The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

To the casual viewer, meetings of Church leaders with international and national government leaders may seem mostly ceremonial. But as Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained following four days of recent visits with ambassadors, diplomats and senators in the nation’s capital, the meetings are more than just pomp and circumstance. Rather, they allow for communication, coordination and collaboration.

From Oct. 24 to Oct. 27, the Apostle visited nine ambassadors and diplomats and three United States senators in Washington, D.C. The purpose of these meetings were to show The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in openness and transparency, as well as to build friendships and create contacts in countries around the world.

“These ambassadorial visits are a treasure,” Elder Ucthdorf said, “because there we can create connections, talk about concerns and ask for whom to contact where we want to move forward.”

Accompanying Elder Uchtdorf in Washington, D.C., were his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, as well as Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira. In addition to the United States senators, Elder Uchtdorf met with ambassadors representing Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Brunei, Pakistan, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia and the deputy chief of mission at the German embassy.

“We want to build very good relationships with the representatives of the countries there,” said Elder Uchtdorf, adding, “In all these countries, you can see the Lord’s hand. He is there. He moves through us in ways we might never have estimated.”

The ambassadors and senators

Elder Uchtdorf met with the following ambassadors:

  • His Excellency Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, ambassador of Malaysia.
  • His Excellency Nguyen Quoc Dzung, ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
  • His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, ambassador of the Republic of India.
  • His Excellency Serbini Ali, ambassador of Brunei Darussalam.
  • His Excellency Masood Khan, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • His Excellency Keo Chhea, ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • His Excellency Tanee Sangrat, ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand.
  • His Excellency Axel Dittmann, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Minister I.B.M. “Sade” Bimantara, chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Apostle also met with three U.S. senators, in the following order of his visits:

  • Sen. Mitt Romney, from Utah.
  • Sen. James Risch, from Idaho.
  • Sen. Mike Lee, from Utah.

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