February 28, 2016 - #4511 Music and the Spoken Word

Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. February 28, 2016 Broadcast Number 4511.


“Saints Bound for Heaven”1
American folk hymn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“I Am a Child of God”2,6 
Composer: Mildred T. Pettit
Lyrics: Naomi W. Randall
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Their Sound Is Gone Out into All Lands,”3 from Messiah 
Composer: George Frideric Handel

“The Rejoicing,” from Music for the Royal Fireworks (organ solo)
Composer: George Frideric Handel

“Somewhere,” from West Side Story
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Arrangement: Arthur Harris

“No Man Is an Island” 
Composer: Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer
Lyrics: Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“How Firm a Foundation”4,5,6
Composer: Attributed to J. Ellis
Lyrics: Attributed to Robert Keen
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the album Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing and in the CD set Bravo! The #1 Albums.
  2. On the album Teach Me to Walk in The Light.
  3. A new recording of Messiah by the Choir and Orchestra will be released March 4, 2016. Pre-order now and save 15%!
  4. On the album Called to Serve.
  5. On the album Then Sings My Soul and in the CD set Anniversary Collection.
  6. In the CD set The Missionary Collection.

Spoken Word

“What Can Be the Meaning of Life?”

Before Viktor Frankl became a renowned psychologist; before he survived a Nazi concentration camp; and before he wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, a bestselling book about his experiences; he was a high school student who thought deeply about life—more deeply than perhaps most teenagers do. One day his science teacher declared to the class, “Life is nothing more than a combustion process, a process of oxidation.” Young Viktor leaped from his chair and countered, “Sir, if this is so, then what can be the meaning of life?”1

Science class is not typically the best place to find answers to that kind of question. Viktor instead learned about life and its meaning in the cruel classroom of the concentration camps. There he was taught by experience what he already felt in his heart: those who are most resilient, who are most likely to survive horrific conditions, are those who have a sense of meaning in their lives. In his words: “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.’”2

For some, the “why” of existence may be that our children or grandchildren need us. Perhaps we have an unfinished project that keeps us going. Or we may find meaning in giving back to a group or an individual who depends on us. It could be said that this ability to look outward, to feel a sense of purpose beyond just satisfying our own desires, is what makes us human, what distinguishes us from all other life on earth. It’s also what brings true happiness—have you noticed that you never find a truly selfless, service-minded person to be disgruntled?

The meaning of life is found in the face of another. It is found as we sacrifice and get outside ourselves in some way, large or small. It is found as we strive to make life better for those who follow us. It is found as we commit ourselves to something larger—more meaningful—than ourselves.

1. In Emily Esfahani Smith, “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy,” Atlantic,Jan. 9, 2013,
2. In Smith, “There’s More to Life.”