Most of those reading this post are enjoying prosperous times. We have been nurtured by prosperity unlike any other recent generation. Nearly all of us have have been free from hunger. Few, if any, have been without shelter. Educational opportunities have been plentiful. Some in the bloggernacle have advanced degrees. We live in good times.
So, what do the good times have to do with procrastinating the day of our repentance?
I’ll answer this question, by asking another question. Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? If you have to think about this question for very long you probably hunger and thirst after after other things.
Prosperity, especially prolonged prosperity, is the enemy of righteousness (see Helaman 12: 1-6). Even the faithful, the very elect, suffer spiritually in times like we are living in. Mormon points this out in the last chapter in the Book of Mormon. He warns us not to deny the gifts of God (Moroni 10:7-8) and says “that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief” (Moroni 10:24).
It’s unfortunate for followers of Christ to fall into the trap of hungering and thirsting for the things of the world more than we do for the things of God. This dual hungering and thirsting puts us in a bad position. We know about God, but we don’t know God. It can be called distracted faithfulness. This is what happened to 5 of the 10 virgins. They procrastinated the day of their repentance. They were good people, thus the term “virgin”, but they were lacking oil. Oil in the parable represents the Holy Ghost. Those virgins who lacked oil pleaded, “Lord, Lord open to us“, but were turned away by the Lord, hearing him say “Ye know me not” (JST Matthew 25:11).
Church members who are faithful in attending church, fulling their assignments, striving to keep the commandments, but who fall short in acquiring the gift of the Holy Ghost are represented in the parable of the Ten Virgins, by the 5 unwise virgins.
The 5 unwise virgins didn’t know Christ because they procrastinated the day of their repentance. The 5 wise virgins had the companionship of the Holy Ghost because they repented and were converted. We come to know Christ when he extends the blessings of the atonement to us individually when we wrestle in mighty prayer for a remission of our sins.