We Demand Justice! (But Do We Really Want What’s Coming To Us?)


What a great blessing it is to have a father who has words of wisdom to impart, and that seem to flow effortlessly through him. I have such a father. It seemed that each time we talked,  I would do most of the talking, but he did all of the teaching. I would probably have learned a lot more if I would have been a better listener. The other day I was talking to my brother. He related to me a conversation he had with my late Father. My brother told me that one time he was talking with my Dad about the injustice of life and how upset he was about it. He told my Father in a rather condemning voice that ‘The day will come when everyone will get what they deserve!'” My brother then said to me, “Dad replied, ‘I hope not!’” I started to laugh. It struck me as such a funny reply to an exasperated son who was looking for justice. My Dad’s answer was more profound than what my brother had expected. The answer set me to thinking. “We do want everyone to get “what’s coming” to them! But, do we really want what is coming to us?” Without God’s mercy, all of us are in trouble.

My Dad’s simple expression of “I hope not”, brought to mind a wonderful message from Gordon B. Hinckley given many years ago. He said:

“How great a thing is mercy. Most often it is quiet and unassuming. It receives few headlines. It is the antithesis of vengeance and hatred, of greed and offensive egotism. As Portia says in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

The quality of mercy is not strained,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:

… it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown;

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, …

But mercy is above the sceptred sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself.

(Act 4, sc. 1, lines 184–95.) (“Blessed Are the Merciful,” Ensign, May 1990)

Hinckley then said, “If cultivated (mercy) among all men, it would put an end to the atrocities of war.”

How wonderful a world that would be! There are often times in our lives when we desire mercy from our fellowmen. Let us never forget that we are all “beggars” before the Lord.

“For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment…and for all the riches which we have of every kind?…” (Mosiah 4:19).

Thus, we are ever extending our cup for forgiveness and mercy from the Lord. Shouldn’t we be doing the same for others! The Lord said, “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy!” (Matthew 5:7). We might do well to inventory our minds as to the level of mercy that is in our hearts; for the level by which we judge may just be the level by which we will be judged

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