On 5 March 2007, Alan and
Babara Blom were baptized
into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints completing a journey that
began 27 years ago in Los Angeles,
Alan grew up in South Africa,
Jewish, and a member of one of the oldest families in the diamond
industry. Twenty-seven years ago he
immigrated to the United
In Los Angeles, he developed a friendship with church member Jim Lindahl. They shared numerous
discussions about each other’s religion.
Jim even gave Alan a tour of the Los Angeles Temple
Alan returned to South Africa and had only occasional contact with his LDS friend. Later, Alan met Babara
Claasen at a luncheon of people involved in the
diamond industry. Soon, they developed a
permanent working and personal relationship.
Three armed robberies or robbery attempts over the past three years,
including an attempted hijacking that left their car riddled with bullet holes,
caused them to focus on their relationship with God and to believe that their
lives had been spared.
In October 2006, Alan
made a business trip to Los Angeles. While there, he called Jim Lindahl to see if Jim could meet him in Los Angles. Jim couldn’t make it to Los
Angeles, but suggested that Alan come to Provo, Utah
where Jim now lived. Alan’s trip to Utah would change his
life. There Jim and Phil Marriott gave Alan a “crash course” in Mormonism, including visits to Welfare Square
, BYU and to the MTC where both Jim and Phil serve as branch presidents.
Upon his return to Johannesburg, Alan told Babara something
happened to him in Utah
that he couldn’t explain to her and he wanted her to experience it as
well. In December, they returned to Provo. Jim and Phil had arranged for Elder and
Sister Ben Banks to show them around.
They enjoyed together Welfare
Square, the new Joseph Smith movie, BYU and the
MTC. At the MTC, they were taught
lessons by the missionaries, met with the MTC President, and attended a
devotional where Elder Scott and Elder Ballard spoke. Afterwards, Elder Ballard met with them and
taught them about the Restoration. They left Provo with joyous hearts and a strong desire
to learn more about the restored gospel.
Within days, President
Bowden had received a referral from Phil Marriott and Jim Lindahl. President Bowden asked Elder Parker and Elder
Allen to determine in which area the Bloms lived. Much to their surprise, they discovered the Bloms lived in their area. The Bloms were
better than a golden referral – they were a diamond quality referral.
Within weeks, the Bloms had committed to baptism. On March 3, Elder Allen and Elder Parker
acted as best men at the Blom’s
wedding. The following day, the Bloms were baptized.
The Bloms are thankful for good friends in America
and new friends in the Gold Reef Ward.