By Associated Press - Saturday, May 3, 2014

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) - Ann Romney touted traditional values in a commencement address at Southern Utah University, urging graduates to live a “purpose-driven life” and to embrace the challenge of parenthood.

Romney, the wife of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and mother of five sons, told nearly 1,800 graduates on Friday that parenthood is one of the most rewarding but challenging responsibilities they can assume.

“Too often young people put off parenting thinking they can’t have a career and a family,” she said. “I believe you should make time to be a parent as it will teach you to truly serve others and work for something and someone beside yourself.”

The devout Mormon also urged graduates to turn to the Bible for wisdom.

“The Bible works, so do what it says,” Romney said. “You may not believe like I do that the Bible was inspired by God. But if not, you’d surely have to admit it was written by some of the greatest philosophers and thinkers in history. Either way, it’s worth paying a good deal of attention to what it has to say.”

She urged graduates to find fulfilment through a “purpose-driven life,” recalling her battle with multiple sclerosis when her husband was asked to move to Utah to lead the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The timing was bad, she said, but the Romneys accepted the call.

“It was also the best move we ever made because it came with a higher purpose,” she said. “The games were highly successful, we made friends we will treasure for a lifetime and I found that the therapy and blessings I received in Utah helped put my MS in remission.”

Romney was awarded an honorary doctorate for public service from the university before delivering the address.

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