“Influence of the Temple,” Friend, Feb. 1993, inside front cover
When I first visited Czechoslovakia, long before the people there had freedom, I was met by Jiri Snederfler and his wife, Olga. I went to their home, which is where the Prague Branch of the Church met. On the walls were picture after picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I said to Sister Snederfler, “Your husband must truly love the temple,” and she said, “I, too; I, too.”
She brought out an album of pictures of the missionaries who were serving there in 1950, when their government made the mission there close. As she held up each photograph, she said, “Wonderful boy, wonderful boy!”
Brother Snederfler has always been willing to stand up for the gospel. When the Church wanted the Czechoslovakian government to again recognize it officially, the Communist leaders told us, “Don’t send an American or any other foreigner. Send a citizen of Czechoslovakia.” That was frightening because to admit then that you were a leader of any church meant that you might be thrown into prison!
Brother Snederfler was the one chosen to go to his government. He later told me that he had asked for the prayers of the branch members. Then he went to Olga and said, “I love you. I don’t know when—or if—I’ll be back. But I love the gospel, and I must follow my Savior.” With that spirit of faith and devotion, he went to his government leaders and told them that he was the leader of the Church there and that he wanted them to again recognize it officially.
Meanwhile, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had been working very hard to get the needed approval. It came: “Your church is again recognized in Czechoslovakia.”
Brother Snederfler eagerly went to tell Olga and the other stalwart members of the Church there that once again missionaries could come to their country and that they could again worship Heavenly Father in freedom. It was a happy day.
Jiri and Olga Snederfler are now the president and matron of the Freiberg Germany Temple, where faithful members of the Church in Germany, Czechoslovakia, and nearby countries attend. They are happy to find themselves each day in the Lord’s house, which they so dearly love.