One Sunday I was sitting in Gospel Doctrine class listening to a lesson about the parable of the ten virgins. The discussion was a typical one heard in many LDS wards. The virgins with oil had done things, e.g., attend church meetings, read their scriptures, said their prayers, paid their tithing, accepted callings, so that they would have enough oil to fill their lamps. These works were the metaphorical oil in their lamps that allowed them to a seat with Christ in His kingdom. Those without oil were lazy, had wasted the days of their probation,and were thus unworthy of the kingdom.
As I listened to the lesson I felt that we were missing something. That there was a deeper meaning to the story that was being overlooked. Then it hit me. Oil was not the sign that got the 10 prepared virgins into the feast, but the light the oil created. In the end, the amount of oil one had meant nothing if it was not producing light. Filling the lamps with oil was not enough, it had to become something.
If oil is works, or doing stuff, it is insufficient to save. The things we do only matter if they cause us to change, bring forth light, experience a mighty change of heart, and by the grace of God become born again as something new. When our being is one of light, Christ sees Himself in us, and we are admitted to the feast.