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  • Ryan Johansen

Think Celestial

In the most recent general conference, President Nelson shared what he believes are the most crucial lessons he’s learned in his nearly 100 years. He said, “Heavenly Father’s plan for us is fabulous, what we do in this life really matters, and the Savior’s Atonement is what makes our Father’s plan possible.”

Our Heavenly Father’s plan is for us to come to earth, receive a body and experience the joy that comes from following our Savior, making covenants with Him and partaking of His Atonement.

As we know, part of this plan is to experience opposition. This can come in the form of

temptation, strained relationships, illness, doubt, grief, disappointment, discouragement, and anything else we may encounter during mortality. I compare this opposition to what Lehi described as mists of darkness (1 Nephi 8). The trials we face on a day-to-day basis can cloud our view. It can be easy to lose sight of the plan in the same way that those in Lehi’s dream lost sight of the tree of life.

When faced with opposition, President Nelson encourages us to continually “think celestial” in whatever our circumstances. Thinking celestial is what we must do when we can’t see the road ahead, when heaven feels far away, or when life’s challenges feel overwhelming.

President Nelson has promised that “the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. He is the source of all joy.”

Thinking celestial means continually trusting in our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and in our Savior’s ability to rescue and strengthen us each day of our lives. It means trusting that joy is available to us even in our trials. As we think celestial, may we each strive to keep our focus on Christ and on our Heavenly Father’s perfect plan.

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