“Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1994, 109
As a pilot, Dieter F. Uchtdorf often cruises high above the earth. “I see how beautiful the deserts and the jungles and the seas are,” he says. “Even after ten long hours in a cockpit, I am amazed at the sunrise. I marvel at the world’s different cultures. Everyone is different, and yet we are the same.”
Elder Uchtdorf remembers when one of the first astronauts to orbit the earth declared: “I went up there, and I did not see God.” In contrast, Elder Uchtdorf says that though he has not gone up so high, he has seen God through witnessing his works. “I am so grateful to the Lord for his creation,” he says.
Elder Uchtdorf has spent most of his professional life with Lufthansa German Airlines. He served earlier as a fighter pilot in the German air force. He studied business administration in Cologne, Germany, and attended the International Management Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Born 6 November 1940 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, where his father worked for Germany’s customs office, Dieter later relocated with his family to Zwickau in Germany’s Saxony region. His family joined the Church there when he was six years old. Six years later, the family moved to Frankfurt, where Dieter often passed the sacrament to young Harriet Reich. He married Harriet in December 1962 and was later sealed to her in the Swiss Temple. The Uchtdorfs, who live south of Frankfurt in Darmstadt, have a son, a daughter, and twin grandchildren.
At the time of his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Uchtdorf presided over the Mannheim Germany Stake. He has also served as president of the Frankfurt stake, a high councilor, a stake mission president, and vice chairman of the Frankfurt temple committee.
“My experiences as a priesthood holder have taught me to be confident in public, to know who I am, and to realize that everything is possible with the Lord,” Elder Uchtdorf says. “My work experience, in turn, has prepared me to better serve in the Church. The gospel is life!”