War, Peace, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins: Trimming Our Lamps with Love
Ironically, the nearer in time we approach the eventual Second Coming of Christ, the more many of us become enamored by war. How foolish it is to succumb to the faux patriotic propaganda of those who profit immensely by war, the chief profiteer being Satan himself.
Isaiah spoke of eventual peace on the earth after the day of Christ's coming, a period when the peoples of the earth
shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn bwar any more.
If we expect there to be peace at Christ's coming, it seems there is scarcely anything more important in the here and now than to promote peace around the globe. Christ's gospel is a gospel of peace. It is a gospel of love. It is a gospel of caring and understanding. As diversity becomes the centrifugal force more and more likely to be successful in pulling the world apart at the seams, we need Christ's peaceful gospel now more than ever.
To think otherwise is foolish. But many in the world--and especially in America--have succumbed to a warlike way of thinking. To think that we can hate our fellowman day in and day out now, and then suddenly turn our hearts to Christ at his coming, is illogical. This, I think, is the essence of the parable of the Ten Virgins, as I explain below.
Section 45 of the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presents a vivid dichotomy of peace versus war. This stark contrast is summed up by this description:
my disciples shall astand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and bcurse God and die.Amid Section 45's careful contrast of love versus hate, and descriptions of war round about those who live in peace, the parable of the Ten Virgins is suddenly reintroduced.
And at that day, when I shall come in my aglory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten bvirgins.
I think perhaps the fire into which each such person is cast is one of their own making--a fire of hatred for that part of their fellow sons and daughters of God who are not just like themselves.
But what happens to those who aren't cast into Christ's returning fire? They will continue to live as they strived to live their lives before the coming of Christ--in peace--in a place (or perhaps a variety of places) referred to as "The New Jerusalem":
The "New Jerusalem" won't just be a place for Utahns. It won't even be just for Americans. And I don't think it will be just for Mormons, either. While all around us (speaking hopefully) will be hatred and violence and destruction, our New Jerusalems will be to us a place for anyone who, regardless of gender, religion, nationality, skin color, or sexual orientation, have learned to love their fellow men as themselves.
there shall be agathered unto it out of every bnation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at cwar one with another.
[and] the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with asongs of everlasting bjoy.
The story of the Ten Virgins is, I think, more than anything, a story of five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps with love. To do anything else, especially during a time of war and hatred all about us, is the height of foolishness.