Can you imagine what it would be like to live with God in the celestial kingdom? In the final scenes of his great revelation, John saw “a new heaven and a new earth” and a holy city descending from heaven (see Revelation 21:1–2). He testified that God “will dwell with them, and they shall be his people” (Revelation 21:3). This lesson is intended to help you understand that the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom is worth all your efforts.
Imagine that you are a member of a sports team and you know in advance that your team is going to win the championship title at the end of the season. However, you don’t know how long the season will last, and the coach expects all the players to give their best efforts in order to remain on the team.
How might this knowledge influence how you prepare for and perform in each game? Why?
How would you react if your team lost a few games in a row? How might you encourage your teammates after these losses?
Now take some time to think about the last days and the Second Coming.
How confident are you that righteousness will ultimately triumph over evil? What could help you increase your confidence?
Do you feel that following the Savior is worth your consistent best efforts? Why or why not?
The final outcome of the battle between good and evil has been revealed by God through His prophets: the Lord’s side will be victorious. During the Millennium, Satan will be bound and Jesus Christ will rule on the earth in peace for a thousand years (see Revelation 20:1–4). After this thousand years, Satan will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” forever, and the Final Judgment will take place (see Revelation 20:7–15). After the Final Judgment, the righteous and faithful will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
As you study Revelation 21–22, seek Heavenly Father’s help to increase your desire to give your best efforts in striving for eternal life and celestial glory.
One of the important events John saw in his vision was Jesus Christ’s triumph over Satan at the end of the world. In Revelation 21–22, John described the destiny of those who had fought alongside the Savior to defeat wickedness.
Read Revelation 21:1–7, looking for blessings God will give the faithful. You may want to mark those that are meaningful to you.
Note that in verse 2, the husband is a symbol of the Savior, and the bride is a symbol of the Church, or those who faithfully follow Him.
In verse 7, a son or daughter of Christ is someone who has kept their covenants with Him.
What blessings that God will give the faithful are most meaningful to you? Why?
What did you learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ from these verses? Why would it be important for you to understand these things about Them?
Some of the many truths taught in these verses include the following: In the celestial kingdom, God will dwell with and comfort His people, and they will no longer experience death, sorrow, or pain; and those who faithfully overcome the tests of mortal life will inherit eternal blessings in the celestial kingdom.
Imagine that one of your friends does not think that striving for the celestial kingdom is worth all that it requires.
Prepare a short response you could share with your friend that could help them understand that the celestial kingdom is worth any effort required to live the gospel. You might want to use some of the following resources and answer the following questions to help you prepare your response:
Elder L. Tom Perry (1922–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:
I believe that if we could create in our minds a clear and true picture of eternal life, we would start behaving differently. We would not need to be prodded to do the many things involved with enduring to the end, like [ministering], attending our meetings, going to the temple, living moral lives, saying our prayers, or reading the scriptures. We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go.
(L. Tom Perry, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 44)
Some of the following questions could help guide your thoughts as you consider your response:
What excites you when you think about living in the celestial kingdom?
What have you learned about the Savior that motivates you to follow Him and strive to obtain the celestial kingdom?
What experiences have you had with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that increase your desire to live with Them again?
How has Their love for you helped you feel that the celestial kingdom is attainable?
In four to five sentences, write what you would say to your friend.
Reflect for a few minutes on the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and Their desire for you to receive eternal life. Think about how you could show your gratitude for Their mercy and grace.
The short and true answer is absolutely yes! But if you want to learn more, consider reading “You Can Make It!” by Eric B. Murdock in the July 2021 issue of the For the Strength of Youth magazine (pages 24–26).
You may want to look up the Gospel Topics article “Celestial Kingdom” (topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). You could also read “What Is the Celestial Kingdom Like?” in the July 2021 issue of the For the Strength of Youth magazine (page 31).
Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet. Alpha means “the first” or “the beginning.” Omega means “the last of any series,” or “the end.” When you put the two words, Alpha and Omega, together, they mean “from the beginning to the end,” or “from the first to the last.” When Jesus is referred to as Alpha and Omega, it means he was from the beginning and will be at the end in all things; he is eternal.
(Dorothy Leon, “By These Names,” Liahona, Apr. 1996)
One of the ways that we can see Jesus Christ as the Alpha and Omega is that He is a member of the Godhead and created the world (see Mosiah 3:8; Moses 1:33; 2:1). He also agreed to be our Savior in the premortal world (see Moses 4:2). Through Jesus Christ, we will be resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22; Alma 11:42–44), and He will be our Judge and our Advocate before the Father (see Romans 14:10–12; Alma 33:22; 3 Nephi 27:14–16; Doctrine and Covenants 45:3–5).
Some people have cited Revelation 22:18–19 as a reason to reject the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scripture. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained why this reasoning is incorrect in his message “My Words … Never Cease” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 91–94).