Dating 101
February 2014

“Dating 101,” New Era, Feb. 2014, 44–45

Dating 101

youth at dance

Photographs courtesy of Jim Lucero

The room was abuzz with energy. Nearly 500 priests and Laurels from eight stakes in the Dallas, Texas, area had gathered together for a dating conference. Enough excitement bounced around the room to fuel a small country for a month or two.

For example, one part of the dating conference included a dance. Yet once the music started playing, you could hardly hear the tunes above the constant chatting as the youth continued getting to know one another.

The whole conference was jam-packed with instruction on wholesome dating practices in accordance with Church teachings.

They had a musical skit about dating. Youth speakers spoke about dating from male and female perspectives. The conference also featured Brad Wilcox, a member of the Sunday School general board, who spoke about how young men and young women can form proper and appropriate bonds. He emphasized that the dating experience should be fun and should leave lasting, happy memories.

Sophia B., a Laurel who attended, said, “Sometimes we think we’re missing out, but hearing Brother Wilcox’s message helped me realize it’s really not worth the emotional pain of turning from our standards.”

This was the third annual dating conference for youth in the Dallas area. The youth and leaders who plan these conferences hope to combat troubling trends and ideas surrounding dating among teenagers today. One trend at many high schools these days is the tendency to date one person exclusively.

Jacob C., a priest, explained, “The world sees dating as having a boyfriend or girlfriend and being together all the time. When talking about dating with my friends at school, I usually have to translate what it means to me.”

For the Strength of Youth teaches, “Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person” ([2011], 4).

Throughout the conference, youth were able to surround themselves with good friends who follow the same dating standards. They met youth from surrounding areas, received great instructions on dating, and had a fun time all in one setting.