Elder Christofferson’s sermon on divine love focused on the need to abide in the love of Christ in order to be transformed by it.
“To ‘continue in’ or ‘abide in’ the Savior’s love means to receive His grace and be perfected by it. To receive His grace, we must have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, including repenting of our sins, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing in the path of obedience.”
I love how Elder Christofferson links abiding directly to being transformed by the grace of Christ and the power of his atonement. God wants to change our very nature. His love is the love of seeing us for who we can become rather than who we are now. And if we abide in him, then we can be transformed by him.
Elder Christofferson’s words reminded me something Elder Holland taught in conference in 2004 about the word “abide.”
“‘Abide in me’ is an understandable and beautiful enough concept in the elegant English of the King James Bible, but ‘abide’ is not a word we use much anymore. So I gained even more appreciation for this admonition from the Lord when I was introduced to the translation of this passage in another language. In Spanish that familiar phrase is rendered ‘permaneced en mi.’ Like the English verb ‘abide,’ permanecer means ‘to remain, to stay,’ but even gringos like me can hear the root cognate there of ‘permanence.’ The sense of this then is ‘stay—but stay forever.’ That is the call of the gospel message to Chileans and everyone else in the world. Come, but come to remain. Come with conviction and endurance. Come permanently, for your sake and the sake of all the generations who must follow you, and we will help each other be strong to the very end.”
We know that Christ’s grace and his promises are enduring and eternal. Our resolve and commitment to him must likewise be enduring and eternal. We must abide steadfast in the Gospel and therefore abide in God’s grace.