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My Heavenly Heaven

By annegb

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I often hear others longingly talk of the Celestial Kingdom. We believe this is the highest kingdom in heaven and that those who are worthy will live there forever with our families. Does anybody smell a rat?

Heck, I ain’t going there. I’ve been a mom, and while I love my children, I don’t want them living with me eternally. They can visit. My husband sure deserves a reward for putting up with me all these years–eternity with me just doesn’t seem rewarding. But if he insists, I’m okay with it. The poor guy.

After I meet Jesus at the gates and shower Him with praise and gratitude, I assume I’ll have a life review. I want to understand where I went wrong and maybe where I didn’t go so wrong. In heaven, I’ll be able to make the amends that have eluded me on earth and kept me from enjoying all the gifts I’ve been given here. (I realize this could take quite awhile.)
After that, I’m going to party! When I get to my heaven, I’m going to fly all over the place. Like a bird (I already do this in my dreams). I’m will fly to Africa’s beautiful jungles and visit the Taj Mahal and the Himalayas and China and Russia and New Zealand.

Then I’ll retire for eternity in a little cottage in the woods that will have all the amenities of Green Valley Spa, soft white pillows, a gas fireplace, peaceful loveliness everywhere. My personal heaven will have a hot tub and color TV, with wonderful shows that are all G-rated. My heaven will have good food and endless books. I want to meet CS Lewis and Walt Whitman and have a really good computer that never does anything I don’t want it to do. I want to be like the dog in All Dogs Go To Heaven, lying on a soft puffy cloud, listening to soft music, getting foot rubs from ministering angels.

My heaven will have all the seasons except summer. Winter will be short, the snow falling softly only to magically disappear from the walks and roads (In heaven, it always snows on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving.) No mud in my heaven! Winter will segue sweetly into a long and mellow spring. Spring will end in September with brilliant, crisp, invigorating Autumn. Oh, and we will have the best garden! No weeds or bugs, only perfect vegetables.

My friends and family tell me I don’t understand the Celestial Kingdom. They say they’ll be too busy to visit me. I say they’ll be begging to come sit in my hot tub for a few minutes, to kvetch about their millions of children who just won’t mind and their God husbands. Oy, the grief I can live without! If I’ve done my best, and God is truly good and just, my heaven will be truly heavenly.

Great minds think alike, Read BiV’s take on Heaven

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About annegb

19 thoughts on “My Heavenly Heaven”

  1. while I love my children, I donÒ€ℒt want them living with me eternally. They can visit.

    Oh, baby, we really are sisters in spirit! Can I be the first to join you soaking in the hot tub? Our husbands can make us strawberry cheesecake while all the other Mormons are off doing missionary work.

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  2. Oooh, the traveling is what I look forward to. I'll visit all the places I didn't get to see before I died.

    And your weather choices, are, well, heavenly.

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  3. Hey, the Bible says there's a time and a season for all things. There's a time to be busy and a time to sit in Anne's hot tub. πŸ™‚

    That sounds like my idea of heaven too, only my little cottate also has a music room with all the instruments I've wanted time to learn and a room covered floor to ceiling with books, books, books and more books!

    When it comes to living with our families, I think that simply means having them nearby. It does our kids no good to be stuck living with us AS kids when they're grown-ups with their own families. They'll have proved themselves to themselves and while I like to think they'll always need us for something, they definitely won't always need us hovering over them.

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  4. "Does anyone smell a rat?" When I saw who wrote it I knew I was gonna love the rest of the piece πŸ™‚
    I am just wondering—if you don't make it to the celestial realm, do you still get to travel? Maybe you just have to use a discount carrier…

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  5. C.S. Lewis wrote in "A Grief Observed" about the afterlife and the (to him) false perceptions that people write onto it:

    "Unless, of course, you can literally believe all that stuff about family reunions 'on the further shore', pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There's not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We KNOW it couldn't be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the Spiritualists bait their hook! 'Things on this side are not so different after all.' There are cigars in Heaven. For that is what we should all like. The happy past restored."

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  6. Brooke, I totally agree. I get depressed every summer. All day long, I will mope about completely unproductive. I only start to come alive when the sun goes down. I just get through summer.

    BiV, doesn't it make you feel so good when others feel the same way? You sounded a bit down in your post (I've actually said the same thing when I'm in depression, I feel so tired, it just sounds like more work). I would just say, don't be too hard on yourself, hon. Mormon women live under a very high and rigorous standard of expectations, within and without. I (intellectually) believe God isn't that demanding a task master. Kid, I get depression. e-mail me if you need to talk: gardnera@netutah.com

    Amira, you can take me to Krgystan! Flying is the bomb, at least in my dreams. I read that happens to psychic people whose spirits leave their bodies at night. Perhaps it's so…those dreams always leave me feeling exhilarated in the morning.

    Azucar, this is what I'm saying. Boy, I've had my face ripped of for saying I don't care where I go, I know I'll be happy, in Sunday School.

    Elizabeth, if this is the Telestial Kingdom as we're taught, I would be content, and I think we'll travel, not only around the world, but around the universe. Frankly, I think we only have the tiniest glimpse of the afterlife.

    Seth R.: A Grief Observed was the first book I read of his and the one that made me fall in love with his writing. He voiced exactly how I felt when James died. However, he got it wrong there, I think, at least to an extent. He also contradicts himself because he talks all the time of the potential for Godhood in eternity. Maybe it's not a contradiction, but it seems to me to be so. Because how can one become truly God-like without restoration.

    THAT's the kind of conversation I'm looking forward to with him!

    You know, if my heaven is truly heavenly, I might be able to have those conversations with Bill. And he with me.

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  7. I saw a picture at Deseret Book once that had a woman sitting on a chair, a baby at the breast, one or two on her lap, several close by, and multitudes of various ages not too far off. The caption was, "Mothers in the Celestial Kingdom." I laughed, and thought, "That's enough to keep me out!"

    BUT, honestly, I don't relate to what you said at all anymore, even enough to want to joke about it. Perhaps it's because the years my father was no longer LDS, my Mom painfully joked about not caring, because she and her best friend wanted to be roommates and quilt for eternity. Now that he has been re-baptized, she has had to adjust her views . . . and she definitely is more at peace.

    I suppose not being able to have children, wondering if we'd ever adopt, finding comfort in the thought of children in the eternities, is also part of my reason for really looking forward to the Celestial Kingdom, whatever it really ends up looking like.

    My thoughts are getting jumbled at this point, so I can't elaborate anymore. I know I'm being a killjoy of the playful sarcasm going on here. I honestly, sincerely look forward to eternity with my husband and with more children than I will be able to have here. While I think we really can't comprehend what it'll be like there, if there's a rat, the children and eternal progression and godhood all smell like roses to me.

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  8. Oh, I shouldn't have said my mom "has had to" adjust her views. She has wanted to and done it by choice. I know she still could've kept the quilting dream alive.

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  9. Oh, Wendy, bless your heart, you have the right to your feelings, hon! You don't have to agree, that's the beauty of blogging.

    I know I approached this topic lightly, but I'm probably more along the lines of BiV's post. Just the thought of it wears me out. I haven't done so well here with my family—I've messed up. I just don't look forward to it. I'm very very tired.

    However, somebody once said that the Celestial Kingdom will be like the most fun family get-together you ever had. We've had a few.

    Ultimately, I believe that God will decide where I end up and I believe He will be fair and kind and that I'll be happy.

    I'm really glad about your family reconciliation. You know, I try to never say never since my own mother stopped drinking when I was 35. I always said, "My mother will never stop drinking." And then by heck, she did. All on her own, too. She's senile and gimpy, but she's been sober a long time. That would be 20 years. Dang, huh?

    Miracles happen every day. Maybe in 20 years, my kids will have turned around and I'll sit happily with my family, all calm and serene and not cussing.

    Yeah, that'll happen.

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  10. I can relate to all of the above thoughts! There are definitely days when I feel so tired and don't want to think that the work and the worry will go on endlessly for eternity. Right now a little relaxation and pampering in the Celestial Kingdom sounds like a very appealing idea.

    However, I think I would get bored of it really quick. Elder Bruce Hafen, in one of his books, makes the observation that heaven is not going to mean "lounging around in front of a TV set for eternity". I love to lounge with the best of them, but when I've been lazy too long, I don't feel energized, I feel depressed and grumpy. Surely there must be balance in the celestial kingdom? Maybe we get a day of rest just like we do here on earth every seven days. But maybe in the celestial kingdom, it will REALLY be a day of rest, which it definitely is NOT here on earth.

    I look forward to having my family with me, but it is nice to know that my children will be all grown up and ready to take care of themselves. And we'll all be perfect, so there will be no whining. That's what a blissful eternity means to me–no whining!

    I'm an organist, so I hope to be able to go around playing organs in the celestial kingdom. I kind of hope that all the beautiful cathedrals and things aren't destroyed before the Second Coming, so there will still be organs to play. I suppose that celestial organs would be better than anything available here on earth, though.

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  11. I recently sent an e-mail rant to my two older sisters, saying that if I was going to have to be a proselyting missionary in the next life & have endless children, well then leave me out of the celestial kingdom. I am tired and I don't see endless work as being the dangling gold carrot I'm supposed to want. So this post is right up my alley. I am being semi-facetious here, but really, what is it exactly that we are working and hoping for? I have to give up such thoughts, eventually, and trust that God loves us and we'll be happy…somehow.
    For me, heaven would be lots of late-night card games with my siblings; being able to be around them as much as I want would be heaven. Also being a child in my grandmother's house again on the banks of a river in Texas. *sigh* I do have hopes for heaven but none of them involves work….

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  12. At the moment, my idea of heaven would be sleeping for a few years.

    I never thought of the Celestial Kingdom as a place where you are attached to the hip to your kids. I mean, heck, we want them to get married and have kids of their own. Can you imagine being attached to the hip to the lines and lines of posterity and then the lines and lines of our ancestors. I have this imagine of a giant crack the whip thing going on.

    No thank you! I imagine that they are off and busy running their own worlds and we are doing our things in our world. Maybe we'll cosmic reunions where we'll feel the joy, but be glad to return to our own little spot.

    This was a great post and I think highlights that what most of us want is a bit of rest from this world.

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  13. An eternity kicking around is not as heavenly as it sounds. I spent the last three years unemployed. No kids to take care of. Enough support from family that we had a roof over our heads and food on our plates. Not enough money to do anything really interesting but enough security to spend most of my time reading, blogging, playing video games and generally do all my hobbies to my heart's content.

    I was bored out of my mind. I felt like I was withering away inside.

    Now I've got a job. This job not only means outside stimulation but goals to achieve and something to work around. My free time is 100X sweeter now. I don't think we'll be crazy-busy in heaven but we will have something to do. Having nothing to do for a while is great. Having nothing to do ever really, really sucks.

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  14. Well, I'm not always going to by lying around. I'm going to read great books, eat great food, and get great massages. Perhaps, since I'll feel well physically, I'll learn to swim for reals and Bill and I can take up ballroom dancing—I love to dance!

    But raising kids I will not be doing. No spirit children here. I realize my children on earth will have their own little spirit families and be busy, so they can visit. Not with their millions of spirit children, though.

    This sounds joking, it's hard for me to be serious about any subject, but truly I feel I've failed as a parent and I have had enough discouragement on earth to last for eternity.

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  15. πŸ™ *hugs for Anne* I know kids can be disheartening. Though I don't have any of my own, I just have to look at my family. I love us all dearly but I know none of us turned out exactly the way my mom would have liked.

    Be at peace. The verdict isn't in yet. Your kids still have a lot of living to do; they may yet surprise you.

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  16. And no one who tries ever truly fails. You did what you could with what you had; at some point your children have to be accountable for themselves. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink; you can lead a child to the gospel but you can't make her think.

    Some moms, like mine, are ill or disabled and can't be the kind of mom they wish they were. Others have mental or emotional difficulties. Me? I have so much trouble face-to-face with people I worry my kids will never learn to be comfortable around others. In some ways, I want them to be just like me. In other ways, that would be my nightmare. I know God takes things like that into account when He judges how well we handled the stewardship of our families. He loves you, Anne. I don't do this kind of thing much but right now I have the strong impression that He wants you to know how much He loves you and how proud He is of the work you've done despite your struggles and how much He appreciates it. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

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  17. I hope that somewhere in Heaven is a lot like rolling hills of Ireland and its many shades of green!

    I also would like some woods. And is there some place you can go to get really alone for a time like a long, long time. I hope to read a lot too.

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