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`Mercy is His mission, love His only labor'

"I testify . . .of God's limitless love for His children, of His unquenchable desire to help us heal our wounds, individually and collectively," Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in an address at the October 1993 general conference.

"He is our Father, and Wordsworth wrote more than he knew when he said we came to earth `trailing clouds of glory . . . from God, who is our home.' ("Ode: Intimations of Immortality," lines 64-65.)"But in far too many cases we find no modern belief in a Heavenly Father, and when there is a belief, it is too often an erroneous one. God is not dead, and He is not an absentee landlord. God is not uncaring, or capricious, or cantankerous. Above all, He is not some sort of divine umpire trying to call us out at third base.

"The first and great commandment on earth is for us to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 59:5; Matt. 22:37) because surely the first and great promise in heaven is that He will always love us that way.

"So much of what so many think about God (if they think about Him at all) must make Him weep. In fact, we know it makes Him weep. Could there be a more tender scene than this exchange recorded by Moses?

" `And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; . . .

" `And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?

" `The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, . . . and . . . gave I unto man his agency; . . .

" `And unto [them] have I . . . given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; . . .

" ` . . . The whole heavens . . . weep over them . . . ; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these [who] suffer?' " (Moses 7:28, 29, 32-33, 37.)

"Angels and ministers of grace to defend us?" Elder Holland asked. "They are all about us, and their holy sovereign, the Father of us all, is divinely anxious to bless us this very moment. Mercy is His mission, and love is His only labor."

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