BETA

2012 BYU Campus Education Week: Finding balance

PROVO, UTAH

After five days full of a variety of classes, more than 20,000 "students" of all ages who "entered to learn" on the BYU campus left to "go forth and serve," feeling re-charged and excited about what they had learned during the annual BYU Campus Education Week held Aug. 13-17.

Participants listen and take notes during a presentation at BYU Campus Education Week. This is the program's 90th year and more than 20,000 participants from around the world gathered to the university's campus from Aug. 13-17.
Participants listen and take notes during a presentation at BYU Campus Education Week. This is the program's 90th year and more than 20,000 participants from around the world gathered to the university's campus from Aug. 13-17. Photo: Photo by Jaren Wilkey, BYU

Students walked the paths of the university's campus and filled the classrooms as they heard presentations following this year's conference theme, "Vision: Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he," taken from Proverbs 29:18.

"It gives a great illustration of how keeping the vision of who we really are and who we can become and following the path makes us happy," said Bruce Payne, program administrator of Campus Education Week. "I hope that people come away with ideas to continue to build on when they return home, that they are motivated to continue to build their testimonies, improve their lives and continue to participate in lifelong learning."

A variety of topics — among them family, finance, self-improvement, Church and even dance classes to name a few — are just as multifaceted as the thousands of people who attended the conference.

More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012.
More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012. Photo: Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

Many of the classes focused on familial relationships and the impact each person has on the family unit as a whole.

Jared S. Warren, associate professor at BYU in the psychology department, addressed the struggle many fathers have in balancing family, work and religious responsibilities.

"Hard work is a blessing," he said. "Providing for a family refines our character and prepares us for exaltation."

Brother Warren said that it is through prioritizing the necessities of life — using the concept of good, better, best — that helps fathers to focus on the important things first, rather than just looking to the luxuries of life.

More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for education week Aug. 13-17, 2012.
More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for education week Aug. 13-17, 2012. Photo: Photo by Jaren Wilkey, BYU

"It is sometimes difficult to continue maintaining efforts," he said. "But even when we are out of the habit of things, we have to remember that we can always start again."

It is the time together as a family that is most critical to the unit's wellbeing, Brother Warren said. Rather than what the family actually does as they spend time together, parents should focus on how often they do things because it is the time that will make the biggest difference.

"As difficult as it is sometimes to coordinate the spiritual, financial, family, mental, work, social, physical and spiritual, it is the consistency of time spent together as a family that really makes a difference," he said.

Vivki Larsen, from Sandy, Utah, and her sister, Connie Conlee, from Orem, Utah, take a break during education week. More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012.
Vivki Larsen, from Sandy, Utah, and her sister, Connie Conlee, from Orem, Utah, take a break during education week. More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012. Photo: Photo by Marianne Holman

He reminded listeners that even when activities or lessons may seem like they were ineffective, or didn't run smoothly, it is the time spent that children will learn from and remember. He also reminded listeners that there is "no such thing as done," with the responsibilities in providing for a family, making it even more important for fathers to prioritize the necessities of life.

It is through — using King Benjamin's words in the Book of Mormon — establishing wisdom and order that fathers are able to find a proper balance. By making time for wholesome activities and including children in activities or service, fathers are able to spend more quality time with their children.

More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012.
More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012. Photo: Photo by Marianne Holman
Stephen Draper from Holladay, Utah, sits in the Conference Center on the BYU Campus in between classes during Campus Education Week. More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012.
Stephen Draper from Holladay, Utah, sits in the Conference Center on the BYU Campus in between classes during Campus Education Week. More than 20,000 participants from around the world gather to the BYU campus for Education week Aug. 13-17, 2012. Photo: Marianne Holman, Church News

"Applying the principle of wisdom and order includes finding the proper balance between work and rest," said Brother Warren. "We have to look and see what things are going to make a difference in the home."

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