Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during the Saturday morning session of the April 2023 general conference. He encouraged parents to turn to the Lord for strength. The following is a summary of what he said.
Elder Uchtdorf’s talk summary
“My message to all parents is this: The Lord loves you. He is with you. He stands beside you. He is your strength in guiding your children to make righteous choices.”
Accept this privilege and responsibility courageously and joyfully. “Don’t delegate this source of heavenly blessings to anyone else.”
Help children build faith in Jesus Christ and to love His gospel and Church. “The Savior will help you, guide you and encourage you. Seek His help. … Just as Jesus Christ is the strength of youth, Jesus Christ is also the strength of parents.”
A parent’s love is one of the strongest forces in the universe. Use it to create a rich environment for teaching truth and building faith.
One conversation or good example may not cause change, but the consistency of small and simple things, one drop at a time, nourishes a child much better than an occasional flood.
God is eager to pour out His Spirit to guide parents. “I invite you to accept God’s offer to guide your family by personal revelation.”
Relax. All parents worry about not being good enough, but Jesus Christ is the divine source of help. “Does that mean you and your family will be picture-perfect? No. But you will get better.”
“Just as Jesus Christ is the strength of youth, Jesus Christ is also the strength of parents.”
“A parent’s love for a child is one of the strongest forces in the universe. It’s one of the few things on this earth that can truly be eternal.”
“Patiently allow the rising generation to make inspired choices and let God work His miracle. The result will be more beautiful and more stunning and more joyful than anything you could accomplish just by yourself.”
Who is Elder Uchtdorf?
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2004. He served as second counselor in the First Presidency under President Thomas S. Monson, from February 2008 to January 2018.
- From 1965 to 1996, he was a pilot, captain and corporate executive for the German airline Lufthansa.
- Twice in his life, he and his family have been refugees. As a 4-year-old boy, World War II forced him from Czechoslovakia. Years later, the Uchtdorfs fled their home in East Germany in search of safety in West Germany.
- He met his wife, Sister Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, in their teens while attending a branch in Frankfurt, Germany, soon after she and her family joined the Church. Years later, following Elder Uchtdorf joining the German Air Force and completing his training in the United States, they began a courtship and were soon married in the Swiss Temple (now the Bern Switzerland Temple) in 1962. They are the parents of two children.
What has Elder Uchtdorf done recently?
- During the October 2022 general conference, he spoke to those of the rising generation, reminding youth that Jesus Christ is their strength.
- Elder Uchtdorf ministered to Saints in India and testified that choosing to love and forgive strengthens unity.
- In a devotional at the Weber Institute of Religion, Elder Uchtdorf taught the value of pursuing goals, learning from mistakes and finding hope and strength in Jesus Christ.
- Elder Uchtdorf visited places from his past in Arizona, including Luke Air Force Base and the Mesa Arizona Temple.
- He reunited with a former ward member he taught in Sunday School classes in 1962, and she shared how these classes led her to join the Church.