Mine Arm of Mercy Is Extended Towards You

“As a young returned missionary, John had become inactive in the Church

– partly due to a list of doubts about the Church but largely because temptations had drawn John toward – years of inactivity, immorality, and substance abuse.



—after long years of maturing through life, marriage, and having children

—John sat before his bishop with increased perspective and an appreciation for what the Church had been trying to provide him and protect him from when he was younger.


He opened his heart and listed out the doubts he’d had about the Church, which, even as he spoke them, seemed to fade into irrelevance with his new perspective.


And as he spoke, the real and most important question on his mind came to the surface:

“After all I’ve done, is it even possible for me to come back?”


Can you imagine how the Savior feels about someone in this moment?


I was overwhelmed with Christ’s love for this young son of God.


“Oh, John,” I told him. “Our Savior is so good and so kind and so loving. He is so patient with us. He’s not punitive.

All He wants is for us to have the opportunity to be happy, to be forgiven, to be changed.

That’s why He did what He did for us.

That’s why He went into the Garden of Gethsemane for us.

He knew what we were going to do before He went in there, and He still went in willingly.

And the instant that any one of us sincerely turns to Him and asks for His help, He immediately opens His arms to receive us.

That is His nature.”


“John, if you want to be back, you’re back.

Yes, you and I have some things to work on, but that’s fine—that’s what the Atonement is for.

There is nothing here that you have done that the Savior can’t fix.

And these doubts you’ve expressed are common, and we can work on those.


John, if you want to be back, you’re back.

So . . . welcome back, John.”


Tears came as the Holy Ghost helped John remember the reality of God’s mercy for him.


John still doesn’t have answers to all his questions, but he had his most important question answered.”


– Jakob R. Jones – “Look Unto Me In Every Thought” – Cedar Fort


Image – The Hand of God – Yongsung Kim


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