By Their Fruits

3 Nephi 14:15-20 (see also Matthew 7:15-20)

The Lord starts this block of teaching with a warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Gratefully the Lord gives us a way to discern or judge: by their fruits.

So the question here is: what manner of fruits are we looking for?

Doctrine and Covenants 52:18,34 – A pattern for discerning fruits. Re-reading verse 34 has brought great comfort: “He that is faithful, the same shall be kept and blessed with much fruit.” There is a long term promise here, of posterity and other spiritual blessings that may be received as fruit, if we are patient.

Full Conversion Brings Happiness by Elder Richard G. Scott. This is a relevant talk in so far as it equates conversion with fruit. Conversion is the fruit that results from the practice of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience.

(A new day, and I have asked in prayer to see what I am not seeing.) Fruit has seeds that contain potential for future growth. They are delicious for immediate consumption, but also can be used for future purposes.

I am still asking myself what am I not seeing in these verses. And the very first thing that is expressed in this group of verses is to “beware of false prophets”. Then Christ is giving us a way to discern a false prophet. How do we tell if someone is telling us the truth? Especially of things yet to come?

A footnote on “false prophets” leads us to consider priestcraft, the art of setting oneself up as light unto the world, with the end of obtaining money and fame. Most notable is that they have no interest in the welfare of Zion. For this reason, the Savior warns us to be on our guard, that we do not entertain such.

Another interesting side note from Ezekiel 22, the false prophets of ancient Israel were accused of violating the Sabbath day and mixing the sacred with the profane, treating both as part of the same. This reminder of the value of the Sabbath is important to me this morning.

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