Friday, February 2, 2018

President Spencer W. Kimball on heaven as a place and as a condition

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Heaven is a place, but also a condition; it is home and family. It is understanding and kindness. It is interdependence and selfless activity. It is quiet, sane living; personal sacrifice, genuine hospitality, wholesome concern for others. It is living the commandments of God without ostentation or hypocrisy. It is selflessness. It is all about us. We need only to be able to recognize it as we find it and enjoy it. Yes... I’ve had many glimpses of heaven.”
Spencer W. Kimball, “Glimpses of Heaven,” General Conference October 1971
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

It's common to hear people speak about "getting to heaven" or "getting to the Celestial Kingdom" as if these were locations to be arrived at. President Kimball expands the understanding to suggest that they are also conditions or states of being that we attain to. This was a wonderful talk (worth reviewing the whole thing), in which he discussed a number of personal experiences and insights in having glimpsed "heaven on earth" in the lives of people he had contact with.

It's interesting to consider the list of virtues or conditions that President Kimball gave, to see how many of those are important or key to our personal environments:

  • home and family
  • understanding and kindness
  • interdependence and selfless activity
  • quiet, sane living
  • personal sacrifice
  • genuine hospitality
  • wholesome concern for others
  • living the commandments of God without ostentation or hypocrisy
  • selflessness

What wonderful virtues to focus on in our lives, so that we truly can find, or create, heaven,

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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