Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oil in My Lamp

While sitting in Gospel Doctrine (Sunday school) today, someone came in and asked for volunteers to go to another class, gospel essentials. I didn't know what the lesson would be about, but, I know that in Christ's restored church,  the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that any lesson would be uplifting if I went with the right attitude. I decided that I would go. 
 The lesson turned out to be on Jesus Christ, the chosen Savior of the World. The teacher chose to focus on one part of the lesson in particular. The one about fortifying ourselves from the temptations of Satan. There are some daily practices that help us do this:
Personal prayer
Family Prayer
Personal scripture study
Family scripture study
Family Home Evening
Partaking of the Sacramento weekly
Sometimes when people are lacking faith, you may ask them if they are doing these things, and they will reply "no. I'm too busy doing other important things. I don't have time." 

There are two phrases that some to mind, when I think about doing all of these things well. One is putting on the whole armor of God. If we aren't putting on this armor every day, aren't we leaving places where Satan and his followers can do us harm? 

The other story that came to mind was that of the ten virgins. 
Ten Virgins awaited the bridegroom with oil in their lamps. When he finally arrived only five of the virgins had enough oil in their lamps to attend the wedding feast, and the other five were cast aside, because He didn't know them. Matthew 25:1-13
I understood from this parable that we need to add oil to our spiritual lamps day by day. I'd always thought of  the oil as being our faith. However, when the teacher asked us today, how it was possible to do all of the above practices and still get the other important things of life done, my mind flashed to the five wise virgins. They all were using their oil that day. But the wise virgins knew to replenish it. So how do we use our oil day by day? 
Now this is where my epiphany came. Faith is not just believing. Faith is doing. And by working our faith (or burning the oil in our lamps) we are given more energy to accomplish what we need to do that day. And we are given more oil. 

And here's my last thought on this subject. God asks us to tithe. Sometimes we tithe our income. And sometimes we tithe our time! Through living the principle of tithing, I have learned that God will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings. I am better able to manage the money that is left over. So what happens if I tithe my time? The same thing happens. Heavenly Father gives me more strength of mind and body to accomplish what I've been asked to do. And he's asked me to have personal  and family prayer each day, personal and family scripture study, FHE, and attend my Sunday meetings. I would also like to add temple worship to the list. Can you imagine all that I could do if I followed these practices all the time? 
Today was a tearful one. When I feel the Spirit I cry. I am feeling very filled today. I am so thankful for Sundays.

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