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Workshop gives couples help in fine-tuning marriages

A promising turnout of couples showed up at the Salt Palace Convention Center Friday night to help improve their relationships.

The 3rd annual Governor's Initiative on Families Today conference (GIFT) featured 12 work-shops, a live orchestra with dancing, and some encouraging words from Gov. Mike Leavitt and first lady Jackie Leavitt.Musicians Kurt and Melodie Bestor, Orem, were the keynote speakers. Kurt Bestor is a composer and both are award-winning pianists.

The conference follows a GIFT conference for families held last week. The purpose of GIFT is to provide seminars, workshops and other resources to help families and marriages stay intact.

Utah's divorce rate is above the national average.

"The conference is designed to help people work on communication in marriages," said Carol Bench, conference committee director.

The workshops were conducted like classes by prominent and respected authorities.

Author Gary Lundberg had a captive audience as he explained the differences between the way men and women perceive their environment and interact socially. Dr. Robert Williams described the seven components of intimacy, the triangle of love and the three A's; affirmation, appreciation and affection.