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.
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.
This song now has so many different versions available, that you’ll notice there are a couple of extra tabs on this page. If you’re looking for information on other versions or on available recordings, just click the appropriate tab above.
Many of you have requested background on this song and/or a message to your Primary children. I’m posting it here rather than send so many identical responses individually.
“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 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 linked here.
The original version 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 here is correct.
Verse 3 was added in 2006 at the request of the General YW board.
The two easy 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 SA arrangement of the original without the extra verse. Another easy SA, arranged by Jerry Jackman, is available through Jackman Music. Note that this arrangement can’t be copied.
For youth chorus, the Duet/two-part Choir version uses the same accompaniment, and contains the same verses. There is an MP3 practice track available for this version. There is also a 2 pt. mixed chorus version which uses the original accompaniment and verses. No practice track is available for this score. Both are fairly easy.
Solo and Choir
Both of the above versions will work for choir. Any of the versions may be used for solo voice. The Solo/Men version has yet another different accompaniment. The harmonies, provided by James Loynes (thanks, James!) are written for two voices.
The Tabernacle Choir version was arranged by Sam Cardon. The sheet music is currently unavailable.
Listed below are commercial products using this song:
High-quality 320Kbps MP3s These files are .50 each. The links will take you to the purchase page in a new browser screen. Purchase includes a license to copy and distribute the file on any physical medium (CD, DVD, etc.) in unlimited quantities, for non-commercial use. (It also pays for the file hosting, and keeps new recordings in the works!) If you want to burn CDs to distribute as gifts to classes or groups, Christmas cards, etc., or if you just like the sound better, these are the files for you.