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Help young people prepare for marriage

Professors in the BYU School of Family Life say Church leaders and parents can help young people prepare for marriage by:

• Teaching values, including the importance of marriage. "It is one of the three grand prizes of mortal existence," said Jason Carroll, noting that people came to earth to get a body, gain experience, and form a family.

• Second, said Larry Nelson, "we need to encourage a culture of marriage readiness, not just marriage."

• Third, "we need to encourage a deeper conversation about strategies." But, Brother Carroll acknowledged, the strategies may be different from previous generations. All of the strategies will likely involve a willingness to sacrifice and make marriage a priority in our lives, he said.

• Finally, he said, "it has a lot to do with parents," and their expectations of their children regarding marriage. In national surveys, parents responded that the ideal marriage age for their children is 26 — that is one year later than what the emerging adult population reported. In the BYU survey the average ideal marriage age identified by parents was the same as the students, 23.

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