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Judy Garland as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz."

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. This will be given Aug. 12, 2018.

In the classic 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," the young girl Dorothy dreams she is carried away from her home by a terrifying tornado. She finds herself in a strange land with unfamiliar people and unexpected challenges. Frightened at first, Dorothy learns to adapt to her new environment and to love the companions who walk with her on the yellow brick road, helping her find her way back home. In the end, after a tearful goodbye to her new friends, Dorothy clicks the heels of her ruby red slippers and says three times, “There’s no place like home.” Then Dorothy awakens well and safe in her own bed.

Warner Bros.
Dorothy's ruby slippers in "The Wizard of Oz."

But she has changed. After her vivid adventure, Dorothy would surely never see her home — or herself — the same way again.

We gain something valuable when we experience the sights, sounds, tastes and personalities to be found in places and cultures different from our own. Whether it be to a foreign land, a distant part of our own country, or even a nearby city or town unlike the one we are used to, travel can open our eyes and broaden our horizons.

No matter where we go, such experiences with a different way of life help us develop an understanding and appreciation for the good people who call that place home.

When we come to know the hearts and lives of others, our own hearts are more accepting and our own lives are better. Our love for others increases, and our view of the world is greatly enlarged.

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It will take more than a click of the heels, but when it’s time to return home, we’ll find that our familiar surroundings look different somehow. We will see them with fresh eyes, with greater appreciation for what we like about home and some ideas about how to make it even better. We will bring with us treasured memories and a new realization that even though we all live in unique circumstances and see things in our own way, we are far more similar than different from one another. As Dorothy learned, there certainly is no place like home — and that’s true of every home, wherever it may be around the world.

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.