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.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 102–3
"The Tender Mercies of the Lord"
David A. Bednar, Liahona, May 2005, 99–102; or Ensign, May 2005, 99–102
The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1977, 54–56
All mankind can be protected by the law of justice, and at once each of us individually may be extended the redeeming and healing blessing of mercy.
" 'Friends Again at Last': Justice and Mercy in the Warming Glow of Charity"
Lance B. Wickman, Ensign, June 2000, 30–37
Neither the justice nor the mercy of God can be understood, enjoyed, or emulated without understanding and practicing the undergirding principle of charity.
"The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith"
James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1997, 53–59
Those who extend judgment, mercy, faith, and forgiveness exhibit a greatness of soul and mind consistent with the spirit of the Lord's teachings and example.
"Mercy—The Divine Gift"
Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1995, 54–60
Should you or I have erred or spoken harshly to another, it is good to take steps to straighten out the matter and to move onward with our lives.
"Joy and Mercy"
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 73–75
God's mercy is the only source of the ultimate and eternal joy, which restores every loss, dries every tear, and erases every pain.
"Blessed Are the Merciful"
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1990, 68–70
Mercy is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"My Specialty Is Mercy"
Marion D. Hanks, Ensign, Nov. 1981, 73–75
The mercy of God must be mirrored in the mercy of man, and the field is as broad as the needs of the whole human family.