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Elder Uchtdorf Urges European Saints to Build Christ-Centered Unity

The Apostle, a native of Germany, speaks to Saints in Austria, Germany and Switzerland

In a Friday night broadcast originating from Friedrichsdorf, Germany, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf praised European members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for helping refugees.

“I am deeply impressed by your compassionate approach to refugee families seeking safety and sanctuary,” said the Apostle, a native German and former World War II refugee, in a devotional for German-speaking Saints in Europe. “What I hear about your sacrifice, generosity and kindness fills my heart with joy.”

(See this page for more about the ongoing help the Saints in Europe are providing to refugees.)

The broadcast went to German-speaking Saints in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Elder Uchtdorf was joined by his wife, Harriet, and Elder Erich W. Kopsichke, First Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency, along with his wife, Christiane, and other regional and local leaders.

Elder Uchtdorf said the service given to refugees is an important example of leading a love-laden life that cultivates unity.

“Our doctrine should make us the most hospitable and united people in the world,” Elder Uchtdorf said. “This is the Church of Jesus Christ, where there are no outcasts. It is His Church, not yours or mine, ‘and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him,’ (2 Nephi 26:33). Nobody should feel like a stranger with us.”

Elder Uchtdorf read scripture given through Joseph Smith that shows heaven is built on relationships (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:2).

“Unity will not come about in the afterlife like magic,” the Apostle said. “We must make a serious effort to internalize Christian unity in this life.”

Thus, he added, “now is the time to create unity. … Having the Savior in our midst is an absolute necessity if we are to survive spiritually during these trying times.”

Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith listen to a devotional with Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, on Friday, April 22, 2022.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Elder Uchtdorf pointed to two scriptural examples of a people becoming united. In the Book of Mormon, hundreds of years of wars and disputes gave way to unity when Jesus Christ appeared (see 4 Nephi 1:17). And in the Book of Moses, the people of Enoch become Zion — a people of one heart and one mind, with no poor among them — because Christ was their center point (see Moses 7:53).

“Did they always agree back then about how to improve the economy, what diet would be best, what should be taught in schools, or what political leanings they should have? Probably not,” Elder Uchtdorf said. “Even today there are many groups that form because of different goals, thoughts and worldviews. But that doesn’t make them Zion. Zion is Zion because we are united through Zion’s King, Jesus Christ.”

Elder Uchtdorf stressed that oneness need not mean sameness. We can find unity in diversity.

“For us to become of one heart, for our hearts to be knit together in unity and in love one towards another (see Mosiah 18:21), a mighty change of heart is required. But that doesn't mean I’ll change my heart to match yours. Nor does it mean changing your heart to match mine,” the Apostle said. “Rather, it means changing our hearts to conform with the Savior. The closer we get to Him, the closer we get to each other.”

“The unity we seek is not all standing in the same place, but all looking in the same direction — to Jesus Christ and His glory,” he added. “When we are filled with His light, there is no room for pride, prejudice or contention. Faith, love and hope will fill our lives.”

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