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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Full name Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf
Born November 6, 1940 (1940-11-06) (age 69)
Place of birth Moravská Ostrava, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Ordained October 7, 2004 (aged 63)
Ordination reason Deaths of David B. Haight and Neal A. Maxwell[1]
LDS Church General Authority
Second Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term April 2, 1994 (aged 53)
End of term April 7, 1996 (aged 55)
End reason Transferred to the First Quorum of the Seventy
First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term April 7, 1996 (aged 55)
End of term October 2, 2004 (aged 63)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Presidency of the Seventy
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term August 15, 2002 (aged 61)
End of term October 2, 2004 (aged 63)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term October 2, 2004 (aged 63)
End of term February 3, 2008 (aged 67)
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Thomas S. Monson
Start of term February 3, 2008 (aged 67)
Uchtdorf visiting the Accra, Ghana LDS mission in 2007

Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf (born 6 November 1940), a former German aviator and airline executive, is the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Currently, he is the eighth most senior apostle in the ranks of the Church.

Contents

Early life

Uchtdorf was born to ethnic Germans Karl Albert Uchtdorf and Hildegard Else Opelt in Moravská Ostrava (German: Mährisch-Ostrau), which at the time was in the Nazi-occupied Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (now Ostrava, Czech Republic).[2] When he was a child, his family moved to Zwickau in eastern Germany while his father was away in the army, traveling through areas being bombed.[3] As a result of his grandmother's encounter with an LDS church member in a soup line, Uchtdorf's family joined the LDS Church when he was still young.[4]

When Uchtdorf was about ten, his father's political beliefs, incongruent with communist Russian rule, earned him the label of "dissenter", thus putting their lives in danger. They fled East Germany and resettled in American-occupied West Germany.

Aviator

Since Uchtdorf faced conscription into the newly formed Bundeswehr he chose instead to volunteer for the West German Air Force in 1959, aged 19, to become a fighter pilot.[5] Due to an agreement between the West German and US Governments, Uchtdorf trained as a fighter pilot in Texas[6] where he excelled earning the coveted Commander's Trophy (USAF) for being the best student pilot in his class.[4]. After earning wings from both the German and US Air force, he served for 6 years as fighter pilot in West Germany, leaving in 1965 to join Lufthansa Airlines. By 1970, still aged 29, Uchtdorf had reached the rank of Captain with Lufthansa. He was appointed in 1975 as head of Lufthansa's new Arizona Training School, then in 1980 he was made head chief pilot of cockpit crews and then senior vice president of flight operations in 1982.[4]. He left Lufthansa in 1996 two years after being called to the Quorums of the Seventy. [7]

He started studying engineering at 18 but later continued in Business Administration in Cologne, Germany and then graduated from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.[8][9] He received an honorary doctorate in International Leadership from Brigham Young University during the April 2009 graduation ceremony.[10]

Church service

Uchtdorf twice served as a stake president in the LDS Church,[11] presiding over the Frankfurt Germany Stake and the Mannheim Germany Stake.

Uchtdorf was called as a general authority of the LDS Church on April 2, 1994, with an assignment in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.[12] On April 7, 1996 he was called to serve in the First Quorum of Seventy.[13] Uchtdorf became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on August 15, 2002.[14]

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Apostle

Uchtdorf was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 2 October 2004. He was ordained an apostle on October 7, 2004 by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. Uchtdorf and David A. Bednar were called to fill the vacancies created by the July 2004 deaths of quorum members David B. Haight and Neal A. Maxwell.[15] As an apostle, Uchtdorf is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator.

He is only the eleventh apostle to be born outside the United States. He is the second member of the First Presidency who is not a native English speaker.[16] Uchtdorf is the first German apostle in church history and was the first born outside of North America since the death of John A. Widtsoe in 1952. He is the first resident of a country outside the United States or Canada to be called to be a general authority who later became an apostle. Others emigrated to America for reasons other than being called as a general authority.

While in Slovakia on May 12, 2006, Uchtdorf offered a prayer dedicating the land "for the preaching of the gospel" — a Mormon custom usually observed at the time missionaries arrive in a new country. Although missionaries had been in what is now Slovakia for over a century, since the split with the Czech Republic this had not been performed in the new country.[17]

Counselor in the First Presidency

On February 3, 2008, Uchtdorf became the Second Counselor to Thomas S. Monson in the church's First Presidency.[18]

Family

Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, were married on December 14th, 1962. They are the parents of two children.

See also

References

  1. ^ Uchtdorf and David A. Bednar were ordained on the same date to fill the vacancies created by the deaths of Haight and Maxwell.
  2. ^ "Quorum of the Twelve: Dieter F. Uchtdorf", LDS Church News.
  3. ^ LDS Church News, October 13, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Jeffrey R. Holland, "Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: On to New Horizons," Ensign, March 2005, pp. 10–15.
  5. ^ LDS Church News, October 16, 2004.
  6. ^ LDS Church News May 2009
  7. ^ LDS Church News May 2009
  8. ^ "gateway to your MBA". http://blog.tenaday.co.in/2008/10/01/international-institute-for-management-development-imd-profile-tenadaycoin/. Retrieved 2009-03-09.  
  9. ^ "Biography of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf". http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/biography-of-president-dieter-f-uchtdorf. Retrieved 2009-03-09.  
  10. ^ "Pres. Uchtdorf receives honorary doctorate", April 2009
  11. ^ LDS Church News, October 16, 2004
  12. ^ LDS Church News, November 6, 2004.
  13. ^ Gerhard Spörl, "A Mormon Goes West: The German Apostle", Spiegel Online, 2007-07-04.
  14. ^ Deseret Morning News, February 4, 2008.
  15. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley, "Condition of the Church," Liahona, November 2004, p. 4.
  16. ^ Apostles Born Outside the United States, lds.org, accessed 2008-04-08. The other man who served in the First Presidency who did not have English as his mother tongue was Anthon H. Lund, a native of Denmark. Marion G. Romney, although born in Mexico, had American parents and learned English before Spanish.
  17. ^ LDS Church News, November 11, 2006.
  18. ^ "Elder Uchtdorf, former pilot, named new counselor in First Presidency" Deseret Morning News, February 4, 2008

External links

Preceded by
Henry B. Eyring
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
February 3, 2008 –
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
Henry B. Eyring
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 7, 2004 – February 3, 2008
Succeeded by
David A. Bednar

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