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Elder Uchtdorf’s feelings about being a refugee

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned about the temporal and spiritual welfare of all of God’s children across the earth,” the statement said, “with special concern for those who are fleeing physical violence, war and religious persecution. The church urges all people and governments to cooperate fully in seeking the best solutions to meet human needs and relieve suffering.”—LDS Church statement
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In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that bans refugees from seven Muslim countries, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement late on January 28, 2017 requesting solutions that relieve the suffering and plight of refugees.

It reads:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned about the temporal and spiritual welfare of all of God’s children across the earth with special concern for those who are fleeing physical violence, war and religious persecution. The church urges all people and governments to cooperate fully in seeking the best solutions to meet human needs and relieve suffering.”

 On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order that suspended the U.S. refugee resettlement program for four months. It also decreased the number of refugees the United States will accept this year to 50,000 (from 110,000 set by President Barack Obama).

Saturday (January 28, 2017), a federal judge blocked part of the order.

Some feel the response by the LDS Church was too general. Elder Holland addressed the issue of refugees, and had some strong words to share (read more HERE).

Among current LDS Church leaders, no one knows how it feels to be a refugee more than President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. He was a refugee himself—not just once, but twice.

With his mother and siblings, he had to flee his home several times.

“These were trips of fear,” Uchtdorf told KUTV 2News in an exclusive interview. He said he was just four years old the first time he and his family had to leave.

“We left everything behind and started with zero,” he said. “We could just take what we could carry.”

President Uchtdorf says his family’s safety is due largely to the kindness and gnerosity of others.

“People came up and brought us food and brought us tea or something to drink and were kind to us when we stopped on this long trip during the cold winter,” he said.

It’s a kindness he said he tries to exhibit today as he looks at people who are just like he once was.

“When I look at the situation now, with the worldwide refugee situation, it is almost a tsunami of refugees,” Uchtdorf said.

Those refugees come from war-torn regions like Iraq and Syria.

Uchtdorf said when he sees those people on television, he sees himself as a young boy and vividly recalls what life was like as one of them.

“I remember very much my childhood experience when we had not very much to eat,” he said. “The parents actually let the children eat and don’t eat themselves.”

Uchtdorf said his mother did that for him and his siblings.

“We had always hope,” Uchtdorf said.

That, he said, is critical today for the millions of others who are in the same place he once was.

“Helping them to continue on and having hope for the future, that is the important thing,” said Uchtdorf. “We need to reach out irrespective of political aspects and help those in need.”

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ON THE REFUGEE SITUATION? Comment below.

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8 comments
  1. IMO those that believe it honorable to destroy Christianity should not be let into the US under any circumstances. It’s sewing the seeds of future wars, conflict, and unspeakable suffering.

  2. We only need to look to what is happening in Germany and France (terrorist attacks) to realize there must be a better way to vet refugees. The halt to accepting refuges in the USA is for only 90 days to rethink the process. Its not a big deal, like some people are acting. Its a pause to step back and rethink the situation. If we become so infiltrated with terrorists, we will become crippled in our ability to help others (countries and their people) that need our help so desperately. We must protect ourselves so we are able to protect and help others.

    Also I wonder if a designated place of refuge in their own country could be made. It is less expensive to protect them there than to relocate them to an entirely different country. They are familiar with their own country, (climate, culture, food, language etc). Coming to our country is a difficult experience. I have been heavily involved in helping these families. They love their country and wish it were safe and stable. They miss their homeland and the culture. They are sweet good people.

  3. I wish I had saved the URL showing an aerial view of an empty city of tents in Saudi Arabia. It has power, plumbing, and air conditioning, and will house three and a half million people. I don’t know the original purpose and I don’t know why it’s empty. If anyone can turn up this photo, I’d be pleased to be able to reference it in my conversations with others.

  4. Ah, I found it on Snopes.com. and a dozen other sites, including the Washington Times and Breitbart.com. And apparently I was wrong. It will only house three million, not three and a half. I can’t seem to post the photo here, but Google “Tent City in Saudi Arabia, Empty.”

    1. George, the reason the tent city is empty is that it is used only during the. Hajj, the annual pilgrimage , which is once a year, in the month of Ramadan, which is not the same every year.

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