From the Church

One reporter’s interview with Elder Uchtdorf that was never published

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Journalism is a fast-paced business. Today’s hot topics can be forgotten tomorrow. Even carefully crafted articles sometimes never see the light of day. In September 2019, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave an interview that was never published. For an entire hour, the Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints answered the questions of a renowned journalist.

The occasion was the open house of the Germany Frankfurt temple. But as the audio recording shows, it is about more than just this holy house. The conversation revolves around faith in God and a willingness to serve others, which are ultimately about Jesus Christ, according to the former chief pilot for Lufthansa.

“In the Book of Mormon, we read that we can become perfected in Christ. That does not mean I am free from sin. No, the sacrifice and grace of God lead me to perfection,” Elder Uchtdorf explains in a quiet room in the temple annex. Those who are willing to repent and take advantage of the atonement will find answers to life’s difficult questions.

The journalist then asks whether Elder Uchtdorf has ever had any existential doubts. The 78-year-old responds with a no, but acknowledges, “I know of no one who does not go through phases with questions, profound questions. Phases of doubting oneself. That happens.”

He always returns to the basics. “That is the wonderful thing about the temple,” the Apostle emphasizes. “We are pointed to Jesus Christ, to his role. To the purpose of life. To the fact that we have a Heavenly Father who sent us here for a reason. Specifically, so that we can learn and progress and come to understand who we are.”

Elder Uchtdorf does not always have an answer to every question. If young people ask him such questions, he is open about that. Fake certainty does not help. The questions often concern the periphery of faith. But it is the core that is key. Love God and love thy neighbor is how Jesus Christ responded to the question about what commandment would be the most important, explains Elder Uchtdorf.

You can read the full Church Newsroom article here.

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