Music and speech: silencing the noise

Editor’s Note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday on the Tabernacle Choir’s weekly show in Temple Square. This will be given on Sunday, August 21, 2022.

In today’s world, we are surrounded by noise. Part is welcome – the noise we chose. And we have so many media tools that we could fill every second of the day with sound. But life is also full of unwanted noise, and all that hustle and bustle leaves so many people feeling stressed, anxious, and unsettled. We struggle to find a minute of silence. And even when we do, often the internal sound of our thoughts and worries rushes us, disrupting our lives and making us feel uncomfortable.

So how do we quiet the noise?

Here is an example that might be helpful. This microphone I’m talking into is designed to amplify sound. But it can only do that if sound engineers turn the right knobs, slide faders just right, and carefully monitor volume levels. They make adjustments while monitoring other sounds that could impact the microphone level and mix. Simply put, the job of the sound engineer is to regulate and improve sound.

Likewise, we can regulate and enhance the sound around us by intentionally choosing to focus on some things more than others. When we monitor the noise, adjust the feedback, and carefully monitor the sound level – both around us and within us – we gain more calm. Sound engineers have knobs and faders to regulate noise; our tools include meditation and prayer. Taking time to be quiet, meditate, and pray can help clear our minds, calm us, and give us peace.

Years ago, a wise religious leader called meditation the “language of the soul.” “Meditation is a form of prayer,” he said. “[It is] one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord. (See “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay,” published 2003, pages 31-32.)

Meditation and prayer help us feel God’s presence and His peace in our lives, even in a noisy world. Finding time to be still and hear God’s voice takes practice and patience, but it can be a revitalizing spiritual exercise. It refocuses our priorities, calms the noise and brings us closer to the divine.

Tuning in…

“Music & the Spoken Word” is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube . com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is broadcast live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on several of these outlets. See airing information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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