If man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises toward the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost?
It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. Even those who are without hope, who live in despair, who have betrayed trust, surrendered their integrity, or turned away from God can be rebuilt.
To all reading this, I testify that our loving Savior knows you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears.
All that matters is that you are His child. And He loves you, His children. Because He loves you, He will find you. I testify that if you will only lift up your heart to Him, He will find you.
I recently had the privilege to meet again two old friends, Grant and Sharol Wilson. They are excellent examples of what it means to give our lives in service to the Lord. They have served proselyting missions in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Germany. They also served three temple missions, in the Bern Switzerland and Washington D.C. Temples.
How grateful we are to missionaries of all ages who choose to dedicate their lives to serving our Heavenly Father’s children, often under challenging circumstances. How grateful we are during this Easter season for the messages of peace and love our missionaries bring to all the world.
The dedication of the Provo City Center Temple took place on Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem amid hosanna shouts of the people. The dedication of our temples include the "Hosanna Anthem," praising our Savior, who is leading our Church today.
Soon we will gather worldwide in general conference to continue to praise the Lord and testify of Him. May we all look to Him, as have Brother and Sister Wilson. In this way, we can show our thanks and praise to our Savior, who suffered, died, and was resurrected so that we all may live again.
Later that evening, I was privileged to be in a photo with Brother Halvorsen and Harrison Ford. Our 95-year-old Candy Bomber looked almost the youngest between the Millennium Falcon pilot and me—a former airline captain.
The San Diego Temple stands less than an hour’s drive away, but political and physical boundaries have kept the Saints in Tijuana from participating in regular temple worship.
Now, a temple stands as a place of beauty and light in their midst. These dear Saints know that their temple is protected not by barbed wire but by each member having a soft heart, living righteously, and spreading goodness where they live.
This Christmas season and always, let us cherish our ability to worship in temples all around the world—for temples truly bring heaven closer to earth. Let us do everything in our power to be worthy to hold a current temple recommend. I promise that as we worthily attend, we will feel closer to our Father in Heaven and feel His influence in our lives.
I think I fell in love with her from the first moment I saw her. Unfortunately, this beautiful young woman didn’t seem to feel the same about me. But time passed, and eventually I was married to the woman I had loved ever since I first saw her. The process hadn’t been easy—there were moments of suffering and despair—but finally my happiness was full, and it still is, even more so.
I have learned that in God’s plan of happiness, we are not so much looking for someone perfect but for a person with whom, throughout a lifetime, we can join efforts to create a loving, lasting and more perfect relationship.
To all, married or single, I say: let the pure love of Christ fill your heart. Whatever problems your family, marriage, or relationships face—and whatever you must do to solve them—the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. “Charity never faileth.” It is true for saving marriages! It is true for saving families! #LDSconf
Without service we are a mere shadow of who we are meant to be—both as individuals and as a Church. We are endangering our heritage and promise as children of God. We cannot, we will not be saved without blessing and lifting the poor. No matter the outward appearance of our righteousness, if we look the other way when others are suffering, we cannot be justified.
In 1955 the Swiss Temple was dedicated, the first outside of the United States and Canada. My family was sealed in this temple when I was a young teenager. After this wonderful experience I yearned to return to the Swiss Temple to feel that spirit again. A friend and I decided to go to the temple on our own. My friend was old enough to have a motorcycle license, so we borrowed a motor scooter and the two of us headed down to Switzerland. The roads were horrible, and it was a rough six-hour ride. The weather was cold and rainy. I remember it being a much more uncomfortable trip than I had hoped. However, when we finally arrived and walked around the temple, I experienced again the warm and wonderful feeling of goodness and wholeness. It was similar to what I felt when my family was sealed together.
The Swiss Temple was special for me and my family, but it also had a significant impact on the Church in Europe. Among many other great influences, it motivated generations of members to stay in their homelands and build the Church in Europe.
Today we are privileged to live at a time when the light of the temples of the Most High shines brightly in many nations. Let us strive to always be worthy to enter the house of the Lord. Let us help others prepare for the blessings available in our sacred temples.
Our gratitude is an expression of humility and faith. As we trust God and hope for things we may not see but are true, our hearts will change. We will become teachable.
When our hearts are full of gratitude, we will feel gladness even in times of challenges or sorrow. Gratitude will lift our hearts and bring happiness to our lives. It will open our eyes to see the beauties of nature and the goodness of God.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsSecond Counselor in the First Presidency
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called as second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church on October 2, 2004. He has served as a General Authority since April 1994.
President Uchtdorf was born on November 6, 1940 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, to Karl Albert and Hildegard Opelt Uchtdorf. In 1947 his family became members of the Church in Zwickau, Germany. They fled to Frankfurt/Main in 1952 where he received an education in engineering. In 1959 he joined the German Air Force and served for six years as a fighter pilot.
In 1965 President Uchtdorf began working for Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot. From 1970 until 1996 he flew as captain of the B737, Airbus, DC10, and B747. While also working as training and check captain, he received several management responsibilities. These positions included Section Chief Pilot B737, head of Lufthansa pilot school in Arizona, head of all cockpit crews, and finally Senior Vice President Flight Operations and Lufthansa Chief Pilot. He was also chairman of the Flight Operations Committee of the International Air Transport Association.
Dieter Uchtdorf and Harriet Reich married in 1962. They have two children and six grandchildren. With his call as an Apostle, the Uchtdorfs left their homeland and now live permanently in the United States.
Dieter and Harriet Uchtdorf enjoy outdoor activities, cherish the arts, and are happiest when spending time with their children and grandchildren.