The process of courtship is a difficult one for all involved and often proves to be more complicated than expected. This has led some to claim that dating might be appropriately synonymous with navigating a minefield. However, when we follow the guidance of prophets and apostles regarding dating and marriage, we can avoid a lot of the unnecessary difficulties that accompany dating.
The purpose of dating is to help individuals develop relationships, learn what they are looking for in an eternal companion, and have fun while spending time with new people. Dating is an excellent way to prepare for marriage. Though prophets have encouraged young adults to date, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cautions youth to wait until age 16 to begin dating. This guideline assists youth in forming friendships and keeping themselves morally clean.
In addition to considering when we date, it is important to consider who we date. Prophets and apostles have counseled members to date others with high moral standards and to pay attention to how they are treated by those they date. In a speech he gave at BYU in 2000, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland offered insightful advice on dating. “In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure” (“How Do I Love Thee?” February 2000).
The world of dating can be difficult to navigate, but we are confident that our collection of speeches on this topic will encourage those who are looking to strengthen their current relationships and those who are preparing for future relationships.