Dating and Courtship
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Courtship and marriage

Dating and Courtship


In cultures where dating or courtship is acceptable, dating can help youth develop friendships and eventually find an eternal companion. Youth in the Church are taught to wait until at least age 16 to begin dating and to date only those who have high moral standards. A young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to help each other maintain their standards and to protect each other’s honor and virtue.

For the Strength of Youth, a Church publication for young men and young women, contains the following counsel regarding dating: “Do not date until you are at least 16 years old. Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner.” Not all teenagers need to date or even want to. Many young people do not date during their teen years because they are not yet interested, do not have opportunities, or simply want to delay forming serious relationships. However, good friendships can and should be developed at every age. “When you begin dating, go in groups or on double dates. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. Make sure your parents meet those you date. You may want to invite your dates to activities with your family. Plan dating activities that are positive and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. Do things that will help you and your companions maintain your self-respect and remain close to the Spirit of the Lord” (“Dating,” 24–25).


Scripture References

Scripture Study Resources

Messages from Church Leaders

Additional Messages


“A Brand New Year: Dating”

“Simple Expressions of Love”

“Elder and Sister Bednar—Love”

“How Do I Love Thee?”

“Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World”

“Standards: Sexual Purity and Modesty—True Confidence”

Learning Resources

General Resources

“Dating,” For the Strength of Youth

Church Magazines

“The Dance Drama,” Friend, February 2017

“My Date Knew What to Do,” New Era, January 2017

“Creating Our Happy Ending,” Ensign or Liahona, December 2016

“Not Dating? You’re Not Alone,” New Era, February 2014

“Dating Academy: Teaching Children about Relationships,” Ensign, August 2014

“Dating and Virtue,” Ensign, September 2010

“Idea List: Make a Great Date,” New Era, April 2010

“Stories from General Authorities on Dating,” New Era, April 2010

“What Makes a Person Datable?” New Era, April 2010

“Dating Advice from Prophets and Apostles,” New Era, April 2010

“Is Dating Dead?” New Era, April 2010

“Making the Most of Our Single Years,” Ensign, August 2008

“Choosing and Being the Right Spouse,” Ensign, September 2002

“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, July 2001

“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, February 2001

“Idea List: The Do’s of Dating,” New Era, November 2000

In the News

“Taking the Fear Out of Dating,” Church News

“Dating Takes Practice Too,” Church News

“Research Supports LDS Dating Guidelines,” Church News

Teachings of Presidents of the Church




“LDS Dating: A Paradox of Choice—September 21, 2015,” Latter-day Saints Channel Daily, episode 846

“Teens and Dating—Part 1,” Gospel Solutions for Families, episode 49

“Teens and Dating—Part 2,” Gospel Solutions for Families, episode 50

“Dating in Your Twenties—May 11, 2015,” Latter-day Saints Channel Daily, episode 751

“Courage to Marry—October 15, 2015,” Latter-day Saints Channel Daily, episode 864