President Russell M. Nelson urged conferencegoers to “think celestially” at the concluding session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference.
According to President Nelson, this principle of thinking celestially is one of the lessons he’s learned in “nearly a century of living.”
“Thinking celestially means being spiritually minded,” President Nelson said.
He explained that thinking celestially has helped him maintain an eternal perspective in everyday life because the decisions made here on earth determine our place in the world to come.
President Nelson emphasized that the temples are places that can help us think celestially because of the ordinances and covenants performed in these sacred spaces.
The temple was a common thread in the messages from Church leaders.
Elder Renlund, who opened the last session of conference, taught that when we take the temple for granted, we miss the opportunity to draw closer to the Savior. He then invited us to treasure Jesus Christ and his gospel.
“We need to look no further,” Elder Renlund emphasized as he encouraged us to remember and always focus on Christ.
Attendees at the conference felt inspired by these uplifting messages.
Sandy Scott, a member from California that recently moved to Utah, said she enjoyed listening to all the different messages shared.
“It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic,” Scott said.
Scott was particularly excited to see President Nelson’s pre-recorded message at the end of the conference. She was impressed by his message as well as his physical condition despite his recent injury.
Scott said it is hard to not worry about the things of this world. For her, President Nelson’s message was well-suited for our current circumstances.
“Thinking celestial is just a perfect message,” Scott said.
After listening to President Nelson’s message, Scott said she feels motivated to follow President Nelson’s invitation to think celestially. She wants to focus on the things that are going to be eternal.
Elder J. Kimo Esplin of the Seventy shared a poignant story about a Japanese woman who survived the Battle of Okinawa, joined the Church and eventually was able to attend the temple thousands of miles away to seal her family for eternity.
“Through the temple, our Heavenly Father binds individuals and families to the Savior and to each other,” he said.
Claribel Mena Sosa, originally from the Dominican Republic, traveled all the way from Boston to attend general conference in person. She said that all of the messages she heard were needed.
For Sosa, it was also impactful to hear President Nelson’s pre-recorded message.
“He irradiates positivity and is so hopeful,” Sosa said.
Sosa went on to say that President Nelson’s character and outlook in life despite his recent injury is worthy of admiration.
“He’s lived in a way not to please the world but to build a relationship with God,” she said.
In his remarks, President Nelson shared examples from his personal life when he exercised the principle of celestial thinking.
As a young intern with very little income, President Nelson recognized that for a period of time he was not paying his tithing. After his wife Dantzel asked him about it, President Nelson quickly repented and began paying his tithing.
President Nelson said the Church was not any different because of him paying his tithing.
“However, becoming a full-time payer changed me,” he emphasized.
During his talk, President Nelson asked everyone to think celestially when facing a challenge, when close ones let you down, when a loved one passes away or in any other circumstance that we may face in life.
Kyu Jin, originally from Korea, was also moved by seeing President Nelson on the screen because he looked strong.
“His body might be weak, but his soul and his spirit is just as strong as it has been,” Jin said.
It was reassuring for Jin to see President Nelson, even just on video.
“I felt strongly that he really is a prophet that’s called to serve the people at this time,” Jin said.
President Nelson concluded by reminding conferencegoers that the Church continues to build temples because of their eternal significance and because they want to make these celestial places more readily available to saints around the world.