At what age can you start going to school dances?
If it’s the kind of dance where you’re expected to be paired up with a specific person (a date), then you should wait until you’re 16. If it’s the kind of dance where people show up separately and dance with various partners or by themselves (like most Church dances), then you can probably start going to them whenever your parents are willing to let you go. Generally, Church dances are open to those 14 and over. This is a good guideline for you and your parents to consider.
But aside from the question of age, try to find out what these school dances are usually like. For instance, if you find out that people at these dances often use suggestive dance moves or that the music is often offensive or degrading, don’t go. “Attend only those dances where dress, grooming, lighting, lyrics, music, and entertainment contribute to a wholesome atmosphere where the Spirit may be present” (For the Strength of Youth , 23).
For the Strength of Youth says not to participate in “passionate kissing.” What is that?
The phrase “passionate kissing” in For the Strength of Youth (, 36) has to do with the kind of kissing that goes well beyond a peck on the cheek or briefly touching lips. It’s more intense and lasts longer than a brief kiss, and it’s often a step along the path to more serious kinds of physical intimacy, which is why you are warned against it before you’re married. For the kind of dating and relationships you should be experiencing before marriage, it’s wise to hold back with your kisses, especially kisses on the lips.
As President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) once said, “Kissing has … degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 281).
Does the Church support any political parties or candidates?
No. Though the Church generally encourages members to be informed and engaged politically, it leaves each person to decide for himself or herself which people and ideas best represent his or her views. “The Church is neutral regarding political parties, political platforms, and candidates for political office. The Church does not endorse any political party or candidate. Nor does it advise members how to vote” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 21.1.29). The Church does, however, reserve the right to speak out on moral issues or other issues that significantly affect the Church and its members, including matters related to family, marriage, and religious freedom.
People sometimes ask me if we believe in polygamy. What should I tell them?
We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, in biblical and more modern times, polygamy (or plural marriage) has been practiced when God has directed it for specific purposes (see Jacob 2:27, 30). This is why Church leaders selectively authorized some plural marriages in the 19th century for about 50 years. It was officially discontinued in 1890 when President Wilford Woodruff directed that no more such marriages should take place. The state of monogamy (one man, one woman) has been the Church’s teaching on marriage ever since.
Today, we oppose the practice of polygamy. Groups who practice it now are not associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and any person practicing polygamy cannot be a member of the Church.