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During the past year or two I've given a number of talks on marriage to a variety of groups. One reason I enjoy doing it is that I learn a great deal from the questions and comments from those who attend. Marriage in the United States is not only surviving but seems to be thriving in many communities.

A few weeks ago I was in San Jose, Calif., giving a speech on marriage. I did my lengthy best for an hour and 15 minutes, and when I was finished Robertine C. Wood came up to talk to me. She said she enjoyed my talk but said she had a much simpler little recipe she and her husband had followed for many years in their marriage. She wanted to share it with me so I looked at the page, simply titled "Marriage Stew." What has worked for Robertine and her husband for many years of marriage has to have some value so I asked her if I could take it back with me to Utah and print it in one of my newspaper columns. She graciously agreed, and here is "Marriage Stew" by Will Mercier. (I'm not sure who Will Mercier is, so if any of our readers are aware of his identity, please write and let me know so we can give him full credit for his . . . "recipe.")Marriage is like a stew. To be complete, to be perfect, to be nutritional to the body, mind and soul it must have the right ingredients.

There are no ingredients in the world that blend so well as those used to make a stew. It is a total meal. The following is an old family recipe that has proved its worth for several generations. I hope when you try it you will be more than satisfied with the outcome.

Marriage Stew

(Two full servings)

2 concerned persons

2 cups of love

2 pinches of understanding

2 teaspoons of patience

2 cans of trust

2 well-rounded measures of sex

Plenty of honest friendship


With the above ingredients on hand, let's get started on our happy chore of putting together a good, wholesome, healthy marriage stew.

First, combine the two concerned persons with the two cups of love in an adequate, comfortable mixing area. Next, blend in the understanding and patience and beat lightly with a spoon made of laughter until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Now add the two cans of trust and pour the mixture into the casserole of life and place over very low heat to simmer. This is also the time to add tears, dreams, touching, remembering or any other spices you feel will make your stew more exciting. As the mixture is simmering, saute the sex in tenderness and perhaps a little wine on special occasions. Add this to the main casserole until the desired strength is reached.

While the stew is cooking, you might want to sprinkle in a little singing, dancing, playing or praying - you be the judge. Cook to taste; garnish with a kiss or two and serve with the honest friendship.

Our thanks to Robertine Wood of San Jose, Calif., and Will Mercier for providing us with such an appealing, inviting Marriage Stew.

If you have a similar recipe that will help make better marriages, I'd like to hear from you. Write to 1230 SFLC, BYU, Provo, UT 84602.