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Mitt Romney's case for getting married young

Published: Thursday, May 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Mitt Romney encourages SVU graduates to marry young.  (Brinn Willis, Courtesy of Southern Virginia University) Mitt Romney encourages SVU graduates to marry young. (Brinn Willis, Courtesy of Southern Virginia University)

As reported by the Deseret News, Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate, spoke at Southern Virginia University's commencement on April 27, 2013. Eleanor Barkhorn from the Atlantic focused on Romney's suggestion and encouragement to marry young. The Atlantic report states that Romney urged graduates to "launch out into the deep and let down your nets," just as Christ's disciples did. Romney used this Bible story of simple fishermen to help illustrate to the students the need "to be bold, selfless, unafraid of life's challenges." And according to Romney, one way to do so is by marrying young.

During the commencement Romney said the following about marriage:

"This is a promise: 'Launch out into the deep, and your nets will be filled.' How do you do that? Well, getting married is one way to launch into the deep. I'm so glad I found Ann when I was still so young. Combining your life with another person, particularly someone—men and women as different as we are, this combination is tremendously challenging and enormously rewarding."

Romney articulates the so-called "cornerstone" theory of marriage: that marriage is an institution worth building life on, not something to enter into once you're already established in life. This vision of marriage is countercultural at the moment, of course: As the National Marriage Project's "Knot Yet" report shows, people are getting married later and later, and more and more people are seeing marriage as a "capstone" to life's achievements rather than a foundation for those achievements (and inevitable disappointments).

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