Music & the Spoken Word: Success that lasts forever

When people make the conscious choice to align their schedules with their core values, they tend to place eternal things ahead of material things and life can be better, Lloyd Newell observes

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. Written by Joni Hilton, this will be given Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. (There will not be a live broadcast of “Music & the Spoken Word” on Feb. 18, Feb. 25 and March 3 due to the choir’s tour to the Philippines.)

We live in a time when people value busyness. If your schedule is full and your to-do list is long, people assume you’re living a pretty successful life. But is that necessarily so?

The answer depends on what we’ve put on that schedule and that to-do list. As author Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey, published by 2004, page 161).

If we search our hearts, many of us would say we want a close relationship with God, a happy family, good health and good relationships. But if we don’t make time for those most important things, then before we know it, other demands of life quickly crowd them out.

Seeing that this was happening in his own life, one man decided to turn things upside down. He wrote a list of his real priorities. When he put God at the top, he realized he needed to schedule a block of time for daily prayer and scripture reading. And he decided that time needed to come first, not after dashing about all day left him too tired. No, he would let his first conversation each day be with God.

Suddenly the other things took care of themselves. Taking some time for spiritual connection improved all his other connections — with his family, coworkers and neighbors. His life was better because his priorities were better.

Similarly, a busy woman wished she had more time to serve her neighbors, so she decided to make time. She set a daily reminder on her smartphone, calling it simply “Show a neighbor some love.” Her simple acts of love didn’t take long, but they did take a conscious choice.

When we feel dissatisfied with life, maybe our problem isn’t that we’ve failed; it’s that we’re succeeding at the wrong things. When we’re true to our highest priorities, we’re more relaxed, and our thoughts are clearer, our step is lighter. We know who we are and where we’re going. When we place eternal things ahead of material things, we are on the path toward the only success that matters — success that lasts forever.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL NewsRadio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, 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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