[Editors–we hope that this unusual account of a Church-run focus group, along with the ensuing discussion, will be of general interest]
The church was mostly quiet last night. Brother and Sister Markoff were in the cultural hall with their two younger children planning the stage arrangement for the Christmas program Sister Markoff has been rehearsing with Primary children for the past month. There was no sign of anyone downstairs around the bishop’s and clerks’ offices. Back upstairs, outside the Relief Society room, a few middle-aged parents sat waiting and talking. More arrived. Brother Fletcher joked that we were going to find we had came for a half hour presentation encouraging us to prepare for senior missions. Some continued along that theme that we had actually been summoned to discuss lowering the age for senior missionaries. A quarter before eight, the Relief Society door opened, and four priests and six laurels walked out. In we went, where a man in his young thirties sat dressed in a long-sleeved white shirt and tie.