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A Bicycle Ride to Be Baptised

A Bicycle Ride to Be Baptised

At the age of fifteen, Dan lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His parents were Pentecostal missionaries working there. His father, Mr Ekland, owned a Book of Mormon, which he had never read, but Dan read it and knew that it was true. He knew that he had found the true religion of Christ, and he wanted to join the true church, but there was no LDS church in the Congo at that time.

After some time, Dan and his parents went to Harare, Zimbabwe to attend a conference for their church there. He was determined to find the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to be baptised, so he looked for an address in the phone directory. He found that there was a chapel in Highlands, which was quite some distance from where he was staying, but that did not deter him. He borrowed a bicycle and cycled a long way to find the chapel that Saturday morning.

Primary was being held when Dan arrived at the chapel, and a young mother of two daughters attending Primary, Sister Una Bull, was sitting in her car outside the church waiting for her children. She saw him cycle up to the chapel and got out of her car to talk to him. When she heard that he had been looking for the Church, she asked him why, and what he wanted from the Church. He replied, “I want to be baptised.” Naturally she was very excited and phoned the branch president. Soon two missionaries arrived at the chapel on their bicycles.

Dan needed to be taught and prepared for baptism, so Una volunteered her home as a place for the missionaries to teach him. Every day that next week, Dan arrived to be taught by the missionaries. He soaked up the gospel teachings and wanted more than ever to be baptised. By Friday everyone felt the urgency for the ordinance to be performed, as he and his family were returning to the DRC on Monday. Permission was obtained from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City for the baptism to take place, and on Saturday afternoon, Dan’s great wish was fulfilled as he was baptised and confirmed. Many members attended the baptism, as well as 80 members of his parents’ church.

Once back in the DRC, Dan was taunted and teased by fellow students at school because he lived the Word of Wisdom, but this didn’t stop Dan. He was as brave as his namesake, Daniel, who also lived by a health code when taken to King Nebuchadnezzar’s court and fed foods that were unhealthy. Daniel also had the courage to stand up for his convictions, despite being in captivity. Dan wouldn’t give in to peer pressure and lived the way he believed to be true.

Over the years he kept in contact with Sister Una. Remaining true to his convictions was part of Dan’s character. He served a mission, studied at university, and married in the temple.

As told by Una Bull to Collette Burgoyne

As told by Una Bull to Collette Burgoyne