Thousands of Saints in Taiwan and Hong Kong were thrilled to enjoy a visit by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, in mid-July.
"While I came to Taiwan and Hong Kong many times when I was employed as a pilot, I have not had the chance to visit the saints in this part of the world since I was called as an apostle and began serving in the First Presidency," President Uchtdorf said. "I was so excited to take this opportunity."
At a special meeting for all members in Taiwan on Sunday, July 11, President and Sister Uchtdorf were accompanied by Elder Anthony D. Perkins, Asia Area president, and his wife, Sister Christine Perkins.
More than 6,000 seats in the Lin Kou Sports Arena in Taipei were filled. Busloads of members drove as many as six hours for the meeting, and 13 members from the remote Magong Branch, on the island of Penghu, flew to Taipei.
"It's a great privilege and blessing for us to come and listen to [a member of the First Presidency]," said President Carl Liang of the Taipei Taiwan Central Stake.
One 18-year-old investigator who traveled four hours each way said, "I'm so grateful that I came; President Uchtdorf's message spoke to my heart."
Speaking of his two grandsons who had just completed their missions in Taiwan, one in Taichung and the other in Taipei, President Uchtdorf said, "We are grateful for the privilege that the Lord has given our family to have a close connection to Taiwan. Now, these two young men will count you for the rest of their lives as part of their family."
Addressing missionaries currently serving in Taiwan, President Uchtdorf remarked, "You are the pillars that are sunk in the ground for this nation. Work your heels off and do it for the right motive. There will come a time when these people will remember you. Even the people who rejected you will someday remember you and be grateful for your service. Generations to come will praise your names."
President Uchtdorf reminded members that being active in the Church is not so much attendance at meetings, but their testimony of Jesus Christ and how they live their lives.
"Please bring Jesus Christ into your lives," President Uchtdorf said. "Develop a testimony of Jesus Christ, live the gospel and nurture what you believe."
Speaking of families and family relationships, President Uchtdorf admonished, "Parents need to set their priorities straight. Love and care about your spouse and children. Pray together. Nothing is more beautiful than when we pray together on our knees, and when a father expresses his love for his wife and for his children."
The meeting in Hong Kong was held on Sunday, July 18, in the chapel on the first floor of the Wan Chai Church Administration Building and was simultaneously broadcast to chapels on the fourth and sixth floors, as well as other chapels in Kowloon Tong, Tai Po, Yuen Long and Macau, a total audience of 2,500.
In attendance with President Uchtdorf and his wife were Elder Kent D. Watson of the Asia Area presidency and his wife, Sister Connie Watson.
Prior to the meeting, President and Sister Uchtdorf met with all full-time missionaries serving in Hong Kong. He emphasized the importance of teaching investigators with a clear purpose and sharing pure doctrine
President Uchtdorf's message to members in Hong Kong was similar to his address in Taiwan. He reiterated the importance of having a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, living the gospel, being good parents and paying a full tithe.
"In my pocket I have three things," said President Uchtdorf, showing them to the congregation. The first was a card with the Articles of Faith on one side and a picture of the Savior on the other. The second item was his temple recommend.
"Make sure you have a current temple recommend," he admonished. "It shows that we have committed to live the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
The final item was a "For the Strength of Youth" card, which he used to emphasize agency and accountability.
In closing his remarks in Hong Kong, he pronounced a blessing, much as he did for the members in Taiwan.
"Generations to come will look back upon you and will thank you for your goodness and your establishment of the kingdom in this part of the world," he said. "You will see a growth in your country like never before; you will see the hand of the Lord in your lives; you will see and testify that when you give everything to the Lord that He requires of you, the windows of heaven will be opened, and there will be blessings coming to you that you would never imagine."