Heritage Special (January 17, 2016) - #4505 Music and the Spoken Word

Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. January 17, 2016 Broadcast Number 4505.


“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” 
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Peace Like a River”1 
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“I’m Runnin On” 
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg 
Featuring special guest Alex Boyé

Prelude on “Great Day” (organ solo) 
Arrangement: Andrew Unsworth

“I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”2
Arrangement: Moses Hogan 
Featuring special guest Alex Boyé

“My Country, ’Tis of Thee” 
Traditional tune 
Lyrics: Samuel F. Smith 
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the album Peace Like a River. Also in the CD set Anniversary Collection.
  2. On the album Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Also in the CD set Bravo! The #1 Albums

Spoken Word

“Equal Persons”

Much of the strength of our nation comes from its people and their determination to make life better—their resolute unwillingness to accept injustice and oppression. Such determination comes with many challenges, but history has shown that freedom is born in only one way, and that’s by courageous people fighting through adversity.

Without question, one of those courageous people was Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Douglass secretly learned to read as a boy and even began teaching other slaves. But his efforts earned brutal punishments from slave owners. He finally escaped bondage at age 21, found employment, raised a family, and created a life of honor and respect, becoming a celebrated orator and writer—all the while trying to avoid being recaptured. He used his gifts to profoundly influence public views on the plight of black slaves and even advised President Abraham Lincoln.

Years later Douglass wrote to his former master, recounting the “deep agony of soul” he felt on the morning of his flight from slavery. Though he escaped in broad daylight, he described it as “a leap in the dark… like going to war without weapons—ten chances of defeat to one of victory.”1 But of course he had to try. “We are two distinct persons, equal persons,” he explained. “What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both.”2

A century later, Reverend Martin Luther King continued Frederick Douglass’s quest. In an effort to strike down continued injustice, he called for Americans to rededicate themselves to the commandment from the Bible: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”3

The course has not been easy, nor is it yet fully realized. But we can take hope in our ongoing efforts to correct wrongs, to embrace one another as equal persons and citizens of one nation. This is, after all, a “sweet land of liberty,” the “land where [our] fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride.” So “from ev’ry mountainside let freedom ring!”4

1. In Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters, ed. Andrew Carroll (1997), 95.
2. In Letters of a Nation, 96.
3. Mark 12:31.
4. “My Country, ’Tis of Thee,” Hymns, no. 339.