“Keys to Eternal (Battery) Life,” New Era, July 2018
We all know the Savior’s parable of the 10 virgins who were invited to a wedding feast. Five were prepared and brought extra oil for their lamps. The other five only brought the oil that was already in their lamps. (See Matthew 25:1–4.)
While waiting for the bridegroom, the five who were unprepared ran out of oil and hurried to buy more. While they were gone, the bridegroom came and the five who were prepared entered the wedding feast. But when the others returned, the door was shut, and they were denied entrance. (See Matthew 25:6–12.)
No one really uses oil lamps anymore, but the Savior’s parable is still important! It teaches us the importance of being spiritually prepared.
To make the parable apply today, think of your cell phone instead of an oil lamp. What happens if you neglect to charge your phone? Eventually, it will die.
Imagine how inconvenient it would be if you got separated from your friends at a crowded school event and you couldn’t get in touch with them. Or what if you lost your keys and you were locked out of your house or car? Having a dead cell phone battery then could leave you in an uncomfortable situation. What if you’re faced with an emergency? It’s important to have some battery life in your phone so you could call for help if you needed to. Otherwise, you could be in trouble.
So, here’s the parable of the cell phone: the batteries in our phones are like our spirituality. Our “spiritual batteries” need to be fully charged so that when challenges or questions come, we will have the faith to face them. Otherwise, there will come a time when we really need the power of faith and testimony, and we won’t have it.
Whether we’re talking about filling lamps with oil or charging a phone battery, we need to be wise and do all we can to be spiritually prepared. The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: “For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day” (D&C 45:57).
There’s no question that the world is full of confusion. It can be hard to know what’s true and what’s false. But President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “There is one source of truth that is complete, correct, and incorruptible. That source is our infinitely wise and all-knowing Heavenly Father. He knows truth as it was, as it is, and as it yet will be [see D&C 93:24].”1
Heavenly Father doesn’t keep that truth from us. He offers it to us through the gospel of Jesus Christ. He sent His Son to be “the way, the truth, and the life” for us (John 14:6). We charge our spiritual batteries as we receive the truth by doing our best to follow the Savior, live His gospel, and listen to the words of living prophets and apostles. The Savior said, “For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father” (D&C 84:36–37).
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Our Father in Heaven knew that in mortality we would face challenges, tribulation, and turmoil; He knew we would wrestle with questions, disappointments, temptations, and weaknesses. To give us mortal strength and divine guidance, He provided the Holy Spirit, another name for the Holy Ghost.”2
The Holy Ghost is the best guide we can have, but President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency has said, “It is your choice whether to receive Him and welcome Him into your heart and mind.”3 When we take the sacrament, we’re reminded that if we keep the commandments, take the name of Jesus Christ upon us, and always remember Him, we may always have His Spirit to be with us. With the Spirit as our guide, we are spiritually prepared with direction, instruction, and protection.
The scriptures tell us that Satan is “the father of lies” (2 Nephi 9:9). He’ll do all he can to confuse and deceive us, to make us “miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). Although Satan will lie to us, Elder Robert D. Hales (1932–2017) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Faithfulness in obeying the commandments and keeping our covenants will protect us from being deceived.”4 If we keep our spiritual batteries charged, we will be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, which will help us know what to do and lead us to truth.
It takes faith and diligence to be spiritually prepared. It’s like a battery. It can’t charge itself, and you can’t just charge it once and forget about it. You have to plug it in to a power source frequently so it can recharge. Spiritual preparation is the same way. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught that we should prepare ourselves “patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible.”5
Being spiritually prepared will usually take more than we might think. In the Savior’s parable, those who were prepared had extra oil with them, so we should do all we can to keep our spiritual batteries full. We do so as we work on receiving the truth, taking the Holy Spirit for our guide, and avoiding Satan’s deceptions. With our spiritual batteries full, our faith can be strengthened, we can find peace, and we can have the assurance that we will make it through life’s challenges with Heavenly Father’s help.