Old dating customs

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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).

The fragile circuitry of a brand-new relationship typically can’t handle high-voltage sexual energy surges, because the trust necessary for genuine openness takes time to grow.Looking back, it’s easy to roll our eyes at how dating used to be done.Still, yesterday’s etiquette helped preempt today’s tendency toward “too much, too soon” in new relationships. In 1963, the Beatles released a single that instantly rose to the top of the charts.One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.So one important point to understand right up front (and about which many inside and outside the church are confused) is that we have not moved a dating system into our courtship system.

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