“Mormonism in Pictures” is a photo essay feature from MormonNewsroom.org depicting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members around the world.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Harriet, visited Western Europe to celebrate several milestones of the Church. They met with Church members, leaders and dignitaries in Switzerland, Italy and Poland 7-17 June 2014.
President Uchtdorf, a convert to the Church and native of Germany, was accompanied by Elder José A. Teixeira, the president of the Europe Area.
Posing for a picture on the lawn of the Bern Switzerland Temple (from left to right) are Brother Melvyn and Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor, Relief Society general presidency; Sister Kathy and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; President Dieter F. and Sister Harriett Uchtdorf; and Elder José and Sister Maria Teixeira.
“The trip truly was wonderful,” Elder Teixeira said. “It symbolized faith, family, growth, and the dedication of our faithful members in Europe. The Church members felt the love of the Lord expressed by President and Sister Uchtdorf.”
President Uchtdorf reminded Church members of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Church’s Bern Switzerland Temple, the first LDS temple built outside the United States and Canada.
Speaking via satellite broadcast to all congregations in western Europe, he said: “The first LDS missionaries arrived in western Europe more than 170 years ago. The Church now has more than 15 million members worldwide, with half a million in Europe. This is a great and marvelous work; it is not a small thing in a corner. It is God’s work and glory to bring the blessings of the gospel into the lives of His children, wherever they live!”
President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, spent time with Church members, missionaries and Church leaders in Switzerland, Italy and Poland.
All missionaries serving in Poland gathered to meet with President Uchtdorf and his wife. While in Poland the Uchtdorfs also visited Auschwitz and Birkenau.
President Uchtdorf was eager to see the progress at the Rome Italy Temple construction site. The temple is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
President and Sister Uchtdorf were joined in Zollikofen, Switzerland, by Elder and Sister Andersen, as well as Sister Reeves.
President Uchtdorf, the retired chief pilot of Lufthansa German Airlines and a military veteran, has served nearly 20 years as a General Authority for the Church. He and his wife, Harriet, have been married since 1962 and have two children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
With his calling in the Church, President and Sister Uchtdorf now permanently reside in the United States of America.