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Serious, steady dating and marriage-oriented courtship are expected to be delayed longer, perhaps until after a mission for males and after completing high school for females.A chaste courtship is expected to lead to a temple marriage, in which a couple make binding commitments to each other for all time and eternity.These are structured and well-supervised social and religious activities that bring teenage boys and girls together to help them develop appropriate social relationships. While the Church sponsors joint social activities, its leaders have strongly discouraged early dating. As plainly stated by prominent leaders of the Church, "It is natural to date. Every right-thinking young person has a native desire to become acquainted with the opposite sex, looking eventually to pairing off in honorable marriage" (Petersen, p. "Dating has become the accepted form of social recreation for the purpose of getting acquainted before young people can safely have a serious interest in each other. For most young people in the United States outside the Church, dating begins at an early age (about age thirteen during the 1980s); it has no set pattern of progression, and is often informal and unsupervised.These contemporary dating patterns form a social context that influences somewhat the majority of LDS youth.
Many young women upon reaching twenty-one will serve missions. In some cultures, parents still closely supervise courtship and arrange children's marriages, but youth worldwide have increasing choices in dating and mate selection. Wallace Members of the Church are somewhat distinctive in their dating and courtship practices, but they are also influenced by broader cultural patterns.Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, pregnancy, and abortions-all ugly sins-but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils, and it is often difficult for youth to distinguish where one ends and another begins" (Kimball, 1969, p. Although Latter-day Saints consider sexual relationships outside of marriage to be sinful, sexual relations within marriage are not only right and proper but are considered sacred and beautiful (see Sexuality).Like most of their non-Mormon peers in dating cultures, LDS youth date to have fun as they participate in social activities with other boys and girls.
And let parents know where you are, with whom, doing what, and when you will return. Age twelve is a line of demarcation in the life of a young member of the Church.