‘I love and support the First Presidency,’ apostle Uchtdorf assures Mormons after his removal as counselor

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dieter F. Uchtdorf sits with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at a news conference in the lobby of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Russell M. Nelson was named the 17th president of the nearly 16 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LDS apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf wants Mormons to know he’s “just fine.”

He took to social media Wednesday to assure members of that sentiment after reading so many posts bemoaning his removal from the LDS Church’s new governing First Presidency.

“I love and support the First Presidency,” the popular German wrote on Facebook, “and I am thrilled to again more closely associate with the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”

On Tuesday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that newly installed prophet Russell M. Nelson had selected apostles Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring to serve with him in the First Presidency.

It marked the first time in decades that an incoming LDS leader had dropped a counselor from the previous First Presidency.

The development sent rumbles through the church. For many Mormons, Uchtdorf had become a favorite, especially as a speaker. Now he will deliver fewer sermons, for instance, at the faith’s twice-yearly General Conferences.

But, as a Mormon apostle, the 77-year-old former airline pilot remains in an influential post and retains his influential voice.

God is “in charge,” the charismatic leader wrote. “He is at the helm. He wants us to serve wherever we are in this beautiful worldwide church. No matter where we are on this planet and to whichever calling we are assigned, let us do our best to serve God and our fellowman.”

In his Facebook post, Uchtdorf repeated a reference he told The Salt Lake Tribune after the new First Presidency was unveiled Tuesday.

“Just after being called to the First Presidency in 2008, I delivered a talk in General Conference titled ‘Lift Where You Stand.’ During that address,” he noted, “I discussed the importance of seeing every calling we receive — no matter what it is — as an opportunity to strengthen and bless others and become what Heavenly Father wants us to become. I could give that talk again today and the words I shared would be just as relevant.”

Two days before the LDS leadership shuffle made headlines, Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, told Mormon young people in a global broadcast that it is impossible to “connect the dots in our lives looking forward.”

“We can only do so looking backward,” he wrote on Facebook, “In hindsight, each of us will see how the dots connect in our lives on a more elevated, spiritual level.”