Friday, June 25, 2010

Lamps and Oil

Today Kelsey and I had an interesting conversation.

It started out talking about the Second Coming of Christ. We both agreed it will likely not look like a suit and tie from a church pulpit (D&C 34: 7). His messengers may speak that way now, but we wondered what kinds of changes would need to happen for a church or people to begin to follow His leadership when He comes again. Then we got talking about the parable of the 10 virgins. One phrase from the parable caught me. It's what the 5 foolish virgins are told when they discover the time has come, and they are without oil. The others say to them "go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves".
We know the oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. We also know from Acts that the Holy Ghost SPECIFICALLY cannot be purchased with money(Acts 8: 18-20). So why then are they told to go and buy it from those that sell? Could it be they were foolish because they thought they could purchase it, last minute, from one who sells it? Scriptures tell us how to obtain it, it's not hard to find the verses. Can you buy the Holy Spirit? Perhaps that was part of their foolishness. They apparently found some oil and showed up to the marriage but did not gain entrance. Wonder why? Aside from being tardy, the Master did not know them.

The conversation then lead to the different groups of people in the parable. The 2 groups of virgins, the marriage feast, the bridegroom, and the guests. There were already people at the feast, the virgins aren't the only people attending. Well now that's interesting. The conversation concluded with thoughts like these: Not only is oil in the lamp symbolic of the Holy Spirit but it is part of the Gospel to have the Holy Spirit dwell within you (1 Cor. 3: 16). You then have a well of water within, springing up unto eternal life (John 4: 14-15). How uplifting, the source of the oil, the member of the Godhead can dwell inside you. Not only that but we are promised in the Gospel of John as well as Revelations (John 14: 23) that God and Christ will take up their abode with us if we abide the conditions.

These are no small promises. It seems God wants us to be more holy. Such groups of people probably were in a different group altogether from any of the virgins, perhaps they received a "friend" or "family" invite to the wedding feast. Perhaps at one point they were among the virgins, but chose to continue onward and upward.

Repentance (the kind you see in The Book of Mormon involving a change of heart and perspective) may in fact change the entire picture.

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