Thursday, February 7, 2008

German appointed to Mormon's Highest Ranks

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a German and former airline pilot, has been called to serve in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His appointment comes due to the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley and the appointment of President Thomas S. Monson as new President of the Church.

A two time refugee, Uchtdorf, was appointed to the Quorum of 12 Apostles a little over 3 years ago and was only the 2nd non U.S. born member of that body. As a mormon, from the United States, who lives in and loves Germany, I am very excited about this appointment to 1st presidency. Elder Uchtdorf tells wonderful stories about his youth and growing up in post war Europe. He tells how God aided him in times of trouble and hardship that are unique to post-war Europe. It is a nice perspective.

His testimony that God helps mankind in all sorts of trouble is moving, and his strength and resolve is familiar to me because I have seen a similar strength and resolve in many Germans I have worked with over the years.

Here is a quote from his first talk as a member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles.

My life was eternally blessed by one choice member who reached out more than 50 years ago. Some days after World War II, my grandmother was standing in line for food when an elderly single sister with no family of her own invited her to sacrament meeting in Zwickau, East Germany. My grandmother and my parents accepted the invitation. They went to church, felt the Spirit, were uplifted by the kindness of the members, and were edified by the hymns of the Restoration. My grandmother, my parents, and my three siblings were all baptized. I had to wait two years because I was only six. How grateful I am for a spiritually sensitive grandmother, teachable parents, and a wise, white-haired, elderly single sister who had the sweet boldness to reach out and follow the Savior’s example by inviting us to “come and see” (see John 1:39). Her name was Sister Ewig, which translates in English to “Sister Eternal.” I will be eternally grateful for her love and example.
Here is a quote from his most recent talk as a member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles.

In the middle of this despair [post WWII life as a refugee], my family learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the healing message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This message made all the difference; it lifted us above our daily misery. Life was still thorny and the circumstances still horrible, but the gospel brought light, hope, and joy into our lives. The plain and simple truths of the gospel warmed our hearts and enlightened our minds. They helped us look at ourselves and the world around us with different eyes and from an elevated viewpoint.


Wherever you live on this earth and whatever your life’s situation may be, I testify to you that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you to great heights from what appears at times to be an unbearable burden or weakness. The Lord knows your circumstances and your challenges. He said to Paul and to all of us, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” And like Paul we can answer: “My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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Anonymous said...

Hi Tamara and Gardner

This is an interesting blog about President Uchtdorf:

Always enjoy reading yours.

Herb said...

Just happened to google across your blog, looking for Dieter Uchtdorf. Nice blog!

I'm from Munich, Germany, but have been living in the Atlanta, GA area for the past almost 14 years. I served a mission in Frankfurt and served in Darmstadt when Elder Uchtdorf still lived there and he was the Stake President. We even got to ride with him at ~160mph on the Autobahn to a Stake Conference in Mannheim. He certainly was and is a true servant of our Lord!

Anyways, if you don't mind I will keep coming back to read your cute blog!

Gardner said...

Thanks for the posts and great link. It's great to find others who share my excitement.

March 2007