Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Five Were Wise

Five of Them Were Wise by Walter Rane
While Sophie attended a summer program at Ballet West Academy, I found myself downtown one Monday with a solitary hour.  I almost just sat there in my car and waited, maybe read the news on my smartphone or called a friend to catch up.  Instead, I wiggled a couple blocks north of Capitol Theater to the LDS Conference Center and joined up on a tour of the building.  I've been in the building many times, and I go specifically for the artwork -- all original, varied, inspiring works.  This time, I was drawn to "Five of Them Were Wise" by Walter Rane, with the accompanying description:  

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is about those who have already accepted the invitation to follow the bridegroom -- Christ.  To have accepted the invitation is not enough; they must be in a constant state of preparation and readiness.  Walter Rane has painted a classic representation of the substance of the scriptural passage. (Matthew 25)

It reminded me of this piece by one of my favorite artists, J. Kirk Richards:

The Five Prepared by J. Kirk Richards

I hadn't read this story in some time, so I used the paintings as a springboard for my next Sunday scripture study.  This story, and its message of ever-readiness, is sometimes overwhelming to me, because I don't know which five I'd end up with.  I don't know that I'll ever feel my lamp is full.  I'm always trying, wondering if the little I can do won't add up to complete.  In my car accident, one thought in my mind was "There's still more I must do!"  This nugget from Spencer W. Kimball helped put the story into perspective for me:

“Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.”  President Spencer W. Kimball

And so I'll continue -- drop by drop.  


Katie said...

Oh wow I LOVE that quote! I have found myself feeling rather incapable lately, but drop by drop? Drop by drop I can handle. Thank you for sharing!

Alicia said...

This is exactly what I needed to read (and see!) today.
Ive never seen that first painting before, but I have the second in my own home. Oh, how I love that first one...