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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Last week I spoke to a Young Single Adult group in Southern California. The message I gave applies to all young single adults. I want you to know that God is with you. If you are on God’s side, nothing can be against you.

It was said of our Savior, “He went about doing good,” (Acts 10:38). Don’t wait for an invitation to become the person you were designed to become. As young single adults and children of God, your headline should also be, “they went about doing good.” When your focus is on increasing and demonstrating your love for God and your love for your fellowmen, you will find meaning and happiness in your life.

The next time you feel unhappy, remember where you came from and where you are going. Rather than focus on things that dampen your thoughts with sorrow, choose to focus on those things that fill your soul with hope. You will realize that these things are always connected to serving God and our fellowmen.

The wonderful thing about the gospel is that we have God’s promise that we will have a “happily ever after” far greater than anything we can imagine. If you do your part, your “happily ever after” is guaranteed.

It may not come in the way you expected it. But you will one day look back and realize how all that you did—your obedience, your holding on to faith, your enduring to the end—will be very much worth it. It will be worth it beyond your ability to comprehend.

My dear young friends, God will bless and protect you; His angels will go before you and beside you, and bear you up in times of difficulty.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Please remember on this Palm Sunday and always, Jesus Christ the Redeemer wants you to succeed. He gave His life for just this purpose. He will help you. ‪#‎BecauseHeLives‬
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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I attended this week an exhibit at a museum that raised awareness about the issue of homelessness. As I watched a video of an 8-year-old boy talking about the struggles and trials that come with being homeless, I recalled experiencing remarkably similar feelings at that age. I spoke about this in a talk not long ago:
“I have a profound feeling of gratitude for the many good people who helped during this difficult season of our lives, but also a feeling of sadness for those who looked down on us because we were refugees, poor, and perhaps a little different. As a child you feel it deeply when others treat you as lower class. I think every human mind and heart is easily hurt by name-calling or labeling.
“The Holy Scriptures are filled with examples of refugees, from Abraham to Joseph and from David to Paul. Even Mary and Joseph fled as refugees to Egypt in order to protect their infant son, Jesus, from harm. The Mormon pioneers and early Latter-day Saints left their beloved countries and traveled either by force or by choice to a new land.
“We honor those who reach out to the poor and the needy, to the widow and the orphan, offering hope. We honor those who are not content to watch as others suffer but who lift up those who say, 'I can’t go on.' All of our lives are intertwined. We are all connected. As we help those in distress, our own lives are blessed.”
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Harriet and I recently enjoyed attending some cultural celebrations with wonderful LDS families at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. The Pueblo, built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America.

At this significant historic place we, two natives of Germany, appreciated the cultural diversity and individual differences our Heavenly Father allows His children during their earthly journey.

Nevertheless, we all should also appreciate that we are of the same heavenly “tribe,” as children of our loving Heavenly Father. Our unity of faith, knit together in love for God and our fellowman, will provide for us a divine source of healing in His wings.

Of one thing we can be certain: every person we see — no matter the race, religion, political beliefs, body type, or appearance — is family. #MLKDay 
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Celebrating Christmas as a family reminds me of times when things were not so good. After World War II, my family was grateful for the peaches and wheat that came from the Church, which nourished us physically. At the same time, we embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ, which fed us spiritually in even greater ways. As I celebrate Christmas this year with my family, I express deep gratitude for the multitude of temporal and spiritual blessings I have received throughout my life. Most importantly, I am grateful for and celebrate the gift of the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, I hope that we will follow Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.
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I can still remember when my parents took our family to the newly erected Swiss Temple, the first in Europe, to become a forever family. I was 16 then and the youngest of four children. We knelt together to be sealed on earth by the power of the priesthood, with a wonderful promise that we could be sealed for eternity. I will never forget this magnificent moment.

As a boy I was quite impressed that we crossed country borders to be sealed as a family. To me it symbolizes the way temple work crosses worldly boundaries to bring eternal blessings to all the inhabitants of the earth. The temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are truly built for the benefit of all the world, irrespective of nationality, culture, or political orientation
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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The University of Southern California is planning to establish a new chair in LDS Studies. It will be named after Elder John A. Widtsoe.

Yesterday I had the privilege to be the keynote speaker at the first symposium (the full talk will be made available on LDS.org at a later date). I based my address on thoughts Harriet and I had during our recent visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

As we walked through Auschwitz, on the same paths that so many others marched along decades ago, I wondered how anyone could be so heartless to have done something so incomprehensible.
As I pondered this, three distinct insights entered my heart and mind:

First, humans are prone to dislike or hate those we do not really know. This is our human nature. But the more we get to know those who are different from us, the more we learn that perhaps they are not so different from us after all.

Second, we must speak up. We all have a responsibility to speak the truth. To stand for what is right. To lift up our voices in support of that which is good.

Third, divine love is always the answer. If we each learned to genuinely love God and to love our fellowmen as our brothers and sisters, we would have more compassion and the problems of the world could be more easily solved.

It is my hope that we will look past our differences and, instead, see each other with eyes that recognize who we truly are—fellow travelers, brothers and sisters, pilgrims walking the same path that leads to becoming more enlightened and more refined as our Father in Heaven intends us to become.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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April general conference is a time when seasons change. In the southern hemisphere, the leaves turn colors as autumn begins, and spring flowers bloom in the north. Conference provides an opportunity to gather together as friends and families to become more united in our faith in Jesus Christ and in our efforts to serve Him.
As I have prepared for this conference, I have felt impressed that each one should ponder again about God's plan for our lives and consider our individual place in this divine plan as His children.
Please, always remember that each one of us matters to Him, wherever we may be.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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During a family lunch last summer, a man dressed as a superhero introduced himself to me. Many people around the world see these popular characters as “heroes.” However, I was blessed with the opportunity last week to celebrate the life of a real hero, Wallace “Wally” Leroy Price — a humble, unassuming 99-year-old usher for the Utah Jazz basketball team who passed away recently.

Wally was a wonderful man who tried his best to live the gospel and teach his children and grandchildren gospel principles. At a basketball game soon after the funeral, an empty chair sat alone in the usual place where Wally sat for so many years. Like Wally, we all have the capacity to be everyday heroes. Real heroes are those who try their best to inspire, uplift, and improve the lives of others, and who seek to love their fellowmen as the Lord loves them.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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May God help us to be a little more forgiving in our families, more forgiving of each other, and perhaps more forgiving even with ourselves. Let the year 2015 be a year of forgiving and being forgiven.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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During the Christmas season as we see the holy family in beautiful nativity scenes, our hearts turn to Joseph and Mary and the Holy Child whose birth we celebrate—our Savior Jesus Christ. This little family was formed with a special purpose for them and for all humanity.

Marriage and families are sacred and wonderful. This month my wife Harriet and I are celebrating the 52nd anniversary of our marriage. Harriet is the love of my life. I think I loved Harriet from the first moment I saw her. It was clear that I fell in love with her long before she fell in love with me.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Some might say, “What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?”

Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.

It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach?

Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be.
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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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