President Uchtdorf visits BYU


It was 9:30 a.m. and Cadet Sean Preece had already been standing in the pouring rain, without a coat, for over an hour.   He shivered in the cold, but stood defiant in his position, ready to welcome President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf accepted the Leadership Excellence Award Friday morning at BYU.

President Uchtdorf came to the BYU campus Friday morning to accept the Leadership Excellence Award as part of the annual Brigham Young University ROTC Presidential Review and Veterans Day Commemoration.

The award was presented by Lt. Col. Marc E. Boberg, the Army ROTC Cougar Battalion Commander.

“We present you with the Leadership Excellence Award for your demonstrated service throughout your lifetime, and your dedicated demonstration of values of duty, honor, country, God and family,” Boberg said to President Uchtdorf.

President Uchtdorf also shared a few words as a crowd of wet soldiers and civilians stood listening in Brigham Square.

“I like the models and values found in both of your ROTC branches here at Brigham Young University,” President Uchtdorf said. “They are reflective in the words integrity, service and excellence. I like the sound of these words. They give me hope and they warm my heart.”

His speech continued to focus on what should be the true purpose of any military.

“Only after having actually served as a soldier during the Cold War in Europe did I realize that our role as a well-trained and highly motivated military force was to heal and bring peace to a troubled world,” President Uchtdorf said. “Bringing people peace is a significant part of the healer’s art.”

He also shared interesting insights on soldiers in the Book of Mormon.

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ROTC Cadets withstood the freezing rain in honor of President Uchtdorf’s presence.

“Some of you, and a lot of people outside of our church, may be surprised that the statue atop many of our temples, the Angel Moroni, is one, a soldier and a prophet,” President Uchtdorf said. “I believe it is of considerable significance that of all the men the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ might have selected to abridge the records of the Nephites of this nation of the Book of Mormon, He chose Mormon and Moroni — two soldiers to perform this task. Both of these soldiers helped to establish another testimony of Jesus Christ that has great relevance for our troubled world today.”

The award ceremony was preceded by a wreath-laying ceremony conducted by President Uchtdorf, President Samuelson and members of the BYU Army and Air Force ROTC programs. The ceremony was in honor of BYU students who have given their lives in defense of their country.

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