It wasn’t until near the end of Bro. Babbel’s mission, in 1947, that they were finally given permission to send welfare supplies to the Russian sector of Berlin, which permission had been denied for quite some time. The Saints there were so grateful. Many lives were saved by the receipt of these goods. However, the brethren had still been unable to obtain permission to send welfare supplies to East Germany, and the Saints there were suffering greatly. On March 20, 1947, after Elder Benson had been replaced by President Sonne and had gone home, President Sonne spoke with Bro. Babbel. He said, “I want you to leave right away for Berlin and get permission from the Russians to let us ship our welfare supplies into East Germany. When you accomplish this task, you can go home.”

Mormon Aid

Mormon Aid

This was the most difficult task Bro. Babbel had been assigned. With no military orders authorizing him, Bro. Babbel managed to negotiate entrance into Berlin. Once there he was able to arrange a meeting with the Russian general in charge of East Germany. After explaining their desires and plans, Bro. Babbel once again asked for permission. He was denied. Feeling guided by the Spirit, Bro. Babbel said, “General (calling him by name), I am grateful to you for granting me this privilege of discussing this vital matter with you. I sincerely respect you and realize that you must have good and valid reasons for giving me the answer you have just given me.

“But if you will be as frank and honest with me as I have been with you, you must at least acknowledge that I have told you the truth in these matters. We have no ulterior motives; we are only interested in helping to keep some of these critically needy people alive; and we don’t care who gets the credit.”

After what Bro. Babbel referred to as a noticeable pause, the general smiled and said, “I must admit that you have been extremely frank and honest with us . . . and because you have been, we are happy to grant you permission!”

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