Becoming a Mormon
About a month after the first Gladys Knight concert, Daryl was baptized. As promised, William McDowell and Gladys Knight both attended, and William spoke at the ceremony.
Daryl with his four children on his baptism day.
Rachel warned Daryl that joining the Church would come with opposition. He kind of laughed it off at first, but she was right. As soon as they set a temple date, everything that could go wrong went wrong.
“And not in a little way. Like in magnificent ways,” Rachel said. Little things that would normally blow over instead blew out of proportion as the temple date loomed closer and closer.
Most of the time Rachel and Daryl were able to see the opposition for what it was. They could stop in the middle of a crisis and say, “We know why this is happening, right?”
But two weeks before their sealing date, Daryl couldn’t see it. Things were hard, and so he packed his bags and left.
“I tell anybody and everybody that will listen to me. If you’re going to the temple, you’ve got to know ahead of time . . . [Satan] is going to bring hell fury and fire to keep you out of there,” Rachel said.
After Daryl left, Rachel called one of her husband’s close friends, Sam Harrison, a member of the Church whom Daryl greatly admires and trusts. The two men were able to talk over lunch, and Daryl came back. Two weeks later, Rachel and Daryl were sealed in the Gilbert Arizona Temple.
“[Satan] did not win,” Rachel said.
Daryl and Rachel planks on the day they were sealed in the temple.
Blessings of Being Mormon
“Our family is the biggest blessing,” Daryl said. “Rachel and I were close before, but we’ve connected on such a different level since this experience.”
Daryl and Rachel love watching their kids grow up learning about the gospel as well. “We’ll do a prayer or something and it's just incredible to see what’s happened to our family. We’re so much closer now. . . . The bond that we have . . . I didn’t think something like this would exist. But it’s incredible.”
Others have also been able to see the changes in Daryl. “When I married him, he was an incredible man,” Rachel said. “I didn’t think he could get better than he was. He is exponentially better.”
His youngest daughter put it this way: “Dad, you were cool before, but you’re like super dad now.”
It’s not just his family that can see the difference. A coworker told him once, “You seem different and I can’t place it. It’s not a bad different; you just seem at peace. What are you doing differently?”
“I got baptized,” Daryl said. “I’m a Mormon.”