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Germany awards 'Order of Merit'

President Uchtdorf receives nation's tribute

Praised as a great community leader and aviator, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany during a short ceremony at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City on Oct. 30.

 Consul General Bernd Fischer, left, stands with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf after presenting him the Order of Merit. 2012.
Consul General Bernd Fischer, left, stands with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf after presenting him the Order of Merit. 2012. Photo: IRI

The Order of Merit is the highest tribute that the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for service to the nation, recognizing exceptional charitable work as well as accomplishments in various other types of social, political and scientific endeavors.

German Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer lauded President Uchtdorf for his lifetime of service and leadership, including his present work as the second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church.

Consul General Bernd Fischer, standing at left, reads citation awarding President Dieter F. Uchtdorf the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; observing are President Thomas S. Monson, at the head of the table, President Henry B. Eyring, seated at left, and members of the Uchtdorf family.
Consul General Bernd Fischer, standing at left, reads citation awarding President Dieter F. Uchtdorf the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; observing are President Thomas S. Monson, at the head of the table, President Henry B. Eyring, seated at left, and members of the Uchtdorf family. Photo: IRI
 Consul General Bernd Fischer, left, stands with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf after presenting him the Order of Merit. 2012.
Consul General Bernd Fischer, left, stands with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf after presenting him the Order of Merit. 2012. Photo: IRI

"For his service in the field of aviation and his selfless service to his worldwide community, it would be sufficient to qualify him for this special award," said Dr. Fischer. "But together, his service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his community service, and his service and leadership in the field of aviation, we are three-times pleased to present this award to President Uchtdorf."

In addition, "he has always shown the flag of Germany to the world," Dr. Fischer said to a gathering that included President Thomas S. Monson and President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency; Sister Harriet Uchtdorf and other members of President Uchtdorf's family; Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and his wife, Jeanette; and German consular officials.

Praised as a great community leader and aviator, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany during a short ceremony at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City on Oct. 30.
Praised as a great community leader and aviator, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany during a short ceremony at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City on Oct. 30. Photo: IRI
The Order of Merit is the highest tribute that the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for service to the nation, recognizing exceptional charitable work as well as accomplishments in various other types of social, political and scientific endeavors.
The Order of Merit is the highest tribute that the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for service to the nation, recognizing exceptional charitable work as well as accomplishments in various other types of social, political and scientific endeavors. Photo: IRI

"Everywhere he goes, he is known as 'The German among us,' as he spreads good will and comfort to millions across the world. He is a marvelous ambassador of good will and hope to those with whom he speaks."

Consul General Bernd Fischer, standing at left, reads citation awarding President Dieter F. Uchtdorf the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; observing are President Thomas S. Monson, at the head of the table, President Henry B. Eyring, seated at left, members of President Uchtdorf's family, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, German consular officials, and others.
Consul General Bernd Fischer, standing at left, reads citation awarding President Dieter F. Uchtdorf the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; observing are President Thomas S. Monson, at the head of the table, President Henry B. Eyring, seated at left, members of President Uchtdorf's family, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, German consular officials, and others. Photo: IRI
Photo: IRI

A former fighter pilot in the German Air Force, President Uchtdorf also served the Church as a stake president in both the Frankfurt Germany Stake and the Mannheim Germany Stake. For twenty-six years President Uchtdorf was an airline captain for Lufthansa German Airlines. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was the senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot for Lufthansa. He and his wife, Harriet, raised their two children in Germany.

President Uchtdorf said he was humbled to receive the "unexpected distinction."

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