Choir Notes

From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4373

Most of us would agree with the lyrics of the well-known song, “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”1 But did you know that smiling may also be good for your health? Researchers are finding that smiling slows down the heart rate, reduces stress, and can make you feel happier. In fact, some research suggests that the smile doesn’t even have to be genuine—even a forced smile can have a positive effect on your well-being.2 When you smile, you just feel better.

Of course, on long, hard days it can be difficult to summon a smile or muster a grin. But that may be when a smile is needed the most.

One dark, snowy winter day, a young man was walking across a deserted university campus on his way to an early-morning class. It was hard to find anything to smile about that cold and windy morning. And then he heard someone singing—loudly! As he got a little closer, he recognized his roommate walking toward him, singing at the top of his lungs, “Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day!”3 It’s practically impossible to sing those words without a smile. It can’t be done.

Now, some may say that this young man was silly or deluded, but those who knew him well understood who he really was—optimistic, upbeat, always on the lookout for the positive.4 

You can’t always do much to change your circumstances, but you can always smile. Smiling is an outward expression of a full and abundant heart.

So smile. Smile because you are alive. Smile because you live in a glorious world. Smile because there are good people around you who could use a smile. Smile because there’s always the promise and hope that life will get better. Having the courage and disposition to greet others and yourself with a smile may be just enough to turn the day around.

1 Larry Shay, Mark Fisher, and Joe Goodwin, “When You’re Smiling” (1929).
2 See Sumathi Reddy, “Stress-Busting Smiles,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323699704578326363601444362.html.
3 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” (1943).
4 See Bruce D. Porter, “Beautiful Mornings,” Apr. 2013 general conference.

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