During the life of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the world consisted of division and walls. Cultures and ideas remained hidden until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But today, Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said a world that was once isolated is now integrated. A new system based on whom you are connected to and how you are connected creates increased opportunities.
The Internet enables everyone to become bridges to countries and cultures.
“Globalization, with all of its virtues, has one imperfection,” Uchtdorf said. “Everyone feels connected, but not responsible.”
Because of that reason Uchtdorf said, people must maintain high standards of ethics as they go out into a more connected world.
While speaking to students and faculty in the McKay Events Center at an event sponsored by UVUSA, Uchtdorf said the global crisis that was caused by the Japanese Yen in the 1990s and by today’s mortgages show the risk of a connected world.
Uchtdorf advised that decisions should not be governed by fear, while there are risks, those taken should not be reckless risks.
Honesty and adhering to the gospel’s basic principles will help embrace an integrated world, to allow them to succeed and also help others to succeed.
Because the LDS church has grown worldwide, Uchtdorf said tolerance is another guiding principle in an interconnected world. The church respects other religious beliefs while also respecting political differences found in all communities.
Uchtdorf said the church operates under various governments around the world but offering the gospel merely as a guide, rather than a particular political belief.
“Many cultures look up to us,” Uchtdorf said. “We should not look down on them.”
In Uchtdorf’s first presidency meeting the morning of his remarks, he was told to tell the University how much the first presidency loves the students and the faculty here.
Directly after Uchtdorf’s speech he visited the third largest aviation program in the nation in the UVU airport hangar to talk to 400 students. He said to follow the Lord’s flight plan and to prepare with emergency checklists.
After shaking hands with students and faculty members, President Uchtdorf and his wife left Provo Airport wearing honorary UVU pins on their lapels.