Music and Speech: Better Families, Better People

Editor’s Note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday on the Tabernacle Choir’s weekly show in Temple Square. This will be given on Sunday, September 25, 2022.

A family recently went on vacation together. The hope was to create lasting memories and opportunities to bond family. But, as with most family vacations, those high hopes were soon tempered by reality. There were good times, but there were also unexpected delays, loud crowds, and hidden expenses that disrupted the family’s carefully laid plans. Unsurprisingly, this led to frayed nerves, miscommunication, and discord between family members. Sometimes it was tempting to wonder if the vacation was worth it.

And yet, despite all this, the family did create lasting memories and opportunities to bond. In fact, they seemed to bond most strongly with some of these unexpected struggles. They have grown personally and as a family in ways that would not have been possible otherwise.

It’s an overstatement to say that life is like a vacation, but there are similarities between this family’s experiences and our journey through life. We can plan for – and hope for – endless joy and comfort. But that’s nobody’s reality. Life is wonderful but sometimes painful; sweet and sometimes bitter. Difficult circumstances do not disrupt the plan – they are in fact part of the plan – the plan for us to grow and progress. At the heart of this plan is the fact that we are all traveling together as a family.

The connection, belonging and refinement that comes from family life make us better people. Yes, family life can be messy sometimes. But nothing smoothes out the rough edges like the interactions we have in families – both our immediate family and the greater family of God.

Every good family has family rules, and in God’s family one of the best known is called the Golden Rule. Jesus of Nazareth said it this way: “Whatever you would have men do to you, do the same to them” (Matthew 7:12). In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated.

This rule applies even when we are hungry, tired and frustrated. On vacation and in life, striving to treat others the way we want to be treated makes travel easier. More than that, it makes families stronger. And stronger families make better people.

Tuning in…

“Music & the Spoken Word” is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143),, youtube . com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is broadcast live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on several of these outlets. See airing information by state and city at

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