"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

Teachings About Dating

by Ezra Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson

Our Heavenly Father wants you to date young women who are faithful members of the Church, who encourage you to serve a full-time mission and to magnify your priesthood. (CR April 1986, Ensign 16 [May 1986]: 45.)

For many years the Church has counseled parents concerning their children in early dating and the dangers of "going steady" prematurely. Here again, you mothers have a critical role in seeing that this counsel is understood and accepted by your children. (London England Area Conference, 19-20 June 1976.)

Remember the importance of proper dating. President Spencer W. Kimball gave some wise counsel: "Clearly, right marriage begins with right dating. Therefore, this warning comes with great emphasis. Do not take the chance of dating nonmembers or members who are untrained and faithless. A girl may say, 'Oh I do not intend to marry this person. It is just a fun date.' But one cannot afford to take a chance on falling in love with someone who may never accept the gospel." (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 241-42.) (See Dating Nonmembers)

Our Heavenly Father wants you to date young men who are faithful members of the Church, who will be worthy to take you to the temple and be married the Lord's way. There will be a new spirit in Zion when the young women will say to their boyfriends, "If you cannot get a temple recommend, then I am not about to tie my life to you, even for mortality!" And the young returned missionary will say to his girlfriend, "I am sorry, but as much as I love you, I will not marry out of the holy temple." ("To the Young Women of the Church," Ensign 16 [November 1986]: 84.)

May I suggest some steps to avoid the pitfalls of immorality:

Avoid late hours and weariness. The Lord said to retire to your bed early (D&C 88:124), and there are good reasons for that. Some of the worst sins are committed after midnight. Officers in the wards and stakes, branches and missions, should not keep our people, especially our youth, up late at night even for wholesome recreation.

Keep your dress modest. Short skirts are not pleasing to the Lord, but modesty is. Girls, do not be an enticement for your downfall because of your immodest and tight-fitting clothes. (See Proverbs 1:10; James 1:14-15.)

Have good associates or don't associate at all. Be careful in the selection of your friends. If in the presence of certain persons you are lifted to nobler heights, you are in good company. But if your friends or associates encourage base thoughts, then you had best leave them.

Avoid necking and petting like a plague, for necking and petting are the concession that precedes the complete loss of virtue.

Have a good physical outlet of some sport or exercise. Overcome evil with good. You can overcome many evil inclinations through good physical exertion and healthful activities. A healthy soul, free of the body- and spirit-dulling influences of alcohol and tobacco, is in better condition to overthrow the devil.

Think clean thoughts. Those who think clean thoughts do not do dirty deeds. You are responsible before God not only for your acts but also for controlling your thoughts. So live that you would not blush with shame if your thoughts and acts should be flashed on a screen in your church. The old adage is still true that you sow thoughts and you reap acts, you sow acts and you reap habits, you sow habits and you reap a character, and your character determines your eternal destiny. "As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).

Pray. There is no temptation placed before you that you cannot shun. Do not allow yourself to get in positions where it is easy to fall. Listen to the promptings of the Spirit. If you are engaged in things where you do not feel you can pray and ask the Lord's blessings on what you are doing, you are engaged in the wrong kind of activity. (God, Family, Country, pp. 240-41.)

(See Daily Living home page; Dating and Courtship homepage)




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Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 561-562

Copyright © 1988 by Bookcraft