“Marriage Enrichment Seminar a Success in California,” Ensign, Dec. 1978, 47
If young people can have conferences, why can’t married people? The Baldwin Park Second Ward, Covina California Stake, didn’t see why not. And so with approval and help from the stake, the ward planned a marrieds conference—a time for couples to share spiritual experiences.
Couples were encouraged to fast the morning of the conference. Workshops were taught by three Church members. Paul Starr, a stake high councilor, taught a session entitled “Who Really Rules the Roost?” which emphasized the spiritual relationship between husband and wife, the needs of marriage partners, and improved communication. Frank Cammans, vice president of United California Bank, taught goal setting in money matters in a workshop called “Green Is Beautiful.” Harold Heywood, a school administrator, taught “Sparkle Polish,” a workshop on keeping marriages alive.
A midday devotional was conducted by Bishop William L. Hunter. Two former ward members soon to begin mission assignments in Iowa, Paul R. and Dorothy L. Hatch, spoke about family relationships. A testimony meeting followed.
Stake seventies and their wives served and cleaned up after dinner, leaving ward couples free to enjoy dinner together and to dance to tape-recorded music.
Ninety-five ward members, ranging in age from seventeen to eighty-eight, participated in the conference. Babysitting was provided by twenty ward youths, with one or two young people assigned to each home by a coordinator. Other help from the ward came from members of the Relief Society, the ward Correlation committee, the Young Women’s president, the Primary presidency, and the elders’ quorum.
The results? Long range effects are difficult to evaluate, since they involve individual couples applying the principles they learned. But short-range results were evident: many couples held hands and bore heartfelt testimony of the need for this experience in their lives. Husbands led the way in the testimony meeting, inviting their wives to follow. Before the night was over, many couples were looking forward to the next marrieds conference. And the next morning at priesthood meeting, attendance was markedly up.