Living and loving the British Mission: Eda Longbone

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Living and loving the British Mission: Eda Longbone

“I find that the best way to approach friends in order to expound the gospel is through the various activity channels of our Church: home beautifying, socials, dancing, study of the many professions which we urge our people to take up”, said Eda.1

The baptism of Edalinda Longbone (known as Eda) on 25 January 1925 had a lasting impact on her own and many others’ lives. Born in Pembroke, Wales, in 1900, Eda soon moved to London and then Brighton. In the Brighton Branch, Eda made many happy memories and lasting impacts. She contributed however she could, including serving as branch genealogical supervisor.2

While in London, Eda was severely injured in an air raid during the opening years of World War II.3 For several hours, Eda lay buried under the wreckage of her home. The most welcome sight was seeing “a man’s mud-soaked boot”.4 After being dug out, she was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries.

Eda’s patriarchal blessing stated that if she kept certain commandments she would live to “a ripe old age”.5 Eda determined that her “dirty and gaping wounds” were not going to be the end of her. The wounds healed quicker than anticipated and Eda was soon able to return to her duties.

During the war, Eda was called as a ‘home-missionary’ to replace the efforts of the many missionaries who had been evacuated, and to support branches while many were away on military service.

In 1944, Eda was called to serve as a full-time missionary in the British Mission. For two and half years, Eda was invaluable to the mission presidency on account of her faith, handling of the mission books, secretarial skills, and her impressive stenographic skills. Travelling throughout the country, Eda supported and strengthened the Saints.6

Meals and good conversation could always be found in Eda’s company. “The breakfast table that morning was a merry one, the whole ‘family’ were happy together, and as could be expected when British and American LDS meet, good-natured banter and teasing took place; it flew swiftly around and across the table accompanied by happy laughter. What stranger could have guessed that until the evening before three of our company were unknown to us, and to each other? … For myself, I thank God for them and others like them, who come seeking meetings. Their faith is steady; it is built on firm foundations. It is a faith that is prepared to wait. It shines out of their young eyes and shows in their actions; it stands fast; they hold on tightly to the iron rod. All the horrors of war, the temptations of camp life, the absence of others of their beliefs – nothing can dislodge it. Their faith, their steadfastness in the days of trials, their testimonies, have strengthened my own … Thank you, boys, for what you have done for me.”7

Eda lived her life in a way that enabled her to realise many of the blessings of her patriarchal blessing. In 1947, Eda emigrated to Utah. Immediately after her arrival in Utah, Eda went to the temple and took out her endowments. She met old friends and quickly acclimatised to the American way of life. She lived there for a number of years before returning to settle in Eastbourne, UK.

To the end, Eda held on to her testimony and beliefs. In her final will and testament, she stated: “I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints known as the Mormons and wish my funeral arrangements to be in accordance with their customs.”

A fuller version of the above can be found at https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/living-and-loving-the-british-mission-edalinda-victoria-longbone?lang=eng-gb