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)