What’s the Hurry?

You already know the best reason not to rush into romance: The prophet counsels the youth of the Church not to date until they are 16 years old—and then, only to date in groups (see For the Strength of Youth, 24).

Here’s another good reason: A recent study found that teenagers involved in romantic relationships are more likely to suffer from depression. They are also more prone to alcohol abuse and delinquent behavior than if they had stayed away from serious romance between the ages of 12 and 17 (Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Dec. 2000).

Letting yourself fall in love might seem harmless and enjoyable, but the long-term effects might not be—especially if you are too young. When you’re a teenager, just being friends is the best idea.

Be a Friend

“A friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who not only is willing to love us the way we are, but is able to leave us better than he found us. …

“A person is poor when he is friendless, but even poorer when he ceases being a friend” (Ensign, Sept. 1982, 73).
—Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–1994)

Test Your Bible I.Q.

How much do you know about romance and marriage in the Old Testament? (Yes, even in Biblical times, there were love stories.) See if you can match these Old Testament prophets to their wives.

1. Adam

A. Leah (see Gen. 29:21–23)

2. Joseph (son of Jacob)

B. Asenath (see Gen. 41:45)

3. Jacob (son of Isaac)

C. Eve (see Gen. 3:20)

4. Isaac (son of Abraham)

D. Zipporah (see Ex. 2:21)

5. Abraham

E. Rebekah (see Gen. 24:67)

6. Moses

F. Rachel (see Gen. 29:20, 30)


G. Sarah (see Gen. 11:29 and Gen. 17:15)


Happy Valentine’s Day

Now don’t get all mushy about your Valentine, or lack thereof, just yet. Instead of turning your fancy to romance this year, try to focus on the true meaning of love.

The first and great commandment tells us to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37). Part of the way we can do that is by living the second great commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39).

Think of some ways you can show your family, friends, and neighbors you love them this Valentine’s Day. You could have a one-on-one visit with a family member you haven’t seen for a while, or try to patch up a friendship that has fallen into disrepair. Whatever you decide to do, let your love for others reflect the Savior’s love for you.

Write Away!

You’ve seen stories in the New Era about youth activities in places all around the world. As you plan your ward or stake youth service projects, your youth conferences, or anything interesting the youth are doing together, be sure to keep the New Era in mind.

Let us know at least three months in advance, if possible, of the youth events that are going to happen in your ward or stake. The more notice, the better. If time allows and your ward or stake is having an activity that fits our editorial needs, we might want to cover your event. Send a brief description of your activity plans to the New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Or e-mail us at newera@ldschurch.org

Beauty Tip

“Some of you may think you are not attractive, that you have no talents. Stop wandering around in the wasteland of self-pity. The greatest missionary the world has known, the Apostle Paul, is said to have been short, have a large Roman nose, rounded shoulders, and a whining voice, all of which may not sound too attractive to some persons. …

“Attitude has more to do with personality, with attractiveness, with getting along with others than does any other attribute” (Ensign, Mar. 1997, 60).
—President Gordon B. Hinckley

Show References

  • 1c (We really hope you got this one right!); 2b; 3a and f; 4e; 5g; 6d.