Music and the Spoken Word

Try Your Best - Sunday, February 8, 2015

No one ever does everything perfectly right all the time. Each of us makes mistakes and falls short of perfection. Thatís life, and thatís OK.

Broadway musical star Idina Menzel shared how she came to this realization. Recently, she wrote: ďThere are about 3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time to realize that if Iím hitting 75 percent of them, Iím succeeding. . . . I am more than the notes I hit, and thatís how I try to approach my life. You canít get it all right all the time, but you can try your best. If youíve done that, all thatís left is to accept your shortcomings and have the courage to try to overcome them.Ē1

Itís not that lofty goals, big plans, and high expectations are bad. We grow by stretching, by courageously striving to achieve more than we previously thought possible. But growth also requires patience and perspective. Sometimes we give up on ourselves too early, we start to define ourselves by our mistakes, or we expect perfection and are therefore forever disappointed. When this happens, we may need to ease up and simplify our lives.

For an overwhelmed college student, that meant lightening her schedule and her expectations a bit. For a busy mother, it meant deciding to go a little easier on herself and her children. For all of us, it can mean that we simply do our bestónot someone elseís best.

We are all far more than the notes we hitóor fail to hit. Perhaps we should define ourselves not by what we are today but by what we can be, by what we aspire to be. Wherever those aspirations are leading us, let us accept that success can happen over time, little by little. With this perspective, our mistakes and shortcomings can teach us instead of condemn us. In reality, this is what it means to do our best.

1. ďBusiness Lesson: Idina Menzel,Ē Southwest: The Magazine, Nov. 2014, 57,

-Lloyd D. Newell

Feb. 8, 2015, Broadcast Number 4,456

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell

Saints Bound for Heaven
American folk hymn; arr. Mack Wilberg

Pilgrim Song
American folk hymn; arr. Ryan Murphy

Prelude on "Middlebury"
Dale Wood

Cum Sancto Spiritu, from Petite Messe Solennelle
Gioacchino Rossini

Gospel Train/Old Time Religion, from Spirituals for Strings
Morton Gould

On a Wonderful Day Like Today
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley; arr. Sam Cardon

Climb Ev'ry Mountain, from The Sound of Music
Richard Rodger; arr. Arthur Harris