I Remember Those Words

By Trista Crossley

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    “Hey Trista, are you still aiming for that celestial kingdom you told me about?” my cousin asked.

    I was unprepared for her question, and I stammered for a moment while I tried to decide what it was she was talking about. Then I remembered. Last summer, during my family’s visit to California, my cousin and I had been talking late into the night, when somehow we got to discussing the Church. My cousin is not a member and knew very little about our Church, so when she asked me to tell her about it, I gladly agreed. I told her what I could: the Joseph Smith story, our beliefs, my dreams, and my fears—including my goal of reaching the celestial kingdom. I bore my testimony to her, and told her I knew the gospel was true. I told her how I wanted to live forever with a chosen companion, and to have my family with me. She listened carefully and asked me a lot of questions which I answered as best I could. We went to sleep that night, she was thinking about the things I had told her, and I was feeling rather pleased with my missionary work.

    Now seven months later, I was amazed that she remembered what I had told her.

    “Well are you?” She was looking at me expectantly, waiting for an answer.

    I swallowed hard and stared out my window at the falling snow, watching each individual snowflake merge with millions of others. If only life were that simple.

    “Am I still reaching for the celestial kingdom?” I asked myself. I thought back over the last few months and knew I hadn’t been trying very hard. My school grades weren’t as high as they should have been, my best friend wasn’t my best friend anymore, family relationships were not as good as they could have been, and most important of all, I was gradually becoming less active in the Church. As I sat there, I took a new look at my life and realized how empty it had been. I turned and looked at my cousin and said quietly but firmly, with my eyes full of tears, “Yes, I am.”

    Oh how thankful I am to have a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to remind me of my goals. With his help I can reach the celestial kingdom. And when I doubt myself, I just remember those three words, “Yes, I am,” and I know that my Father in Heaven is with me.

    Photo by Steve Bunderson