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Here, young people participate, usually once a week, in gender-segregated activities designed with an adult adviser for their particular age group. Occasionally, joint activities are planned that include boys and girls together. 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."Young men and women, not yet ready for marriage, should be friends with many others, but they should not engage in courting . Friendship, not courtship, should be the relationship of teenagers .
Latter-day Saints believe that premarital chastity is a scriptural commandment reaffirmed by current revelation. He that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (1 Cor. From a modern Church leader: "Chastity should be the dominant virtue among young people" (Mc Kay, p. LDS youth are also taught that they should not participate in sexual activities that often precede sexual intercourse: "Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting.
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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?
Only those whose standards are high, like your own. Clean places, decent places, proper places where you can be proud to be. Associating with others under wholesome circumstances helps develop friendships and permits you to learn about qualities and characteristics in others, to get to know them, to have fun together, to widen areas of choice, to achieve a wider and wiser vision of what one may seek in an eternal companion. Not too young, not too often, not on school nights as a rule, not too expensively. Fun things, wholesome things, good and useful things- things pleasing to you, to parents, to God. With others, in groups, chaperoned when proper, appropriately dressed, cheerfully, courteously, modestly, wisely, prayerfully. 134-35] While dating and courtship patterns among LDS reflect broader societal patterns, there are several age-graded characteristics of dating and courtship in the Church that are special.
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The change of this one pattern of social activities of our youth would immediately eliminate a majority of the sins of our young folks" (Kimball, 1986, pp. Steady dating is further discouraged until youth are ready for courtship.