Dating and Courtship
In cultures where dating or courtship is acceptable, dating can help youth develop friendships and eventually find an eternal companion. Youth in the Church are taught to wait until at least age 16 to begin dating and to date only those who have high moral standards. A young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to help each other maintain their standards and to protect each other's honor and virtue.
For the Strength of Youth, a Church publication for young men and young women, contains the following counsel regarding dating:
"Do not date until you are at least 16 years old. Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner.
"Not all teenagers need to date or even want to. Many young people do not date during their teen years because they are not yet interested, do not have opportunities, or simply want to delay forming serious relationships. However, good friendships can and should be developed at every age.
"When you begin dating, go in groups or on double dates. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. Make sure your parents meet those you date. You may want to invite your dates to activities with your family. Plan dating activities that are positive and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. Do things that will help you and your companions maintain your self-respect and remain close to the Spirit of the Lord" ("Dating," 24–25).
"Marriage Prep 101"
Brad Wilcox, New Era, Oct. 1999, 30–33
If you'd like a top grade in marriage preparation, let these couples tutor you. This is one time it's perfectly okay to get answers from someone else.
"Receive the Temple Blessings"
Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 1999, 252–27
As you seek an eternal companion, look for someone who is developing the essential attributes that bring happiness
"Could I Wait for a Temple Marriage?"
Loie Lott Benson, Ensign, Feb. 1999, 48–51
He might be my last opportunity for marriage. How could I refuse him and face an uncertain future?
"The Power of Righteousness"
Richard G. Scott, Liahona, Jan. 1999, 79–81; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 68–70
Choosing to do what the Lord has defined as right will, in the long run, always lead to the best outcomes.
"Great Group Dates"
Darrin Lythgoe, New Era, Feb. 1998, 15
So what can a group do together for fun? Here are some ideas.
"Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service"
Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1997, 49–52
When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating. When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved.
"The Temple Marriage I Waited For"
Patricia E. McInnis, Liahona, Apr. 1997, 28–30; or Ensign, Aug. 1996, 64–65
The goal of marriage continued to occupy my mind. As a lifelong member of the Church, I had learned the importance of eternal marriage.
"Dating: A Time to Become Best Friends"
John D. Claybaugh, Ensign, Apr. 1994, 18–21
Courtship is a time to discover who you and your partner really are—and how to nourish your relationship.
"Choosing and Being the Right Spouse"
Thomas B. Holman, Ensign, Sept. 2002, 62–67
Prophetic counsel teaches us that finding a marriage partner takes spiritual sensitivity, maturity, and preparation—including preparing ourselves to be the right spouse.
"Searching for the One You Will Marry"
LeGrand R. Curtis, New Era, June 1993, 4–7
It takes time and the right ingredients to cook up a great relationship. Here's a favorite—and foolproof—recipe.
"Q&A: Questions and Answers"
New Era, July 2001, 16–18
I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are no LDS young people to date in my area. Wouldn't it be all right to date [someone who does not belong to our church]?
"Q&A: Questions and Answers"
New Era, Feb. 2001, 16–18
Why does the Church say we should not date until we are 16 years old?
"A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth"
Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, Apr. 2001, 30–41; or Ensign, Jan. 2001, 2–11
The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control.
"Idea List: The Do's of Dating"
New Era, Nov. 2000, 15
Here are some suggestions from New Era readers on ways to ensure a fun and wholesome date.
"An Aaronic Priesthood Holder Cherishes Womanhood"
Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, Lesson 30
Young Women Manual 3, Lesson 36
For the Strength of Youth, 24–25
"Choosing an Eternal Companion"
Aaronic Priesthood 3, Lesson 31
"Group Activities: A Basis for Wise Dating"
Young Women Manual 1, Lesson 31
Young Women Manual 3, Lesson 35