“Citizenship in God’s Kingdom is ‘Highest Hope for Humanity’ “

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, July 3, 2022 Church Newsroom Article on address made at Patriotic Service of America’s Freedom Festival in the Marriott Center in Provo.

“Citizenship in the kingdom of Almighty God is open to all. It makes all of us better citizens in our own nation. It makes us better neighbors and friends, locally and globally. It fosters peace, understanding, cooperation and prosperity,” …“It is my prayer today, that this Fourth of July, our Independence Day, we will declare our independence from the division and bitterness of our day, that we trust in God and embrace the independent light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

…Elder Uchtdorf told the crowd he was deeply honored to speak to them. He was born in what is now the Czech Republic in the middle of World War II. As a child, he played in the bomb craters and destroyed buildings of Zwickau, Germany. His family fled violence and were refugees themselves, and so when Elder and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf visited Eastern Europe a few months ago, and met with people who are suffering the effects of armed conflict again, Elder Uchtdorf said he saw himself in their eyes. “I understand, to a degree, the fear, desperation and uncertainty those displaced families feel. It was a feeling that connected with a deep ache inside me. Their sorrow felt fresh, immediate and personal,”

Elder Uchtdorf said the adversary takes a human tendency to be suspicious of those who think differently — in sports, politics, religion, cultures, neighborhoods and even in families — and then escalates that divide. People can choose to reject the lies and embrace a better way: “We can escape the endless cycle of hatred and create a new one of trust, understanding and cooperation.”

“I hold three citizenships,” Elder Uchtdorf said. “I am a citizen of of the United States of America. I am also a citizen of Germany. And I hold a third cherished citizenship. I am a citizen in the kingdom of God. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone, regardless of our citizenship in the kingdoms of the world, embraced these principles of God’s kingdom?” asked Elder Uchtdorf. “What if humility, compassion and holiness replaced stubbornness, greed and corruption? Our hearts could finally be ‘knit together in unity and love one towards another.’ “

Citizenship in the kingdom of God is not based on birthplace or language or money — it’s not about who you are but rather who you are willing to become.”