Music & the Spoken Word: Light and truth

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, Sept. 26, 2021.

Living things need light and food and water. And these aren’t just physical necessities — we need spiritual light and nourishment too. Amos was a prophet from the Old Testament who foresaw a time when the world would seem dark, even “in the clear day” (see Amos 8:9). He also predicted a future day when there would be “a famine in the land, not a famine of [food], nor a thirst for water, but [a famine] of hearing the words of the Lord” (see Amos 8:11).

That day, it would seem, is here. Though electrical power lights our homes and cities, making the night almost as bright as the day, too many people feel surrounded by darkness. And even those who have plenty to eat are often starving spiritually.

We all know that the way to chase away darkness is to turn on a light. A smile, a kind word, a simple act of love is often enough to brighten someone’s day. Every time we choose to do the right thing and live with character and integrity, we help make the world a little brighter.

One day while riding a busy subway, a man looked at the people around him. Most were looking at smartphones and tablets, and many seemed burdened. And then he noticed a young woman who had light in her countenance. He saw that she was reading scriptures, and he could not help but notice the soft smile on her face and the peace she seemed to be feeling. She had found light, and it wasn’t coming from an electronic device.

A famine is defined as a scarcity of food. But the famine Amos spoke of is different. There is no scarcity of the word of the Lord. Anyone who wants it can find it. What is scarce, at times, is our willingness to seek Him and hear Him. This kind of famine will end as we pray with sincerity. It will end as we open holy scriptures and feast upon the timeless words of eternal life. And it will end as we humbly listen for the Lord’s still, small voice.

Yes, there will always be darkness and hunger in this world. But there are also light and truth in abundance — glorious light for those who seek it and a feast of truth for those who hunger.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143),, YouTube and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MST on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages