I was speaking to a friend recently about her temple divorce. She has been divorced for many years, her children now grown and on their own. My friend was talking about how disgusted she is that her ex-husband, who she considers completely unworthy to be a temple recommend holder, has moved to a new state, remarried in the temple and has seemingly gotten away with a long history of verbal abuse, infidelities, and all sorts of bad behavior. Her ex has never acknowledged the pain he has caused and hasn’t asked for his ex-wife’s forgiveness. My friend asked an interesting question, “Where is the justice?”

I have pondered her question. Where is the justice? Where is the acknowledgement of error? Where is the satisfaction for my friend, knowing her ex has paid a price? I have come to the conclusion that her desire for justice, while warranted, cannot be satisfied by the church. The church isn’t in the business of justice. The church offers mercy.

Her ex-husband, although a world-class jerk, did nothing that rose to levels of criminality. He did nothing prosecutable by law, which is the only way I know of to get formal justice. My friend will have to wait for the next life to get the justice she wants. Heavenly Father is the ultimate judge of behavior and we believe He will weight the need for justice against the pleadings for mercy.

Until then, while she lives out the rest of her mortal life, my friend will have to be content knowing that the same mercy the church extended to her ex-husband in allowing him to continue as a member in good standing, trusting him when he pronounced his repentance was complete, is also extended to her.

Mercy is available to all. Every sin can be forgiven, church membership is encouraged, not discouraged when repentance is needed. It should be a comfort to know that every soul, no matter how broken, can find its way back to Heavenly Father. It should make things feel better, but it doesn’t always. Our church does not have justice. We are only in the business of mercy for all.