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If the Savior Stood Beside Me

About the Song

This song now has so many different versions available that this page reads like a novel, so I’ve divided it into sections: General Information; Message to Primary Children; and Versions. If you don’t want to read through all this, just skip to the section you’re looking for, or go straight to the download/lyrics area.

General Information

 

  • There are currently six verses for this song, and you can mix and match them–just be sure to always use the first and last.
  • Many of you have requested background on this song and/or a message to your Primary children. I’m posting this message here rather than send so many identical responses individually. Feel free to use all or part of it.

Message to Primary Children:

“If the Savior Stood Beside Me” is a song I wrote for my daughter Holly when she turned eight years old. 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 20 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.

Versions

Children’s Voices:
  • The original version is the one written for my daughter.  It appeared in the Friend magazine in October of 1993, but contained one very unfortunate typo (or grammar-o, as the case may be) in the second verse. “Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away?” is correct–the “was” that made its way into the original score was just carelessness and sloppy proofreading on my part, and it continues to haunt me as the Friend version continues to be used. (If you listen to the children’s choir rendition on the lds.org website, you’ll find that they were reading from that unfortunate score.) The score linked below is correct.
  • The simplified version is included in both the 2008 and 2013 Primary Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentations. This version has been translated into several different languages, available in the program booklets linked on the CSMP page at LDS.org. If I have other languages not included there, they are also linked below.
 
YW/Youth
  • Verse 3 was added in 2006 at the request of the General YW board.
  • The two SA arrangements are very similar. YW version 1 was performed in the 2007 General YW Broadcast, and was also included in the August 2007 New Era magazine. YW version 2 is nearly identical, but an obbligato is added so the piano accompaniment is modified to accommodate it. This version was performed in the General YW Broadcast a couple of years after the first one.
  • In addition, there is a very easy Unison or Two-part Treble arrangement of the original without the extra verse. Another easy SA, arranged by Jerry Jackman, is available through Jackman Music. (Note that the Jackman arrangement can’t be copied.)
  • For youth chorus, the Two-part Mixed Chorus contains the same accompaniment (though a key lower) and verses as the YW version.  There is also a Duet or Two-part Mixed Choir version which uses the original accompaniment and verses. Both are fairly easy.
 
Solo, Duet, and Choir
  • Both the Duet/Two-part Choir version and the Two-part Mixed Chorus version will work for Solo, Duet or Choir. (Actually, any of the versions may be used for solo voice).
  • Solo 1 has an optional flute obbligato.
  • Solo 2 has an optional cello obbligato
  • The Tabernacle Choir version (in the video below) was arranged by Sam Cardon. The sheet music is currently unavailable.
  • The MacDonald/Parker version uses organ accompaniment. No piano score is available.

For translations of this song into 36 languages, see this page. (Choose your language from the list at the bottom of the page. The song will be the near the end of the booklet, approx. page 28.)

Sheet Music Downloads

PDF:


Personal Composer:

Transpose/resize .pc files using the Personal Composer Demo. (Help)

 

 

Listen (and free 128kbps MP3 downloads)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording w/cello featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor (Solo 2):


Cello by Ramona McConkie

Accompaniment Track w/cello (Solo 2):


Cello by Ramona McConkie

 


 

Recording featuring vocals by Angie Jack (Simplified Version):

Accompaniment Track (Simplified version):

 


 

Recording featuring vocals by James Loynes (Solo 1):

Accompaniment track (Solo 1):

 


 

Recording featuring vocals by Heather Prusse (Original version):

YouTube

Solo 2 (linked above):

Solo 2 Accompaniment Track (linked above):

Sheet music for the Mormon Tabernacle choir version is unavailable:

MacDonald/Parker arrangement (linked above):

Sheet music for the Tim Goodman version is unavailable:

Awwwww…..
 

(Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)

Lyrics

If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example?
Would I live more righteously,
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel?
Would I speak more reverently
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would my thoughts be clean and pure?
Would His presence give me strength and hope, and courage to endure?
Would His counsel guide my actions?
Would I choose more worthily
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I often kneel to pray?
Would I listen to the Spirit’s voice, and hasten to obey?
Would I count my many blessings?
Would I praise Him gratefully
If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I comfort those in need?
Would I try to show the Savior’s love in every word and deed?
Would I give to those who hunger?
Would I serve more willingly
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

He is always near me, though I do not see Him there
And because He loves me dearly, I am in His watchful care
So I’ll be the kind of person that I know I’d like to be
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me.

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂

46 Comments

  1. KC Sturgeo

    Is there a recording I can purchase or download that has all 6 verses included? Thank you very much! This is one of my favorite songs!

    Reply
  2. Laura Pettersson

    Are the voice parts no longer available? Thought when I printed one of the versions some time ago that I printed both the accompaniment part and the voice part. Not finding a link to the voice parts….

    Reply
  3. Melissa

    Hi, is it ok for me to add voices on the duet version to make it SATB for our ward choir? MacDonald/ Parker version is beautiful, but i really love the accompaniment for the duet version.

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Per the FAQ, you are welcome to add voicings to match your group–just don’t distribute it. Have fun with it!

      Reply
  4. Stacilee

    I see that you’ve allowed others to make arrangements of this particular song. I believe I still need to get permission, right? I made an arrangement just for my accompaniment of our Primary. Is that okay with you?

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Yes, you’re correct, and thank you so much for asking! 🙂 If the arrangement is just for your Primary and isn’t being distributed, it’s absolutely fine with me. Best of luck with it!

      Reply
  5. Maureen Trawick

    Hi Sally,
    Like so many others here I want to add my thanks to you for this beautiful song! Your talents have truly blessed the lives of so many! We have a very small primary and most of our children come from broken homes and have difficulties in their lives. One of our girls plays the violin beautifully and her mom says she has never wanted to play publicly until she came to our Ward. She accompanied us a few weeks ago in Sacrament meeting and it was just beautiful. We asked her if she would like to accompany us this year in the primary program with this beautiful song and she enthusiastically agreed. I don’t know enough about music to know if any of the versions will work with a violin. Could you give some guidance please? I told her I would try to find a version that she could use to practice with. Thank you for any help you could give.

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Thank you so much! For your purpose, either of the children’s versions have an obbligato for flute that could be played on violin. Depending on the player’s skill level, you might need to transpose the obbligato down an octave. If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps you could give your violinist a verse to play solo somewhere during the song? Good luck!

      Reply
  6. Steven Harlow

    Sally, What a beautiful piece !
    I’m sure I must have heard this before but just this last weekend had the opportunity to see the sheet music for the 2 part choir. We have a talented music chair who has planned singing this at our Stake Conference coming up in the next few weeks. So simple and easy to learn, and beautifully sounding at the same time (even with only 6 male voices!).
    Thank you for blessing the lives of others by sharing your musical talent.

    Reply
  7. Boyd Jensen

    Sally, my wife and I are very impressed. We have two daughters living in COS with children who play instruments and we are going to try to find a way to say thank you to you. My wife here in Riverside CA is going to use your music for the ward choir, but surely for other events as well. Allow us to join this long list of people saying “Thanks!”

    Reply
  8. Rebecca Woodsworth

    We are teaching this beautiful song in primary again this year. My Stake Primary Presidency challenged us to teach all six verses to the children. Do you have a recording of all 6 verses sung together that I can play for my primary?

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Rebecca, the only recordings I have are the ones listed here on the song page. I don’t have a recording with all 6 verses… that would make it a bit long, especially for kids! The extra verses were written to address various subjects, and I really didn’t expect them to be used all at once. 🙂

      Reply
    • Mary Ann Lento

      Perhaps you could have the older children come forward and sing in groups for a couple of the verses.

      Reply
  9. Larry Beck

    Listened to 164 missionaries sing this song last week in Zone conference. What a powerful message for the Elders and Sisters! One question, why did you choose to use “nigh” instead of “near” at the end of each chorus?

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Internal rhyme, and it just sings nicely. 🙂 I suppose I could have said “in close proximity…” but it was too many syllables. 😉

      Reply
      • Larry Beck

        And the Tabernacle Choir sang this today! Verse 5 says it all for me. I’ve conducted a lot of your music over the years and I want to thank you for sharing your gifts and talents.

        Reply
  10. carl glaettli

    Hi Sister DeFord, Thank you for bringing music to our home. Even on our missions to South America the members chose many of your songs to brighten their lives. Sincerely, Carl Glaettli Nampa Idaho

    Reply
  11. Jonelle Morris

    I love this song! It has such a special spirt. Thanks for sharing all the different versions.

    Reply
  12. Sergio

    Congratulations. It´s a very beautiful song!

    Reply
  13. Darrel R. Thompson

    The ward choir sang this Sunday in Sacrament Mtg. where I was to speak. What stood out was the title, and the beautiful harmonious male voices that usually struggle in ward choirs. So 2 days later I am remembering and was so glad to find this site, to be able to read the words. Priceless gift to all, thank you Sally Deford. I composed a dozen or so songs when serving as Ward Mission Leader, but haven’t the skills to share them. So am in awe of those who can do so. “The Lord hath put a new song (many) in my mouth” as my soul sings praises to Him and for the restored gospel.

    Reply
  14. Jennifer

    Is there a way to get either an MP3 or sheet music download of the accompaniment version that was sung by David Archuleta at his Face to Face? Thanks so much… such a beautiful, tender song!!

    Reply
  15. Karla H

    Im singing in Church for the first time in a long time, agter overcoming serious problems with my vocal chords and nearly losing my voice entirely. I produce sound differently now, but I think I like it better – more reliable, if one can imagine. Relying both spiritually and vocally on music the MTC has recorded over through the decades – and most especially recemtly – I can sing eith them and other fine artists while readying mysellf for the day. That’s what brought about my greater love for “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”. Am internet search brought me to your arrangement for a men’s duet, written in treble clef with the added harmonies by James Lyones. It has allowed me several options in making variations of melody on the different verses while still maintaining the integrity of the song amd message. Thank you for making your music so available to everyone. It’s a joy to use – to sing.

    Reply
  16. Serenity2001

    I love this song! I received a special song book for Christmas a few years ago with this song and others and I cant find it!!!! I was so glad to find this through my mom!

    Reply
  17. Kami

    Just wanted to say thank you to Sally DeFord for sharing so much music, including this touching song. I’m so impressed by all the different versions. Something for everyone! Can’t wait to teach my group the little harmony part for the primary program!

    Reply
  18. Raven

    I grew up singing this song. And to this day it touches my heart. But recently I’ve started having anxiety attacks and I was afraid a lot….so I wrote an extra verse I could sing when I was afraid.

    “If the Savior stood beside me, would I fear the things I fear? Would I always be so worried, if the Savior were standing near?

    Or would my heart take courage? Oh how brave would I be, if I could see the savior standing nigh, watching over me.”

    Ever since I started singing that my anxiety levels have improved so much, they don’t completely go away, but I am able to let them pass so much easier and have faith in Heavenly Father.

    Thank you so much for this song, it’s been such a blessing in my life.

    Reply
    • Janet

      this is exactly what I needed today, thank you

      Reply
  19. Gina

    I praise the the Lord for such a wonderful song. Thank you, Sally for sharing your music to everyone. I certainly am grateful for your generosity. God bless you more.

    Reply
  20. Julie Cawley Hanson

    Sis. Deford, I’ve loved this song for years! But tonight I went looking for a duet about the Savior that I could sing for an interfaith program. I wanted something simply beautiful that could bare testimony of the Savior. My voice is not what it used to be after 30 years of singing in Mormon Youth Chorus and the Tabernacle Choir! I’m singing with another member of Tab Choir who is coming to Kansas, where I now live, to sing with me. This duet arrangement is absolutely exquisite and perfect for the occasion! I didn’t think the original solo could get any better, but you have outdone yourself. I cannot thank you enough for your contribution to music in the church and the world. You are an absolute treasure!!

    Reply
  21. Mary

    Praise God for your talent and your music. I am really inspired and blessed. Thank you so much for your generosity. May the Lord continue to bless you as you bless others.

    Reply
  22. Alva Maynor

    The Guitar chords I have found on the internet for this song put the capo on the third fret then play chords for key of G which places it in key of Bb, whereas the sheet music is written in the key of C. I am going change the chords so you play in the key of C with no capo. I did this once on my on, but I can’t find the arrangement I did any more. Love the song .

    Reply
  23. Cynitra Anderson

    I love this song and the melody is so beautiful…we are singing this song in our Stake Conference.

    Reply
  24. Gabriela

    I just heard this song for the first time and fell in love with it! Thank you for those inspired words…I believe that there is a version in spanish, but still, because there is so many meaning that get lost at translation I m for sure will translate my own version and will use it in a speech or class very soon.

    Reply
  25. Erin

    I absolutely love this song mainly because of how I can relate to it, especially with all the blessings I received for making a right decision out of love and respect for the Savior himself.

    Reply
  26. Vincent F. Pelago

    Hi Sis. Sally,

    Thank you for this wonderful music. It really inspires me and reminds that the Savior is always watching us and know each of us very well. I really love the song and made me a stronger person everytime I hear the song or sing it myself.

    Vincent

    Reply
  27. Ted Johnson

    Hard to ascertain that Sally DeFord is the composer; this needs to be more prominently listed. Heard this song last Sunday on Broadcast 4434, which is not archived yet on the MSW website. Beautiful words and music!

    Reply
  28. Tia

    Thank you for the beautiful music over the years. Last Friday we took our missionaries, who were finishing their missions that day, to a school for the blind. Part of the service project was to teach 4 primary songs. “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” was one of the songs which they taught. The children, teenagers, teachers loved it. It bought a wonderful feeling to our program. Thank you again for sharing your incredible talent.

    Reply
  29. Lynda Tracy

    I am a chaplaincy volunteer for a women’s prison, where I direct a choir. These SA arrangements will be very helpful as I don’t have any budget for purchasing music! Thank you!

    Reply
  30. Marina

    Dear Sally, i’m from Brazil and i’ve been so blessed with your songs and hymns arrangments! I’m so grateful that such a great musician as you give freely your talent for the blessing of others…I just wanted you to know that. I am such a fan of your work. I wondered if anyone offered to translate to portuguese your songs….cause the lyrics have touched my soul in so many ways that I would really want that all my friends, family and brethren of the church that doesn’t understand english could know what your songs are talking about. Well, keep on doing this wonderful work with music that you always do! You inspire me!
    Best regards,

    Marina

    Reply
  31. Steph

    Dear Sally,

    I have loved playing this for the children this year for our Presentation. Now that the Presentation is over (we’re going to keep singing it) I would love to be able to incorporate this into my selection of Stake Conference ‘prelude music’/piano solos. Do you have a piano solo version please? Thank you.

    Reply
  32. Fred

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!! Please produce simplified guitar chords for this song. I would love to play this.

    Reply
  33. Karan Taylor

    Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful song. It is truly one of my favorites. When my grandson passed away, my daughter had inscribed on his headstone “Because he loves me dearly, I am in his watchful care”. Thank you for always being inspired to write such beautiful music, and being so willing to share it.

    Reply
  34. Heather

    Thank you so much for making this music available for free. I was looking for the flute obbligato and was fully expecting to have to pay for it. The flute part with help make our primary program so special!

    Reply
  35. Linda Silver

    Like many others I was so touched by this song when I heard my little grandchildren sing it with the rest of the primary in their program. We are speaking in our sacrament meeting prior to our serving a mission. Our daughters are going to sing this as the musical number. I cannot express how thankful I am to you for making it available and so easy to find on the inter net. I did a search thinking I would probably not find it especially as a duet for women. I was soooo HAPPY to find it. Thanks you!

    Reply
  36. Jean Faison

    Sally, this song is such an inspiration to me. The first time I heard it was in Sacrament meeting. As the Primary children sang, I was brought to tears. Their voices were so sweet and pure, and I felt the spirit so strong as they sang. Thank you for your generous gift to the Church. Your songs help us feel the spirit, and spread the gospel.

    Reply
  37. Carl Watkins

    Sally, I produce “Sounds of Sunday” for 17 radio stations. Today I am producing a new show with the version of “If the Savior Stood Before Me” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Could you give me a little information about yourself? I like interesting little facts to spice up the show. How did you come to write this song?

    Reply
    • Sally DeFord

      Hi Carl,

      I’m short on time this afternoon, until around 9:30 tonight. There is some information on the song on this page, https://www.defordmusic.com/sheet-music/alphabetical-list/if-the-savior-stood-beside-me/ to start with, and I’ll e-mail you a bit more later tonight.

      Reply

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