Big smiles, laughter and perfect weather created a sense of community during Date Night for all BYU-Idaho students in attendance.

About 5,000 students came to the BYU-Idaho Center to listen to advice about dating from the President Alvin F. Meredith III and Sister Jennifer Meredith, and Commissioner of Church Education Elder Clark G. Gilbert and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert. Afterward, they enjoyed free ice cream and activities.

“(Our marriage is good) not just because we love each other, but because Jesus Christ (had better plans),” said Elder Gilbert during the interview with the Merediths. “You have so many (opportunities) to involve the Lord. Work to find who the Lord would have paired (you) with. Don’t force it. Don’t be anxious about it. Don’t have anxiety about it. Just do your best. And the Lord will make up the difference.”

The Merediths interviewing the Gilberts during the Interview Session of Date Night

The Merediths interviewing the Gilberts during the Interview Session of Date Night. Photo credit: Chester Chan

The Merediths and Gilberts have been friends for years and respect and listen to each other’s counsel.

“I thought what the Gilbert’s taught and how they taught was just masterful, great truths, delivered in really clear and concise ways with fun and witty stories. They were just master teachers,” President Meredith said.

Ice cream served at Date Night.

Ice cream served at Date Night. Photo credit: Victoria Skalec

Learning from last semester, the Merediths provided more ice cream and activities than Fall Date Night. Faculty, administrators, missionaries and student volunteers helped give out ice cream and assisted with activities.

From Right to left: Chloe Fields, Owen Wilson, Donny Marshall and Erin Chamberlain. Owen and Donny jumping 7’40”; record of the Night

From Right to left: Chloe Fields, Owen Wilson, Donny Marshall and Erin Chamberlain. Owen and Donny jumping the record of the night. Photo credit: Victoria Skalec

Many students enjoyed the big Country Swing Dance with the Queen and King of Country Swing. The Merediths, Gilberts and students observed as the couple demonstrated tricks and shared tips for mastering country dancing and then tried out what they just learned.

“(My favorite part is to see) other people fall in love with dancing, because I think dancing is such a powerful healer when it comes to anxiety or just mental stress,” said Shalee Taylor, the Queen of Country Swing, as she watched people dance.

Queen and King of Country Swing teaching a lift

Queen and King of Country Swing teaching a lift. Photo credit: Victoria Skalec

When the line dance song “Boot Scootin Boogie” started playing, most students ran into the middle of the dance floor, formed lines and started dancing.

Grant Taylor, the King of Country Swing said, “Don’t be afraid to be bad because we all start somewhere.”

President and Sister Meredith hope to provide more opportunities to promote a healthy dating culture.

“We want to continue to create an atmosphere on campus of living the gospel in a fun and wholesome way,” President Meredith said. “We hope to provide many more activities and events that allow the students to feel like they belong. A part of a university culture, a family and not (just) a university.”