The Christus statue from the Salt Lake Temple visitor's center

How Can I “Think Celestial”?

In the face of adversity, it can be difficult to believe that God loves and wants the best for us. We can manage this doubt by thinking celestial.

I had a rough year in 2019 (little did I know what 2020 had coming for us all!): my family moved from California to Arizona right before the final semester of my senior year of high school. I was ignored or rejected by company after company as I searched for a minimum-wage job, and to cap it all off, when I tried to ask out my crush, she interrupted me and begged me to just stay friends with her. Because I was well aware of worse things that could have happened to me, I felt like I shouldn’t have hurt as much as I did, but this string of rejections cut a bit deeper into my soul each time another isolating item was added to the list, and I began to feel as though God himself had rejected me.

 President Nelson delivers his October 2023 General Conference talk “Think Celestial!” while sitting down.

Image by Intellectual Reserve

What got me out of that funk? I “thought celestial.”

In President Russell M. Nelson’s October 2023 General Conference talk “Think Celestial!,” the prophet encourages us to think celestial, which entails “making the celestial kingdom your eternal goal and then carefully considering where each of your decisions while on earth will place you in the next world.” No matter how harrowing the trial—whether it seems trivial or has life-changing implications—God allows us to experience adversity so that we can make decisions that will let us grow from it. When we face difficult decisions and trials, the spiritual growth that comes from thinking celestial is more valuable than we can ever imagine.

When I thought celestial about my pre-pandemic concerns, I felt sincere hope for the future. That hope transformed me for the better. As a result, my string of failures ended: I started my freshman year at BYU in the fall of 2019, I was able to find work on campus, and the woman who rejected me, impressed by my acceptance of her rejection, paradoxically asked me out. This year will be our third anniversary.

Thinking celestial did not change the physical world around me; instead, it allowed me to find hope and grow from my adversities. Because I grew spiritually, I was prepared to receive the blessings the Lord wanted to give me all along.

Read or listen to President Nelson’s full talk “Think Celestial!” to learn more about how thinking celestial can help make life’s trials more bearable.


—Aaron Green, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

To learn more about gaining faith through trials, read “Broken on the Covenant Path” by Latter-day Saint Insights author Sarah Griffin Anderson.

Read more about the importance of a celestial perspective in Jay E. Jenson’s talk “Keep an Eternal Perspective.”

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