Reviewed by Melanie Lott, Staff Writer

The Ten Virgins - Ten Women, Ten Stories, Ten Lessons For Our Day written by Emily Freeman with paintings by Simon Dewey; Published by Deseret Book

First of all, let me just say that I love collecting these hardback, beautifully illustrated stories that have become popular these days. They seem to contain rich and sacred messages but are in a format that children can read as well.

"The Ten Virgins" by Emily Freeman is probably one of my very favorites. The paintings by Simon Dewey are gorgeous. The shopkeeper in his story looks so much like the Savior, which amplifies the meaning. The parable is told in a different way. First, it explores the lives of each of these ten virgins. Who were they? What kind of lives did they lead? At one point, I identified with one of them so strongly that it made me teary-eyed. The parable goes on to explain what happened when the bridegroom came. After getting to know these sisters, all of whom were good women, it made the story so much more real and intense. It left me with a profound determination not to be one of the foolish women. It made a difference for me.

At the back of the book, there are quotes from various scriptures and general authorities of the parable of the Ten Virgins. One of these quotes made a strong impression with me. It said, "Christ will come when least expected -- at midnight -- and when the Church, having become accustomed to His long delay, has gone to sleep." (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah) Will we be ready when that day comes? Are we doing the things that will fill our lamps? I highly recommend this book. I think it would make a wonderful Christmas present this coming season.