The Savior taught this principle a number of times in different ways: we ought to treat other people the way we want to be treated:
- “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
- “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
- “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).
The principle is pretty clear: think about how you want to be treated. Treat other people that way, and assume that the kindness you have shown to others will eventually be shown to you. Be merciful to others, and God will be merciful to you.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
How godlike a quality is mercy. It cannot be legislated. It must come from the heart. It must be stirred up from within. It is part of the endowment each of us receives as a son or daughter of God and partaker of a divine birthright. I plead for an effort among all of us to give greater expression and wider latitude to this instinct which lies within us. I am convinced that there comes a time, possibly many times, within our lives when we might cry out for mercy on the part of others. How can we expect it unless we have been merciful ourselves?
(“Blessed Are the Merciful,” General Conference, April 1990)
Today, I will choose to be merciful. I will interpret others’ motives in the best light. I will give help when needed. I will make sacrifices on behalf of other people. I will remember that only by showing mercy to others can I expect to receive mercy myself.