A Second Look at the Ten Virgins

I love the synergy that takes place when several people begin brain-storming and sharing thoughts, and feelings and scriptures with one another.

After reading the comments of Malachi, TruthSeekerToo and Fabledsog and then doing a little key word searching, I have come up with a possible scenario for the ten virgins that is quite different than how it is traditionally characterized in LDS theology.

It frankly causes me some indigestion; however I cannot deny that there is strong scriptural reason to strongly consider it.

First let me begin with the two scriptures that Fabledsog provided;

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (New Testament | Revelation 21:2)

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (New Testament | Revelation 21:9 – 10)

Fabledsog did not provide any commentary with the two scriptures he provided so I am not sure if he was making the point I am going to make or another one.

The thing that stands out in the above scriptures is that the bride (the holy city representing the celestial-  elect) is coming down from heaven adorned as a bride.

This means that the coming of the bride to the marriage takes place after the Zion from below is caught up to meet the Zion from above in 84:99;

“The Lord has brought down Zion from above, the Lord has brought up Zion from below”

Now section 88 indicates that the rapture of the elect takes place in the 7th seal! (forgive me for using a protestant term which if not found in the scriptures, but the doctrine of the rapture does show up… more in LDS scriptures than the protestant scriptures)

This got me wondering if in fact the fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins could in fact take place in the seventh seal after the day of probation is over.

I then looked for another scripture as a second witness to the possibility that the fulfillment of this parable takes place in the seventh seal and found it;

Section 45 which tells us that the parable of the ten virgins will be fulfilled in the day that Christ comes in his glory!

“And in that day when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins”

We know from section 77 that Christ does not come in his glory until sometime during the seven seal or seventh temporal millennium;

“…in the beginning of the seventh thousand years- the preparing of the way before the time of his coming”

Furthermore, we are informed by section 88 and Matt 25 that the bride is with the Bridegroom when he comes in his glory;

“They are Christ’s the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.” D&C 88:98

Another parable in matthew 25 describes the two groups that the inhabitants of the earth are divided into, as the sheep and the goats.

We know from section 88 that the “holy angels” mentioned in the verses below that come with Christ at his coming in glory are the celestrial souls who become the first fruits, the first harvest and the first resurrection;

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his aright hand, but the goats on the left.” Mat. 25:31

Additionally, while the parable assures us that all ten virgins will be slumber and be asleep when the call goes forth, section 35 informs us that the elect of God will not be asleep!

“And a commandment I give unto thee—that thou shalt write for him; and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect;  For they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure.” D&C 35:21

I must confess that I have vacillated back and forth as to whether the fulfillment of the parable took place during probation in the sixth seal or the seventh seal.

This is because of the teaching that the two groups represented the celestial and the terrestrial members of Christs Church, as taught in LDS theology.

However, if in fact the parable is fulfilled in the seventh seal, after probation is over, and if in fact, the bride is with the Bridegroom when he comes, then in fact the two groups left on the earth must surely be those that are 1) redeemed when the Lord comes (the terrestrial) and  those that are not redeemed when he come (the  telestial people and Sons of perdition).

This would prove the gut feeling that TruthSeekerToo had is accurate, regarding the possibility that there was a third group of people beside the two sets of virgins, that was more righteous than the other two sets of virgins.

It would also confirm Malachi’s contention that verse 92 in section 88 is in fact referring to the parable of the Ten Virgins even though the invitation to meet the Bridegroom is to the “inhabitants of the world” instead of being limited to the membership of Christs church. However, it would appear to support my contention that verse 92 marks the beginning or opening of the seventh seal rather than verse 94, since we have established scripturally that the parable is fulfilled during the seventh seal… although I guess you could argue that the call goes out in the sixth seal and the parable is finally fulfilled in the seventh seal.

It is interesting that when referring to the elect “abiding the day” it says they… shall not be asleep and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure.” D&C 35:21

But when referring to the terrestrials abiding the day it refers to them not being thrust into the fire;

“..verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day..”.

So, what causes me indigestion about this interpretation?

1-    The use of the term Elect to refer to the terrestrial souls. I have come to associate the term elect with the celestrial souls, however, the “election of grace” does seem to refer in some instances to the predestination of the terrestrial souls and several scriptures that assure us that “all Israel will be saved” which certainly must refer to the terrestrial souls. For instance the children of Israel that were very wicked and rejected the higher law, after they suffer according to terrestrial law of justice, they will categorically be saved as a people. Hence the definition of the word “elect” is confusing since it is used interchangeably between the celestial and terrestrial Saints.

2-    It seems that the Parable should be referring to a marriage feast (or in modern day context, “reception”) rather than the actual marriage, particularly if TruthSeekerToo’s observation that the marriage takes place one year before the marriage feast. In other words it seems that the bride should already be married to the Bridegroom when she descends with him, rather than coming with him and then being married once they touch down on the earth, although again, the scriptures provided initially do state that the holy city is adorned as a bride as she descends.

3-    The statement in section 45 that the wise virgins have not been deceived and have received the truth really bothers me. Frankly, section 76 defines the terrestrial souls as the “ honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” To me that implies that they were deceived and did not receive the full truth. The only way I can reconcile this it to assume that the context has changed in the seventh seal from the sixth seal. During the sixth seal blindness was put upon Israel and all Israel was blinded and deceived,  however, during the seventh seal, when Satan was no longer allowed to go forth deceiving the nations and the light shown brightly, the terrestrials were not deceived in the ultimate sense, as were the telestial and the Sons of Perditions.

4-    The statement in section 45:58 that appears to state that the terrestrials will be having eternal offspring and creating spirit children to populate future worlds during the paradisaical millennium. This seems to contradict traditional LDS theology that only the Celestial Souls will be organizing intelligences and populating future worlds.  Since when did I ever have a problem challenging traditional LDS theology? I don’t, however, there are some potential scriptural problems. What are the implication of D&C 131:1-4? Perhaps eternal increase has reference to adding souls to a persons kingdom rather than to the act of procreating. Again, this may be explained by the fact that celestial souls who gain “eternal life” will be organizing celestial spirits who will be predestined for eternal life while terrestrial souls who are saved in a terrestrial glory but are not exalted into the highest kingdom and to not have the same “eternal life” as Christ has, will be procreating terrestrial souls like unto themselves.

5- Although section 45 states that the parable will be fulfilled in the day when Christ comes in his glory, the JST begins the parable by saying ” And at that day, before the Son of Man comes, the kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins…” That could imply that the parable takes place in the sixth thousand year period which precedes the coming of the Lord in glory.

6- Latter day revelation seems to make it clear that the Latter Day Saints represent the five wise virgins in the parable: “Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—” (33:17) If that is true, that the wise virgins are the righteous LDS, are the righteous latter day Saints not going to be the celestial Bride of Christ?

section 33 seems to give credence to the following statements by Spencer Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie;

“I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world. All of the virgins, wise and foolish, had accepted the invitation to the wedding supper; they had knowledge of the program and had been warned of the important day to come.” Spencer W. Kimball.

“In the last days, before the Son of Man comes, his church is likened unto ten virgins, all of whom have accepted the gospel invitation to attend the marriage feast of the Lamb. But the bridegroom delays his coming.” Bruce R. McConkie

Perhaps, the parable of the ten virgins, like virtually all of the Old Testament prophecies and all of the prophecies in Isaiah has a dual fulfillment. That could explain many of the apparent contradictions.

For now, I must accept the fact that the wise virgins are the celestial souls on the earth just prior to the second coming of the Lord… because the parable is about the “Kingdom of heaven”, which always has reference to the highest kingdom of God. Clearly, the door to the kingdom is the “door” that was “shut” and the wise virgins that were not deceived, that took the Holy Spirit as their guide, are those who were living in the end times that were faithful and were caught up and entered into the kingdom.


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7 Responses to A Second Look at the Ten Virgins

  1. Malachi says:

    Those are very interesting comments that cover a wide range of subjects. I love it.

    I was on a 14 hour bus trip yesterday starting at 4am (FFA high school students to Logan for their state competition), hense I didn’t get to read it then and today my body is a bit wasted. But I love the possibilities and look forward to disecting your post. Thanks for taking it to the next level watcher.

    Malichi

    ps from my first reading I have no contentious points. Just thoughts on a few items that when I can stay awake I’ll communicate with you. As always I love the use of the scriptures. The iron rod is such an amazing tool the Lord has given us. I look back to the days when I too sat through sunday school and priesthood meetings hoping they wouldn’t call on me to read a scripture (partly because I couldn’t read out loud very well). Now I can’t live without them.

  2. Fabledsog says:

    Well I always debate myself, on whether I should comment on something, so I just posted the scriptures w/o commentary, but anyways, I’ll comment now on it, I feel that Zion and Jerusalem originally, Enoch and his people is the Bride, and the Bride only, why do I feel that way?
    4 I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom; and verily, I say, even as many as have believed in my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them.
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 38:4)
    That was the Zion of Enoch, Mother Zion as I call her, she is the bride. So why do I call her Mother Zion…

    31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
    (Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:31)
    Because the Zion that Servants are gonna bring up from the dust, is in fact the daughter of Zion.
    Hence daughter=virgin, so the Ten virgin parable, since the bride is the first Zion not the second.
    The First Zion will be coming down out of heaven, while the Second will be coming out of the dust.

    Also John the Baptist states he is a friend not part of the bride.
    29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
    (New Testament | John 3:29 – 30)

    98 They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:98)
    In this there are 3 groups of people, who are considered first fruits. Sounded by one trump by the angel of God, the real question who is the angel of God that sounds this trump? Also can there be two churches in the celestial kingdom?

    67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:67)
    So anyways whose the First trump, I’ve come to strong conclusion that it is Enoch other known as Raphael.
    But don’t answers bring up more questions?! So who are the other six? Well these 7 happen to be First Patriarchs, or known as princes. Well aside from Adam and Noah, leaves 4 more slots to fill. Not sidetracking, but who was the angel of the Lord, that wrestled with Jacob, allowing Jacob to see the Face of God, and he named the place or Peniel, or the reiteration to Phanuel whoses name means Face of God. Now who else saw God Face to Face…Moses, since well some say that Phanuel is Joseph Smith, but I feel that is not true. Since Joseph Smith is suppose to wrestle with the angel of the Lord that Jacob wrestled if he hasn’t already. He can’t wrestle with himself. But since J.S is the similitude servant like Moses, who better than to receive the blessing to be able to see God Face to Face. When in fact Moses was trying to get the saints before the meridian of time to see the Face of God.

    23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:23)
    It occurs to me there is multiple ministries in returning to the presence of God.

    Now there’s three more, theres Raguel, who means Friend of God, whos ministry is make sure things are being done, kinda like a Father..Father Abraham fits the bill.

    Now theres Uriel, Fire of God, one who watches terror and thunder, and the angel guarding Eden with a Fiery Sword after Adam and Eve were kicked out. Fire also means Knowledge. Along glass is the substance of an Urimm and Thummim. I’ve come to believe is Joseph, connects with this angel than people realize. Malachi supports this, D&C 88 103-104 does also,

    Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:104)
    Also does his Patriarchal blessing from Oliver.
    6. For with the voice of his thunder shall he strike terror to their hearts, and as with the wings of an eagle shall my brother be carried beyond all harm, by the power of the Anointed.
    26. His testimony shall shine like the Sun, and the weight of his influence shall be like the great river that rises on the East of the everlasting hills, and flows into the great deep so shall his righteousness ever abound.
    30. In his hands shall the Urim and Thummim remain and the holy ministry, and the keys of the evangelical priesthood also for an everlasting priesthood forever, even the patriarchal; for, behold, he is the first patriarch in the last days.
    Uri-m&Thummim-el? Also first patriarch in the last days? Who is the first patriarch in the fulness of times, theres one angel who is quite eluding.

    105 And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth angel, saying: She is fallen who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; she is fallen, is fallen!
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:105)
    Sarakiel and variants, means God’s Command, Communicant of God, and God Turneth. Wo, I’ve come to the belief that this angel is in fact Sidney Rigdon.

    But all of which Ive said I can’t pass as truth, nor do I wish to, only the Holy Spirit can do that. It doesn’t matter if He does, I might be wrong in all aspects, but I guess trying to knowing what is right, I hope counts for something. Even if I’m wrong. If it leads to endless amount of questions, the Lord has endless amount of answers. Understanding the answers is the hard part. Which is why I debate commenting, apparently Im prone to over divulge.

    Fabled

  3. Malachi says:

    Watcher, friend, this morning I sat down to study on the parable. I word searched lots of words and phrases and I have come to several conclusions.

    1. The wise are without a doubt Celestial.

    2. The foolish are without a doubt Terrestrial.

    3. In 45:56-59 the wise that take the Holy Spirit for their guide are without a doubt Celestial.

    4. The Marriage is when the wise go in with the bridegroom.

    5. The Marriage is in Nauvoo during the 6th seal.

    6. The Marriage is the sealing of the 144,000 referred to in Revelation 7:3.

    7. The phrase in D&C 45:56 that the parable is fulfilled at the coming of the Lord in his glory is not talking about the 6th seal marriage but is talking about giving the wise, the celestial their 7th seal inheritance. “and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him”(88:107).

    8. D&C 63:53-54 also talks about the coming of the son of man and the parable. That the foolish are among the wise until the hour that begins the coming of the son of man. The hour here is the hour of judgment that begins when the 7th seal is opened. The separation occurs during the opening of the 6th seal.

    9. This is shown in the relationship of chapters 7&8 of Revelation. Revelation 7 is the sealing of the 144,000 and occurs in the 6th seal followed by Revelation 8 which is the opening of the 7th seal which begins the hour of judgment.

  4. Malachi

    It is interesting that you just posted that because I was just pondering the statement in section 45 which says;

    “At that day, when I come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins”

    That verse can certainly be interpreted several ways but one way to interpret it is that “At that day” could mean at the very beginning of the seven thousand year period in which the Lord comes in his glory.

    I then goes on to say not that the events of the parable will take place but rather that the parable will have been fulfilled or rather completed. Hence, it would have taken place during the sixth seal.

    Based on that, I tend to agree with you.

    I still need to find more time to study it further, however, at this point, I tend to agree with what you are saying.

  5. TruthSeekerToo says:

    Then, I really wonder why the analogy of the wedding is used. It seems a bit disjointed from how a traditional Jewish wedding occured.

    I also wonder who answers the door when the virgins knock. The bridegroom wouldn’t fill that roll.
    And a bride would not be knocking at her own wedding. She would already be in her father’s house when the bridegroom comes to fetch her.

    I’m just a little baffled that we are supposed to see Christ as the bridegroom and the host (? bride’s father?). We are supposed to see the virgins as the guests and the bride.

    Anyway, I have been leaning towards two (at least) meanings for this parable.

    I agree with you Malachi, that the virgins who take the Holy Spirit as their guide have to be Celestial.

  6. Malachi says:

    Dear TruthSeekerToo,

    I don’t know a whole lot about the traditional Jewish marriage ceremony, but I have no doubt when we know all about the marriage of the wise virgins to the bridegroom it will fulfill all the requirments.

    For example, I believe that there will be a year betrothal of the gentile saints of the Lamb of God. I think that the gentiles have a year to redeem Zion once they enter into the covenant and that is the year betrothal.

    As for the other questions I don’t know but if something comes to mind I’ll comment on it.

  7. Jon Javid says:

    I have been searching post liked this and my favorite perspective on the ten virgins so far is http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/converted-unto-the-lord?lang=eng

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