Music and the Spoken Word

Small Gestures of Kindness - Sunday, August 6, 2017

It’s been said that the little things are the big things. This applies to many aspects of life, but especially to the small courtesies, the little acts of kindness that end up making a big difference. Truly, from the small and simple comes that which is great. It happens when a seedling is nurtured and grows into a strong tree, and it happens when little kindnesses help people blossom and grow. It’s one of the most important ways we make a difference in the world.

And certainly, there are things about the world that we wish were different. We see conflict and discord at home and abroad, and we wonder how things will ever improve. In this respect, our day isn’t unique—those who went before us faced times that were challenging and difficult too. But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. There is something we can do to feel a little better about the world and about life. And it doesn’t have to be something grand or dramatic. Sometimes even the most complicated problems have surprisingly simple solutions.

When the world seems to spin out of control, we can do our part to “try to stem the madness,” as one columnist wrote recently. “It begins with simply caring,” she said, “by looking up from our cellphones and making eye contact; by asking the checkout girl about her day; thanking the garbage collector; doing favors without a scorecard; giving away money because someone needs it more. Sometimes a small gesture of kindness can change someone’s day—or life. If the cumulative effect of evil acts brings us down, mightn’t the cumulative effect of good deeds lift us up?”1 

It’s simple, really. A sure way to begin feeling a little better about the world and your life, a good way to truly make a difference in a troubled world, is to look around and do something good. The good we do matters, for the best way to drive away darkness is to turn on a light, even if it’s small. So do some good today—and tomorrow. Before you know it, the world will become a better place.

-Lloyd D. Newell

1. Kathleen Parker, “Sometimes a Small Gesture of Kindness Can Change Someone’s Day—or Life,” Deseret News, June 20, 2017,

August 6, 2017
Broadcast Number 4,586

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell

My God Is So High
Spiritual; arr. Ryan Murphy

The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare
Dmitri Bortniansky; arr. Mack Wilberg

Menuet gothique, from Suite Gothique
Léon Boëllmann

Consider the Lilies of the Field
Roger Hoffman; arr. A. Laurence Lyon

Love Is a Song
Frank Churchill; arr. Arthur Harris

On Great Lone Hills
Based on Finlandia by Jean Sibelius; arr. H. Alexander Matthews