Mercy. God gives a reprieve for justice to only those sinners who earn this right by keeping their end of the agreement and doing good works. As thirteenth President Ezra Taft Benson explained, “We go to our chapels each week to worship the Lord and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. We thereby promise to take His name upon us, to always remember Him, and keep all His commandments. Our agreement to keep all the commandments is our covenant with God. Only as we do this may we deserve His blessings and merit His mercy” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 442). First Presdiency member James Faust told a general conference audience, “Mercy will not rob justice, and the sealing power of faithful parents will only claim wayward children upon the condition of their repentance and Christ’s Atonement. Repentant wayward children will enjoy salvation and all the blessings that go with it, but exaltation is much more. It must be fully earned. The question as to who will be exalted must be left to the Lord in His mercy” (“Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2003, 62).
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