Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf visits with Ukrainian refugees in Poland
SALT LAKE CITY – Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Ukrainian refugees during a visit to Poland last weekend.
“No one would have expected it. Not a war in the middle of Europe. We felt impressed if an apostle of the Lord comes to Europe, we need to go to Poland,” he said in a YouTube video of his visit. “And as we are here we are meeting with the Saints, the refugees from Ukraine, the mothers with their children, the older who had to leave because they were just bombed out and didn’t have a place to stay. And we’re with those that open their homes.”
Uchtdorf was a refugee himself during World War II.
“When I was four years old, the end of World War II was here, and we had to leave overnight,” he told the refugees. “Four children with my mother during war-torn areas from one part of Europe back to Germany. And I look into their eyes, I hope I was as hopeful, as positive as they are now as I was as a child. They have that message that Jesus Christ is with them.”
In a devotional held in Warsaw, Poland, he shared the light and hope of Christ with Church members.
He read from the New Testament, Romans 8 when the apostle Paul asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” And he answered that nothing can “separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The scripture spoke directly to the current refugee crisis.
“I can see how terrible it must be for you, but only you know how this, hopefully with our words and our prayers and also with the physical help we can offer as good as we can. You are a light to many nations. You are examples where people say ‘if they can do it we can do it,’ ” Uchtdorf said, getting emotional in the video.
The video ended as he encouraged the refugees to always believe in their faith. “I could feel the warmth, I could see that they trust God, I could see their love for each other. I love them and I cry with them. Also, my heart is full of joy and hope because I feel their strong faith that the safe harbor is the Savior.
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