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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.Presumably, the value placed on marriage makes LDS youth less likely to postpone marriage for education and career advancement; they are certainly less likely to cohabit instead of marrying, and the customary pattern is to continue courting until the time of marriage (see Single Adults). LDS prophets have consistently instructed young Mormon men that it is wrong to delay marriage unnecessarily (Benson; Kimball, 1975). 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. In the past, LDS youth were basically counseled not to begin dating, especially steady dating, until they were "old enough and mature enough" to consider marriage. 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.
Wallace Members of the Church are somewhat distinctive in their dating and courtship practices, but they are also influenced by broader cultural patterns.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. 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).