“The Tender Mercies of the Lord”

Elder David A. Bednar
April 2005 General Conference

What it’s about:
Elder Bednar spoke all about tender mercies, “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. And 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.”

“We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”

“Some individuals who hear or read this message erroneously may discount or dismiss in their personal lives the availability of the tender mercies of the Lord, believing that “I certainly am not one who has been or ever will be chosen.” We may falsely think that such blessings and gifts are reserved for other people who appear to be more righteous or who serve in visible Church callings. 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. To be or to become chosen is not an exclusive status conferred upon us. Rather, you and I ultimately determine if we are chosen. […]God does not have a list of favorites to which we must hope our names will someday be added. He does not limit “the chosen” to a restricted few. Rather, it is our hearts and our aspirations and our obedience which definitively determine whether we are counted as one of God’s chosen. […]we become God’s chosen and invite His tender mercies as we use our agency to choose God.”

What it means to me:

OK… so I really just wanted to put the WHOLE TALK in here.  I remember when Elder Bednar delivered this talk originally in April General Conference 2005.  My thoughts then were, “Oh nice. That felt good; he’s a great speaker.”  During September of 2005, just a few months later, a drunk driver nearly took me off the face of this earth.  It was a life-changing event for me, and the outpouring of tender mercies delivered that night made this talk come alive in my recollection during the following weeks.  As the years pass, I am reminded that tender mercies from Heavenly Father are very abundant in my life, sometimes even when I really don’t feel deserving of them.  This testifies to me that my all-knowing and all-loving Heavenly Father truly does know my heart and the intentions of it far better than I ever will.  I love how tender mercies from Heavenly Father are incredibly individualized, and always exactly what we need, whether we recognize it immediately or not.  

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