On a recent visit to Germany, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf met with the German Chancellor in a historic meeting and attended a wreath-laying ceremony for Holocaust victims at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. While reflecting on his experience at Sachsenhausen, Elder Uchtdorf shared a touching message on Facebook about a Latter-day Saint who was executed by the German government in 1942 along with an unforgettable message about the power of love:
Today I am in Germany with United States Senator Orrin Hatch. Yesterday we visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where we participated in a wreath laying honoring Holocaust victims. Between the years of 1936 and 1945, approximately 30,000 people were killed at this camp. It is heart-wrenching to walk the paths they walked and imagine what they endured. This experience brought back similar thoughts and feelings I had recently while visiting Plötzensee Prison in Berlin, the site of the execution of Helmuth Hübener.
For those who may not know the story, Helmuth Hübener was a young Latter-day Saint boy in Germany. He was executed at the age of 17 when Nazis discovered him listening to BBC broadcasts and found that he had distributed pamphlets from these broadcasts. The German government convicted him of treason and executed him at Plötzensee in 1942.
It is sobering to consider the path that led to unimaginable pain and suffering of those who became victims of Nazi terrorism. It may help us to be more cognizant of those who suffer today as the result of intolerance. In our own sphere of influence, I pray that love of God and of our fellowman will be at the root of all we do.
Love is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.