I cherish the hymn, “Abide With Me, ‘Tis Eventide.” Its moving message inspired me to write this FHE lesson, which is now being posted here on tumblr.
From the dictionary:
Abide-continue without fading or being lost. Synonyms include: endure, persist, live, dwell
When we ask the Savior to abide with us, we are asking for an eternal relationship. We want His presence to never fade, and His love to continue to bless us. But respectively, we are also asked to abide in Him, meaning we are to endure, persist, and dwell despite the trials in our lives. Elder Holland has this to say 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.” (Elder Holland, “Abide in Me”)
Abiding in the Church
The Savior has asked that we abide in Him, reciprocating our plea for Him to abide in us. But how do we abide? Why is it important?
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4"
We cannot bear fruit by ourselves. Goodness springs from a greater source. When we align our lives with the Saviors, and become apart of the greater vine, we will bear delicious fruit. Our lives will become greater than just ourselves, and we will inspire goodness in others.
Our call is to endure our trials and become a part of the gospel. I know that when we do so, He will abide in us. His power will change us for the better, and He will carry our burdens. The hymn brings such power when placed in the understanding that we must abide in Him if we want our Savior to abide with us.
Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!
I need thy presence ev’ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!
In conclusion is this quote from Elder Holland. If you are pricked by this message, and want to learn more, I encourage you to read his talk. It is beautifully eloquent.
“I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to ‘abide’ in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life. In Him we not only will endure but also will prevail and triumph in this holy cause that will never fail us. May we never fail it nor fail Him I pray in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (Elder Holland, “Abide in Me”)