Marriage week celebrates lives spent together

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    By Philip Dance

    Throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, married couples are receiving praise for their choice to stay together.

    Marriage Week USA kicks off Thursday, Feb. 7, here in Utah with Governor Leavitt signing a declaration on marriage, according to a news release.

    The governor will also honor Marion and Erma Winn, a Utah couple who have been married for 77 years.

    “Honoring marriage really started four years ago in the United Kingdom, but is beginning to catch on here in America,” said Dr. Brent Barlow, professor for the School of Family Life.

    Barlow said he began the program in the United States two years ago and has received a lot of public support.

    The purpose of Marriage Week USA is to celebrate the importance of successful marriages in our communities, Barlow said.

    Marriage is a wonderful thing.

    “Married people have better health, they are more wealthy and have a better sex life.” Barlow said.

    Students, married or not married, can celebrate Marriage Week USA, Barlow said.

    According to the Web site utahmarriage.com a few suggestions for celebration during this week are: to those who area married celebrate it, or honor family members and parents whose marriages have had and impact on your life.

    Another idea is to honor couples in your community who have been married over 50 years.

    Students can also find upcoming events to participate in during Marriage Week USA on the Web site.

    Marriage Week USA looks to honor couples who have stayed together many years, along with the couples who are making that decision right now.

    “Marriage Week USA gives my husband and I an opportunity to celebrate our parent”s successful marriages as well as our own,” said Lisa Evans, 24, a senior majoring in marriage, family and human development.

    Evans said she has used her parent”s 30-year marriage as a great example in her own marriage.

    Barlow said celebrating marriage is a great way to teach your children the importance of working at marriage and the benefits which come from a lifetime of togetherness.

    Utah is also sponsoring an annual marriage conference this year, which will be held June 14, 2002 in the Salt Palace, he said.

    The keynote speaker will be Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. Other speakers include Steven and Sandra Covey.

    “Last year I was able to attend a conference that honored Elder and Sister Haight for their 70th anniversary,” said David White, 25, a senior from Montrose, Colo., majoring in psychology.

    The current condition of marriage in the United States and throughout the world is in a state of decline, White said.

    Seeing a couple that has been happily married for so long is a wonderful thing, he said.

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