How Susan received help from a future Apostle

Susan told me this story some time ago, but mentioned again recently, and I felt it was worth documenting.

The year was 2003. Susan was single, having just divorced her first husband earlier that year. She was raising her children mostly on her own. Her daughter Holly, graduated from high school in June. Around this time Holly met a young man at a youth activity at church named Uva. He claimed to be a member of the church and needed a place to spend the night.

Holly and her friends invited him to Susan’s home after the activity, and introduced him to her. It was getting late and Susan didn’t feel right about sending him away. Fortunately, he had a tent so Susan gave him permission to spend the night in their back yard. He ended up staying with them for a couple days, during which time, Susan introduced him to her Bishop and Stake President.

That same week Susan needed to drive Holly to BYU-Idaho University in Rexburg to begin attending the school. Uva asked if he could ride along and make a stop in Salt Lake City. Susan agreed they started the long drive from Lacey WA, taking all of her children with her.

They visited with friends in Salt Lake while Uva supposedly went off to visit with Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church, about his new calling as a Stake President. After his “meeting” with the Prophet, Susan met up with him again and they continued the drive to Rexburg.

Along the way, Susan received a call from her Stake President regarding her passenger, Uva. He told her to expect a call from Dieter F Uchtdorf, who was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy at the time.

Elder Uchtdorf called her a short time later, with Uva sitting beside her in the car, and told her that Uva was a con artist who had joined the German military under false pretenses, and had risen quite far in the ranks. He was also suspected of espionage.

Elder Uchtdorf knew all this because he had previously served as a Stake President in Germany. He advised her to drop him off somewhere and get away from him as soon as possible.

Susan can’t remember all the details, but when they arrived in Rexburg, the police were on hand to escort Uva off, and that was the end of that.

Elder Uchtdorf wasn’t well known at the time. Later that year, however, he was called to serve as an Apostle, and suddenly became well-known to all of us in the church.

Susan has mixed feelings about the whole incident. It happened during a very difficult time of her life. She was trying her best to cope with her recent divorce and her responsibilities as a mother. She was feeling a great deal of fear and uncertainty.

She’s embarrassed about the fact that she was gullible and may have even put her children at risk by allowing Uva into their lives. On the other hand, she was humbled to know that her priesthood leaders were watching out for her, and were aware of her situation. For at least a brief moment she felt the loving hand of the Savior and knew more fully that she is a precious daughter of our Heavenly Father.

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