2023 October General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session
Think Celestial!
Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Main Points

“Thinking Celestial” means to view our choices and the circumstances of our lives with an eternal perspective.

Gospel Principles taught

Obedience, prayer, agency, Law of Chastity, Tithing, Faith, Temple Work

Gospel Doctrine taught

The Plan of Salvation, The Atonement of Jesus Christ


John 6:38; Alma 7:11; Alma 7:12; Doctrine and Covenants 19:18; 2 Nephi 9:40; 2 Nephi 28:7; Alma 34:32–35; 2 Nephi 9:39; Mosiah 4:30; Doctrine and Covenants 132:7; Moroni 7:41; 2 Nephi 2:6–8, 27; 2 Nephi 2:11; Doctrine and Covenants 122:7; Doctrine and Covenants 121:8; Isaiah 1:16–18; Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:12; 2 Nephi 32:5; Doctrine and Covenants 42:61

Related talk: Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives

Look for Jesus Christ:

  • Testimony of Christ.
    • “The Lord is directing us to build these temples to help us think celestial. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. His Church has been restored to bless all of God’s children. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
  • Description of His Atonement.
    • “The Savior’s Atonement is what makes our Father’s Plan possible.”
    • “Think of it! The Savior suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind’ so that He can comfort us, heal us, rescue us in times of need. Jesus Christ described His experience in Gethsemane and on Calvary: ‘Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore.’”
    • “Put Jesus Christ first because your eternal life is dependent upon your faith in Him and in His Atonement.”
  • Description of His relationship with us.
    • “Come unto Christ and receive His promise of complete forgiveness as you fully repent of your sins.”

Inspiring Words & Phrases

  • Heavenly Father’s Plan for us is fabulous
  • What we do in this life really matters
  • Mortality is a master class
  • Obedience paves the way for a joyful life for you today and a grand, eternal reward tomorrow.
  • When you are confronted with a dilemma, think celestial! When tested by temptation, think celestial! When life or loved ones let you down, think celestial! When someone dies prematurely, think celestial. When someone lingers with a devastating illness, think celestial. When the pressures of life crowd in upon you, think celestial! As you recover from an accident or injury, as I am doing now, think celestial!
  • The Lord’s perspective transcends your mortal wisdom.
  • think celestial and…envision an eternal reward rather than focus on the excruciating difficulties of the day.
  • Any addiction—be it gaming, gambling, debt, drugs, alcohol, anger, pornography, sex, or even food—offends God. Why? Because your obsession becomes your god.
  • Public opinion is not the arbiter of truth.


Your choices today will determine three things: 

  1. where you will live throughout all eternity, 
  2. the kind of body with which you will be resurrected, and 
  3. those with whom you will live forever.

To build faith:

  1. Pay tithing
  2. Choose to live a virtuous life
  3. Spend more time in the temple

In the temple:

  1. you are shown how to progress toward a celestial life. 
  2. There you are drawn closer to the Savior and given greater access to His power. 
  3. There you are guided in solving the problems in your life, even your most perplexing problems.


  • I invite you to adopt the practice of “thinking celestial”! (Thinking celestial means being spiritually minded.)
  • Begin with the end in mind. This means making the celestial kingdom your eternal goal and then carefully considering where each of your decisions while here on earth will place you in the next world.
  • When you make choices, I invite you to take the long view—an eternal view.
  • Our prayers can be—and should be—living discussions with our Heavenly Father.
  • When you make decisions regarding morality, please think celestial. 


  • For those who have made covenants with God, immorality is one of the quickest ways to lose your testimony.
  • There is no end to the adversary’s deceptions. Please be prepared. Never take counsel from those who do not believe. Seek guidance from voices you can trust—from prophets, seers, and revelators and from the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, who “will show unto you all things what ye should do.” Please do the spiritual work to increase your capacity to receive personal revelation.
  • As you focus on thinking celestial, expect to encounter opposition.
  • Please do not let an obsession rob you of your freedom to follow God’s fabulous plan.


  • As you think celestial, your heart will gradually change.
  • As you think celestial, you will view trials and opposition in a new light.
  • As you think celestial, your faith will increase.
  • Your service and worship in the temple will help you to think celestial.


  • When someone you love attacks truth, think celestial, and don’t question your testimony.

Application Ideas

  1. Make an appointment to serve in the temple this week.
  2. Make time to have a vocal prayer and try to have a “living discussion” with Heavenly Father.
  3. Evaluate the importance of ‘public opinion’ in your life. What do you need to change?
  4. Make peace with those you have contended or are contending with.
  5. Start each day thinking of your end goals in mind and what you will do that day to make sure you’re on the path to reach them.


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