Music and the Spoken Word

Our Shared Moral Responsibility - Sunday, May 20, 2018

Joan of Arc was a courageous 15th-century French heroine who faced a martyr’s death at age 19. A play depicting her life has Joan declaring to her accusers just before her execution: “Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, [and so] they give up their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender who you are, and live without belief—that’s more terrible than dying—more terrible than dying young.”

Sadly, persecution and mistreatment of others has not ended in the 600 years since Joan of Arc. In fact, to write a history of persecution would almost be to write the history of the world. Countless millions have suffered because of it. And it touches all of us in some way. Who among us hasn’t been ridiculed, shunned, or treated unfairly?

Why does this happen? Ultimately, people get mistreated because they seem different. And different beliefs and convictions are a favorite target of such ridicule. To stand up for our convictions despite persecution is one of the great tests of moral strength.

In a diverse world like ours, we often meet people with a variety of beliefs. Good, moral people may hold different opinions and convictions. But there is at least one cause we can all uphold, one moral responsibility we all share—the responsibility to oppose persecution, wherever it is found. When people are mistreated, we can come to their defense, even if we do not share their beliefs. This is something each of us can do without compromising our convictions.

The more deeply we believe in all things moral and good, the more firmly we stand for all things honorable and virtuous, the more successful we will be at overcoming the harshness of the world. That’s our shared moral responsibility, and it will surely make our world a better place.

Lloyd D. Newell

1. Maxwell Anderson, Joan of Lorraine (1947), 80.
________________________________________________May 20, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,627

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Brian Mathias

Lloyd Newell

Press Forward, Saints
Vanya Y. Watkins; arr. Mack Wilberg

For the Beauty of the Earth
John Rutter

Prelude on “Pisgah”
Dale Wood

Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz
Harold Arlen; arr. Arthur Harris

Peace like a River
Spiritual; arr. Mack Wilberg

My God Is So High
Spiritual; arr. Ryan Murphy