“Time to Embrace the Gospel,” Ensign, Jan. 1997, 68–69
I first met Russian scientist Nickolay Koshelyaevsky in June 1989 at a conference of time-measurement experts in Paris. Nick’s grandfather had been a Russian Orthodox bishop, and I could tell Nick had strong spiritual inclinations. My wife and I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon in English. By the time we parted, we had developed a real friendship.
In September 1989, after I attended a scientific meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, my wife and I visited Nick at the USSR’s timing center 60 kilometers north of Moscow. We exchanged scientific insights, and he mentioned he was having trouble reading the English version of the Book of Mormon. Upon our return to the United States, we sent Nick a Russian version of the Book of Mormon and some other Church books. He received them just as he was leaving on a two-week vacation. We received a letter expressing that he was deeply touched by what he was reading.
Knowing of the USSR’s excellent work in scientific time measurement, I soon recommended that Dr. Koshelyaevsky give a paper at an international conference. He agreed, but at the last minute his airline ticket was canceled. He sent his paper with another colleague, and I volunteered to present it. I was surprised to see the following quotation at the paper’s head: “And time only is measured unto men” (Alma 40:8).
Later, Nick was able to visit our lab in Boulder, Colorado. Over the weekend, he attended all three Church meetings. He was particularly touched by the open sharing of spiritual feelings in the high priests group discussion.
When our friends’ son was called to Moscow on his mission, we gave him Nick’s address. I e-mailed Nick about the missionary who might visit him, and he e-mailed back, “A friend of my friend is my friend.” Our friends’ son wasn’t able to visit Nick himself, but he gave the referral to other missionaries. Nick was eventually baptized in Moscow’s Zelenograd First Branch on 17 July 1994. At a scientific meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, a few weeks later, Nick told me his good news by handing me some pictures taken the day of his baptism. He bore his testimony and thanked me for introducing him to the gospel. Later, Nick and I met again at a conference in San Diego. I had invited him to bring some family history information, and together we went to a family history center and entered 10 of his family names for temple work to be done. On 4 June 1996 my wife and I were privileged to accompany Nick to the Hawaii Temple for his own endowment. He gave me a big embrace afterward that I will never forget.
“Our Church is the true Church,” testifies Brother Koshelyaevsky. “It is arranged and managed in full agreement with the precepts of Jesus Christ.” He serves as Sunday School president in his branch.—David W. Allan, Fountain Green, Utah