The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Children's Song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" Was a Gift from Mother to Daughter

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The children's song “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” was written by Sally DeFord and published in October 1993 in the Friend magazine, which is a children’s publication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The song's lyrics help us think about how we might do things differently if the Savior were right there with us as we go about our lives. The last verse affirms that He is with us always, even though we may not see Him.

According to the author, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” was written for her daughter’s baptism. Here is what DeFord says about the song, which can be found on her website:

“If the Savior Stood Beside Me" is a song I wrote for my daughter Holly when she turned eight years old. I wrote a song for each of my children, and this one was hers. Holly was such a good example! She was always so kind and loved others so much, it seemed as though she knew Jesus was always close beside her, taking care of her and loving her.
Holly is now all grown up, and has a family of her own. This is what she says about her song:
On my eighth birthday, I was baptized. At my baptism, my mom sang the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," which she wrote specially for me. I remember her saying "I wrote this song for Holly, not because it's a lesson I wanted to teach her, but because she has always acted as if the Savior really was there beside her." That meant a lot to me, and I was so proud of myself and my beautiful song!
It has been more than 15 years since that day, and though there have been times that I have not acted as I would if I could see the Savior next to me, I know that even when we make mistakes and choose to do the wrong thing, Jesus stays near us and watches over us anyway, waiting for us to reach out and hold His hand again. Because He loves us so dearly, we are always in His watchful care, even when we don't know it, and someday we will all look back and realize how close He was, just when we needed Him. I am trying every day to "be the kind of person that I know I'd like to be if I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me."
My young friends, if you will live every day of your life as though you could see the Savior standing right beside you, you will be happy, and you will be ready to live with Him again some day. He loves you and will always—always!—watch over you.

The Choir’s performance in the video above was arranged by Sam Cardon and was recorded September 29, 2013. The song is also included on the Choir's album Teach Me To Walk in the Light & Other Children's Favorites.