On August the 23rd I got up a little earlier than I had been getting up on Sunday. You see, since I had my right hip replaced in March I have found it harder and harder to go to church on Sunday. I have spent my entire life in the LDS Church. I love the Gospel, I have a testimony of my Savior and of Joseph Smith and when President Monson was sustained as the Prophet I felt a strong assurance that the Mantle of the Presidency descended onto his shoulders as he stood at the pulpit.
When President Monson was sustained as an Apostle I had a feeling that he would be the Prophet when Christ returned to the Earth. I do not know if that is true but it has spurred me on for years as I have watched him grow and become more and more perfected. I have never stopped feeling that way.
So, here I am, President Monson is the Prophet and a little voice in my head is saying, "You don't have anyone to sit by at church! When you go you just sit alone..." And, "You can't sit for 3 hours with your hips and back hurting, that is too long for anyone to sit in one place!" And, "There is plenty of time for you to go back to church later... There really isn't any hurry to start going again!" And, probably the worst, "No one really cares if you are there or not! They don't notice whether you come or stay home!"
On August 23rd I got up, got dressed and, in spite of the fact that I would be 5 minutes late, I drove down to the church... There were a million cars in the parking lot... Many more than there are usually... There was not one soul outside. That wasn't normal either. I parked my car, got out and walked up to the door... It was locked... There was a sign taped in the window... It said, "No Admittance, Temple Dedication Session in Progress"...
And there I stood... with no oil in my lamp!!!
Barbara Grimshaw Dykstra penned a poem years ago about the 10 Virgins. It starts like this:
A parable the Savior told to His disciples long ago
Of wise and also foolish ways, of signs and saints in latter-days.
The things He saw, we too can see, when next He comes to you and me.
Ten virgins bearing lamps alight awaited the bridegroom through the night.
Invited, honored guests they came, some wise some foolish, not the same.
Those who have eyes will surely see, they're much the same as you and me.
You can read the rest of it here if you like:
Let me add myself as possibly the 11th Virgin...
Am I another Virgin there? With scripture bag and frightened prayer?
Omission was my sin of choice, listening to that tempter’s voice.
Will Christ accept me if I say, “I had no idea I’d need oil today!
And Barbara's last stanza says:
Am I more foolish or more wise? Am I living in disguise?
Do I gather oil ever bright, to keep my gospel flame alight?
When the bridegroom comes, I pray He'll see one wise virgin will be me.
On August 30th I got up, got dressed and went to 3 hours of church. I came home with a different attitude and a strong desire to keep my lamp full and lit and ready to follow the bridegroom when He comes...