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Mercy
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Jesus Christ. Woman Taken in Adultery

Mercy

Overview

Mercy is the compassionate treatment of a person greater than what is deserved, and it is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses and sins. He shows mercy when He forgives us of our sins and helps us return to dwell in His presence.

God’s compassion may seem to conflict with the law of justice, which requires that no unclean thing be permitted to dwell with Him (see 1 Nephi 10:21). But the Atonement of Jesus Christ made it possible for God to “be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also” (Alma 42:15).

The Savior satisfied the demands of justice when He stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins. Because of this selfless act, the Father can mercifully withhold punishment from us and welcome us into His presence. To receive the Lord’s forgiveness, we must sincerely repent of our sins. As the prophet Alma taught, “Justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved” (Alma 42:24; see also Alma 42:22–23, 25).

Forgiveness of sin is not the only gift of mercy from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Every blessing we receive is an act of mercy, more than we could ever merit on our own. Mormon taught, “All things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them” (Moroni 7:24). For example, we are recipients of divine mercy when Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, when we receive guidance from the Holy Ghost, and when we are healed from sickness through priesthood power. Although all such blessings come as results of our obedience, we could never receive them through our efforts alone. They are merciful gifts from a loving and compassionate Father.

Speaking to His disciples, the Savior commanded: “Be ye … merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We can follow our Heavenly Father’s example of mercy in our relationships with others. We can strive to rid our life of arrogance, pride, and conceit. We can seek ways to be compassionate, respectful, forgiving, gentle, and patient, even when we are aware of others’ shortcomings.

Related Topics

Scriptures

Scripture References

Scripture Study Resources

Messages from Church Leaders

Additional Messages

Videos

“Mercy”

“Parable of the Good Samaritan”

“The Merciful Obtain Mercy”

“The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith”

“The Tender Mercies of the Lord”

“Life after War and Overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress”

“The Savior Wants to Forgive”

Learning Resources

General Resources

Jesus Christ: Lord and Savior,” ComeUntoChrist.org

101 Scriptures Filled with Kindness and Compassion,” ComeUntoChrist.org

‘Tender Mercies’—What is a Tender Mercy?ComeUntoChrist.org

Church Magazines

Randy L. Daybell, “Christlike Mercy,” Ensign, September 2013

Brad Wilcox, “His Grace Is Sufficient,” Ensign, September 2013

Vivian M. Adams, “Joseph Smith’s Boyhood Surgery,” Ensign, June 2013

Recognizing Tender Mercies,” New Era, February 2012

W. Jeffrey Marsh, “Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign, April 2000

Stephen E. Robinson, “Believing Christ,” Ensign, April 1992

Richard Lloyed Anderson, “Parables of Mercy,” Ensign, February 1987

Todd A. Britsch, “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” Ensign, April 1986

Study Manuals

In the News

Plan of Salvation Balances Justice and Mercy,” Church News

What Mormons Believe About Jesus Christ,” Newsroom

On a Mission of Mercy with Ladders, Chainsaws and Backhoes,” Newsroom

Teachings of Presidents of the Church

Stories

Teaching Resources

Teaching Outlines

Media

Audio

Grace,” Music with a Message, episode 8

Tender Mercies,” Music with a Message, episode 35

Music

Images