“You Can Make It!” For the Strength of Youth, July 2021, 24–26.
“Me? In the celestial kingdom? I don’t think I can make it.”
Have you ever had a thought like that? Well, it’s normal to wonder if we’re good enough especially when it seems like we are so far way from being perfect. Sometimes it feels like the celestial kingdom is unattainable!
But don’t get discouraged. The whole point of Heavenly Father’s plan is to help you become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and live with Them in the celestial kingdom. And you are in a much better position than you think you are. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has reminded us that living with Them again “is more than just our goal—it is also Their goal.”1
More than anything, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want all of us to live in the celestial kingdom with Them and our families. The good news is that we don’t have to get there all on our own. When we come unto Christ and follow Him, we receive the strength and help we need. Because of His Atonement, inheriting the celestial kingdom is not only possible, it’s likely.
So, with His help, you can do this! You can make it!
To enter the celestial kingdom, we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and seek to increase that faith. We need to strive to change and repent daily. We need to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost—and regularly remember Jesus Christ and renew our covenants. We need to endure to the end. If these are things you desire and are striving for, you are on your way to becoming one who inherits the celestial kingdom.
In addition, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has taught that those who are worthy of the highest degree of the celestial kingdom are “those who have met the highest requirements for this kingdom, including faithfulness to covenants made in a temple of God and marriage for eternity.”2 (You can learn more about this by reading Doctrine and Covenants 76:50–70, 92–96).
If this makes you wonder—or worry—about your preparations to inherit the celestial kingdom, remember that it’s a journey. Each day that we choose to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is a day that we move closer to becoming a more celestial person—and closer to the celestial kingdom. Of course, there will be slip-ups, mistakes, and sins for all of us. Relying on Jesus Christ as we repent daily is the key. This journey is a hopeful one because of all that He and our Heavenly Father have done—and what They continue to do—to help us get there.
The Savior provides the way for us to return to our Heavenly Father. Joseph Smith described those who live in the celestial kingdom as having “received the testimony of Jesus” and having been “made perfect through Jesus … who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:51, 69).
Becoming perfect in Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that we don’t ever make mistakes. It means that we repent and try to get a little better every day, relying on the Savior and the power of His Atonement to help us change. As we do this, His grace allows us to progress toward the highest degree of the celestial kingdom where we will live with Him, Heavenly Father, and our families forever. We will also receive all that our Father in Heaven has. None of this would be possible without the Savior.
President Oaks taught that the Church is also here “to help all of the children of God understand their potential and achieve their highest destiny. This church exists to provide the sons and daughters of God with the means of entrance into and exaltation in the celestial kingdom.”3 This is done through obedience to the ordinances and covenants of the gospel.
These ordinances and covenants require the priesthood, which is available only in God’s true Church. In these and other ways, the Lord and His Church help us on our journey to become the best we can be so that our hearts are prepared to one day inherit all that Heavenly Father has and gain eternal life.
This journey toward the celestial kingdom is hopeful, but it isn’t always easy. Heavenly Father knows that. He and Jesus Christ have promised to help and strengthen us every step of the way.
So keep going, and don’t give up. We will have help as we strive to follow the Savior, live so we are worthy to receive and act upon promptings from the Holy Ghost, and recognize where we can improve. As we go through life with faith in Jesus Christ and repent when we need to, our Heavenly Father will help us change for the better.
Being worthy of the celestial kingdom isn’t accomplished in one great act. It’s the result of consistently choosing to follow the Savior and relying on the hope and assurance that come from His gospel.
So, if you strive to follow the Savior and still worry whether you’ll make it to the celestial kingdom, all signs point to a resounding “Yes! You can make it!” This is what Heavenly Father intends for all of us! And as President Oaks taught, it’s all possible “because of God’s love for his children and because of the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, ‘who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands’ [Doctrine and Covenants 76:43].”4