News Release

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf visits birth city, fellowships with European faithful

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is a member of the First Presidency, the highest governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During a two-week visit to Europe in May of 2016, he met with members and friends of the Church in six countries to share messages of faith and joy.

“His visit has given encouragement to all and comfort to those who were troubled,” said Elder Patrick Kearon, President of the Europe Area of the Church. “They will all remember their personal encounters with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf for a lifetime. He has pointed them to Jesus Christ as their friend and Saviour.”

President Uchtdorf’s journey included two historic meetings in the Czech Republic.

The first occurred on May 15, observed as Pentecost Sunday or Whitsunday in many countries of Europe. On this day revered by Christians, President Uchtdorf oversaw the creation of the Czech Prague Stake, the first stake in the Czech Republic. Several hundred faithful gathered for a special worship service and sustained Martin Pilka as the first president of the stake, with Michal Hanzal and Roman Čadeni as his counselors.

On Thursday, May 19, President Uchtdorf returned to Ostrava in the northeast of the Czech Republic, the city where he was born as a native German during the turmoil of the Second World War.

In an interview in February, President Uchtdorf recounted childhood memories of losing his home twice and encouraged Mormons to show compassion to refugees flocking to Europe. During his recent trip to Europe, he joined with youth and other volunteers in Brussels assembling hygiene kits for refugees. He also visited the Refugee Facility in the Czech city of Havířov to learn more of the fate of refugees receiving assistance there.

President Uchtdorf reached out to thousands of faithful during special devotional meetings and conferences in Belgium, France, Switzerland, England, and Northern Ireland. He encouraged missionaries in Brussels, conducted training for local leaders in Zurich, and provided counsel to public affairs directors in Manchester.

President Uchtdorf was called as second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 3 February 2008.

Members of the First Presidency are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, called to teach and testify of Him throughout the world. They travel frequently, addressing and encouraging large congregations of members and those of other faiths, as well as meeting with local leaders.

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