3 Reasons to be Excited For Eternal Life

The Returned Missionary - Eternal Living

So we are all trying gain eternal life, right? We are shooting for the celestial kingdom, right? I think it might be safe to assume that most people want to go to heaven, and to the best heaven there is. I used to ask myself, if eternal life is the ultimate joy one could ever experience and is the best thing anyone could ever receive, why am I not excited about it? Why isn’t this concept and goal of eternal life a part of every fiber of my current pursuits, why doesn’t it consume every thought of my waking hours and even creep into my dreams? If eternal life is that important, then shouldn’t it be an essential part of every thing I do, say and think? Is not the purpose of this life to attain “the greatest of all the gifts of God?” Yes, it is, and I believe it should be an essential part of my life. But I just couldn’t ever make the connection. I wanted to know more. Why is eternal life so great? Why is it the greatest of all the gifts of God? If I could have any gift from the most powerful being in the universe, the creator and author of existence, what makes eternal life the best gift?

Honestly, I don’t get too excited about the idea of flying around in white robes and playing harps all day in the clouds. Or even singing in a heavenly choir (though I LOVE singing). That just doesn’t motivate me enough to give up everything in life to gain it. Over the years, I have thought about it more and have discovered a few things that actually do motivate me, a lot.
***SPOILER ALERT!***

If you want to go through the process for yourself (highly recommended) stop reading now because here comes my discoveries about why eternal life really is the greatest thing we could ever attain. Here are just three the big reasons that get me excited:

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  • Eternal = godlike. It doesn’t just mean forever or an infinite amount of time. Living forever (time-wise) could actually be hell, if we are miserable. “Life eternal” means life like that of a god. Every power, attribute and characteristic that a god possesses will become yours. That opens up a completely new subject (and would take more than one blog post to even attempt to describe). Needless to say, we become like a god is, and that is amazing – mind boggling. So it is not just quantity of time in heaven, but quality of characteristics once there. Not only will we be with God, but we will be like God.
  • The same sociality. This one is huge. “The same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” (D&C 130:2) I am a very social person. I think deep down, everyone desires social interaction. Feel free to disagree, but there is a reason facebook has nearly 1 billion users. I don’t think that desire for social interaction will change when we die. I think it will be there and will even be enhanced. I think what put a damper on my incorrect idea of heaven before was that it seemed like a place where everyone was just serious and flat-faced, with no personality and basically subservient to the Almighty Commander… That once we were in heaven, the parties stop. I am not talking about parties like you see in a movie with alcohol, dancing and every other unholy and impure practice. I AM talking about family parties and wedding receptions that include dancing at the end, and 50-year anniversaries, and reunions of mission companions and your most loved friends, and humor, and laughing and singing and dancing and smiling. Diversion at its finest. That will be in heaven. All of it – and better than you have ever imagined, coupled with eternal glory. And there will be what I would like to call “social peace” in heaven. There won’t be any wondering whether you are socially acceptable or loved by people. You won’t need that because you will feel perfectly loved, and will love perfectly. How amazing will that be?
  • “All that the Father hath.” This is promised as a part of eternal life. But even this phrase didn’t always motivate me. I used to look at it as a sort of membership to a heavenly timeshare that included every piece of real estate in the universe. Heavenly mansions made of gold and every precious thing imaginable (and unimaginable). The Father hath many mansions – and we would basically be able to take up residence in whatever mansion we please. This real estate idea also didn’t do it for me. Mansions are cool, but the idea was still lacking. That would never provide me with enough motivation to overcome every heart-wrenching trial of mortal life. But then I read a speech by Neal A. Maxwell about how the endowment of “all that the Father hath” was not just the inclusion of my name in God’s will (that estate planner would have a lot of edits to make!). It is actually an endowment of God’s knowledge. All the knowledge He hath. WOW. Now that (literally) blows my mind. That is something I am willing to work for, live for, suffer for, endure for, die for. Think of it. The knowledge of a god, a creator. The master chemist of all chemists. All science, all truth, all mysteries that have ever been. Everything. That is the most powerful endowment I could imagine. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man…” (1 Cor. 2:9). The first time I actually realized that this was a part of eternal life, I was overcome with excitement and motivation for it. I wanted it. I still want it. It gives me goosebumps every time I really think about it.

 

These are just a few of the reasons why I think it is worth it. There are many more. I challenge you to find out more and figure out if you really want eternal life.

Bruce C. Hafen said: “We can have eternal life if we really want it. But only if there is nothing else we want more.” (The Atonement: All for All)

avatar Andy Proctor (42 Posts)

Andy is the creator of T​he Returned Missionary (this blog)​, encouraging the tens of thousands of LDS missionaries who come home every year to continue to be productive, hardworking, faithful, and happy long after their full-time mission has ended. His goal with this blog is to help people know how they can live the gospel while living their dreams. He just launched his first book for RMs, called ​Live Your Mission: 21 Powerful Principles to Discover Your Life Mission after Your Mission, which is the first book in the L​ive My Gospel​ book series. He also owns and manages the LDSmissionaries.com blog. He is a regular contributor to Meridian Magazine and has been featured on the Mormon.org blog as well as LDS Living and Deseret News.


4 Comments

  1. avatar Melanie Edwards says:

    This is a beautiful description. You gave me some things to consider that I hadn’t before. Thank you!

  2. avatar H. Camejo says:

    I Just came back from my mission in Canada three months ago. I exhausted every ounce of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy to becoming and helping others become like Christ. Now that I think of why this became and still is the only thing that completely fulfills me, I’m realizing what is my true motivation to live His gospel. It’s His Love which I always referred to as “His Spirit”. I still don’t know where or how this Love that Father has for us came from. I know the more I obey Him, the more I can feel and almost touch the Purity of His Love and that motivates me to continue to seek and follow His guidance. The first week I came back from Canada my mind and heart were still in complete consecrated missionary mode and my first sunday back I asked Father to lead me to someone that I could help get baptized that day. He continued to grant me that desire when I went to the singles ward and saw Sheila ( an Inv. ) in front of the filled font with a sad face because she decided she would not be baptized that day. I introduced myself and as impulsive as I am, took her into a room and knelt down with her and listened, discerned what I needed to teach, and by the end Sheila was on her knees telling Heavenly Father that she knew He wanted her to be baptized that day. She was baptized. Today …I’m about to tell you a complete stranger and everyone else that will see this my personal nervous breakdown that I had today in my car…I’m not into online networking and never leave comments online either but your article spiritually saved me today. So thank you….I was going to get into detail about my nervous breakdown but It will suffice to say that I’m an extreme person. I’m literally either cold or hot. If I believe in something (in this case, God and His Plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man) it is my complete desire and I don’t plan around Him…HE is HOW I PLAN everything I do. I haven’t met anyone with this desire to the extent that I have it and this can be overwhelming and even feels lonely at times. It was easier when I had a physical companion 24/7 by my side at least working towards the same goal. I despise anything that is contrary to Him and one of my friends said I was too Spiritual for our ward and that they are not on the same level that I am. This and all the massive amounts of temptations and people around me I’ve lately allowed to strip my spirituality one layer at a time. I sat in my car today for hours that just flew like minutes depressed. My greatest strength which is being Happy ALL the time has been attacked and I feel like I’m drowning but your words are like I’m 5 feet under water but I have a Straw that I’m breathing from . This is one of the Lord’s tender mercies on me. Thank you.

    • avatar Andy Proctor says:

      Thank you so much for your response. I am so glad that you were able to find this. What a blessing. The Lord knows your exact situation and knows exactly what will help you accomplish your mission NOW. You have a purpose just as important as it was during the mission. You now just need to determine that purpose with His guidance. 2 Nephi 32: 3-5. Never lost the missionary glow. See this article for how: http://www.thereturnedmissionary.com/keeping-the-missionary-glow/

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