Over the past century, Erma Rosenhan has prepared more than 400,000 of her German ancestors' names, according to the Deseret News. About this remarkable woman, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently wrote on Instagram, "She served as a missionary in Germany and volunteered in the Family History Library for 40 years. Her life has been full of meaningful service."
For years now, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf have visited Erma on her birthday, February 28th.
On Instagram, Elder Uchtdorf recently wrote about one such visit. "Just a couple days ago, Harriet and I had the pleasure to visit with Sister Erma Helen Rosenhan on her 104th birthday," he wrote. "We have been attending her birthday parties for some years. When we arrived on our surprise visit she was reading the most recent Ensign magazine. She asked us how many years we were married. '56 years,' I answered. 'The article says 55 years,' was her quick response. . . . Her beautiful smile and joyful countenance light up the room."
Elder Uchtdorf then shared Erma's powerful reply when asked what it has been like for her to be single in the Church for 104 years:
"As they celebrated her birthday, her niece themed the celebration with the motto 'Aged to Perfection'—a fitting theme, for certain. Erma has never married, so she devoted her life to service in other ways. . . .
"Someone asked her what it was like to be single at her age. Erma, whose niece has cared for her for many years, answered, 'Well, I have a family through my niece, and I am a daughter of Heavenly Father. I don’t feel single at all.'
"May we all live our lives in Christlike service the way that Erma has."
After Erma's birthday visit on March 1, 2017, Elder Uchtdorf brought Erma a rose and posted the profound lessons he's learned from her remarkable life:
"Yesterday I attended the birthday party of 102-year-old Erma Rosenhan, a dear sister who served a mission in Germany two years before I was even born—and I’m 76 years old!
"I gave Sister Rosenhan a fresh rose because she reminds me of the freshness and beauty of a rose. She has a radiance of goodness about her. She is an example for us to stay positive, joyful, and hopeful at any time in our lives, at any age. . . .
"Sister Rosenhan is an excellent example of someone who shows gratitude for all that she has—especially for life itself and for the gospel. I am amazed at her optimistic outlook. If I am ever privileged to live as long as Sister Rosenhan, I want to be just like her."