Mike Terry, Deseret News
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf mingles prior to receiving the Deseret Foundation's Heart and Lung Research Foundation's Legacy of Life Award.

SALT LAKE CITY — Honored for his efforts in "building people economically, socially and spiritually," President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, has been awarded the 2011 Legacy of Life award.

The Deseret Foundation's Heart and Lung Research Foundation, a fundraising arm of Intermountain Healthcare, presented President Uchtdorf with the award Thursday night at a banquet held at the Little America Hotel.

The award, first created in 1991, is given to "eminent leaders with Utah ties for their contribution to the well-being of people everywhere," said award committee chair Frank Madsen.

President Uchtdorf said he is "deeply honored and humbled" to receive the award. He gave credit in his acceptance speech to the rest of the First Presidency, including past award recipient President Thomas S. Monson and President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor, both of whom were in attendance.

"They represent the givers of the widow's mite and the sacrifices of a multitude of generous members," President Uchtdorf said.

The banquet raises money annually for heart and lung research. Speaking of how well the heart and lungs work together, President Uchtdorf said, "It almost offers itself for an aviation analogy."

Also honored at the event was Elizabeth H. Hammond, a physician and researcher at LDS Hospital and a University of Utah medical school professor. She was given the Legacy of Life Scientific Honoree Medallion for her work in cardiac and pulmonary research, pathology, and electron microscopy.

President Uchtdorf worked as a pilot for Lufthansa for nearly 30 years, where he held various leadership positions, including head of the airline pilot school, director of in-flight services, and head of cockpit crews. He was vice president of flight operations and chief pilot when he was called to be a general authority in 1994.

President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, have two children and six grandchildren.

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