He Beckoned Me


I was born in Hungary, where I became a Calvinist minister. But after migrating to Australia thirty years ago, I began to realize that I was not teaching the true doctrine of Christ.

So I started writing a book about the Apostasy. Through my study of the Bible, I knew that there must also be a “restitution of all things,” and I eventually gave up my ministry to look for that restored truth. It didn’t take me a long time to find it, though I didn’t recognize it right away.

One evening in 1956, while driving from Geelong to Melbourne in drenching rain, I gave a ride to two young men. They were Latter-day Saint missionaries. When I took them to the mission home, the mission president gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon, which I gladly accepted. At the time, though, I did not join the Church; I did not even ask to learn more about it.

Then, one night, I dreamed I was on a beautiful beach. A man with white hair was waist deep in the water. He had on white clothing and was holding up a copy of the Book of Mormon and encouraging me to come into the water, telling me that the Master wanted me. The next morning, I sketched a picture of the man I had seen in my dream. In the meantime, I continued my search for the truth.

Sometime later, two missionaries came to my home. Seeing that they held a copy of the Book of Mormon, I asked them in and showed them the picture I had drawn. The missionaries were very surprised. They told me it looked very much like a picture of President David O. McKay.

They asked if they could have the picture. Somehow the story of my dream and the picture itself got to Salt Lake City, and I received a letter from Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, who was then President of the Quorum of the Twelve. In the letter, he bore his testimony and counseled me to be baptized.

A missionary was given permission to extend his mission a week and stay in my home while we studied the gospel together. But, even after all this, my fear of making a mistake immobilized me, and I soon lost contact with the missionaries.

I continued to study the gospel, however, and one day, late in 1974, I left a note at the chapel in Wollongong, New South Wales, saying I wanted to meet with the missionaries. Once again they began teaching me. Three times they set a date for my baptism, and each time I postponed it. (Once they even had the font filled!)

My indecision came to an end when I was offered an excellent position as a translator for the Australian government. For this position I would have to travel to Canberra each Sunday, making it impossible for me to attend church. I decided not to join the Church, and to take the job.

Not long after I made the decision, I suffered a heart attack, which left me unfit to accept the position. Once again I promised to be baptized, but this time persecution from my former minister friends made me change my mind.

I was then offered a position as a Calvinist bishop, responsible for all the migrants in New South Wales. As I contemplated this offer, I suffered another heart attack—my seventh. I realized then that I could die at any time, and that I wanted to be baptized.

At last, on 15 March 1975, after knowing the truth but putting off acting on it for so long, I was baptized.

I have a great desire now to share the gospel with my fellowmen—especially those in Hungary. I have translated fourteen tracts into Hungarian, and much of the Book of Mormon. One day I hope to return to Hungary as a missionary and share with my former countrymen the restored gospel—the gospel the Lord had been preparing me to receive for so many years.

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Buehner