The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s Christmas concert was more than a night of music. It was also a night for stories — from finding hope in the Philippines to doing what was needed to help children as World War II was building in Europe and to that of a family with a baby.

In addition to singer and “Disney Legend” Lea Salonga and British actor Sir David Suchet joining the Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra and Bells at Temple Square and Gabriel’s Trumpets for this year’s Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 15, a surprise guest was invited to the stage in connection to the story Suchet shared.

Stories of hope and peace

The voice of Broadway singer and actor Salonga soared as she sang “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year,” and choir conductor Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “Payapang Daigdid” — a Filipino song that translates to “Peaceful World” and can be considered a counterpart to “Silent Night.”

“In my home country, in the Philippines, Christmas begins in September,” she said before singing “Payapang Daigdid.” After Pearl Harbor was attacked during World War II, so was Manilla in the Philippines. It was three years later in 1946 when Felipe Padilla de Leon climbed some the ruins and was inspired by what he saw to write “Payapang Daigdid.”

“It has brought hope and peace to the Filipino people ever since,” Salonga said, wishing those in the audience hope and peace this Christmas.

Story of ‘doing good where there was a need’

Suchet, who is best known for his television role as Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, shared “Endless Gifts, Endless Night: The Nicholas Winton Story” about Winton’s effort to organize the rescue of children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia prior to the war breaking out in 1939.

Winston, then 29 and working as a stockbroker in England, canceled a ski vacation in Switzerland to go with a friend to Prague. There in winter, he saw the Jewish camps and heard requests from parents to help them find a way to safeguard their children.

“He turned this problem over in his mind. ‘If it’s not impossible,’ he thought, ‘then there must be a way to do it,’” Suchet shared.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE