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Pres. Uchtdorf: Cockpit to pulpit

"From cockpit to pulpit."

That phrase aptly sums up the past 50 years of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's life.

Having had a boyhood dream of flying planes, he joined the air force in his home country, Germany, in 1959. Half a century later, he looks back on a career in aviation that began with earning German and U.S. wings. He trained in the U.S. Air Force from 1960-62, graduating at the top of his class, and served six years as a fighter pilot in the German air force. After he left the military, he was a pilot for Lufthansa German Airlines. When he retired in 1996, two years after he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, he was senior vice president for flight operations and chief pilot for Lufthansa. He was also chairman of the Flight Operations Committee of the International Air Transport Association.

President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, still loves flying, but his focus goes beyond the skies he cruised as a pilot. His concerns are aimed heavenward.

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