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What are the Church’s standards regarding dating?

Latter-day prophets have given us standards about dating to protect us from spiritual danger and help us prepare to one day find a worthy eternal companion. These standards include not dating before age 16, avoiding frequent dates with the same person, and dating only those who have high moral standards.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What do you feel applies best to the young men as they begin interacting with young women?

Deuteronomy 7:3–4 (Do not marry outside of the covenant)

Doctrine and Covenants 46:33 (Practice virtue and holiness before the Lord)

Dating,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 4–5

Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” Ensign, May 1998, 49–51

Video: “A Brand New Year 2010: Dating”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite each young man to say one word to describe last week’s lesson. Ask the young men if they would like to share an experience they had during the past week related to the lesson.
  • Ask the young men to list on the board what they know about the Lord’s standards regarding dating. Add to their list as they learn more about these standards during the lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the Church’s standards regarding dating. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Ask the young men to use the “Dating” section in For the Strength of Youth to answer questions such as “What are the Lord’s standards concerning dating?” “Why is it important for you to follow these standards?” and “How should Aaronic Priesthood holders treat young women, including those they date?” Ask the young men how they would explain to others why they follow these standards.
  • Invite the young men to listen for and discuss their favorite advice as they read or listen to President Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry.” What does President Hinckley teach about the choices young men make when they are dating? Ask them to write down some qualities they would like their future wife to have and select at least one quality from the list they can improve on to become the kind of companion they are hoping for. How could their dating experiences now influence the type of person they will eventually marry?
  • Show portions of “Brand New Year 2010: Dating,” and pause the video to identify standards of dating mentioned by people in the video. Ask the young men to review “Dating” in For the Strength of Youth and look for additional standards that were not identified in the video. Invite them to share what they will do to keep the Lord’s standards regarding dating.
  • Invite the quorum members to review the “Dating” section in For the Strength of Youth and write down any questions they have about dating. Invite a panel of older young men and young women to answer their questions and discuss the standards of dating. Encourage the panel members to include examples of how they have lived the standards as they have dated, such as dressing modestly, choosing appropriate activities, and dating those with high standards.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the Church’s standards regarding dating? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Encourage quorum members to set a goal to obey the Lord’s standards regarding dating.
  • Bear his testimony of the blessings that come from obeying the Lord’s standards regarding dating.