Hello all,

In Matthew chapter 25 we read the parable of the Ten Virgins. There are ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, all waiting for the Bridegroom to come and welcome them into the wedding. As they are lining the streets and waiting for the announcement to be made to enter the wedding, they fall asleep. As they are asleep, their lamps go out. When the cry is finally made to prepare themselves to go into the wedding, only the 5 wise virgins have enough oil to make the journey. The five foolish, beg for their wise friends to share a bit of their oil with them, however, the wise know that if they are to depart with any of their oil, then none of them would have enough oil to make it into the party. The five foolish virgins flee to go get some more oil but as they return, they are too late. The door has been shut. Then, verse 13 "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." This is the counsel to all of us today.

We don't know when Jesus Christ is going to return to the Earth, but we know that we are going to have to have our lamps full of oil, and extra on the side, to be welcomed in to His presence. We know He will come again. The Ten Virgins signify us, as members of the church. All ten had great intentions. They all wanted to be welcomed into the marriage. They had lamps, they had oil (some more than others) and they were all lining the street, but what is the oil? I believe that the oil is all our works, thoughts, and actions here in this life. And that's where all the difference is. We must continually add drops of oil to our lamp, or our light will go out. We've all already done the big things: baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, a lot of us have gone through the temple, or are now preparing to do so. But it's in the little details, the amount of our oil, that we are either accepted or rejected. How can we be accepted into the "marriage"? Reading, praying, and attending church are some answers. We can render service to others and keep the Sabbath-day holy. We may hold Family Home Evenings weekly and attend the temple when our schedules allow. We need to do our family history work and then take those names to the temple as well. We must allow virtue to garnish our thoughts unceasingly. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass"! We must constantly be striving to add drops of oil. In all our thoughts and actions, in our deeds, in our prayers, in our study of conference talks, and by resisting temptation. 

One thing I love about this parable is that the wise Virgins did not give up their oil. They knew that if they gave in to their friends and departed with their oil then none of them would make it into the wedding. The other virgins had good intentions, but they were distractions, temptations. This is true for us as well! We can't allow our family, or our friends, or anyone else to distract us. We cannot allow them to burn our oil! We must be have "constant vigilance" and never stray. I love you all, and I want us all to be welcomed in to the Celestial Kingdom someday. But I can't give you my oil. We all have to have enough for ourselves! I love this quote by Elder Cook "In all things we should remember that being "valiant in the testimony of Jesus" is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms." Be valiant. At first it may be hard, but I know we can all do it! "That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased"- Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford

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