seem to be something unique about the pace of change in our time. No, change isn’t new, but it feels like we have more of it today than ever before. Rapidly advancing technologies seem to accelerate change to the point where the world is barely recognizable from one generation to the next. Even when things change for the better, it can be unsettling when so much about the future feels beyond our control. We long for something stable, something constant, something we can hold onto. And Heraclitus answers that there is nothing stable, nothing constant.

But was Heraclitus overstating things? Is change truly life’s only constant? The poet Robert Frost gave a slightly different view: “Most of the change we think we see in life,” he wrote, “is due to truths being in and out of favour” (“The Black Cottage,” by Robert Frost in “North of Boston,” published in 1914, pages 54–55). 

Truth is not subject to the whims of popular opinion. It endures across the centuries and around the world. Ideals like integrity and decency become more valuable as they become more rare. Virtues like kindness and compassion have the power to touch human hearts in every age. Everlasting truths remain true.

And where do we find such truths? All truth, like all goodness, comes from Jesus Christ, who, as the apostle Paul taught, is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (see Hebrews 13:8). He is the Truth, and in Him we find truth (see John 8:3214:6).

By Him, we steady ourselves in an ever-changing world. So take comfort and hope when things that once seemed reliable in our world prove to be unstable. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed,” the Lord said, “but my kindness shall not depart from thee” (see Isaiah 54:10).

Tuning in …

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

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