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Tender Mercies

In General Conference April 2005, Elder David A. Bednar gave a talk entitled “The Tender Mercies of the Lord.” He chose this topic because of a tender mercy he experienced the conference six months earlier in which he was newly sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Bednar emphasized throughout his talk that “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” (100).

I can testify that this statement is true. I went to the public library recently to search for Harry Potter 3 and an Agatha Christie novel, but to no avail. I was extremely frustrated and felt like I had wasted my time. Before leaving, we went to the little used bookstore in the library. I looked through the bookcases and saw the mystery section. Lo and behold, what did I find? Two copies of And Then There Were None! I kept browsing and moved to the children's section. What was there? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! And the best part? I spent $1.50 total.

Elder Bednar admonished, “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” (100).

This fortification applies not only to spiritually troubled times, but also temporally troubled times. A few weeks ago at Walmart, a woman came up to me and gave me a $3-off coupon for an item she noticed I put into my cart. Being under financial stress, I was very grateful for the small but helpful savings.

Such tender mercies as I have shared are reminders that the Lord constantly watches over His children. “Let me suggest,” Elder Bednar said, “that one of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies” (99).

However, sometimes we may not think tender mercies apply to us because, as Elder Bednar pointed out, “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. . . . 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 definitely determine whether we are counted as one of God’s chosen” (101).

I admit I had that false notion several months ago because I was not feeling very spiritually high and feared I had lost a lot of light. One day a coworker asked me a gospel-related question. I answered him with such promptness and simplicity that he was very impressed. He told me he had asked that same question to many people, including LDS missionaries, and had never received such a fulfilling answer. Having been able to give the answer he was looking for made me realize the Spirit was still with me and the Lord could still use me as an instrument in His hands.

I know that the tender mercies of the Lord are not coincidences but timely blessings the Lord gives us to protect us, comfort us, and let us know He cares about each of us.

Sharing Time: Share a tender mercy from the Lord you have experienced recently.

Bednar, David A. “The Tender Mercies of the Lord.” Ensign. May 2005: 99–102.


Anonymous said…
very awesome talk- i used his talk at CES May 2009 for my lesson 2 weeks ago and people came up saying it was a life changing lesson. I love Bednar.

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