Celebrating a Temple in Hungary
May 2019

Celebrating a Temple in Hungary

There are not many moments in life when everything stands still. But it did for me during general conference.

The author lives in Western Transdanubia Region, Hungary.

Woman in Hungary

Most of my friends and fellow Church members had been looking forward to the April 2019 general conference big time, and it’s not hard to see why—the previous conference brought some major adjustments to our everyday gospel living. And things didn’t stop then, as the few months following conference also introduced some exciting changes into the Church and the lives of its members. It may be safe to say most people weren’t expecting anything less mind-blowing this time around either.

For me, it indeed ended up being a most life-altering general conference—even if it wasn’t for most people. But for a humble group of almost 6,000 Saints in Hungary? It was, without question.

In the last talk of the Sunday afternoon session, President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple to be built in Budapest. It was a moment my people will never ever forget.

Hungarian members experienced this sacred moment just minutes before midnight. Many were watching the broadcast from their homes, with their kids tucked into bed, trying not to doze off and praying they would still be able to function at work or school the next morning because they didn’t want to miss the uplifting messages of conference.

After years, even decades, of praying for the fulness of the blessings of the gospel to grace your homeland, you don’t really expect everything to change in the middle of one night. However, our Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways.

I work for the Church’s Translation Department and was working in the broadcast room with my colleagues, dubbing the Sunday afternoon session into Hungarian. We were getting tired. It was our second night in a row working very late into the night. We were even joking that if they announced a temple in Hungary, we wouldn’t be able to cry because all of Hungary would hear it on the live broadcast! When my colleague who acted as the voice of President Nelson got started with the talk, we paid very close attention—always hoping for an announcement of a temple in Hungary but never knowing when or how.

There are not many moments in life when time stands still. Our world is getting way too rushed, too busy, too go, go, go. So those moments when things stop are always rare and sacred. And we all experienced one of those moments when my colleague, who was the very first of us to hear our prophet say the words “Budapest, Hungary,” echoed those words to us. It was unforgettable. We all cried quietly (only to sob later), smiled, gave thanks, and hugged each other. The air in the room was thick with the Spirit, tender emotions, and gratitude. That moment was so touching that we could hardly finish dubbing the last few minutes of the session.

Budapest, Hungary

Photograph of Budapest, Hungary, by Soma Balla

A myriad of thoughts rushed through the minds of Saints all over Hungary in the following few days. We imagined what it will be like having to only drive two hours at most to attend the house of the Lord instead of the 10 hours it takes us now to get to the nearest temple. We realized that we had come full circle, with President Nelson dedicating Hungary for the preaching of the gospel 32 years ago and now being the one to announce our very own temple (we also noticed that he pronounced the word Budapest with a perfect Hungarian accent). We thought of our brothers and sisters in neighboring countries—ones who have to drive for days to get to the nearest temple –and what a blessing this new temple will be for them too.

We thought of those who have lost loved ones, those who battle darkness, those who are sick, and those who struggle to find peace amidst the turmoil of the world. Life gets very hard very fast, and sometimes all one’s heart yearns for is the unique peace found in His holy house, and now so many of us will have greater access to that peace.

Our hearts are full. We are still struggling to adequately express how we feel about this announcement, but there’s one thing I know for sure—Heavenly Father is a God of miracles, wonders, and blessings. The impossible is nothing to Him. We need not worry. We can stand firm knowing that “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). I and so many Hungarian Saints are so grateful for all we’ve been given, and we are ready to open our hearts to whatever else is yet to come.