Monday, September 15, 2008

If the Savior Stood Beside Me

Walking about campus lately has reminded of my days at BYU. I've noticed that students here don't sing or whistle to themselves nearly as much as they did at BYU. It was not uncommon to be walking across campus and hear songs or hymns quietly being sung by a fellow pedestrian. In fact, I occasionally came upon those who practiced full-out singing! (I always wanted to join in, with another part, but never had the courage or talent.)

Letaly, though, I've been guilty of quietly singing as I walk across campus for a class. Perhaps the change in season reminds me of fall in Utah, and the associated BYU singing, but I think it's something more.

We've been listening to a compilation of songs for a children's presentation at church that David will be involved in. One of the songs has stuck in my mind, occupying a place and coming out much longer and more often than any other song that has found its way into that place in the brain that holds onto songs—the "I've got a song stuck in my head" place.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. In fact, I really enjoy the song and its message. The song, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," is especially catchy as I think of my little David singing it, and seems even especially applicable to me, even as I walk across campus (listen to the song here, and look for other versions here). Apparently, the author wrote the song for her daughter, not as a lecture, but because the child was Christ-like (like my sweet children).

I've noticed that I smile much more as I'm walking when this song is in my head. It helps to focus my thoughts upward and inward, instead of simply having random unproductive thoughts. To help understand the power I draw from this song that's stuck in my head, here are the 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?

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.

I like that some subconscious part of my mind has retained this song, and that the message is helping me on my quest to do the things I should do, and be who I want to be. In addition, I love that this children's song helps me more fully honor the sacramental covenants to "always remember him" as I strive to "keep his commandments," trying to live so I "may always have his Spirit to be with [me]" (see Moroni 4:3 & 5:2).

Is it any wonder that I'm smiling more? After all, Heber C. Kimball remarked:

I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being. Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit. (Journal of Discourses 4:222)

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