I’ve always loved analogies and the way they teach a principle. Personally, I’m partial to bicycle analogies, but who couldn’t help but love the way Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf draws on his real-life experiences from flying and connects them with life in a way we can all relate. So when Deseret Book provided a chance to review his recently released book, The Gospel at 30,000, I jumped at the opportunity.
This book is a culmination of aerodynamic stories, parables, and lessons Elder Uchtdorf has shared over the years. It’s collection curated in such a way to offer readers short snippets with deep meaning. Each chapter, comprised of several short stories, can be used as a stand-alone for lessons, Family Home Evening, or personal enlightenment. I love the idea of having all my favorites together in one place.
Here are the chapters or main topics under which the stories fall.
Principles of Flight
Guidance on the Journey
Weathering the Turbulence
Our Eternal Destination
Uchtdorf using his well-loved talent for storytelling to teach applicable lessons. With topics ranging from making the most of our journey in life to how to reach our final destination.
One of my new favorites was in the “Our Eternal Destination” chapter. Elder Uchtdorf tells a story from his teen years — describing how he struggled when he became the laundry delivery boy for his family’s small business. He spent his afternoons peddling his heavy cart, laden with laundry, making deliveries. Often his lungs felt like they would burst from exertion, but he continued to do his part because his family needed the money so badly. It was not until years later, after being accepted into the air force, he realized the exertion had healed a lung disease of which he had been unaware. Our challenges today are what will propel us forward in the future. If we can but ignore the self-defeating voice of uncertainty, doubt, and frustration God will help us achieve our greatest potential.
Full of colorful prints from his days of flying and quotes to stand out and be remembered, this book is one to capture the eye and the heart. If you have the chance, check this one out!
Dieter F. Uchtdorf served for nearly 10 years as the second counselor to President Thomas S. Monson in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 2004. He became a General Authority in April 1994 and served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from August 2002 until his call to the Twelve.
Prior to his calling as a General Authority, Elder Uchtdorf served six years in the German Air Force as a fighter pilot. He went on to become the senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot of Lufthansa German Airlines.
Elder Uchtdorf was born in 1940 in what is now the Czech Republic. He grew up in Zwickau, Germany, where his family joined the Church in 1947. He and his wife, Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, are the parents of two children and have six grandchildren.