Sunday, November 9, 2008

If the Savior Stood Beside Me


Elder Cordova of the Seventy visited our stake conference this weekend, and we had a wonderful experience with him. All of his talks were exceptional, but his words this morning touched me as much as any I've heard. He began by greeting us, of course, and expressed his love for the people of our stake. He then asked all of the Primary children to stand up. After they had done so, he encouraged them to move out into the aisles so that we could see them. This was quite a departure from the norm, and I was expecting to hear lots of noise and confusion. Amazingly, the children were reverent, as if they sensed the sacred nature of what was to come.  

Once they were in the aisles, and remember, this is every aisle in the chapel and cultural hall, Elder Cordova invited them to walk up toward him. Before long, all of these lovely children were gathered together in the center aisles, filling about the front 3/4 of the chapel. It was quite a sight. One little girl in particular touched me because she was holding her little sister in her arms. I have to tell you that the entire scene brought tears to my eyes, but as it happens, that was just the beginning. 

Elder Cordova then asked the children if they would do him a favor and sing a song for him. The song he requested was "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," one that was presented this year in the ward Primary programs. I'll share the words with you, in case you haven't heard or can't remember them:

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?

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.
                                                                       -by Sally DeFord

I cannot adequately express to you how touching it was to see these children called up unexpectedly from the audience in such numbers. To hear their high, clear voices spontaneously singing this lilting, innocent melody for the entire congregation was a gift to everyone in attendance. Let's just say that I was not the only person in the building with tears streaming down my face. 

After they had returned to their seats, Elder Cordova smiled gently and said, "It's all worth it, isn't it?"

I wish every one of you could have been there. This was such a rare moment, the kind you know you will call up again and again to savor in sweet memory. It's like having a brand new penny in my pocket, one which I can pull out and enjoy the brightness of any time I want to feel the Spirit more abundantly.

Alma definitely knew what he was talking about when he said, "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." (Alma 37:6). I am grateful I was privileged to witness this small, simple, great thing.

1 comment:

Heather Anderson said...

SOunds very toughing. Your Grandchildren sang that song today too at our ward primary program. It is such a beautiful song and Jeremiah sang it with all his heart. Little Carli wanted to be in charge (as always) so she took it un herself to lead the music for the primary children... totally Carli. It was a very toughing song and I wish we could have been a your stake conf it sounds just like the uplifting moment I need now.

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