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. At this age LDS boys and girls leave primary, the Church's organization for children, and enter the young women and young men organizations. 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.Because the selection of a mate in life is so extremely important, we should intelligently seek the experiences which will help us to make that great decision" (Hunter, pp. Typical of the advice given to LDS youth is the following counsel about dating: Who?
Occasionally, joint activities are planned that include boys and girls together. However, although courtship patterns change and vary across cultures, there is quite a conservative pattern for dating and courtship among Latter-day Saints in Western nations.It is expected that LDS youth will not begin dating until the age of sixteen. 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.Although many boyfriend-girlfriend relationships do not last through the mission separation, the mission experience frequently brings a maturity that better prepares young men and women for eventual marriage. "Marriage and Divorce." In 1976 Speeches of the Year. Despite the postponing effect of missions on dating activities, LDS men tend to marry at an age younger than national averages, while LDS women marry at about the norm. Two doctrinally based principles guide the dating and courtship of LDS youth: first, because of the religious significance of marriage, virtually everyone who can is expected to marry; second, because of the spiritual and social importance of chastity, sexual relations must wait until after marriage.Latter-day Saints place an unusually strong emphasis on marriage, believing that marriage is ordained of God (D&C ) and is a prerequisite for obtaining the highest heavenly state after mortality (D&C 131:1-4; see Exaltation).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.