Author: Wilfried Decoo

I am a native of Belgium – the Flemish side. Born in 1946, I grew up in Antwerp. I obtained my B.A. from the Antwerp Jesuit University, my M.A. from Ghent University – both degrees in Romance languages. As a teacher of French and history I worked a few years in Central Africa for the Belgian Cooperation. Next I went to BYU where I finished a PhD in comparative literature. From 1974 on I spent most of my academic career at the University of Antwerp, as professor of applied linguistics and language education. In 1999 the department of French and Italian at BYU asked me to join their ranks, but I also retained an affiliation with Antwerp. I retired from BYU in 2011.

I am a convert to the Church and have a strong testimony of the Restoration. So does my wife, who is also from Antwerp. We have one daughter, Ellen, born in 1988. We’re a happy little Flemish family, traveling back and forth between our two homes, in Antwerp and in Salt Lake City.

Welcome to guest blogger Hans Noot

We’re happy to welcome another “international” blogger, Hans Noot from the Netherlands. During the past 36 years Johannus D. T. (Hans) Noot coordinated Religious Education in Belgium and the Netherlands for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He…

For Dutch-speaking readers

I apologize for not having contributed much to Times and Seasons lately, but since last year I have chosen to concentrate on our Dutch-speaking members and friends. So much is available in English, so little in many other languages. Our…

The Perversity of Orthodoxy

I could have called this post “Same-sex marriage: The Belgian perspective,” but it includes more. “The perversity of orthodoxy” – that’s how one of the members in our Belgian ward identified the broader issues which triggered this post. He called…

Martha’s Sacrament

Times & Seasons used to post, from time to time, something “From the archives”. So is this one. *** Martha was one of the older sisters in our branch. We counted a scant dozen of them, singles and widows, making…

International Day of the Girl

Today is the International Day of the Girl.  Yesterday, the Deseret News devoted an article to it but 24 hours later, no one had yet commented. Another article appeared today, but as of now, no comments yet. Perhaps there is no…

The Mormon moment abroad: thank you, Jim Dabakis.

Michael Otterson advised the press: to understand Mormonism, go to the source and allow Mormons to define themselves. But what if these Mormons are survivalist Joel Skousen, Tea Party painter Jon McNaughton, or Tammy, an anti-government gun-toting rodeo queen from Overton, Nevada? All three were lengthily interviewed on French national radio.

The blood of Israel in Europe

At a multi-stake conference in Berlin in 2010, Area President Erich W. Kopischke quoted Joseph Smith as having declared that “England, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium have a considerable amount of the blood of Israel among the people…

Primitive church

Times & Seasons used to post, from time to time, something “From the archives”. I revisited a post I published eight years ago, updated a few items, and thought it would still be worthwhile to read. My question to you: what…

Eugene

Eugene came from the Congo and accepted the gospel while studying in Belgium. After having obtained a doctorate in economics of developing nations, he returned to Africa. During the years with us, Eugene fulfilled many callings, willingly responding to the…

Mormons without the Mormon Church

In his recent conference address, Elder Ballard emphasized that we must avoid the name “Mormon Church” and instead use as much as possible the official, full name of the Church. His message stems from two concerns: (1) the missing association…

Mormon identity and culture

The following is part of a larger study on the concept of “gospel culture”, which I have been working on. In a previous post I presented the question “How American is the Church?”, which yielded very interesting comments. For the…

How American is the Church?

(The following is an excerpt from a larger study on the concept of “gospel culture”, which I have been working on. I hope that comments will help me correct and refine this aspect on Americanness). For the past few decades,…

Iza

The mission president called. Would I, as his counselor, conduct a baptismal interview? A case he wouldn’t have the zone leaders handle, a woman with a troubled past. Most likely involving a chastity issue.

Watching conference

Stake conference in the mission field. Still the mission field, for although we are a stake, there is no stake center, only a chapel in some of the main cities, and rented rowhouses elsewhere. The stake covers some 10,000 square…