"We must endure to the end; we must keep the commandments after baptism; we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord; we must so live as to acquire the attributes of godliness and become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom."—Joseph Fielding Smith (Ensign, November 1971, p. 5.)
"become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom."
To be in God's presence, we must be made clean; "no unclean thing can enter into His kingdom". The way I read this quote from President Smith, it is not only punishment for unrepentant sinning that prevents us from living with God again. It is that if we are unrepentant sinners, we will not want to be in his presence. The unrepentant sinner cannot enjoy the "glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom". The sinner is happier somewhere else.
For that reason it is so important to "choose the right" while on earth. This is our opportunity to make of ourselves what we will. We must "acquire the attributes of godliness". And what are those attributes? How do we "acquire" them?
The Scriptures are a good place to start. After all, they are the Word of God through His prophets to His people. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi taught what we should do after we have entered into the way through baptism. In 2 Nephi Chapter 32 he said:
"Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
I believe we can come closer to God, and come to know Him, through the scriptures.
Of course, the scriptures aren't the only place to find the words of God. In fact, we can get them straight from the source:
"No earthly authority can separate us from direct access to our Creator. There can never be a mechanical or electronic failure when we pray. There is no limit on the number of times or how long we can pray each day. There is no quota of how many needs we wish to pray for in each prayer. We do not need to go through secretaries or make an appointment to reach the throne of grace. He is reachable at any time and any place." —James E. Faust (Ensign, May 2002)
As we pray to our Heavenly Father we will draw nearer to Him. We will feel of His presence and love. We will come to know Him. Through that knowledge we can come to be like Him.
If we are to change ourselves into beings that truly desire to live with God again, we must use our time here wisely. Through consistent study and prayer we can "acquire the attributes of God".