Music and the Spoken Word

Important Days - Sunday, April 10, 2016

For the most part, every day on the calendar is like every other—each starts with sunrise and ends with a sunset, with lots of busyness in between. But there are certain days that we set apart. National holidays, for example, help us remember our past and inspire our future. Religious holidays turn our hearts toward things of the soul. And then we have personal days of remembrance—such as birthdays and anniversaries—to commemorate the milestones in our own lives and the lives of those we love.

What would happen to our sense of self and family if birthdays and anniversaries were forgotten or ignored? A birthday is certainly more than cake and ice cream; it is an expression of gratitude that someone we care about came into the world and came into our lives. One family, for example, always makes it a point to say on birthdays, “I’m glad you were born.” Similarly, anniversaries give us the chance to mark important events; they link us to the past and point us to the future, giving life a sense of continuity from one year into the next, generation after generation. Each birthday and anniversary is a celebration of enduring life and love, memories and milestones. And that is something worth celebrating.

More than one children’s book depicts a character who loves birthdays so much that he or she wants to have one every day! The character soon realizes that what makes such a day extraordinary is that it happens only once a year. It marks a meaningful passage of time. While we look for opportunities to express love and even gather as friends and family as often as possible, a birthday or anniversary is something we plan and prepare for, a special event that deserves special attention. Then, even in advancing years, we cherish those important days and look forward to the next one as a time to give and receive love.

Be our celebrations large or small, it’s good to take time to remember, reflect, and rejoice. As the English poet Alexander Pope wrote:

“Pleased to look forward, pleased to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind.”1
-Lloyd D. Newell

1. Imitations of Horace, epistle 2, book 2, lines 314–15.

April 10, 2016
Broadcast Number 4,517

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Mack Wilberg

Guest Artists
BYU-Idaho Collegiate Singers
Randall Kempton, Conductor

Richard Elliott

Lloyd Newell

O Clap Your Hands
John Rutter

Sing Praise to Him
Traditional hymn tune; arr. Randall Kempton

This Is My Father’s World
Franklin Sheppard; arr. Dale Wood

Let Us with a Gladsome Mind
Alan Ridout

The Heaven’s Flock
Eriks Esenvalds

By and By
Spiritual; arr. Carol Barnett

O Praise Ye the Lord
C. Hubert H. Parry; arr. Mack Wilberg