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.
Such compassion may seem to conflict with the law of justice, which requires that no unclean thing be permitted to dwell with God (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).
Receiving God’s Mercy
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
Forgiveness of sin is not the only gift of mercy from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Every blessing you receive is an act of mercy, more than you could ever merit on your 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, you are a recipient of divine mercy when Heavenly Father hears and answers your prayers, when you receive guidance from the Holy Ghost, and when you are healed from sickness through priesthood power. Although all such blessings come as results of your obedience, you could never receive them through your efforts alone. They are merciful gifts from a loving and compassionate Father.
Showing Mercy for Others
Speaking to His disciples, the Savior commanded: “Be ye … merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). You can follow your Heavenly Father’s example of mercy in your relationships with others. Strive to rid your life of arrogance, pride, and conceit. Seek ways to be compassionate, respectful, forgiving, gentle, and patient, even when you are aware of others’ shortcomings. As you do so, your example will lead others to be more merciful, and you will have greater claim on the mercy of God.