How the "Candy Bomber" Changed President Uchtdorf's Life As a Little Boy

"I really believe that since we are all brothers and sisters and we live for a certain time on this planet earth, … life’s paths intersect in many ways," President Uchtdorf said.

"Often we don’t even know it. Somehow we can touch, like a sunbeam, these intersections of lives in a way that can bring about something good or even great. I think back on what Gail Halvorsen did, what so many others did, and see how they made a difference in our lives. If we don’t learn from that, then we’ll miss a beautiful piece of life. If we go through life with a locked view instead of seeing around us, we’re missing out.”

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When he was eight years old, Dieter F. Uchtdorf looked up at planes flying in and out of Berlin. He and his sister had traveled there from their home in Zwickau for an LDS youth conference in 1949. The planes were part of the Berlin Airlift. Years later, he learned that one of the airlift’s pilots was a fellow Latter-day Saint, Gail Halvorsen, the renowned “Candy Bomber.”

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President Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, has no idea whether he saw Brother’s Halvorsen’s C-54 as it flew into and out of Berlin, but when he looks at a photograph of boys and girls standing on one side of a fence and Gail Halvorsen on the other, he can see himself at the Templehof airport. “I was their same age. I looked the same way that they did. I can picture myself there,” he said.

Images from LDS Church News.

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Read more about the "Candy Bomber" in the beautifully illustrated book Christmas from Heaven or learn about his story in Meet the MormonsYou can also watch his heartwarming appearance during the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2012 Christmas concert on the DVD Home for the Holidays.

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