Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called as the second counselor of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Feb. 3, 2008, and has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since Oct. 2, 2004. On Nov. 6, he will celebrate his 76th birthday. President Uchtdorf was born in 1940 to Karl Albert and Hildegard Opelt Uchtdorf. President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, are the parents of two children. Information for these questions has been compiled from a number of biographical articles written about President Uchtdorf and talks he has given.

Question #1
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

In which country was President Uchtdorf born?

a. Czechoslovakia
b. Russia
c. Germany
d. Norway

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

a. Czechoslovakia

Although he frequently speaks of his home in Germany, President Uchtdorf was born in Czechoslovakia.

Earlier this year, President Uchtdorf returned and organized the country's first stake.

"President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, was born in an area now called Ostrava in the former Czechoslovakia. The Ostrava Ward is part of the new stake," LDS Church News' Sarah Jane Weaver wrote. "In addition, one decade ago President Uchtdorf dedicated the Republic of Slovakia for the preaching of the gospel, on May 12, 2006."

Question #2
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

Who did President Uchtdorf thank in his first message after being called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles?

a. The missionaries who knocked on his family’s door and taught them the gospel
b. The elderly woman who introduced his family to the gospel
c. His school teacher who was a member of the LDS Church
d. His aviation instructor who was a member of the LDS Church

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

b. The elderly woman who introduced his family to the gospel

During his first general conference talk following his call as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Uchtdorf thanked Sister Ewig for introducing his family to the gospel.

"My life was eternally blessed by one choice member who reached out more than 50 years ago. Some days after World War II, my grandmother was standing in line for food when an elderly single sister with no family of her own invited her to sacrament meeting in Zwickau, East Germany," President Uchtdorf said."How grateful I am for a spiritually sensitive grandmother, teachable parents, and a wise, white-haired, elderly single sister who had the sweet boldness to reach out and follow the Savior’s example by inviting us to 'come and see' (see John 1:39). Her name was Sister Ewig, which translates in English to 'Sister Eternal.' I will be eternally grateful for her love and example."

Question #3
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

How old was President Uchtdorf when he got baptized?

a. 8
b. 11
c. 15
d. 17

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

a. 8

"Forty-five years ago, shortly after the horrors of the Second World War, at age eight I was baptized in Zwickau, Sachsen, in eastern Germany," President Uchtdorf said in a general conference talk. "This came about because a white-haired, courageous, and caring lady shared the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with my grandmother and parents, and they did not hesitate to accept the challenge. How I love them for that!"

Question #4
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

Who was the prophet during President Uchtdorf’s teenage years whom he has expressed appreciation for?

a. Joseph Fielding Smith
b. Harold B. Lee
c. George Albert Smith
d. David O. McKay

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

d. David O. McKay

"President David O. McKay was the prophet during my teenage years. I seemed to know him personally: I could feel his love, kindness, and dignity; he gave me confidence and courage in my young life," President Uchtdorf said during a general conference talk."Even though I grew up thousands of miles away in Europe, I felt he trusted me, and I did not want to disappoint him."

Question #5
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

What job did President Uchtdorf have as a young man?

a. Newspaper delivery boy
b. Laundry boy
c. Shoeshine boy
d. A ski instructor

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

b. Laundry boy

"Allow me to share with you an experience from my own boyhood," President Uchtdorf said. "When I was 11 years old, my family had to leave East Germany and begin a new life in West Germany overnight. Until my father could get back into his original profession as a government employee, my parents operated a small laundry business in our little town. I became the laundry delivery boy. To be able to do that effectively, I needed a bicycle to pull the heavy laundry cart. I had always dreamed of owning a nice, sleek, shiny, sporty red bicycle. But there had never been enough money to fulfill this dream. What I got instead was a heavy, ugly, black, sturdy workhorse of a bicycle. I delivered laundry on that bike before and after school for quite a few years. Most of the time, I was not overly excited about the bike, the cart, or my job. Sometimes the cart seemed so heavy and the work so tiring that I thought my lungs would burst, and I often had to stop to catch my breath. Nevertheless, I did my part because I knew we desperately needed the income as a family, and it was my way to contribute."

In the years that followed he has seen the value of this experience.

"If I had only known back then what I learned many years later — if I had only been able to see the end from the beginning — I would have had a better appreciation of these experiences, and it would have made my job so much easier," President Uchtdorf said in the April 2006 general conference. "Many years later, when I was about to be drafted into the military, I decided to volunteer instead and join the Air Force to become a pilot. I loved flying and thought being a pilot would be my thing.
To be accepted for the program I had to pass a number of tests, including a strict physical exam.

"The doctors were slightly concerned by the results and did some additional medical tests. Then they announced, 'You have scars on your lung which are an indication of a lung disease in your early teenage years, but obviously you are fine now.' The doctors wondered what kind of treatment I had gone through to heal the disease. Until the day of that examination I had never known that I had any kind of lung disease. Then it became clear to me that my regular exercise in fresh air as a laundry boy had been a key factor in my healing from this illness. Without the extra effort of pedaling that heavy bicycle day in and day out, pulling the laundry cart up and down the streets of our town, I might never have become a jet fighter pilot and later a 747 airline captain."

Question #6
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

What motivated President Uchtdorf to learn English?

a. A desire to speak to his future wife
b. A church assignment
c. His basketball aspirations
d. His dream of being a pilot

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

d. His dream of being a pilot

"When I turned 11 we had to leave East Germany overnight because of the political orientation of my father," President Uchtdorf said in his October 2006 general conference talk. "Now I was going to school in West Germany, which was American-occupied at that time. There in school all children were required to learn English and not Russian. To learn Russian had been difficult, but English was impossible for me. I thought my mouth was not made for speaking English. My teachers struggled. My parents suffered. And I knew English was definitely not my language.

"But then something changed in my young life. Almost daily I rode my bicycle to the airport and watched airplanes take off and land. I read, studied, and learned everything I could find about aviation. It was my greatest desire to become a pilot. I could already picture myself in the cockpit of an airliner or in a military fighter plane. I felt deep in my heart this was my thing! Then I learned that to become a pilot I needed to speak English. Overnight, to the total surprise of everybody, it appeared as if my mouth had changed. I was able to learn English. It still took a lot of work, persistence, and patience, but I was able to learn English!"

Question #7
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

In which temple was President Uchtdorf's family sealed when he was a teenager?

a. Bern Switzerland Temple
b. London England Temple
c. Freiberg Germany Temple
d. Stockholm Sweden Temple

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

a. Bern Switzerland Temple

"In 1955 the Swiss Temple was dedicated, the first outside of the United States and Canada," President Uchtdorf shared on Facebook. "My family was sealed in this temple when I was a young teenager. After this wonderful experience I yearned to return to the Swiss Temple to feel that spirit again.

"A friend and I decided to go to the temple on our own. My friend was old enough to have a motorcycle license, so we borrowed a motor scooter and the two of us headed down to Switzerland. The roads were horrible, and it was a rough six-hour ride. The weather was cold and rainy. I remember it being a much more uncomfortable trip than I had hoped. However, when we finally arrived and walked around the temple, I experienced again the warm and wonderful feeling of goodness and wholeness. It was similar to what I felt when my family was sealed together.
The Swiss Temple was special for me and my family, but it also had a significant impact on the church in Europe. Among many other great influences, it motivated generations of members to stay in their homelands and build the church in Europe."

President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, were also sealed in the Bern Switzerland Temple.

Question #8
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

How old was President Uchtdorf when he got married?

a. 19
b. 22
c. 24
d. 27

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

b. 22

President Uchtdorf married Harriet Reich in 1962. He has frequently spoken of how he fell in love with Harriet when he first saw her.

"Her name was Harriet, and I think I fell in love with her from the first moment I saw her," President Uchtdorf said in his talk, "Your Happily Ever After." "Unfortunately, this beautiful young woman didn’t seem to feel the same about me. She had many young men who wanted to make her acquaintance, and I began to wonder if she would ever see me as anything but a friend. But I didn’t let that deter me. I figured out ways to be where she was. When I passed the sacrament, I made sure I was in the right position so that I would be the one to pass the sacrament to her."

President Uchtdorf shared the story to illustrate the role of adversity in life. Eventually his love was reciprocated.

"Years later, after I had finished my training as a fighter pilot in the air force, I experienced a modern miracle in Harriet’s response to my continued courting," President Uchtdorf said. "One day she said, 'Dieter, you have matured much over these past years.'

"I moved quickly after that, and within a few months I was married to the woman I had loved ever since I first saw her. The process hadn’t been easy — there were moments of suffering and despair — but finally my happiness was full, and it still is, even more so."

Sister Uchtdorf has said of her husband, “He is kind. He is a good and compassionate leader. We hear that from many of his former professional colleagues as well as from friends in the church. He is a wonderful husband, always looking for ways to support me. He is a man of great humor and wit. I am very blessed to be his wife.”

Question #9
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

What does President Uchtdorf keep in his office?

a. A German flag
b. His pilot's jacket
c. A piece of the Berlin Wall
d. A military trophy

Answer
Deseret News archive

c. A piece of the Berlin Wall

"A piece of the Berlin Wall sits in President Uchtdorf's office," Deseret News' Tad Walch wrote. "The work of a Mauerspecht, or 'wall-pecker.' [President Uchtdorf] called the wall a symbol of the Cold War that 'served as a metaphor for the separation and division of the communist world and the democratic Western world.'

"He said its fall 'shows that freedom always wins. It may take a while, but walls cannot hold back the expansion of freedom. I think this piece of concrete has a wonderful symbolic meaning to me, that even in our personal lives we sometimes have to be careful we are not building walls that will keep us from expanding our blessings.'"

Question #10
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

Which German airline did President Uchtdorf work as a pilot for?

a. Germanwings
b. Condor
c. Air Berlin
d. Lufthansa

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

d. Lufthansa

President Uchtdorf is known for sharing stories of his time as a pilot.

In a biography on LDS.org, President Russell M. Nelson spoke of President Uchtdorf's career prior to his call as an apostle.

"His career started with an education in engineering, followed by six years in the German Air Force," President Nelson wrote. "Then, thanks to a reciprocal relationship between the German and U.S. governments, he entered pilot training school in Big Spring, Texas, where he won wings with both the German and the American Air Forces. He won the coveted Commander’s Trophy for being the outstanding student pilot in his class. In 1970, at age 29, Dieter F. Uchtdorf achieved the rank of captain with Lufthansa Airlines. Ultimately he became chief pilot and senior vice president of flight operations for Lufthansa.

"In 2004, prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, and quite by coincidence, Elder Uchtdorf and I traveled together on a Lufthansa flight to Europe. It is not unusual for airline passengers to recognize and greet general authorities traveling on the same plane. But this time the greetings were quite different. Virtually every member of the Lufthansa crew came eagerly to greet their former chief pilot. They lined up for the privilege of shaking his hand. Their feelings of deserved adoration for him were very evident to me. They seemed to perceive his great faith as well as his caring for them."

Question #11
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

Which of the following is not a name of one of President Uchtdorf's children?

a. Guido
b. Ida
c. Antje

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

b. Ida

The Uchtdorfs are the parents of two children, a daughter, Antje, and a son, Guido.

“We are blessed to have such wonderful parents. When we were younger, I didn’t realize how busy my father was because he always had time for us," Antje said in an LDS.org biographical article. "We were never a second priority. When we have a problem, we seek his advice. And our children feel that Opa will know the answer, whatever the question may be. Now that he is in the First Presidency, we feel an even greater responsibility to do our very best.”

His son, Guido, added, "Father teaches of the blessings that come from prayer, scripture study, obedience to the commandments, and a positive attitude. These things are much more important to him than to wonder where Kolob is located.”

Question #12
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

President Uchtdorf was the chairman of the temple committee for which temple?

a. Freiberg Germany
b. Frankfurt Germany
c. Bern Switzerland
d. Stockholm Sweden

Answer
Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

b. Frankfurt Germany

President Uchtdorf told the Deseret News that while he was serving as the stake president for the Frankfurt Germany stake he also served as the chairman of the temple committee when the temple was dedicated. The temple, which is located in Friedrichsdorf, was dedicated in 1987.