Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was born in Czechoslovakia in 1940. He grew up in Germany, where his family joined the Church when he was six years old. He joined the German Air Force and later received his wings in the United States as a jet fighter pilot. For many years he was a pilot for Lufthansa German Airlines, rising to the position of chief pilot and senior vice president of flight operations. He was called to the Quorum of the Seventy in 1994 while serving as a stake president. He and his wife, Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, have two children and five grandchildren. Elder Uchtdorf has said: “Go to Heavenly Father in prayer. … Draw close to Him, and He will draw close to you. … He is waiting, He is real, and He is there” (“Making Choices for Eternity,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 29).
Elder David A. Bednar was born in San Leandro, California, in 1952. He served a mission to Germany and earned degrees at Brigham Young University and Purdue University. He taught at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas, twice receiving the outstanding teacher award. He became the president of Ricks College in 1997 and oversaw the school’s change to BYU–Idaho. He has served as a bishop, stake president, Regional Representative, and Area Authority Seventy. He and his wife, Susan Robinson Bednar, have three sons and three grandchildren. Elder Bednar has said, “The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is … about doing and becoming good” (“In the Strength of the Lord,” Brigham Young University Speeches, 2001–2002).