They That Were Wise

>> Sunday, April 9, 2017

I gave a lesson on Sunday about the 10 Virgins to the Young Women. Since it's Easter I tried to bring some of Christ's parables into building our testimonies of the Restoration. The girls really loved it!!

The Great Awakening
A few hundred years ago in North America, a movement called the “Great Awakening” spread across the countryside. One of its primary objectives was to awaken the people who appeared to be asleep regarding spiritual matters.
Young Joseph Smith was influenced by the things he heard from preachers who were part of this religious awakening. It is one of the reasons he decided to seek earnestly the will of the Lord in private prayer.
As we fill our hearts with the love of Christ, we will awaken with a renewed spiritual freshness and we will walk joyfully, confidently, awake, and alive in the light and glory of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. – (Uchtdorf April 2017)

{Matthew 25:1-4}
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Do I have oil in my lamp? Is my vessel clean, my wick trimmed, my reservoir filled? Am I ready to let my light shine now? Am I helping my others to fill their own lamps with precious spiritual oil?

{Doctrine & Covenants 33:17}
“Be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom”

“In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.”
(Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 256)

 "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." Jim Rohn

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Ten Virgins

It was a custom among the Jews for the bridegroom to come at night to the bride’s house, where her bridesmaids attended her. When the bridegroom’s approach was announced, these maidens went out with lamps to light his way into the house for the celebration.
In this parable the virgins represent members of the Church, and the bridegroom represents Christ. The Lord explained to Joseph Smith that the wise virgins are those who “have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived” (D&C 45:57).


In the Bible, the image of a wedding is used to portray the coming of the Lord (see Isaiah 62:5Matthew 22:1–14). Jewish weddings included the announcement of the bridegroom’s coming to the bride’s house. The weddings usually began in the evening, with the lamps lit at dusk. So midnight was later than the ten virgins would have expected the bridegroom—and the announcement came suddenly.
We do not know the timing of Christ’s Second Coming, but we should prepare for it as though it could come at any time—whether soon or late.


The vessels in the parable were containers for storing extra oil. Being wise means being prepared for the unexpected with an extra measure of faith, testimony, and the Spirit in our lives. Sometimes we grow complacent, thinking we have enough to get by. But following the Savior means more than just getting by. It means always striving to draw closer to Him, preparing for those times when our patience, faith, and testimony will be tried.

Thoughts from the artist: In preparing to paint this parable, I found ten women to play the virgins. I told them of an article I had read years earlier that described a small earthen vessel worn around the wrist that the wise virgins might have used to carry their oil. I then gave five of the women one of these vessels and explained it was time for them to join the wedding party.
As they separated, I noticed that they were crying. When I asked them why, one woman explained, “I never understood that those five who were wise were leaving behind their friends and their sisters. It breaks my heart to think that they won´t be with us.”
I painted that moment as these friends parted. One with her oil gathered from a life of selfless service; and the other adorned in beautiful jewelry, yet with no oil, having spent her life overlooking those things that mattered most. I included a mermaid, a symbol of temptation, and a watch in the shape of a heart to remind us that we can tell what we love by what we give our time to. I set the watch to midnight to remind us that the Lord is almost here. As we wait for the Savior, may we be ever watchful that our lamps, and the lamps of those we love, never run dry.


The oil lamps used by the Jews in Jesus’s day are called Herodian lamps, after King Herod. These lamps enabled people to carry light wherever they went. In the same way, we are to carry the light of the gospel with us (see Matthew 5:14–16).
The handle was shaped by hand and then attached to the lamp.
The body of the lamp was made of clay and shaped on a potter’s wheel. The spout or nozzle was made from a mold.
A wick made of flax fibers or a rush stem was placed in the spout, and then the lamp was filled with olive oil. Once the wick absorbed the oil, the lamp was lit.


The word “Gethsemane” means “oil press.” There is significant symbolism here. The Jews put olives into bags made of mesh fabric and placed them in a press to squeeze olive oil out of them. The first pressings yielded pure olive oil which was prized for many uses, including healing and giving light in lanterns. In fact, we consecrate it and use it to administer to the sick. The last pressing of the olives, under the tremendous pressure of additional weights added to the press, yielded a bitter, red liquid which can remind us of the “bitter cup” which the Savior partook of. Symbolically, the Savior is going into the “oil press” (Gethsemane) to submit to the “pressure” of all our sins which will “squeeze” His blood out in order that we might have the healing “oil” of the Atonement to heal us from our sins.
The oil in the parable represents our faith and testimony, our purity and dedication, our good works, and our keeping of covenants—all of the ways in which we have “taken the Holy Spirit for [our] guide” (D&C 45:57).
The wise virgins could not share their oil with the foolish virgins because “the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared” (Marvin J. Ashton, “A Time of Urgency,” Ensign, May 1974, 36).

Make lamps:
I bought Sculpey clay. It's the kind you bake. Form the clay into the shape of an oil lamp, with a small spout for the wick and a hole in the top to add oil.

I just rolled a ball of dough, about the size of a walnut then flattened it into a teardrop shape. Then I brought up the sides of the drop pinching it to bring it together like the top photo of the tutorial.

Decorate with designs. We just used toothpicks. Bake according to package directions. When cool add a small amount of olive oil to the lamps reservoir. Place a wick into the spout making sure most of it is in the oil with just a small part sticking out of the spout. Let the wick soak for a few minutes, then light.

As you are making your lamps discuss what will fill our own spiritual lamps with oil.

Alayna's lamp

Alayna and I did a trial run at home. We realized we needed to make our spouts and resvoirs higher so the oil wouldn't spill out both ends..LOL! I was glad we tried it at home first so I could tell the girls how "not" to do it! LOL! 

My lamp

I made this handout to go with it! :) 


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