Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. This will be given Jan. 8, 2017.
It has become popular of late for organizations — and even families and individuals — to create a mission statement to guide their actions and clarify their values. Such a statement can serve to remind us who we are and what we’re about. When life gets hectic and choices get complicated, a statement of purpose and vision can keep us focused on those things that we value most.
Mission statements vary in length; some stretch to multiple paragraphs. But for an individual, maybe the best place to start is a single word — one that represents a simple idea that could keep us on track this year.
For example, do you wish you had more patience with your children or less anxiety at work? Perhaps the word calm could be a reminder to slow down, breathe deeply and relax.
Do you sometimes find it difficult to maintain your integrity when so many seem to be dropping their standards? The word truthful might help us align ourselves with honesty and trustworthiness.
We would all do well to set aside worldly distractions and think more of the divine. One woman who felt this way chose the word oneness to elevate her thoughts and actions.
A word like gratitude could prompt us to count our blessings, not the things we lack. If hurts from long ago have become resentments that cripple our lives, the word forgive can offer peace and freedom from those burdens.
People who find themselves feeling lonely can use the word kindness to remind them that extending love and understanding to others almost always helps us forget our own problems.
Some families choose a word together, to bring a sense of teamwork to their relationships. Perhaps the word unplugged could inspire families to set aside cellphones and video games in favor of time together. Or the word helping could lead to more acts of service among family members — everything from homework to chores.
As our lives change, our key words can change. And over time, as these words inspire our everyday choices, we may find another word coming to mind, the word for what all of us want to be: happy.
Tuning in ...
The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143), mormontabernaclechoir.org and youtube.com/mormontabchoir. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MST on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.