Chapter 8: Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–57: “They That Are Wise”

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Guide, (2001), 13–14


To help students understand the importance of taking “the Holy Spirit for their guide” in order to prepare themselves for the coming of the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) and to “abide the day” (D&C 45:57).

Before the Video


Please review the introduction to the previous lesson, “‘Be Not Troubled’ (D&C 45:16–39).”

Scripture Insights

Read with students the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13, then share the following insight from Elder Harold B. Lee, who was then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“The bridegroom of the parable was the Master, the Savior of mankind. The marriage feast symbolized the second coming of the Savior to receive his Church unto himself. The virgins were those who were professed believers in Christ, because they were expectantly waiting for the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage feast” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1951, 26).

Using the Video

“They That Are Wise” 8:38

“Look For” Activity

As students watch this segment, have them look for what the oil represents in our lives. Also have them look for how we obtain this oil.

Show the Video

The video begins with a depiction of the parable of the ten virgins. This is followed by examples of latter-day youth who are filling their spiritual lamps with oil.

After the Video


Ask the students the following questions:

  1. Who does the bridegroom represent? (The Savior.)

  2. What does his arrival represent? (The Savior’s Second Coming.)

  3. Who do the ten virgins represent? (Wise and foolish members of the Church.)

  4. What is the difference between the five who were wise and the five who were foolish? (“Five are zealous and devoted, while five are inactive and lukewarm; ten have the testimony of Jesus, but only five are valiant therein” [Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. (1966–73), 1:685].)

  5. What does the oil represent? (The Holy Ghost. “Five of the virgins are wise and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide; their lamps are lighted and they await the coming of Him whose feast it is. But five are foolish; they do not put first in their lives the things of their Lord; other interests consume their attention. Their lamps are without oil, for they have not made the Holy Ghost their constant companion” [Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah (1982), 343].)

  6. What role does preparation play in the parable? (The five foolish virgins were not prepared with sufficient oil to meet the wedding procession. Those who do not prepare spiritually will not be ready to meet the Savior at His coming.)

  7. Why didn’t the five wise virgins share their reserves of oil with those who were lacking? (“The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . .

    “This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission? How can one share temple privileges? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself” [Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 255–56].)

  8. What is the significance of the bridegroom coming at midnight? (Christ will come when we do not expect it. “The foolish virgins were not averse to buying oil. They knew they should have oil. They merely procrastinated, not knowing when the bridegroom would come. . . .

    “Midnight is so late for those who have procrastinated” [Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 256].)

  9. How can we use the Holy Ghost to build up a reserve of oil and prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior? (“In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. 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” [Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 256].)

Scripture Activity

Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–57 and review the following phrases with students:

  1. that day—This refers to the last days before the Savior’s Second Coming.

  2. they that are wise—According to verse 57, the wise did two things: they received the truth, and they took the Holy Spirit for their guide. As a result, they were not deceived.

  3. abide the day—This means not being destroyed at His coming. “As individuals, we prepare to meet our God by keeping his commandments and living his laws. He will receive into his own bosom those only who abide the day of his coming” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 572).


Consider reviewing with your students how the Holy Ghost communicates with us. Most of the preparation that we will need to “abide the day” of the coming of our Savior will be of a spiritual nature. A testimony will be necessary to abide that day. We will need to be obedient and faithful to the Lord, and to repent and honor our covenants. The Holy Ghost will assist us if we are willing.