Blog Archives


December 29, 2004 | 44 comments

Belgium, December 29, 2004. For days now I have been confronted with TV-images of bloated and rotting bodies littered along shores, of parents crying over the corpses of their children, of living children staring dumbfounded into a camera and holding up a note with their name and the question “Seen parents?” – while it is almost certain, after three days, they have become orphans. Thousands of orphans and they still cling to their note. Read more »

Dealing with Brother H.

December 21, 2004 | 23 comments

I cannot remember when Brother H. came to our branch for the first time. Somewhere in the late seventies or early eighties. A middle-aged man, single, not too tall, graying hair, with lips drawn between an angelic and an ironic smile. Was he brought in by the missionaries or did he find us? I am not sure anymore. I tend to think the latter. Read more »

Part-Mormon couples

December 7, 2004 | 27 comments

Married, but only one of the partners is Mormon. In the “mission field” such part-Mormon couples are numerous, probably more than in area’s where Mormons have lived for generations. Sociologists study this phenomenon among various affiliations. “Religious intermarriage”, “religious homogamy / heterogamy”, “interchurch / interfaith marriages” are some of the key words of this academic field of study. Read more »

A tribute to simple saints

November 29, 2004 | 17 comments

Her name was Sister Pooters. Petite, energetic, single. She was around seventy when I, a young convert, met her at our local Mormon branch. Read more »

Missionaries and their converts: a story

October 27, 2004 | 19 comments

Though I have never been on a formal mission, my first five years in the Church were closely tied to missionaries. I was their age, I worked intensely with them. Read more »

On the left: pioneer ancestors and the International Church

October 25, 2004 | 65 comments

To continue with the international perspective I was asked to give, here is one post that opens the door to some political debate… I hope it will not deviate too much from the questions asked at the end! Two items to set the perspective: 1) First, the vast majority of Mormon pioneers who came from Europe in the 19th century were people with leftist traits. Mostly workmen and craftsmen, dedicated to social justice, inspired by egalitarian dreams, they turned their back to an exploitative society. In Mormonism they found this galvanizing combination of religious conviction and communalist ideals (I... Read more »

Primitive Church

October 21, 2004 | 30 comments

The missionaries found me when I was 17. That was back in 1964 in Antwerp, Belgium. I read Joseph Smith’s history and Moroni’s promise. I knew it was true. Immediately, fully. The Gospel unfolded like the rising sun. Read more »

From Mormon to LDS in international perspective

October 19, 2004 | 38 comments

I first had the title “We love the Mormonettes!”, but that would have covered only a tiny piece of my long text. But if you want to get to the Mormonettes, read on! Are you Mormon or LDS? In Utah, but also elsewhere in the U.S., the shift towards the use of LDS is inescapable. Language use has its own laws, stronger than official guidelines. Indeed, those guidelines are clear, as stated in the Church Style Guide for the Media, directly related to a statement from the First Presidency: “Please avoid the use of “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church” or... Read more »

International Church issues

October 17, 2004 | 96 comments

Thank you, I feel honored to be a guest here! As a “foreigner”, I have been asked to add a Mormon international perspective. That means… non-American. Strange already that in our World Church the perspective continues to be U.S.-centered, with the rest of the world sensed as a large peripheral circle, referred to as the International Church. Of course, there is no American Church nor any (inter)nationally identified Church. There only is the Church of Jesus Christ. But we need to be realistic. Let’s turn the perspective around for starters. How do members abroad look at Utah? Read more »