Brigham Young University now offers couples and families an additional source of information for strengthening relationships and preventing divorce.

The Marriage Resource Center is sponsored by the BYU Family Sciences 403R Community Education class and the BYU Center for Studies of the Family.The center was organized when Brent A. Barlow, associate professor of family science at BYU, heard LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley speak at a BYU devotional in 1996.

"After hearing President Hinckley speak on marriages breaking up and how we need to `reach out with a helping hand to those whose marriages have become troubled' during his devotional speech at BYU, we created the Marriage Resource Center to provide marriage materials and resources," Barlow said.

The center has information about preparing for marriage and being married. Most of the information comes from books and publications written about these topics, according to Barlow.

The information has been screened to assure professional quality and to harmonize with the LDS Church's Proclamation on the Family. Those interested, however, will find that the information given out is for everybody and not for any particular group of people, Barlow said.

The center is not designed to give out answers but to provide material and resources to help people find the information they need for their particular situation.

The center's resources come from marriage experts around the world, including the Institute for American Values. A person who contacts the center would be given names of books, articles and other sources, including some Ensign and LDS Church News articles, to look through and read.

Complete information about the center can be found at the Internet address (http://www.familycenter.byu.edu). Those interested may also e-mail at (marriageinfo@byu.edu) and the center will send information.

Other ways to contact the Marriage Resource Center are to call 801-378-2013 or write to: Marriage Resource Center, 1230 A SFLC, P.O. Box 80, BYU, Provo, UT 84602.

"We are excited about interacting with people worldwide over the Internet and e-mail," Barlow said.

For example, the center has been in contact with some people in Venezuela needing information about avoiding divorce.

Students from the Family Sciences 403R class research the information requests and help provide the resources to those who have questions.