Do You Have No Idea What You’re Doing? Think Celestial!
November 2023

Do You Have No Idea What You’re Doing? Think Celestial!

General conference provided a simple answer to my giant question.

young woman looking up

As a recent college graduate and young single adult, I’m currently facing a lot of uncertainty. On a day-to-day basis, life is good and the uncertainty is manageable, but when I think even a little bit into the future, the unknowns start to compound. I have questions about my job, my relationships, and my living situation—and some of these questions need to be answered soon!

I always try to exercise faith and hope in Heavenly Father’s plan for me, but during this general conference, I sat on the couch with my stomach in knots.

Where will I end up? Who will I end up with? Will that guy text me back? Where is my career heading? Where will I be living this time next year? Will the future me be happy?

All these questions morphed into one giant, existential plea for direction: What should I do?

Many Answers

Although my question was big, vague, and unspecific, I felt confident that it would somehow be answered in general conference.

Over two inspiring days, Church leaders reminded us of the fact that keeping covenants gives us access to the Savior’s enabling power,1 the reality of our identity as children of a loving Heavenly Father,2 and the reassurance that through Jesus Christ, everything can be OK.3 As I listened to these comforting messages, the tight grip of my worries began to loosen.

And before I knew it, I had several answers to my question. I needed to have faith, make and keep covenants, pay tithing, serve those around me, spread the gospel, hold a calling, love and accept others, study the scriptures, attend the temple, pray, and the list goes on.

And I was grateful for these specifics, because I believe doing these things really does bring guidance and blessings from Heavenly Father.

But a certain speaker somehow condensed this list into one simple idea.

My Ultimate Goal

The last speaker of general conference was our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. He shared that, in his 99 years of life, he’s learned that “an understanding of God’s fabulous plan takes the mystery out of life and the uncertainty out of our future.”4

In simple but powerful counsel, he said: “I invite you to adopt the practice of ‘thinking celestial’! Thinking celestial means being spiritually minded.”5

As the prophet said these words, I could begin to see past the stressors that loomed at me from the not-too-distant future. Looking ahead was what had initially brought me anxiety, but looking even beyond my earthly future reminded me what my ultimate goal is—to live with my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and my family in the celestial kingdom. Any mortal trial, fear, or uncertainty pales in comparison to that amazing promise.

President Nelson continued: “As you think celestial, your heart will gradually change. You will want to pray more often and more sincerely. Please don’t let your prayers sound like a shopping list. The Lord’s perspective transcends your mortal wisdom.”6

It filled me with hope to be reminded that God will provide guidance that surpasses my own limited understanding (see Proverbs 3:5–6).

Eternal Life, Now

In the days since conference, swirling thoughts of uncertainty have made periodic comebacks. But then I remind myself to “think celestial,” and I say a prayer. I talk to Heavenly Father in a way that is respectful yet conversational. I explain my concerns to Him, and I ask for His comfort and direction. And I always feel heard.

I know that keeping this eternal perspective requires practice and conscious effort in this crazy arena of life. But I also know that it’s the true way to experience peace. As President Nelson reminded us, “‘to be spiritually-minded is life eternal’ [2 Nephi 9:39].”7

I know that as we focus on our goal of returning to Heavenly Father and do the things to make that possible, we can experience the peace of eternal life, even here on earth.