I loved this by Brent L Top:
“Alma reminded his people that Christ “sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them” (Alma 5:33; emphasis added). Think of what that invitation really means. Think of what His arms of mercy can do for you. When you are embraced in His arms of mercy, you will come to know the peace and joy of being clean—forgiven of your sins through His atoning mercy. You will see the world and all eternity with new eyes through the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You will feel more profoundly and love more deeply because He will, as the prophet Ezekiel declared, “take away the stony heart out of your flesh” and give you “a new heart” and “a new spirit” that will “cause you to walk in [His] statutes … and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
I had an experience that helped me glimpse what it means to be embraced in the arms of His mercy. I was so moved and motivated by my experience with President Uchtdorf that I determined to follow his example with my missionaries. We took every group of departing missionaries, on their last day in the mission, to the Nauvoo Illinois Temple for an endowment session. I greeted the missionaries as they entered the celestial room with a big hug and the words “I love you.” I expressed my deep appreciation for their service and that they were now able to return home with honor. I meant every word of it, but I must admit that it was easier to express those sentiments to some missionaries than to others.
One elder in particular had given me more than his share of grief. On more than one occasion, I told him I was going to send him home. He would always promise me that he would try harder, which he did for a while. But then the cycle would start over again—disobedience, admonishment, repentance, renewed determination, and then slacking off. I badly wanted him to complete his mission honorably, which he finally did.
As he entered the celestial room, I greeted him with the customary hug and the almost obligatory “I love you.” Tears streamed down his face. His whole body shook with weeping. When he could speak, he whispered to me over and over again, “Thank you for extending me mercy.” It was a tender moment and I too shed many tears. My love for him at that moment was unbounded.
Then it happened. I understood. Almost as if the veil had parted, I sensed a coming day when I would embrace the Savior, and with tears of gratitudeand love I would likewise declare, “Thank you for extending me mercy.”
How grateful I am for the Lord’s arms of mercy. I am grateful that He has rescued me, not only from physical death and sin but also from myself—my fears, my discouragement, my doubts, and my feelings of inadequacy. Truly, His arms of mercy are arms of safety and security. Mormon reminds us that had his people repented and faithfully followed the Savior, “they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11).
Despite our accomplishments, talents, and desires for righteousness, we are weak—spiritually without arms. At times we feel what Ammon declared: “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God” (Alma 26:12). Ammon knew whose arms gave him the strength to perform mighty miracles and proclaim the gospel. To paraphrase his words, “Clasped in the arms of Jesus, I can do all things” (see Alma 26:12).
May we exercise greater faith in the arms of the Lord—His arms of power, His arms of love, and His arms of mercy. May we allow Him to cradle and carry and comfort us in those arms. In turn, our arms—our determination and our devotion—will be strengthened. I bear testimony of the living reality of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His gospel. I have witnessed the enabling power of the Lord’s grace that empowers us to do and to be better. I have experienced that power. I have felt His arms around me. May we all be “clasped in the arms of Jesus.”