Today is Elder Uchtdorf’s 80th birthday. Here are 8 quotes from him this year

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles turns 80 years old today. He was called as a General Authority in April 1994 and as an Apostle in October 2004. He currently serves as chairman of the Missionary Executive Council.

Elder Uchtdorf was born on Nov. 6, 1940, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. His family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany in 1947. He joined the German Air Force in 1959 and served six years as a fighter pilot. He married Harriet Reich in 1962 and they have two children.

In honor of his 80th birthday, here are eight quotes from Elder Uchtdorf this year.

COVID-19 pandemic

“We will endure this, yes. But we will do more than simply grit our teeth, hold on and wait for things to return to the old normal. We will move forward, and we will be better as a result.”

— “God Will Do Something Unimaginable,” October 2020 general conference

Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder David A. Bednar converse in the Conference Center Theater before the Saturday morning session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2020.
Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder David A. Bednar converse in the Conference Center Theater before the Saturday morning session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

‘No reason to fear the future’

“When we follow the invitation to hear the Savior’s voice in our lives, there is no reason to fear the future. There is always hope because of Jesus Christ. He will be with us and guide us through our most difficult times as we seek to hear Him.”

#HearHim blog post on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Sept. 4, 2020

Trusting in the Lord

“The Savior of the world invites you to trust Him. He promises hope and peace to your souls. He asks you to not be afraid but to have courage. This invitation and promise are specifically for you. You are called to serve and share the good news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all people and nations.”

Virtual missionary devotional, Aug. 23, 2020 

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks in a virtual missionary devotional broadcast Aug. 13, 2020.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks in a virtual missionary devotional broadcast Aug. 13, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

‘You are the hero’

“Whether you feel like a hero or not, you are one. You are the hero of your own life’s story. … You will certainly find surprises and unexpected challenges during your adventure, but those are the things that make a successful story — your life story. And, especially, remember that if you trust in the Lord, learn of Him, have faith in Him, He will direct your path.”

BYU-Pathway devotional, July 14, 2020

Sixteen-year-old Dieter Uchtdorf rides his bicycle over the bridge in Wasserburg, Germany, in 1956. Elder Uchtdorf showed the photo during a devotional address to BYU Pathway students broadcast on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
Sixteen-year-old Dieter Uchtdorf rides his bicycle over the bridge in Wasserburg, Germany, in 1956. Elder Uchtdorf showed the photo during a devotional address to BYU Pathway students broadcast on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Credit: Courtesy Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The Lord will labor with you

“Our Lord and Master, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, has been laboring in your mission before you will arrive. He will labor with you while you serve, and He will continue to labor with the people in your mission long after you have returned home.

“With all this help and support, you may enter the mission field full of confidence that you have been sent prepared to serve as mission leaders and as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are not alone.”

Mission Leadership Seminar for new mission leaders, June 29, 2020

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council, speaks Friday, June 26, during the 2020 Mission Leadership Seminar. New mission leaders participated in the seminar via technology.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council, speaks Friday, June 26, during the 2020 Mission Leadership Seminar. New mission leaders participated in the seminar via technology. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Missionaries are ‘the pioneers’ of today

“We are continuing to learn how to improve missionary work now and for the future. The Lord has promised to ‘hasten His work’ for the blessing of all of God’s children. I feel that we are right in the middle of this process while living through this challenging time. Our precious missionaries are the pioneers of our day, blazing a trail of sharing the gospel message in new ways fitting to our circumstances, so that the Church of Jesus Christ will continue to roll forth until it fills the whole earth.”

— “COVID-19: ‘Our precious missionaries are the pioneers of our day’” Church News article, April 15, 2020

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf talk with their family via video call. Elder Uchtdorf wrote an article published on July 9, 2020, about the importance of staying connected with loved ones during the pandemic.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf talk with their family via video call. Elder Uchtdorf wrote an article published on July 9, 2020, about the importance of staying connected with loved ones during the pandemic. Credit: Screenshot Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf Facebook

Develop ‘a little backbone’

“We are pilgrims walking the road of mortality in a grand search for meaning and ultimate truth. Often, all we see is the path directly ahead — we cannot see where the bends in the road will lead. Our loving Heavenly Father has not given us every answer. He expects us to figure out many things for ourselves. He expects us to believe — even when it’s difficult to do so.

“He expects us to straighten our shoulders and develop a little resolve — a little backbone — and take another step forward. That is the way we learn and grow.”

— “Come and Belong,” April 2020 general conference

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 5, 2020.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 5, 2020. Credit: Screenshot, ChurchofJesusChrist.org

Adventure of discipleship

“Embark on or continue with renewed faith on the grand adventure of discipleship. Don’t allow discouragement to deter you from your path. Love others. Lift them. Lend those around you your strength and compassion. Share with them the story of your journey. Draw near to your Heavenly Father and He will draw near to you.”

BYU-Idaho devotional, March 1, 2020

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf bid farewell to BYU-Idaho students following March 1, 2020, Sunday evening devotional.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf bid farewell to BYU-Idaho students following March 1, 2020, Sunday evening devotional. Credit: J. Lawson Turcotte, BYU-Idaho