The Advantage of Prophecy is found only in knowing the words of Christ. When you understand prophecy, however, you are still required to act in faith, not knowing beforehand how things will play out. In our estimations of the inner workings of prophecy, it is human nature that we always forget that the heavens have a direct role in the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The Advantage of Prophecy is found in knowing the words of Christ. Familiarity with the words of Christ is the same as familiarity with His voice. When Christ told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they did not read the scriptures, and if they did, they didn’t understand them; Christ knew it because they didn’t recognize Him standing before them, …and they crucified Him. Knowing the words of Christ only produces an Advantage of Prophecy for those who are able to discern the voice of the Lord.
When you understand prophecy, however, you are still required to act in faith, not knowing beforehand how things will play out. Consider Nephi and his brothers circumstance, being instructed by an angel. Nephi wasn’t given the details, but was required to exercise faith, not knowing before hand, and Laban was delivered. So, the visiting angel provided no advantage to retrieving the plates. Nephi was still required to exercise faith. Likewise, Moses walked into the Red Sea, and waded in water until he was waste deep, before the sea parted. Had Nephi sat outside the city with his brothers, or had Moses waited on the shore for another means to cross the sea, they would not have been candidates chosen as the Lord’s servants. Their Advantage of Prophecy is the same advantaged offered to us all, requiring the skill of discerning the voice of the Lord, and acting in faith.
Discerning the voice of the Lord and acting in faith does not guarantee not making mistakes. Nephi and his brothers made two failed attempts to get the plates from Laban. Alma and Amulek were imprisoned, stripped naked, and beaten, before prophecy was fulfilled for them. At first, their efforts seemed to be a failed attempt, but wound up converting an entire city. In our ignorance of the inner workings of prophecy, it is human nature that we always forget the role the heavens play in the fulfillment of prophecy. Knowing the role heaven plays in fulfilling prophecy is probably the best Advantage of Prophecy. It was this expectation that produced anxiety in prophets. When will it happen? What is the Lord’s timing? How will God do His strange act among men?
Even when you have familiarized yourself with the scriptures, which produced familiarity with the voice of the Lord, and you acted in faith, trusting that the heavens would combine in your favor, …you still know nothing, and must endure it well! Joseph was told:
“7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”
The promise given to Joseph Smith in Liberty jail ought to give all who want to walk this straight and narrow path a clue, that confidence was only found in knowing the Lord, and trusting Him.
“45. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.”
If you understand the Holy Ghost to be the mind and will of God, as Joseph explained in Lectures on Faith, then what resides in a person is a spirit made Holy, which becomes a constant companion with those whose confidence waxes strong in God’s presence. This person has a definite Advantage of Prophecy, not because they are able to tell the future, but because they are at-one-with God.
Conclusion: Consider the wise men who attended Christ. They saw the star, but didn’t know where Christ was. They made the mistake in asking King Herod, informing the King of the prophecy. The worlds King had no idea of the location of the King of Kings, and asked the wise men to inform him of Christ’s whereabouts, so he too could worship. After being led by the star to the birth place, the wise men gave their offerings, and returned towards the King with good news of Christ’s location. This would have been a big mistake, but the heavens got involved, instructing the wise men to take a detour, avoiding the King, and Christ was preserved. Because the wise men didn’t return, the King killed babies two years old and under.
The death of all babies was prophesied long before the wise men made their journey. The wise men were unaware that their efforts to find Christ would fulfill the prophecy of the death of those children. They were informed of the signs. They followed the voice of the Lord, acting in faith. They mistakenly asked the ruling King for directions, unaware of the threat this news would cause the King. They interacted with heaven, being warned not to return. They fulfilled prophecy, and they didn’t even know it, until it was done.
“3. I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
4. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
5. I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”
You have been led by idols and graven images, in our church leaders, since the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. They will not know of the prophecies being fulfilled in our day, just as King Herod knew nothing of Christ’s birth. But it has been set in the lights of the heavens, in the patterns of the sun, moon, and stars, from the beginning of the creation, so that no one can claim them, but God. Isaiah testified above that from the beginning God has declared it. What God declares, He fulfills, precisely as it was timed, from the beginning of the creation. Then, when they happen, in perfect timing, you will not be able to claim that your leaders knew it, and claim “Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”
If you are not familiar with scripture, to know the voice of the Lord, and aren’t able to act in faith, knowing that the heavens will align because you are aligned with the heavens, you will not have The Advantage of Prophecy. However, if you know the voice of the Lord, can act in great faith, and are connected to the heavens, your confidence will wax strong, and you will have The Advantage of Prophecy. Prophecy is never completely understood until it is fulfilled. Thus all are required to know ye the Lord. Knowing anyone else can never substitute knowing the Lord. The Lord’s word is a two-edged sword that divides asunder both marrow and joint. Who’s on the Lord’s side who? Now is the time to show!