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, California.


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 States.  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 grounds.


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.