Sixty-eight wives of United Nations ambassadors, diplomats, and consuls spent the morning of November 1 at the New York City Visitors’ Center learning about Latter-day Saint families and how the gospel helps them meet challenges.
Representing thirty-four nations from areas as diverse as China, the U.S.S.R., Africa, Guatemala, and Fiji, the women also became acquainted with the Family History Center.
Those attending expressed surprise at the international breadth of the Church, as described by Beverly Campbell, public communications director for the Church’s Washington, D.C., office. After a panel discussion that explored the six areas of family preparedness, there were questions such as “How can I keep my family together?” “How do Mormons maintain the respect of their children?” “Do you have a lower divorce rate?” and “Why is your church growing so fast?”
Panel members Jody H. Davis, Linda Inouye, and LaWynn Murphy and moderator Dorothy Bench gave personal insights into their own family experiences and the role of the Church in their lives.
David and Lilia Seegmiller, directors of the New York facility’s Family History Center, conducted a “hands-on” tour. Some three hours after the main body had left, two of the international visitors were still at the microfilm readers. One proudly showed her notebook with fourteen pages of family names she had gleaned from the films. Many of the visitors expressed a desire to search out family lines.
A luncheon provided opportunities for personal discussion. Arrangements were also made to enroll visitors’ children in Boy Scout troops, to invite their teenage children to various youth activities, and to pick up some of the visitors themselves for Relief Society meetings.
The visit to the New York Center was under the aegis of the International Council of Women.