Happy New Church Day!

“After the completion of this book, the Lord called together His twelve disciples, who had followed Him in the world; and a day later He sent them all forth throughout the spiritual world to preach the Gospel, that the Lord God Jesus Christ is king, and His kingdom shall be for ever and ever, as foretold by Daniel (Daniel 7:13-14) and in Revelation (Revelation 11:15):

Blessed are they who come to the wedding supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:9.

This happened on the nineteenth of June in the year 1770. This was meant by the Lord’s saying:

He will send his angels, and they will gather together His chosen people from the bounds of the heavens on one side as far as the bounds of the heavens on the other, Matthew 24:31. ”

~True Christian Religion 791

How Do We Prepare Ourselves For Home?

As the school year comes to a close, many students are excited about the prospect of heading home for the summer. But how should people prepare themselves to head to their eternal home? To answer this question, we must discuss both the similarities and differences between homes in heaven and on earth; uncover the components of what it means to come home both naturally and spiritually and, finally, explore the means by which a person prepares themselves for heaven and, therefore, prepares themselves for their eternal home.

By viewing the process of finding our eternal home; we will become informed on the importance of life on earth and how to make our natural life productive in preparing us for a life of use in heaven.

We have all had the experience of coming home after a long trip and feeling peace wash over us; or felt the relief of returning home after a long day of work. It is a feeling that we want to last; that sense of belonging, safety, purpose and familiarity is reassuring.

However, on this earth, it is only temporary; which is why we should strive for a permanent home in heaven. People need to understand that, although temporary, our life on earth is very important. The Lord created each of us for heaven; we are placed on earth to have time to turn away from evils and choose a life serving the Lord and our neighbors. According to, True Christian Religion, “with earthly faith and goodwill we are preparing ourselves to be a vessel for the Lord. As we are preparing ourselves, the Lord comes in and turns our earthly faith into spiritual faith, does the same with our goodwill, and brings them both to life.” (TCR 359) From this we can see the importance of living a life of faith and charity on earth in preparation for the spiritual world.

A home on earth can have both positive and negative descriptors because it is determined by a myriad of natural circumstances. Home, as described by The Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” Other people attribute loftier descriptions of what it means to have a home. Home has been described as more than a place, it isn’t the geographical location that defines our home but rather the feelings of comfort, safety, family, love, friendship and so much more. It is interesting that even on earth, where things are natural, we attribute spiritual concepts to physical ideas. 

Coming home in the natural world is more closely tied to the spiritual idea of coming home than we might think. We have all heard it said that, ‘home is where the heart is’, the book, Heaven and Hell, supports this idea as a spiritual concept. According to, Heaven and Hell 17, “The Divine nature that comes from the Lord, affects angels, and constitutes heaven, is love.” Furthermore, it explains how, “all the people there are forms of love and thoughtfulness. They look indescribably beautiful. Love radiates from their faces, from their speech, from every detail of their behavior.” (HH 17) It is amazing how a common earthly phrase holds a more inward meaning in the correspondence of hearts. Hearts correspond to our loves, affections or will and our place in heaven is determined by our ruling love. This means in the spiritual world; home is literally where our heart is. 

According to Heaven and Hell, “It is man’s ruling love that awaits him after death, and this is in no way changed to eternity. Everyone has many loves; but they are all related to his ruling love and make one with it or together compose it.” (HH 477) From this passage it is explained that once a ruling love has been confirmed by a person’s life on earth it determines their place in the spiritual world for eternity. This means that the time spent on earth, though temporary, affects our life to eternity and we should conclude from this the importance of leading a life of faith and charity. 

There are some people who believe that people must remove themselves from the world, in order to prepare themselves for heaven. However, Heaven and Hell, describes the complete opposite; in order to enjoy the pleasures of heaven, people must lead lives of good serving the Lord and the neighbor while on earth. “We need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven.” (HH 528) This is an important teaching to remind people of the value of life on earth and the importance of remaining in society. 

In the book, Heaven and Hell, there are explicit descriptions of how people are prepared for heaven and ultimately find their heavenly home. The first stage people must go through is similar to our experience on earth, it is called the state of externals. It is important to understand that when we first enter the spiritual world it appears similar to earth, but this is an appearance. This is the state prior to people transitioning into their internals and offers people an opportunity to visit with friends and family they recognize from earth. It is only during this first state that people appear as they did on earth. 

As people transition into the second state after death, they are let into their internals. “We are all refined down to a state in which we say what we think and manifest in expression and act what we intend.” (HH 457) During this second state, nobody can hide their affections or intentions and good people are separated from evil people, this state is referred to as the state of internals. Different from the first state after death, people as they are let into their internals their appearances change. In Heaven and Hell, it describes how “our face changes and becomes quite different. It comes to look like the ruling affection in which the deeper reaches of our minds were engaged in the world, the kind of affection characteristic of the spirit within our body.” (HH 457) After this state, people are no longer recognized by their earthly characteristics but instead seen as they really are in accordance with their interiors. 

 The third and final state after death is only a process that only good people go through, it is known as the state of instruction. “No one can be prepared for heaven except by knowing firsthand what is good and true, and therefore only by being taught.” (HH 512) The length of this spot varies according to how much instruction a person needs to be prepared for heaven. This means that the more preparation one does on earth the more easily they are able to enter heaven. In fact, in some passages of Heaven and Hell, it describes how some people who have already been instructed on earth and accepted the truths into their lives go almost immediately up to heaven. 

The most important question to be answered is: how does one prepare themselves for heaven? The simplest answer is that for a person to enter heaven they must acknowledge the existence of a Divine Being and live a life according to their religion. This is considered the minimum requirements for entering heaven and those only meeting this expectation will need to be instructed during the third stage of reformation. We can gather from this that part of preparing ourselves for heaven must be done through the process of reformation, other times referred to as regeneration. “Regeneration is rebirth as a spiritual person.” (HH 279) This is also a process that can be accomplished by people on earth but not if they are thinking from the natural. It is also important to understand that nobody is regenerated by baptism alone, or faith apart from charity. Regeneration must be done through “the Word that contains the divine truths” (HH 329) Those who are seeking to serve the Lord and their neighbors will be lead by the Lord into heaven through the process of regeneration. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8

All people are created by the Lord’s Will and he desires each of us to be conjoined to Him in heaven. We should each seek to follow the Lord by living according to His Ten Commandments and shunning evils as sins against Him. Finally, if you wish to find your heavenly home, ask yourself, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you shall serve?” and answer as Joshua did, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Ghana Service Trip

“Because love and wisdom exist and subsist in use, it is use that affects us; and use is to perform faithfully, sincerely, and diligently the work of one’s function.” Conjugial Love 16

As a Senior in the Kempton New Church School, we have the opportunity to choose a Senior Project where we get a chance to personalize our education and pursue something we are interested in. For my Senior Project I chose to organize a Kempton New Church School Senior Service Trip to Tema, Ghana, with much help from Rev. George Dziekpor and his daughter Klenam Dziekpor. 

Our service group consisted of myself and the two other KNCS seniors, Percy Brown and Hayden King, and also Joram Heinrichs, a senior from the Carmel New Church Society in Kitchener, Ontario. My dad, Rev. Brett Buick and Miss Vivienne Riley, both faculty from KNCS, also accompanied us as support and chaperones.

This trip was life changing for me, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to travel to Ghana and meet so many wonderful people.

Continue reading Ghana Service Trip

A Living Understanding

Like most mothers, I spend a lot of time thinking about my children and how to best equip them for life in this world and the next. And some of the biggest questions I spend time on are: how do you raise children to love the Lord? To trust Him? To maintain faith in the face of an increasingly secular world? To seek the Lord’s help in times of trouble?

In my reading for a doctrinal class I came across this passage:

“God flows into what everyone knows about God, bringing about an acknowledgement of God, and at the same time imparting His love for mankind… if a person receives both the first and the second, the inflow reaches his will and comes from there into his understanding, so occupying his whole mind. Then he makes an inward acknowledgement of God, which bring to life what he knows about God, so that his condition resembles a garden in springtime.” True Christian Religion 457:2

And there is it! A perfect, compact answer to how to attain faith in the Lord. That “inward acknowledgement” that brings the Lord to life in our understanding; that is what I want for my children more than anything. And of course, the Lord has a perfect system for how this happens. And it starts with “what everyone knows about God.”

By teaching children about the Lord, about heaven, and spiritual life, they can develop an understanding of the Lord that eventually goes so far beyond knowledge. It’s so beautifully simple. But maybe what always trips me up is that it doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing much as you hold your writhing two-year-old through church, or say the prayer, pausing for the 10th time to remind children to close their eyes and not giggle. And so it’s so good to be reminded that that’s the only part I/we can do. Of course it is the Lord who does the real work, the Lord who flows into “what everyone knows about God.” My job is to teach. (And equally importantly, my job is to trust that the Lord will do His part.)

But giving children knowledge about the Lord is a HUGE topic. There is so much to teach, an eternity of knowledge to impart. And as a parent, I find this both inspiring and daunting. What we teach to young children really does matter, and it is no small thing to be in a role where you have a great deal of influence over a young child’s mind, be it as a mother, aunt, sister, cousin, or family friend.

And this has brought me to wondering what otherfocus on. This all feels a little more obvious with school-aged children, at that age they can really begin to learn Bible stories and understand larger concepts about the Lord. I’m particularly wondering about very young children whose comprehension is so simple still, but their hearts the most open. I loved the conversations with my two year old around Easter about the how everyone thought the Lord was gone, and how they were sad, but so happy to find Him again. My daughter would then pipe up at odd moments with “Where da Wword? All gone! Not here. Find Him inn da gawden.” Moments like this are pure gold. And it made me want to hear more. So I wanted to open up a space for others to share their sacred moments. And also to share thoughts on how you approach imparting knowledge to young ones. What rituals do you follow? What conversations do you initiate? What has been particularly well received? What have you found hardest?

Coming across the passage from True Christian Religion was a timely reminder of the power I have to lay a foundation for a connection with the Lord. That it is at least partially up to me to offer my children the knowledge that can one day lead to this “inward acknowledgement of God”, what I understand to mean belief and trust deeper than argument and rational reasoning: a living understanding of our Lord and God. It’s no small charge, and at times I’m sure it will hold many challenges, but also so many moments of heaven. And I know I’m not alone. I would love to hear your stories and your thoughts.

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 19:14)