Four simple words have been running on a continuous loop in my head. During a recent temple shift, when a sister worker came to relieve me from my current assignment so I could rotate to my next position, she quietly said, “I’m here for you.” That tiny phrase echoed through me the rest of the day, prompting me to ponder three thoughts:

First, how the actions of other people have said to me, “I’m here for you.”

I recommend the mental exercise of recalling experiences when friends, family, and even strangers have acted in ways that communicated, “I’m here for you.” The following are just two of the personal examples that came to mind as I considered this subject:

  1. It had been a rough three days. My heart was aching for a family member who was in a painful situation, and after a long weekend of tears and prayers I felt emotionally fragile. Back then my husband worked in the valley north of our home–thirty minutes away–so he rarely came home for lunch. Imagine my surprise when I found him standing in the kitchen, in the middle of a Monday. He didn’t say a word. He simply opened his arms to me, and I gratefully stepped into the embrace. Somehow, Brad knew I needed the comfort of his physical presence that day, and I basked in the comfort of his strong arms. He sacrificed his lunch hour to make certain I was okay, and his actions sent an unmistakable message: “I’m here for you.”
  2. Several winters ago, I had a serious case of the flu. The most difficult symptom to bear was the extreme body aches I experienced. It is no exaggeration to say I felt like I’d been beaten from head to toe. My grown children and their families gathered in our home for our usual Sunday dinner, which my husband had prepared since I was so ill. After the meal, some of my kids sneaked back to the master bedroom to check on me as I lay there like a limp dishrag. I spoke with them briefly but quickly sent them away because I didn’t want them to be exposed to the virus. Thinking they had all left the room, I painfully rolled onto my side and discovered that my daughter, Rebecca, was still there. I encouraged her to stay far away from me, but instead of complying, she sat on the floor close to me and quietly sang hymns and other spiritual songs. I was nearly whimpering from the severe aching of my body, but hearing Rebecca’s sweet soprano voice was exquisitely soothing, relieving my discomfort more effectively than large doses of Tylenol. With every note she sang, my daughter said to me, “I’m here for you.”

Second, how my actions can say to others, “I’m here for you.”

We are grateful and relieved when someone notices our struggles and acts to help us. Remembering those experiences can inspire us to be there for someone else in their troubled times.

Each time we sit with and listen to those suffering from mental illness, infertility, chronic illness, or isolation, our actions affirm, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we gird up our loins and show up to teach a class of rambunctious Primary children, or a group of restless teenagers in Sunday school, we communicate to them, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we listen without judgment as a friend or family member shares their questions, fears, and frustrations during a crisis of faith, we send a clear message, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we act as proxy in the temple for a deceased person, standing in their stead to receive sacred ordinances, we say to them, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we open our hearts to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, extending a genuine welcome into our circle and seeking to understand their journey, we declare, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we reach out to those we’re asked to minister to, whether we acknowledge a birthday, rejoice with him or her, or help to ease burdens, we make it clear, “I’m here for you.”

Each time we attend Sacrament meeting, pay attention to the words of the hymns, and partake mindfully of the Sacrament, we show the Lord, “I’m here for you.”  We also say, “I’m here for you to cleanse me, to change me, to make me into someone better.”

Each time we show Christlike love to “one of the least of these” we say to the Savior, “I’m here for You.”

Third, how the Savior has said to me, “I’m here for you.”

Just as I enjoyed recalling ways people have been there for me over the years, it has also been a pleasure to search my memory for instances when the Savior’s power and presence helped me when I was floundering. As I contemplate the ways Jesus Christ says, “I’m here for you,” several scriptures come to mind:

“…Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8, emphasis added)

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:16)

“I am your advocate with the Father.” (D&C 29:5)

 “… and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)

“…I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places withersoever thou goest…” (Genesis 29:15)

Last summer, under the direction of our bishop, my church congregation undertook a large project. Each ward member was invited to think of a time when we saw the hand of the Lord in our lives–when He was there for us–and to write that memory down. Each story was then collected, digitally formatted, and published in book form so we could read and be inspired by each other’s experiences. My friend, Susan, wrote about how the Lord was there for her during a time of serious turmoil when she was a college student and her parents separated after years of marital discord:

“…I found myself alone, in a lot of pain, and afraid. I didn’t know the future of my family, and my faith was waning. There was much heartache and pain from years of struggles and it was all coming to the surface. …I knelt down by my bed and poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father. I was distraught and felt so alone. Soon after I began pouring out my heart, I felt an intense peace start at the top of my head and flow down through my entire body. I was instantly calm. The storm within me was completely silenced.”

How I love Susan’s stunning phrase, “The storm within me was completely silenced.” Her experience verifies the truth of the Savior’s promise, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18) In so many instances, Jesus Christ–through His grace and atoning power–has been there for me to ease my grief, to wash away my sins, to strengthen my weakest parts, to soften my stubborn heart, and to encourage me on the upward path that leads to Him. May we recall, record, and share the ways the Savior and His earthly angels have been there for us. And through our actions may we constantly assure those around us, “I’m here for you.”