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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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The recent dedication of the Provo City Center Temple made me think of the many missionaries who serve worldwide—not only serving as temple missionaries but also by proselyting, doing welfare and humanitarian work, and participating in many other capacities. 

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.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Recently Living Legends of Aviation honored our dear friend Colonel Gail Halvorsen for his lifelong positive impact on children. It was my honor to present him with the Kitty Hawk Children’s Award. May we each find opportunities to serve and bless the lives of God’s children as Brother Halvorsen has. 

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.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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You should know that the Saints in Tijuana, Mexico, had to wait a very long time for a temple to be built in their great city. Those days of waiting are finally over. This weekend, the beautiful Tijuana Mexico Temple was dedicated.

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.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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I am blessed to associate with our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, frequently. His life is an example to all of us of one who has lived the gospel simply and joyfully. 
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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A note from me to you about faith. I pray that you always remember this.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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This week, I celebrated the inauguration of Clark G. Gilbert as the 16th president of BYU–Idaho. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder David A. Bednar, Sister Linda K. Burton, and Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson also attended this joyful event. 

President Gilbert has been prepared and qualified by the Lord to preside over this wonderful institution of higher education. He, his wife, and his eight children make up an impressively strong, united, happy, and focused family. For me, they are an authentic LDS family who are living the gospel—and living it joyfully. 

As I spoke to BYU–Idaho faculty, staff, and students from all over the world, I counseled them to be grateful. I feel that our gratitude can best be shown by daily living gospel principles, respecting one another, learning and working hard, and building strong individuals and families as described in the plan of happiness. We can also show our gratitude to the Lord by having a current temple recommend and attending the house of the Lord regularly. 

The Lord has instructed us to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” Wherever we may be, whatever opportunities are ours, I pray that we will expand our knowledge and our faith. 
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Having charity and caring for one another is not simply a good idea. It is not simply one more in a seemingly infinite list of things we ought to consider doing. It is the core of the gospel—an indispensable, essential, foundational element.

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.
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I recently sat down for an interview to talk about my experiences as a refugee when I was a young boy. Through these experiences I have learned that there is much we can and should do to show our love for God’s children. There are many around us who are struggling with a variety of challenging life situations at this moment. There are many besides refugees who have lost hope and are looking for answers in their lives. I plead with you to never label anyone. We are all children of Heavenly Father and therefore brothers and sisters. Let us look for opportunities to help wherever we can. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts; let us notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us; let us be an answer to those prayers; let us be instruments in the hands of the Lord.
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I have come to feel and know that temples are literally houses of the Lord. Temples are where heaven meets earth and where we can feel close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  

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.
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I have often felt that a grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. No matter our circumstances, let us start by being grateful for what we have, and out of this gratitude great things will develop. 

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.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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This weekend I traveled to Arizona where I participated in the groundbreaking of the Tucson Arizona Temple. While there, I shared a few thoughts that are dear to my heart.
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My dear sisters, I was grateful to speak with you at the general women’s session of #LDSconf. Wherever you are throughout the world, I hope that the Spirit touched you with new insights.

In this painting, a pioneer girl is skipping along a bright blue path. She has endured many dark and dreary days, but she has a spring in her step and looks optimistic, happy, and hopeful. 

As you walk through life, I hope you will feel a spring in your step as you trust the Lord and continue on your own bright path of discipleship. Faith will lead you to open your eyes to the things Heavenly Father has in store for you. Love for God and His children will continue to brighten your path, even on dark and cloudy days.  
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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Second Counselor in the First Presidency
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Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Introduction

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.

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