Blessed are the meek. . .

"And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (3 Ne. 12:5)

With a simple prayer acknowledging his Heavenly Father's existence, a humble 17-year-old boy began his transition from the atheistic indoctrination of his country to belief in God.

In reflecting on a May evening in 1991, Martin Prachar said: "My mind was going the communist way, and my heart was going by the Spirit. My heart was saying, `Yes, He is there.' I knew I had to be baptized in the right church. I knew I had to serve Him, and I had to teach others, and do all these things that Christians should do. I was in big trouble."

Martin had made a commitment in his heart, but he couldn't be baptized because his parents forbade it. So what did he do? He fasted and prayed. He attended church. He paid tithing, and he begged his parents.

In July 1991, they relented and Martin was baptized. A week later he received the Aaronic Priesthood and the day after that his world crumbled. His parents had learned that he was paying tithing and told him that as long as he lived in their house he could not go to church.

For a year, Martin honored his parents' wishes, but he continued his own private worship and studied English with the missionaries. "I couldn't go to church, but I could still hang out with the elders in English classes," he said. He prayed that Heavenly Father would intervene and soften the hearts of his parents.

In deep prayer, he came to realize that he would have to solve this problem himself. He had graduated from school, had a job, and had turned 18. His solution was to leave home.

He was saving for a mission and realized that he would never have enough money if he were living on his own, but being active in the Church was his immediate priority. He packed his suitcase, made arrangements for a place to live and said goodbye to his father and mother.

They could see his determination and struck a bargain with him. He could go back to church and save for a mission if he would agree to live with them for the next year, until he was 19. He said that a different spirit entered his home. His parents became more loving to each other and to him.

Their hearts softened and they invited the missionaries to dinner. The missionaries brought photos of their families and had a good friendly visit.

Martin's father commented in surprise, "They are just normal people."

During that year, Martin began translating Church literature from English into Czech. His patriarchal blessing said he should be a translator and bring forth much righteousness.

His mother was very apprehensive the day his call came to serve a mission. She laughed with joy when she heard him read, ". . . called to serve in the Florida Tampa Mission."

She said, "All the rich people live there. It's tropical, and it's the best place in the world."

So away he went, to be of service where the Lord's prophet had called him. When he returned to the Czech Republic he brought with him increased skills in English that have made him a willing, valuable tool in the Lord's hands.

Martin has translated "Our Heritage" and Church Educational System teaching guides for the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History. He has contributed to the translation of other publications and speeches from a general conference.

His skill in performing simultaneous translation is outstanding. He not only captures the message being spoken, but also mirrors the tempo, enthusiasm, and spirit of the speaker. He feels honored to perform translation for visiting General Authorities and Area Authority Seventies. When asked why he does this when he could earn a good salary translating out in the business world, he refers to his patriarchal blessing for his answer.

When his good friend, Radovan Canek, a counselor in the mission presidency and branch president in Prague, developed a heart problem, Brother Prachar moved to Prague to be of whatever help he could. He is one of the many willing workers in this newly re-opened mission of the Church. If something needs to be done, he is there to help.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." This gentle, kind, humble young man is blessed of himself and his family, and a blessing to those he so willingly serves.

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