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Uchtdorf returns to Big Spring

February 28, 2011

From left, Robert Allen, Dieter Uchtdorf and Carl Swainston visit Hangar 25 Air Museum. Allen and Swainston were instructor pilots at Webb Air Force Base at the time Uchtdorf was training there. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was in Big Spring for the dedication of the church’s new chapel.

Big Spring is one of those places that seems to hold memories for a lot of people; even those who live a world away.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, made a special visit to Big Spring last weekend. Uchtdorf came back for his visit almost 50 years to the day that he first arrived in Big Spring.

“I was in the cockpit as we landed, on runway 17, and it was like a coming home,” Uchtdorf said. “I had taxied down that runway and taken off numerous times, learning how to do it better.”

The first time he was here was to earn his wings; this time, Uchtdorf was in Big Spring to help dedicate the new Church of Jesus Christ LDS chapel. It is rare to have one of the three-member First Presidency, which is an organization over the 14 million-member worldwide church, attend one of these events. However, for Uchtdorf it was more than just a dedication event. While he was training at Webb Air Force Base, he also helped build the first section of the chapel.

“I tell people that not only did I earn my wings in Big Spring, but it's where I learned how to use a hammer and a nail,” Uchtdorf said. “It's also where I learned what a two-by-four was.”

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