Each of us will experience the tender mercies of the Lord from time to time if we just try to keep His commandments and let humility, love and kindness guide our lives.
David A. Bednar said, “Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that 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.
Let me suggest that one of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies. For instance, as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord.
Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. The persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. The Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.
I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us. Our desires, faithfulness, and obedience invite and help us to discern His mercies in our lives. we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord.” (The Tender Mercies of the Lord, Ensign, May 2005)
As we face tragedies in our lives, we can experience the tender mercies of the Lord. I was touched by the experience of a young couple that lost their 20 month old baby to cancer. Laura Linton provided her account in an article published in an April edition of Ensign.
“I was 26 when my husband and I lost our first child. Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was only 13 months old. After three surgeries, five rounds of chemotherapy, and many medications and treatments, she passed away in our arms at 20 months old. I was devastated to lose my beautiful, curious, and energetic little girl. How could this happen? How could I move on? I had so many questions, but I didn’t have any answers. A couple of days after the funeral, my husband and I visited the gravesite, still covered with beautiful pink flowers and ribbons from the funeral. As I thought about my daughter, I saw a tiny baby bird, too young to fly, hopping on the grass. This bird reminded me of Kennedy because she loved animals. The bird hopped over to the grave and played in the ribbons and flowers. I smiled, knowing this is exactly what Kennedy would have wanted. The bird then hopped toward me. I didn’t dare move a muscle. The little bird hopped right next to me, leaned against my leg, closed its eyes, and fell asleep. I can hardly explain the feelings I had in that moment. I felt as if I was getting a hug from my Kennedy. I could not hold my daughter, but this little bird–a creation of our Father in Heaven–could come and rest its tiny head on me, reminding me that Heavenly Father understood my pain and would always be there to comfort me and help me through this trial. I still didn’t have all the answers to my questions, but this tender mercy reassured me that Kennedy and I are both loved by our Heavenly Father and that through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, I have the hope that Kennedy, my husband, and I will one day be together again as a family.”
The Scriptures have recorded, “…The Lord is … of tender mercy.” (James 5: 11 in the Bible)
“But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.” (1 Nephi 1: 20 in the Book of Mormon).
When I was a young leader in the church, I was asked to conduct and speak at the funeral of a young man that was tragically killed in a car accident. I felt so inadequate to perform this responsibility. As I was seated on the stand I felt so alone, scared and uninspired praying earnestly in my heart that the Lord would help me. Just a few minutes before I addressed the large group of people assembled, the Spirit came over me with such power that I physically felt the divine power and when I spoke, my words just flowed through me to the gathered funeral group. The Spirit stayed with me for about 3 hours after and it was a marvelous spiritual experience I will always remember as one of the “Tender mercies of the Lord” in my hour of need.
We should all look for the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives to strengthen our faith and thank the Lord for them. If we will do this, the tender mercies will keep coming.
Dallas Jones is the local leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For discussion of the Tender Mercies call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org