God Is Merciful and Gracious

Exodus 34:6–7

6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

“[The Lectures on Faith teaches]: ‘[God] is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and . . . He was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting’ [Lectures on Faith (1985), 41]. To Moses Deity said of Himself: ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth’ (Exodus 34:6). In the Psalmic word we read: ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. . . . The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. . . . The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them’ (Psalm 103:6, 8, 17–18).

“The relationship of these elements in the character of Deity to faith and the salvation that flows therefrom is set forth in these words: ‘Unless He was merciful and gracious, slow to anger, long-suffering and full of goodness, such is the weakness of human nature, and so great the frailties and imperfections of men, that unless they believed that these excellencies existed in the divine character, the faith necessary to salvation could not exist; for doubt would take the place of faith, and those who know their weakness and liability to sin would be in constant doubt of salvation if it were not for the idea which they have of the excellency of the character of God, that He is slow to anger and long-suffering, and of a forgiving disposition, and does forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. An idea of these facts does away doubt, and makes faith exceedingly strong’ [Lectures on Faith (1985), 42].”

(A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 171–72.)

 

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