The Laws of Justice and Mercy

Church Educational System

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained that the Savior’s sacrifice allows mercy to be extended to us without violating the law of justice:

“Each of us lives on a kind of spiritual credit. One day the account will be closed, a settlement demanded. However casually we may view it now, when that day comes and the foreclosure is imminent, we will look around in restless agony for someone, anyone, to help us.
“And, by eternal law, mercy cannot be extended save there be one who is both willing and able to assume our debt and pay the price and arrange the terms for our redemption.
“Unless there is a mediator, unless we have a friend, the full weight of justice untempered, unsympathetic, must, positively must fall on us. The full recompense for every transgression, however minor or however deep, will be exacted from us to the uttermost farthing.
“But know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is such a Mediator.
“‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’ (1 Tim. 2:5.)
“Through Him mercy can be fully extended to each of us without offending the eternal law of justice.
“This truth is the very root of Christian doctrine. …
“The extension of mercy will not be automatic. It will be through covenant with Him. It will be on His terms, His generous terms, which include, as an absolute essential, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.
“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” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 80; or Ensign, May 1977, 55–56).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared this insight: “The justice and mercy of God will have been so demonstrably perfect that at the Final Judgment there will be no complaints, including from those who once questioned what God had allotted in the mortal framework (see 2 Nephi 9:14–15; Alma 5:15–19; 12:3–14; 42:23–26, 30)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2000, 92; or Ensign, May 2000, 74).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)