Making Heaven A Present Reality Here

 
 

When I thought of heaven, I visioned a physical location where my true happiness would finally start.  It was a place where challenges did not exist, stresses of life gone, and I would be with amazing family and friends forever.  But until I actually set foot in heaven, I could only enjoy a fraction of that happiness.  This became largely my motivation to try and live a good life.  I'm much happier now that my thoughts on this subject have changed.  

Scholar M. Catherine Thomas in The God Seed writes:

Promises of great future rewards become less compelling as one finds one's inner life so deeply meaningful.  Heaven is seen to be an extension and deepening of one's present experience.

Woah!  "Heaven is seen to be an extension and deepening of one's present experience"?  This idea from Thomas  corrected my thinking from "grin and bear it because rewards will come later" to "how can I make heaven a present reality?"

I don't believe heaven is heaven because of its physical location, its grandeur, or life there may be easier.  I believe heaven is heaven largely for 2 reasons:

  1. because of the types of people we associate with there
  2. because of the type of person we have become

My significant conclusion from Thomas's words is we can start experiencing heavenly happiness now.

Quality of associations influence our ability to make heaven a present reality -  We should spend our time with imperfect people who are striving for goodness in their inner lives.  And we should spend our time with the perfect; God, Jesus Christ & the Holy Ghost.  I ask myself,

  • Do my associations inspire me to do & be better?
  • Am I lifted & do I feel loved when I interact with them?
  • Do I regularly spend time with the Godhead? 
  • If my answers are no to these questions, then I need to make changes now.

Becoming like the Savior helps us make heaven a present reality - I love studying the life of Christ through the lens of compassion, kindness and goodness.  Christ invited people into His sphere of heaven when He demonstrated those attributes.  I ask myself,    

  • Do people feel my love for them when in my presence?  
  • Do I encourage and lift those around me? 
  • Am I developing Christ-like attributes?
  • If my answers are no to these questions, then I need to make changes now.

Summary - Get 'er done.