This one, I have seen for myself. There was a time in my life when I did not know what it was to believe. A time when I was hurt and angry and sure that I was completely unlovable. I have had to learn the "as if" principle in my life.
When you don't know the answer, you live "as if" you do. You keep the commandments that are hard as well as the ones that are easy. You choose to live the way that God tells you to live, and you don't question why. I believe that the answers come when we live the hard things well.
I have learned that God loves me, by living as if I knew that He did. He then provided examples to me that I could not miss. I have learned that obedience is important, by living the commandments that are hard. I can't say that I always do everything right, as a matter of fact, I don't do so many things that I should. But I can say that I try my best.
I have learned that He knows I will make mistakes. I have learned the redeeming power of His atonement through those mistakes. I have felt His love in the midst of repentance. I have felt the change of heart that comes from changing my life.
I believe that it is by small things that great things come to pass. As we struggle and learn and grow, our testimonies are strengthened. Our hearts are changed. Our love for others increases. All these things are good. They remind me that we are each important to our loving Heavenly Father, no matter what our beliefs are. We are His children, and He wants to see us become more than we have ever dreamed we could be.
He knows what bonfires we are capable of blazing.
He knows exactly who we are.
And most of all, He loves us so much more than our mistakes and short comings. He loves us exactly as we are now and also as the men and women that we could be.