This Week on Social: How delivering laundry prepared Elder Uchtdorf for the Air Force

In social media posts this week, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared lessons learned from delivering laundry, delivering food, and returning their roots, among other messages.

When Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was an 11-year-old boy living in West Germany, his parents operated a small laundry business and he became a laundry delivery boy. For several years, he would cart the laundry using his bike to make deliveries.

“Sometimes the cart seemed so heavy and the work so tiring that I thought my lungs would burst, and I often had to stop to catch my breath,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote in an Oct. 27 Instagram post. “Nevertheless, I did my part because I knew we desperately needed the income as a family, and it was my way to contribute.”

Years later, when he decided to join the Air Force, the doctors who examined him told him he had scars on his lungs from a lung disease in his teenage years that he had recovered from.

“Until the day of that examination I had never known that I had any kind of lung disease,” he wrote. He soon realized that exercise as a laundry boy had been a key factor in treating this illness. “Without the extra effort of pedaling that heavy bicycle day in and day out, I might never have become a jet fighter pilot and later a 747 airline captain.”

While no one knows the details of the future, confidence in God means no one needs to fear the future. “You can always have hope for a good future wherever you are in life,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote.

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I would like to share with you an experience from my boyhood. When I was 11 years old, my family had to leave East Germany and begin a new life in West Germany overnight. My parents operated a small laundry business in our little town. I became the laundry delivery boy. I delivered laundry on a bike before and after school for quite a few years. Most of the time, I was not overly excited about the bike, the cart, or my job. Sometimes the cart seemed so heavy and the work so tiring that I thought my lungs would burst, and I often had to stop to catch my breath. Nevertheless, I did my part because I knew we desperately needed the income as a family, and it was my way to contribute. Many years later, when I was about to be drafted into the military, I decided to volunteer instead and join the Air Force to become a pilot. I loved flying and thought being a pilot would be my thing. To be accepted for the program I had to pass a number of tests, including a strict physical exam. The doctors said, “You have scars on your lung which are an indication of a lung disease in your early teenage years, but obviously you are fine now.” The doctors wondered what kind of treatment I had gone through to heal the disease. Until the day of that examination I had never known that I had any kind of lung disease. Then it became clear to me that my regular exercise in fresh air as a laundry boy had been a key factor in my healing from this illness. Without the extra effort of pedaling that heavy bicycle day in and day out, I might never have become a jet fighter pilot and later a 747 airline captain. We don’t always know the details of our future. We are surrounded by challenges on all sides. But, with confidence in God and faith in His promise that His Spirit will always be with us, you never need to fear the future. Of course you will experience disappointment. But discouragement, no, that does not have to be! You can always have hope for a good future wherever you are in life.

A post shared by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (@dieterfuchtdorf) on

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently returned to St. George, Utah, to celebrate his 60-year high school reunion. In speaking to his fellow classmates, he invited them to remember “that perhaps the most repeated line in all of scripture is ‘It came to pass.’ Painful days do pass. It might seem that they won’t, but they do,” he wrote in an Oct. 29 Instagram post.

“I would ask only that we be charitable — charitable toward everyone but especially charitable toward yourselves, generous regarding your own circumstance as well as that of others.”

After returning from speaking at RootsTech London, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared his experience of visiting the chapel where his third-great-grandparents Luke Syphus and Christiana Long were married in 1851.

“It was an incredible experience for (Sister Susan Bednar) and me to walk where they walked and imagine what they must have been feeling back then,” Elder Bednar wrote in an Oct. 28 Facebook post. “Their story is one that has touched my heart and influenced my life in remarkable ways.”

While this was a meaningful experience for him, Elder Bednar emphasized that no one needs to walk where their ancestors walked in order to become closer to them. 

“Remember, each of us is a link in the chain of our generations. You, each of you, are a link to the past and a link to generations yet to come. You can become a strong link in your chain.”

As Susan and I prepared to speak at RootsTech in London this week, we had the chance to visit the chapel where my third great-grandparents, Luke Syphus and Christiana Long, were married in 1851. It was an incredible experience for Susan and me to walk where they walked and imagine what they must have been feeling back then. Their story is one that has touched my heart and influenced my life in remarkable ways.While I am thankful for this experience, I want to emphasize that you do not have to walk where your ancestors walked to draw closer to them. Whether you are young or old, married or single, rich or poor, members of the Church or not, you are each a member of your immediate and extended family on both sides of the veil.Remember, each of us is a link in the chain of our generations. You, each of you, are a link to the past and a link to generations yet to come. You can become a strong link in your chain.

Posted by David A. Bednar on Monday, October 28, 2019

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently spoke to students of the St. George Utah Institute of Religion on how to feel the love of the Savior.

At times when someone doesn’t or can’t feel His love, the problem isn’t with the Savior’s love, Elder Renlund wrote in an Oct. 29 Instagram post. “The problem is with our ability to feel His love; our ‘Savior’s love receptors’ are malfunctioning.”

To repair those receptors, he gave a five-part prescription: repentance, scripture study, temple and family history work, expressing gratitude to God and being patient, and serving others.

“I testify that the Savior wants to bless us. He loves to heal us and to fix what is broken in our lives. He wants us to feel His love,” Elder Renlund wrote.”

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helped deliver 41,000 pounds of food to the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 18. He also met with the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Austin, James Misco, “to discuss the partnership between our churches to help those struggling in Austin, Texas,” he wrote in an Oct. 25 Facebook post.

“We have something in common: We love God and we love people. That is what drives us together to help God’s children.”

Once anyone sees someone in need, “we should act with love, help, and support.”

I had the unique experience of helping to deliver 41,000 pounds of food to the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin last…

Posted by Ulisses Soares on Friday, October 25, 2019

Heavenly Father is not a helicopter Parent, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in an Oct. 28 Instagram post. “He wants to make us independent, with the same powers and freedoms that He Himself possesses, so He requires that we take responsibility,” he wrote.

Though He is willing to teach, forgive and reveal His will to all His children, Heavenly Father doesn’t force that on anyone. “He offers, through His Son, the means of redemption from sin and from death, a means that we cannot provide ourselves, but He offers it to us,” Elder Christofferson wrote. “Yet He leaves to us whether or not we accept that help.”