A final key principle I will review in regards to the fall is the direct correlation between the true righteousness of an individual or culture and the mercy they exhibit. Those most in position to judge and condemn are least condemnatory and most loving, while those full of iniquity are also full of condemnation and desire to inflict punishment. The two best examples of this correlation are at the extremes: One characteristic and role of Lucifer is as adversary and accuser, which role he pursues tirelessly as referenced in JST Revelation 12:10:
For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Christ, on the other hand, as the only sinless Son of God who is most justifiably in a position to judge others is most merciful, long suffering, and kind. This is exhibited in one of many examples in His treatment of the woman accused of adultery in John chapter eight. Her accusers view her as an object, a tool to achieve their own purposes without regard for her actual wellbeing or even for the law they reference. Christ views her as she really is, with priceless value, seeing into her soul with infinite compassion, and He acts in her eternal interest.
Joseph Smith taught the following concerning the relationship between righteousness and mercy and contrasting evil and condemnation:
All the religious world is boasting of righteousness; it is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness. The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. My talk is intended for all this society; if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 241)
In my opinion John 3:17 is just as important as the more famous previous verse 16 as verse 17 describes the saving, non-condemnatory, nature of Christ’s mission:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
To further explore the nature and extent of mercy, one characteristic of the creation account in the Book of Abraham lends profound insight into the merciful plan God provides for his children. Throughout that account the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed. (Abraham 4:18) This shows a characteristic of long-suffering kindness and an objective and committed perspective as to what is required for progression from imperfection to perfection without reactionary condemnation, but instead with watchfulness and care for the purpose of providing what is in the long term best interests of God’s creations. God fully comprehends the nature of His children and is willing to provide everything necessary for their progression and salvation including the great sacrifice of His Son in order to allow His children the time and continually extended salvation sufficient for them to progress one step at a time until they become truly transformed and perfected.
A sub corollary of this last key principle is that repentance becomes easier and more joyful for those who repent most. Not only are they more compassionate and non-condemnatory of others but also of themselves, and more importantly their relationship with and knowledge of God increases continually so that they become more and more one with Him in purpose, and as recorded in Mosiah 3:19:
…as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.