The spirit of prophecy is a testimony of Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at what the 1828 dictionary says that a testimony is:
A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. Such affirmation in judicial proceedings, may be verbal or written, but must be under oath. Testimony differs from evidence; testimony is the declaration of a witness, and evidence is the effect of that declaration on the mind, or the degree of light which it affords.
I’d like to highlight the witness part of the definition.
Let’s now look in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
H5707: concretely a witness; abstractly testimony; specifically a recorder, ie prince: witness.
H5715: feminine of H5707; testimony; – testimony, witness.
H5749: to duplicate or repeat; by implication to protest, testify (as by reiteration); intensively to encompass, restore (as a sort of reduplication):- admonish, charge, earnestly, lift up, protest, call to record, take to record, relieve, rob, solemnly, stand upright, testify, give warning, witness, bear witness, call to witness, give witness, take to witness.
These are Hebrew words for testimony from the Bible. They all have witness.
I read 3 Nephi 11 this morning. People are sure who the Christ is after they have touched him.
3 Nephi 11
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
They could bear witness, they have a testimony of Christ. First we believe, then we act, faith, then if we stay true to the deniable proofs our belief and faith can become knowledge.
In my estimation the testimony of Jesus Christ, as used in scriptures not at testimony meeting, is to have been in Jesus Christ presence. Joseph Smith had a testimony of Christ because he had witnessed Christ, as he saw him on the right side of the Father.
Those who have a testimony of Christ, the spirit of prophecy, they teach others, that is where the scriptures came from.
The Holy Ghost is a confirmer. It confirms truth after we have done our part of studying and remembering the mercy of the Lord. Moroni 10:3-5. Let’s look at a part in versus 4 “if these things are not true” that is an interesting phrase not true. It is stressing that we should believe these things to be true and we are confirming it with the Lord, not asking just tell me these thing are true, but I already believe these things are true tell me if I am wrong. Holy Ghost also brings to remembrance of things we already know, otherwise why do we use the word remember.
At times I do receive promptings that are not remembrance. But for me most of the time it’s more look at this. It is prompting me to look at the testimonies, witnesses, of others, to help me to learn and thus preparing me to have my own witness, to have a perfect knowledge.
We are to learn out of good books while listening to the spirit. History will help us understand the scriptures. Nephi teaches us that to understand scriptures we need to study.
2 Nephi 25
1 Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.
5 and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews.
6 but behold, I, of myself, have dwelt at Jerusalem, wherefore I know concerning the regions round about.
Nephi states that it is knowing the manner of the Jews will help people understand scriptures not the spirit of prophecy. Even though Nephi saw the Savior, he still studied to know what the scriptures mean. D&C teaches the same thing.
D&C 109:14 And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning even by study, and also by faith, as thou hast said;
D&C 88:118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
Studying out of good books will help us understand the scriptures.