MR says: John Bytheway puts it so simply and poetically when he says, "When we live what we know, we become true. The thirteenth article of faith begins by saying, 'We believe in being honest, true . . .' Why doesn’t it just say, 'We believe in honesty and truth'? The key word in there is being —being honest, being true. It’s not just about knowing things, it’s about being something, or, in other words, becoming something."
Jesus spoke of evidence when He taught how to recognize false prophets: “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). In other words, in order to know, look at the results. The fruits and the results are evidence.
If you plant an apple seed, how long will it take before you get your first apple? It actually may take four to six years or even longer. Similarly, seeing the fruits of the gospel may take time, but eventually, those seeds produce evidence. If it’s good fruit, then you also know it is a good tree, since “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:18).
What does the gospel of Jesus Christ do for people? How are they changed? How do they grow? What do they become? If we were to live what the gospel teaches for many years, then what would we expect the fruits of time spent in study, self-control, service, and standards to be? (For the sake of contrast, what would you expect the fruits to be of a life spent in drugs, pornography, alcohol, and unchastity?)
The teachings of the gospel are what we know. The fruits of the gospel are what we become.
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Get more incredible insights with John Bytheway's How Do I Know If I Know?
It's spiritual gut-check time! The mission age has been lowered, and now more than ever, young people are asking themselves important questions:
- How do I know if I really have a testimony?
- Am I ready to serve a mission?
- What does the Spirit feel like?
John Bytheway suggests that we "F.E.E.L." the truthfulness of the gospel through our feelings, our experiences, the many evidences we encounter, and our logical conclusions about how a loving God interacts with His children on the earth. Like gradually turning up a dimmer switch, understanding all the ways we F.E.E.L. our testimony will help it grow brighter.