Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was born on Nov. 6, 1940, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, and was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 2004 and has served as a general authority since April 1994.
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, earning his wings in both the German and U.S. air forces in Texas and Arizona, and serving six years as a fighter pilot.
He married Harriet Reich in 1962 and they have two children. After leaving the military, Elder Uchtdorf became a commercial pilot for Lufthansa German Airlines in 1965, rising to top levels of management before retiring in 1995.
In honor of his 82nd birthday, here are nine quotes from Elder Uchtdorf in the past year.
1. The blessing of the temple
“This is a day of worship, of rejoicing and for the opening of hearts to receive the heavenly ministration of the Holy Spirit of God. This is a day to be remembered forever. It is a day of beginning.”
— Hamilton New Zealand Temple rededication, Oct. 16, 2022
2. ‘Jesus Christ is your strength’
“When you have important choices to make, Jesus Christ and His restored gospel are the best choice. When you have questions, Jesus Christ and His restored gospel are the best answer. When you feel weak, Jesus Christ is your strength.”
— “Jesus Christ Is the Strength of Youth,” October 2022 general conference
3. Strength in the Savior
“You are the strength of the Church, of the future and of the world — and your strength is the Savior. The strength of youth is the Savior Jesus Christ. … He is the center. He is the purpose. He is the One who gives us strength and power.”
— FSY conference in Seattle, Washington, July 21, 2022
4. The ultimate citizenship
“Citizenship in the kingdom of Almighty God is open to all. It makes all of us better citizens in our own nation. It makes us better neighbors and friends, locally and globally. It fosters peace, understanding, cooperation and prosperity.”
— Address at Provo Freedom Festival, July 3, 2022
5. Building Zion
“You, in companionship with angels and Almighty God, are engaged in the high adventure of building Zion, gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, and you are making His everlasting covenants known to the world. As fishers of men, you will contribute to this great work in a marvelous and special way.”
— Seminar for New Mission Leaders, June 24, 2022
6. Message to Ukrainian refugees
“Know that the Savior loves you. He knows of your suffering. He will humbly embrace you in His arms.”
— Devotional with Ukrainian refugees in Poland, April 10, 2022
7. The Savior is the way
“Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not just one of many things we do. The Savior is the motivating power behind all that we do. He is not a rest stop in our journey. He is not a scenic byway or even a major landmark. He is ‘the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Jesus Christ].’”
— “Our Heartfelt All,” April 2022 general conference
8. Getting back on course
“My beloved brothers and sisters, dear friends, we all drift from time to time. But we can get back on course. We can navigate our way through the darkness and trials of this life and find our way back to our loving Heavenly Father if we seek, accept, and follow the spiritual landmarks He has provided.”
— This week on social, Feb. 11, 2022
9. A new perspective
“The perception that those who disagree with us or who behave or think differently are on the opposing side has probably accounted for as much human misery as anything else you could name or imagine.”
— This week on social, Nov. 12, 2021