Elder D. Todd Christofferson never shirks from saying exactly what needs to be said. This perceptive and thoughtful Apostle of the Lord recently shared on Facebook a very interesting message about how we often describe God's love in a way that could lead to incorrect, possibly even dangerous, impressions:
Nearly two weeks ago, I spoke in general conference about the precious gift of God’s divine love. Some refer to God’s love as “unconditional.” However, that term appears nowhere in scripture. Rather, His love is described as “great and wonderful,” “perfect,” “redeeming,” and “everlasting.” The word “unconditional” can convey mistaken impressions about divine love, such as, God tolerates everything and does not judge us, because His love is unconditional; or God makes no demands upon us, because His love is unconditional; or all are saved in the kingdom of God because God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is infinite and will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love.
His love will lead us to realize our full potential, to become even as He is. To truly abide in God’s love we must submit fully to His will in every aspect of our lives. We must remember that as glorious and reassuring as the love of Jesus Christ is, it is not His only attribute. His “character, perfections, and attributes” also include omniscience, justice, mercy, goodness, truth, and invariableness—He is the same God, yesterday, today, and forever. Without these and the other traits and qualities that He possesses to absolute perfection, He would not be God.
It is humbling to consider the cost of God’s precious love. As Paul taught, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Will you not abide in His love? Then keep His commandments.