Elder Oaks Advocates a Life of "Steady, Tranquil Dedication"
By Walter Cooley, Church Magazines
During a Church Educational System fireside broadcast, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles admonished young adults to seek for a life of steady and tranquil dedication and to pursue dating relationships. The broadcast originated from a stake center in Oakland, California, on May 1.
To teach a formula for living the gospel, Elder Oaks quoted Adlai Stevenson, former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956.
Stevenson said: "What we need are not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the steady and tranquil dedication of a lifetime."
This steady, tranquil dedication, when translated into gospel living, means living the gospel by becoming a 100-percent Latter-day Saint 100 percent of the time, Elder Oaks said.
Elder Oaks used several examples to teach how carrying righteous goals, ideals, or doctrines to excess can be spiritually harmful. "An intense focus on goals can cause a person to forget the importance of righteous means," he said. "When this happens, a frenzy of excess can occur."
During the one-hour fireside, Elder Oaks also addressed a growing apathy among young adults toward dating and accepting family responsibilities such as marriage. He expressed concern that dating has been replaced by "hanging out."
"Unlike hanging out, dating is not a team sport," Elder Oaks said. "Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one association and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage, in some rare and treasured cases."
He pointed out that the average age of marriage among young adults in the Church has increased and that the average number of children born to Latter-day Saint couples has decreased. Elder Oaks attributed the indifference toward dating and adult responsibilities to cultural tides and television.
Elder Oaks encouraged young adults to follow simple dating patterns. He suggested that young adults define a date as to whether the male partner planned the date, paid for the date, and paired off with his date.
"My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage," Elder Oaks said.
He concluded by inviting the congregation to act upon these correct principles by governing themselves.