LDS Church News

President Uchtdorf: A visit 'home'

By Gerry Avant

LDS Church News

Published: Saturday, June 28 2014 12:05 a.m. MDT

In Warsaw, Poland, President Uchtdorf presided over and addressed a missionary meeting on Saturday, June 14, and a member meeting on Sunday, June 15. He said, “The members feel the influence of the Spirit and are strong because they have made a conscious decision to say, ‘Yes, we want to be members of the Church.’ They need to get together and be close to each other, to be united, help each other and make a difference. The gospel really brings a joyful countenance to their faces. The members of the Church are a joyful people; they really are a light to their country.”

President and Sister Uchtdorf were impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the missionaries.

“They have a radiance of goodness and spiritual strength, which will bless the Polish people forever.”

While in Poland, President and Sister Uchtdorf visited the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He said, “Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a place where you go as a tourist, but it is a place where you need to go.

“We grew up being taught and learning a lot about the Holocaust. We have visited the Holocaust museums in Jerusalem and Washington, D.C. and have visited various concentration camps. Auschwitz is a place where you profoundly grieve for the suffering of so many people. …. There are not enough words available to describe or explain or understand the solemn and sobering feeling one has while visiting this place of the Holocaust.”

President Uchtdorf said the gospel, which teaches the love of God and fellowman, is the greatest healer, even for the worst circumstances in life.

During portions of their travels, President and Sister Uchtdorf were accompanied by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen; Elder José A. Teixeria of the Seventy and President of the Europe North Area, and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeria; and Sister Linda S. Reeves of the Relief Society general presidency and her husband, Brother Melvyn K. Reeves.