In 2004, Deseret Book published Yearning for the Living God: Reflections from the Life of F. Enzio Busche. Eleven years later, this book was translated and published in German by Leipziger Universitätsverlag (Leipzig University Press), a noteworthy and perhaps unique publishing event in Latter-day Saint history. That a prestigious German university press would publish the biography of an LDS General Authority speaks volumes about the respect Elder Busche still commands in his native land.
Born in Dortmund in 1930, three years before Hitler’s rise to power, Enzio found himself at age fourteen drafted into the faltering German army. When the war ended, he, along with most of his fellow countrymen and -women, learned the horrible truth about Hitler’s Third Reich. Enzio found himself full of questions: Who is man? Is there a God? What is the purpose of life? What happens after death?
So began his search for the living God, which eventually brought him in contact with the Mormon missionaries. After a lengthy investigation of the Church, Enzio eventually agreed to be baptized, but only after extracting the promise that he would never have to hold a calling or give a talk. Of course these were conditions he himself outgrew, becoming in time the first German called to serve as an LDS General Authority, a calling that enabled him to speak to congregations in forty-one countries, forty-five of the fifty United States, seven Canadian provinces, and eighty cities in his native Germany.
This biography briefly touches upon Elder Busche’s youth; devotes several chapters to his conversion, baptism, and early years as a Latter-day Saint; discusses his family and business dealings; and concludes with his experiences as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, where he served from October 1977 until October 2000. For the first three years of this period, he served as president of the Germany Munich Mission, and from 1987 to 1989 he was president of the Frankfurt Germany Temple. A particularly moving chapter is devoted to “Die Heiligen überall in der Welt” (the Saints in All the World), detailing extraordinary experiences he shared with ordinary members of the Church during his many travels.
This is a unique book about a unique man and is now available in his native tongue. It should be of special interest to Latter-day Saints in Germany or to those, like me, who served missions in German-speaking countries and wish to read Elder Busche’s story in the language they once spoke as representatives of the Church.