When Peter Mourik decided to join the Church, his father told him to choose between his new faith and his position in the family business. One night, as he walked in the pouring rain along the harbor in Rotterdam, he agonized over the price he was paying for changing religions. “I am not giving up everything to join this Church,” he suddenly realized. “I’m giving up all things for Him, who was crucified.”
His business abilities were soon put to use serving his fellow Saints. For more than two decades, Mourik managed Church real estate in Europe, purchasing properties in many countries. In the 1990s, Mourik purchased some property near The Hague with the intent of building a meetinghouse. However, when he submitted plans for construction, they were rejected. After some discussion, he found that the rejection was because of personal opposition from the mayor of nearby Zoetermeer. “There will be no Mormon Church here,” the mayor told him flatly during one meeting.
“There are three hundred people who are fasting and praying over this visit,” Mourik responded, “and they are crying to the Lord for a chapel.” He testified that with or without the mayor’s consent, the Lord would hear their prayers. When Mourik finished speaking, the mayor pressed a button on his phone. To Mourik’s astonishment, he asked his receptionist to bring the project file to his desk. “Congratulations,” the mayor said as he signed the papers. “Build your church.”
In the years that followed, the construction evolved. On August 16, 1999, the First Presidency announced the construction of The Hague Netherlands Temple on the very ground the Saints had prayed for. As the temple was being built, public support for the edifice grew. Although Dutch law requires buildings be open to the public, the Church was granted a special exemption. By the time the temple was dedicated, the city of Zoetermeer proudly claimed the temple as theirs. The Hague Netherlands Temple was dedicated on September 8, 2002, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.