You might think because of the subject line, that I will be discussing cooking oil. Not this time.
I recently heard the story that took place many years ago. There was a serious lightning storm in Manti Utah. A family watched as lightning flashed around thenewly finished temple. The children said to their mother, "The Lord wouldn't strike the temple would He?" Just as the mother was assuring them He would not, lightning struck the temple and it lit on fire. Her husband was among those who fought the fire and put it out. When he returned home, the children asked him why the Lord would strike his own temple. The father answered them that installing a lightning rod had been discussed, but not carried out. He said, "God had given the means to protect the Temple against lightning, and the workers neglected to use those means. They thus did not have a right to expect miraculous interventions."
What does that have to do with oil? The parable of the 10 virgins can become trite when comparing it with spiritual and physical preparedness. I cannot think ofa better comparison. The five foolish virgins could not expect to attend the feast because they were off buying more oil.
Like the Manti Temple, we cannot expect "miraculous interventions" if we fail to use the means the Lord has given us to prepare ourselves and our families against days of coming tribulation. This applies to physical, spiritual and even emotional preparedness.
I spoke with a friend a few years ago and she told me that she thought she was doing enough to prepare by laying some money in the bank. She realized that if financial institutions were to fail, that money would be worthless and she would have nothing to give her family to eat.
On the other hand, if we do use the means we have to carry out preparations we know we should do, and listen to the spirit for guidance for anything else - I believe we can expect miraculous intervention. That is the law of obedience. "I,the Lord, am bound when we do what I say. When we do not what I say, ye have no promise." Doctrine and Covenants 82:10