6 Things We’ll Never Forget from Elder Uchtdorf’s Time in the First Presidency.

This information was originally found at LDSLiving, by LDS Living Staff Jan 17, 2018


Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has been a beloved member of the First Presidency for the past 10 years. In gratitude for his remarkable service, we’d like to highlight a few of our favorite ways he magnified his calling and blessed the members of the Church throughout his time in the presidency.

His Support and Aid of Members Around the World
Over the past 10 years, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has traveled the world ministering to Latter-day Saints after natural disasters, aiding in the Church’s humanitarian work, uplifting Saints in distant countries, and finding time to love and serve individual members of the Church. Whether speaking at a local fireside, a stake conference, or a worldwide Church event, Elder Uchtdorf was sure to communicate his love of Church members individually. A recent example of his ministry to those in need came in this message he shared after the flooding in Houston Texas:

I have just left the Houston, Texas area, where floods caused by Hurricane Harvey have caused catastrophic loss. Though we all have seen photos and videos of the destruction, there is little that can prepare you for the enormity of the damage caused. It is heart-wrenching.
Despite this intense trial, thanks to the Savior and those who follow Him, there is always reason for hope. I forever will be inspired by the selfless humanitarian service I witnessed today. . . .
I want to speak directly to my friends in Houston, but I also hope this message can be helpful to you, wherever you are, if your own spiritual floodwaters are rising and you don’t know where to turn.
The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock . . . Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:34, 36).
Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.
And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged and worried—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.
Never surrender.
Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. . . .
My friends, embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart. I love you and I pray that you may find hope during these difficult times.

elder 1Image from Mormon Newsroom

His Airplane Analogies
Elder Uchtdorf is famous for his airplane analogies. They’re so famous that in his general conference address in October 2010 he said, “At this point some of you may be thinking, ‘That’s all very fine and good, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?’ Well, let me tell you.” Recently, these well-loved analogies were compiled in The Gospel at 30,000 Feet.

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Image from LDS Smile

His Messages at Women’s Conferences
As a member of the First Presidency, Elder Uchtorf had frequent opportunities to speak at the women’s meetings of general conference. Elder Uchtdorf has a unique storytelling style and a special gift for relating to the women of the Church. We loved his recent story of the mad, glad, and sad sisters, his descriptive telling of the story of Eva spending the summer with her great-aunt Rose, his delightful message about finding our “happily ever after,” and his memorable use of the forget-me-not flower.

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Image from Pinterest

Many of these treasured stories and analogies have been memorialized in keepsake books such as The Remarkable Soul of a Woman, A Summer With Great-Aunt Rose, Your Happily Ever After, and Forget Me Not.

His Connection to the Youth
Approximately 28,000 young adults flocked to the conference center on Sunday to watch Elder Uchtdorf’s recent worldwide devotional, and thousands more watched the broadcast. Elder Uchtdorf has a special talent for engaging with the youngest in the Church through his storytelling, his iconic German accent, the simple format of his talks, and by addressing his audience in frequent, uplifting ways as well as the way he humorously and accurately surmises what they might be thinking. His talks often feel like a conversation.

elder 4Image from Facebook

His Experience as a Refugee
Elder Uchtdorf has shared countless stories from his youth during World War II. He’s shared the struggles he and his family faced as they relocated to West Germany, his struggles to learn the English language, and his struggles to attract the girl (now his wife) whom he had a crush on as a boy. Many can relate to Elder Uchtdorf’s experiences, both directly and indirectly, and his stories allow us to see him as a relatable human being, sharing life’s joys and sorrows.

elder 5
Image from Facebook.
Elder Uchtdorf and his sister Christel.

His Temple Dedications
During his service as a member of the First Presidency, Elder Uchtdorf dedicated 10 temples around the world. We love these photos of him bonding with Saints across the globe as he participates in dedicatory activities.

elder 6Image from KSL
Quetzaltenago Guatemala Temple dedicated December 11, 2011

elder 7Image from Mormon Newsroom
Manaus Brazil Temple dedicated June 10, 2012

elder 8Image from Mormon Newsroom
Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple dedicated March 17, 2013

elder 9Image from Facebook
Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple dedicated May 4, 2014

elder 10Image from Facebook
Cordoba Argentina Temple dedicated May 17, 2015

elder 11Image from Facebook
Trujillo Peru Temple dedicated June 21, 2015

elder 12Image from Facebook
Tijuana Mexico Temple dedicated December 13, 2015

elder 13Image from Facebook
Fort Collins Colorado Temple dedicated October 16, 2016

elder 14Image from Facebook
Tuscan Arizona Temple dedicated August 13, 2017

elder 15Image from Facebook
Meridian Idaho Temple dedicated November 19, 2017

We’re grateful that we’ll continue to enjoy Elder Uchtdorf’s remarkable service, powerful influence, and delightful, relatable messages as he continues to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


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