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When President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stood to address members of the Parleys Creek Branch on Oct. 30, he spoke to them not only as fellow saints in the gospel of Jesus Christ but also as a fellow refugee.

Many members of the branch are refugees from African nations. President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke from his heart when he told them, “I can relate to your experiences in some way.”


He was a refugee twice — first as a 4-year-old boy fleeing with his family from Czechoslovakia during World War II and then as an 11-year-old escaping from East Germany to West Germany in the aftermath of the war.

President Uchtdorf and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, visited the Parleys Creek (Swahili) Branch’s sacrament meeting, during which some 90 children participated in a Primary presentation. After observing the children giving talks and singing, President Uchtdorf spoke of what he and the branch’s members have in common.

He noted that, prior to the Primary’s presentation, six members of one family — a mother and father and four of their children — were confirmed as members of the Church. Watching the confirmations, he said, reminded him of when six members of his family were baptized: his grandmother, his parents and three siblings. He said that since he was just 6 years old, he had to wait another two years to join the Church.

President Uchtdorf repeated several times the theme of his message to members of the branch, especially those who left their homes as refugees: “Always remember that wherever we are, the gospel is home. It doesn’t matter where we are, the gospel is home.


To read the full article at the Deseret News, click here