Almost 30 percent of BYU students are married, according to BYU University Communications. Because Provo is home to many young adults, newly married couples and families, Christie Blake chose Provo as the location for the first Project Eternity conference.
Project Eternity is a marriage conference designed to bring couples together to discuss tips to help strengthen marriage relationships. This conference will provide opportunities for individuals to learn from experts, according to Blake, the event’s founder and director.
Couples can always use tips to help strengthen their marriage and keep love alive, Blake said.
“There is a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality,” Blake said. “Just because you’re LDS doesn’t mean you have a perfect marriage. It is always difficult to bring two different people together.”
Project Eternity is a marriage conference geared toward bringing single people and married couples together to be inspired and uplifted by prominent authors, speakers and counselors in the marriage and family fields.
BYU alumnus Kevin Hinckley, an author and licensed professional counselor, will discuss the importance of speaking with kindness and love in relationships at the conference.
“Part of this marriage conference, what I’m trying to communicate, is that there are ways of communicating at a kinder and softer level where you can actually deal with conflict better,” Blake said.
Married couples continue to deal with issues after marriage. Seeking ways to better communicate and understand one another in dealing with issues is something conference participants can expect to learn more about, Blake said.
BYU psychology professor Scott Braithwaite will speak at the conference about patterns that predict marital problems “and very specific tools that have been shown through scientific study to help people avoid those patterns and to improve and strengthen their relationship,” Braithwaite said.
Academic researchers who study these topics look forward to opportunities to share their research with those who can benefit from it, rather than keeping the conversation among themselves, Braithwaite said.
Project Eternity will not only be able to help the almost 30 percent of BYU students who are married, but will also be an opportunity for BYU students who are single to prepare for a marriage relationship, according to Hinckley.
“Hopefully, these kinds of skills that you see in effective marriages ought to cross over into effective relationships as well (for those who are single). It gives us a blueprint to know what we are looking for in a mate,” Hinckley said.
Both Braithwaite and Hinckley will help those who attend the event find practical ways to create stronger relationships.
Project Eternity will be held Sept. 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo. For additional information and to register for the conference, visit the Project Eternity website.