Have you ever visited a place where everyone spoke a different language than you? Even if a place is beautiful, not being able to communicate makes it very difficult to enjoy being there.
I once dreamed of finding myself in a beautiful place surrounded by smiling, happy people. I was filled with a sense of comfort and peace, and I found myself wanting to stay there forever. But as I listened to the people around me talking, I realized I could not understand what anyone was saying. It was very frustrating not being able to communicate, and I started to fear that I wouldn’t be able to stay there. Finally I said, “Please, I can’t understand you. Who here can speak my language?”
Eventually someone came up to me and said, “This is the only language spoken here. If you want to stay here and be part of this community, you will need to learn this language. I can help you if you want.”
“Thank you!” I replied. “When can we start?”
Abruptly, I awoke.
Learning the Language of Heaven
I wanted to go back, but realized I couldn’t—at least not for a while.
As I was pondering what it all meant and how I could someday get back to the place in my dream, I heard a familiar voice answer, “You start by developing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by doing the things He asks you to do, and by striving to become like Him.” A scripture came to my mind: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32). Now is the “time to prepare for that endless state” (Alma 12:24).
As President Thomas S. Monson reminds us, “love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love. . . . May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way” (“Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign, May 2014).
Yes, now is the time to learn to speak the language of heaven: the language of love, helpfulness, charity—the celestial language. We need to learn to speak the language of heaven not only so we can get there but so we can be comfortable and happy there. Through faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, we learn that in the celestial language (and life) hearing, speaking, understanding, and acting are one and the same. For “in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing” (Mormon 9:9).
What a blessing to have this lifetime in which to learn that language. What a blessing to have a Savior who is anxious to teach us and make us whole! Of all the many gifts from God—including mortal life, light, love, agency, and eternal life—it is the gift of His Son, our Savior, that makes every good thing possible and meaningful.
Eternity Is Now
Eternity is often thought of as some distant future for which we are striving—a place where everyone is at peace and life is perfect—and we will only get there when we have “endured to the end” of this life.
The truth is, eternity is now.
Our mortal bodies will die someday, but our immortal spirits, which reside in and give life to our mortal bodies, will never die. They are the real “us,” which means we are eternal and are always living in eternity.
We lived before we came to this earth, and we are alive right now, so at this very moment we are in eternity. Good things can and should happen now, as they did in our premortal existence and as they can in the future! President Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently reminded us that “now is part of eternity. It doesn’t only begin after we die!” (“A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose,” Ensign, November 2015). . . .
We are all a heartbeat away from death. That is what makes our mortality so fragile and precious at the same time. This mortal experience is but a moment of eternity, so rather than asking why someone is gone, perhaps we should ask why we are still here. As long as our heart is still beating, there is more God would have us do.
When I have been faced with the reality of my mortality, I am reminded of the scripture, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). It is comforting to know that every person who ever lived on this earth will be resurrected and will thus receive immortality. That means physical death is not the end, so it should not be overly feared. In addition to that, God offers us the gift of eternal life, which is so much more than being immortal.
We can experience the joy that comes from living up to our true potential, which we can do with His help. Our time on earth has been given to us so we can learn and develop the characteristics needed to receive that greatest of all gifts: salvation, or to return to live with our Father in Heaven and our Savior (see D&C 6:13).
As we think of the lessons we have learned so far in our lives, some under difficult circumstances, we should realize that nothing in this mortal existence is more powerful than what we are capable of overcoming, with God’s help. I know we can access His power here and now to help us overcome the trials and challenges we will encounter. With God’s help, there is nothing that can stop us from receiving all the blessings that come with true desire and sincere repentance. . . . I know we are living in eternity right now. Everyone can know this, and by knowing this, we can all live our lives in a more positive and productive way. Best of all, we can all face the future with faith, not fear.
All of that brings an incredible promise: you can experience true joy right now because eternity is now.
Lead image from Getty Images
From Elder John H. Groberg, General Authority Emeritus and the inspiration for Disney's The Other Side of Heaven, comes this stellar reminder that since right now is a part of forever, we are living in eternity at this very moment. From gaining strength through adversity to finding joy both now and forever, this book is loaded with eye-opening spiritual insights garnered over a lifetime of serving the Lord—as a Seventy, a mission president, a temple president, and more. Come and find direction through these incredible personal experiences and teachings that will help you make the most of eternity—now.