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

For the Strength of Youth

My Date Knew What to Do

The author lives in Utah, USA.

The situation was getting uncomfortable, but luckily I was with a friend who shared my standards.

My Date Knew What to Do

Illustration by Jim Madsen

When I was 17 years old, one of my good friends asked me to go on a group date with him. We went to the park with a couple of our friends and played volleyball, ate treats, and talked around the fire to finish off the night. We had a lot of fun, and I was happy that I could spend that time getting to know my date. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a group of boys who were about our same age approached us. Almost instantly, I felt uneasy. Those boys were acting so strangely; they talked too loudly, and their eyes were red and glazed over.

One of them lifted something to his mouth, blew out a lot of smoke, and said, “Looks like you guys are having a party. Mind if we join?”

My date politely responded, “We’re actually just about to leave. We were just cleaning up.”

One of the boys then said, “But we’d love to join you! Besides, the party just started! Do you guys want to share a smoke?”

It was then that I realized that they weren’t smoking just regular cigarettes, and I completely froze. I realized why the Spirit had warned me so quickly. I didn’t want to be rude, but I also knew I didn’t want anything to do with whatever they had to offer. I was so relieved that I was with my friend—a worthy priesthood holder—who shared my standards and could sense how uncomfortable I was.

Without hesitating, my date said, “No, thanks. We’re not into that kind of stuff. Have a good night!” And we left the park.

As he drove me home, I felt the Spirit’s peace come back. I told him how grateful I was that he shared my standards and that he had been there to help me out of that difficult situation. The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet counsels us to “date only those who have high moral standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Remember that a young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to protect each other’s honor and virtue” ([2011], 4). Though his actions were simple, my date helped me to maintain my standards.

I’ve learned that if I choose to be around and date people who share my standards, I will be blessed with the Spirit and the decision to keep the commandments and maintain my standards will be easier.