36. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Jesus Christ first came to earth as a baby, born in a manger and was not widely accepted as the Messiah. When He comes the second time, it will be in power and great glory.
Before the Second Coming there will be many trials and tribulations. Heavenly Father has given us signs to watch for so that we will be ready to stand before our Savior. If we are faithful we will know what the signs are and will be watching for them. We can learn what signs to watch for through scripture study.
One story in the scriptures that teaches us the importance of being prepared for the coming of Jesus is the parable of the ten maidens. In this parable, Jesus is like the bridegroom and members of His Church are like the ten maidens. We too know that He will come again, but we do not know when, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 25:13.) If we are prepared, like the five wise maidens, we will be ready when He comes.
The blessing is that as we prepare in faith, that God will stay with us through every trial until the day of His coming. We will receive future blessings that will not corrupt nor fade away. (See 1 Peter 1:3–5. ) Till that time we also have the blessing of hope and confidence in His faithfulness, that He will finish the work He’s begun in us. (See Philippians 1:6.) We will aide in His love and be filled with joy as we keep His commandments. (See John 15:10.)
“It’s all in the holy scriptures, and of all the great events of the history of the world, as far as the prophets have foretold, the greatest is the preparation for the coming of the Savior in the latter days, when He will come in power and great glory, with all the holy angels, as King of kings and Lord of lords.” LeGrand Richards
Do we need to prepare for the Second Coming?
The Lord instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.” (D&C 1:12.)
What can we do to prepare for the Second Coming? (discuss ideas)
Have some of the signs of the Second Coming already been or now being fulfilled? (Yes. Discuss ideas)
Are all the signs of the Second Coming frightful?
Discuss some of the joyful signs: Restoration of the Gospel, the coming forth of The Book of Mormon, the coming of Elijah, the gospel preached to all the world, the building of the New Jerusalem, etc.
What did Jesus want us to learn from the parable of the 10 virgins? (Discuss ideas.)
Why wouldn’t the wise maidens share their oil with the foolish maidens? (Discuss ideas.)
Why were the foolish maidens turned away after the door was shut? (Discuss ideas.)
What blessings are in store for us if we are spiritually prepared? (Discuss ideas. See D&C 76:62–63.)
Melanie peered deeply into the little clay lamp that was cradled in her tiny hands. “Oh, no!”
“What’s wrong, Melie? Don’t you like the gift Grandma sent you?” Mother asked with concern.
“Oh, yes, I like it a lot. It’s just…,” Melanie motioned for Mother to come closer so she could whisper in her ear. “There’s no oil in my lamp. I don’t want to be foolish.”
“We definitely don’t want to be foolish,” Mother answered in a hushed voice, “What should we do?”
“Get some oil!” Melanie exclaimed out loud.
“Okay, then!” Mother said, leading Melanie by the hand into the kitchen. Mother stood on her small step stool and reached for the big gallon can of olive oil that stood on the shelf above the cupboards.
Melanie eagerly placed her little lamp on the counter and held it still for Mother to fill.
“Before I fill your lamp,” Mother warned, “you must promise me that you will never, ever light the lamp by yourself. Promise?” Mother asked.
“I promise, Mommy! I don’t play with matches ’cause I don’t ever want to get burned like Uncle Rick did when he was little.”
Mother winced with the memory of the agony her brother had gone through after he had been burned while playing with matches as a child.
“That’s good, because I don’t ever want to see anyone I love to go through all that pain and anguish again,” she said softly before filling the little vessel with oil.
“There, your lamp is filled,” Mother stated. “Now are you prepared, Melie?” she asked.
“Hmm,” Melanie thought for a moment, “I don’t think I am, but my lamp is!” she concluded.
“You’re pretty smart for one so small. You know there’s a lot to learn and do in order for us to be prepared for Jesus’ return. Like reading our scriptures, attending our Church meetings …”
“And saying our prayers,” Melanie enthusiastically added.
“And saying our prayers,” Mother agreed. Mother then struck the match and placed it against the cotton wick.
“Turn off the lights, Mommy,” Melanie pleaded.
Mother flipped the light switch off and the light from the little oil lamp glowed in the darkness.
Melanie placed her chin down on the counter near the lamp. “Oh, look how pretty it is, Mommy!” She exclaimed with gleaming eyes as she watched the little flame dance.
The heavenly glow emanating from the flame cast a soft halo above Melanie’s angel face.
“Beautiful indeed,” Mother said in awe.
Then while taking in the majestic scene, Mother silently prayed, Dear Heavenly Father, please help me fill this precious vessel with the spiritual oil of preparedness she will need for thy Son’s return…
by Margie Nauta Lee
Take turns telling what we can do to prepare for the Second Coming; then put an oil drop into the lamp. With each drop of oil raise the flame slightly. When all the oil drops are in the lamp the flame should be full.
These bright and tasty “sun treats” (Lemon Chiffon Cream Tarts) will remind your family to look forward without fear to that bright and glorious day when the “Son of Man” returns.
These lessons are perfect for Family Home Evening at the beginning of the week, or to recap the following Sunday. Or use portions of the lesson throughout the week to enhance your family scripture study.
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