For God to be God, He must be both perfectly just and perfectly merciful. Somehow, He must judge us according to what we do and why we do it and recognize when we truly change. The only way He could do this is through the power of the atonement.
The Law of Justice
God asks us to be perfect. Anything less is not of God. This means that every mistake I make, simple though it may be, I am failing at that command. I know I am less than perfect, much less. As I am today, I cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Justice looks at what we have done, not why.
The Law of Mercy
God provides a way for us to become perfect, or to wash away all our errors. We need someone who lived a perfect life, one who did not need mercy. That person would suffer for everything each one of us has done wrong. This would allow for mercy to appease the law of justice.
Christ is our Mediator. After living a perfect life, He suffered pain in Gethsemane so we would not need to suffer. He felt all our pain, sicknesses, understood all temptations, then suffered the punishment for our sins (see Alma 7 and Isaiah 53). Again on the cross, He suffered until He had covered all and declared it finished (see Matt. 27, Mark 15, Luke 23).
Christ, the Mediator
Mercy cannot rob Justice. God asks that we strive to do better, keep His commandments, and always remember Him. We will still be judged by what we do; however, we can change and be cleansed from the wrongs we have done.
Christ understands each person completely. Since He suffered for all the pains, afflictions, sicknesses, sins, and temptations I will ever feel. He understands why I do what I do and can judge me according to the “why’s” as well as the “what’s”.
He also allows me the chance to change. Because He suffered for what I have done, if I truly repent, He will make my life clean from all those errors I have committed.
He understands. He wants to help and, if you let Him, He will change your life. Come unto Christ.
Learn more about Christ and his Atonement.