That Baby’s Not Yours!
August 1997

“That Baby’s Not Yours!” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 64–65

“That Baby’s Not Yours!”

Hungary’s highways were jammed with stalled cars due to a nationwide strike in 1989 over inflated gas prices. Our family’s trip from Budapest, Hungary, to Vienna, Austria, had already been delayed one day. Then, to make matters worse, the expected 2-hour trip to the Hungarian border took us 10 hours. Already insecure because of the delays, my wife, Filomena, and I sensed something else was about to go wrong when we arrived at the border and saw the Hungarian guard’s cold face.

“Show me your papers,” he demanded.

Filomena, holding our infant son, João, on her lap, instinctively tightened her hold on the baby as I handed the guard our passports and papers. Without looking at us, the guard gave the documents a casual glance and said, “Your papers aren’t in order.” Then, pressing his face up to the car window, he said something that brought terror to our hearts: “That baby’s not yours! You’re trying to smuggle him out of Hungary! You’re illegals!”

We protested, but he brusquely told us we could not cross the border and that we would have to go back. The only other way out of the country would be to cross through the Czech border, which meant going all the way back to Budapest—a disheartening thought. And there would be no guarantee we would be able to convince anyone there, as well, that João was really our baby. My wife looked panic-stricken.

To compound the problem, I had no coins for a pay phone to call anyone for assistance, and the guard refused to let us use the telephone in the guard hut. We looked at each other in utter confusion. I asked Filomena what we should do. “We need help from Heavenly Father,” she told me. “Let’s pray.”

We bowed our heads in prayer and asked for God’s help to get us through this problem. It was then the supervising guard noticed we were praying. With a gentle motion of his hand, he gave us permission to leave Hungary. As we drove away, the other cold-faced guard warned us sternly not to come back into the country. He was very angry.

We knew Father in Heaven had answered our prayers and softened the heart of the supervising guard to let us pass.

  • Elder José Teixeira da Silva, a member of the Cascais Branch, Lisbon Portugal Oeiras Stake, serves as an Area Authority in the Europe West Area.

  • Paul Conners, a member of the Crescent 18th Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent Stake, serves as coordinator of the Church Public Affairs Missionary Program.