Young Men Lesson 9: Justice and Mercy

by | Feb. 25, 2011

Young Men

Discussion Questions:
  • What is justice? What is mercy?
  • Read Alma 34:15–16. What is the relationship between justice and mercy?
  • What are the consequences if you decide not to repent? (See Alma 42:22–24; D&C 19:16–17.)
  • How do you receive the gift of mercy?

Excerpt from "Love and Law" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I have been impressed to speak about God’s love and God’s commandments. My message is that God’s universal and perfect love is shown in all the blessings of His gospel plan, including the fact that His choicest blessings are reserved for those who obey His laws. 1 These are eternal principles that should guide parents in their love and teaching of their children.


I begin with four examples which illustrate some mortal confusion between love and law.

• A young adult in a cohabitation relationship tells grieving parents, “If you really loved me, you would accept me and my partner just like you accept your married children.”

• A youth reacts to parental commands or pressure by declaring, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t force me.”

In these examples a person violating commandments asserts that parental love should override the commandments of divine law and the teachings of parents.

The next two examples show mortal confusion about the effect of God’s love.

• A person rejects the doctrine that a couple must be married for eternity to enjoy family relationships in the next life, declaring, “If God really loved us, I can’t believe He would separate husbands and wives in this way.”

• Another person says his faith has been destroyed by the suffering God allows to be inflicted on a person or a race, concluding, “If there was a God who loved us, He wouldn’t let this happen.”

These persons disbelieve eternal laws which they consider contrary to their concept of the effect of God’s love. Persons who take this position do not understand the nature of God’s love or the purpose of His laws and commandments. The love of God does not supersede His laws and His commandments, and the effect of God’s laws and commandments does not diminish the purpose and effect of His love. The same should be true of parental love and rules.

*To read the full talk, click here.

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