Friday, April 1, 2011

Extra Oil

Lately, my three-year-old son Ethan has begun waking up at 6:30 - during the time that I used to have dedicated to personal scripture study. Now, my primary intent during this time has become maintaining silence in the home so as not to wake Jess and our daughter, Emma. I hesitate though, to totally abandon my study time. The solution: watch MormonMessage videos with Ethan on YouTube.

Lately we've really enjoyed the New Testament series they published. The kids have found a few unexpected, somewhat random, favorites. If you were to ask Ethan which is his favorite, he'd say, "the one with the ten virgins." You can imagine - I've seen it over 20 times. I love it - I've learned a lot.

So, how would you explain to your three-year-old kid what the wise virgins' extra oil represents?

Modern revelation provides a helpful verse: Doctrine and Covenants, section 45 refers to many of the signs to the times that precede the Savior's return. Verse 57 speaks of those who spiritual endure the latter-day difficulty:
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

So, here's at least one definition of the extra oil:
  1. Wisdom
  2. Receipt of the truth
  3. Taking the Holy Spirit as guide
  4. Avoiding deception
Another, more pragmatic idea is this - those that are wise are those that do the "non-required" things:
  • Personally studying the scriptures daily
  • Fulfilling all our duties and striving to keep the commandments always
  • Going to all three hours of church
  • Attending the Saturday-evening adult session of stake conference
  • Prayerfully participating in all sessions of general conference
For more thoughts, consider checking out Elder Dallin H. Oaks' great talk on this topic.

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