“Hungary Grants LDS Church Legal Recognition,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 75
The Church has been granted full legal recognition by the Hungarian People’s Republic. The document granting recognition was signed by Dr. Imre Miklos, state secretary and president of the republic’s State Office for Church Affairs. Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve, received the document in a ceremony in Budapest on June 24.
Elder Nelson, representing the First Presidency, expressed their gratitude and appreciation “for the careful and thoughtful way in which those leaders had studied and fairly evaluated our tenets, our statutes, and our performance” in discussions leading to the official recognition.
Legal recognition grants the Church permission to conduct worship services, missionary work, and baptisms.
“We will proselyte among them, but we will do so in a very thoughtful manner,” Elder Nelson said. “Our only desire, of course, is to bless the people.”
Two elders and two couples are currently assigned as missionaries in Budapest. On June 25, the first two converts were baptized within Hungary itself. Other Hungarian members had been baptized outside the country.
Also present at the ceremony was Elder Hans B. Ringger of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who is also First Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency. The following evening, Elder Ringger spoke at a fireside attended by eighty-five people.
On Sunday, June 26, the first district conference in Hungary was conducted, with fifty-seven people in attendance.
Among those present was a Hungarian woman who had joined the Church in Germany twenty-three years ago, who has been awaiting the day when the Church would be established in her homeland.
“For twenty-three years, she’s been putting her tithing in a jar, knowing that one day the Church would come to her and find her,” Elder Nelson said. “I welcomed her into the church to which she belonged, and said, ‘You no longer have to keep your membership to yourself.’”