Are LDS teens actively discouraged from dating non-members
Being married to a Mormon is extremely difficult, on a number of levels. I personally have given up alcohol entirely, along with most R-rated films, shopping on. General note's about non-Mormon/Mormon dating, as a person who's married to a non-member myself. A relationship with Jesus is not a hobby. Therefore, this warning comes with great emphasis. Do not take the chance of dating nonmembers, or members who are untrained and faithless. A girl may say, .
No true Latter-day Saint would wish to have his children leave the Church, sacrifice its blessings or be raised in another faith. By the same token, the other spouse generally would not wish to have the children raised in our Church, and here they join issue; here there is a conflict of loyalties and a parting of the ways. Again we say, religion, if sincere, is fundamental, and wisdom would suggest in the interest of peace and happiness that not only Latter-day Saints, but men and women of other faiths, should marry members of their own church.
There is, of course, the additional incentive for LDS members to marry within the Church, and that is that only worthy members of the Church may be married in the temple.
Temple marriage is for time and eternity, and children born to parents who were married in the temple belong to the parents forever. Let young men and women consider before they marry out of the Church whether they will be willing to lose their children, either here or hereafter or both, rather than overcome and reject a juvenile infatuation.
They who marry out of the Church and therefore out of the temple should consider the permanence of the separation agreed to m the civil marriage ceremony, which concludes with the saddening phrase, "Until death do you part. Each one should try to imagine himself adjusting to the problem of seeing his or her child reared in another faith, or see the child form friendships or accept values and standards which are contrary to his own early training and deep convictions.
There can be no warm family fellowship enjoyed when the parents, and later the children, differ on such essential matters. Furthermore, children raised under such conditions will themselves be inclined to minimize or disregard the importance of religion when in turn they may be seeking companions. Thoughtful young people should, before they start dating, avoid the danger of entanglements and date only those who are of their own faith. All experienced counselors know that religious differences are among the root causes of incompatibility and unhappiness.
Some young people marry non-members in the hope that they may be converted and join the Church after marriage. It is much wiser to settle that question before marriage, and if neither one nor the other wishes to join the Church to which his fiancee belongs, a broken engagement is much better than broken hearts and a broken home after the marriage ceremony.
Young men and women, thinking of marriage, look forward hopefully to building peaceful, love-filled homes and raising happy, united families. If they talk to any wise marriage counselor, or the leaders of their own church or the minister of their proposed companion, they will almost invariably be advised to choose life partners whose faith and spiritual background is the same as their own.
There are enough built in hazards in this venture with, out deliberately starting out with a fundamental difference. The late President Joseph F. Smith, one of the wisest and most revered of fathers, said in a general conference of the Church: Some people feel that it does not make very much difference whether a girl marries a man in the Church, full of the faith of the gospel, or an unbeliever.
Some of our young people have married outside the Church, but very few of those who have done it have failed to come to grief. I would like to see Latter-day Saint women marry Latter, day Saint men, and Latter-day Saint men marry Latter-day Saint women; and let Methodists marry Methodists, Catholics marry Catholics, and Presbyterians marry Presbyterians, and so on to the limit. Let them keep within the pale of their own faith and church, and marry and intermarry there, and let the Latter-day Saints do the same thing in their Church.
The following is typical: As I listened to your address today, I wished, so deep in my heart, that I had listened to similar advice ten years ago. At the age of 22 I married a non-Mormon. I had dated good Mormon boys, but, although I had respect for them, they had failed to "sweep me off my feet. The time has come when my duty is first to my children.
We can no longer spend our Sundays hunting or visiting. My children need to go to church. My husband is willing that I should take them, but I must go alone. We are separated in the one thing that could bring us the most joy. Worshipping as a family.
I can see my marriage slowly slipping away from me. Our central interests are different. He likes dogs and sports, mine must be church and children. I must take the children slowly to me and away from him. We have no common ground on which to meet in time of trial and need. Couples who cannot pray together, can seldom talk to each other. The loneliness I feel these days is almost more than I can bear. The worst part of the whole situation is the conflicts with yourself, knowing that your duty is to the children and the Church, and yet wanting the companionship of your husband.
I sincerely hope you will continue to impress these important facts on our youth. I don't believe this subject can be stressed too much to our young boys and girls. May God be with me, that I may find a solution to my problem. I sincerely hope He can help me do the best with the mistake I have made.
There are, of course, many good, sincere, devoted people in other churches. Our objection to marrying them stems, not from any "Holier-than-thou" feeling, but from a desire that both parties avoid the unhappiness which experience shows is almost inevitable. We would advise any Catholic, Protestant, or Jew not to marry a Latter-day Saint and for the same reasons. Marriage is, to Latter-day Saints, not only the most serious and important of life's adventures, but it is, when properly solemnized, the gateway into the kingdom of heaven.
Furthermore, it is prerequisite to admittance to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. You and Your Marriage, p. Woe to you who do it; you will lose your crowns as sure as God lives. What was the cause of the first, or one of the first, curses that came upon Israel? I will tell you. One of the first transgressions of the family called Israel, was their going to other families or other nations to select partners.
This was one of the great mistakes made by the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they would go and marry with other families, although the Lord had forbidden them to do so, and had given them a very strict and stringent law on the subject. He commanded them not to marry among the Gentiles, but they did and would do it. Inasmuch as they would not do what he required of them, then he gave them what I call a portion of the law of carnal commandments.
This law told them what they might and whom they might not marry. It was referred to by the Savior and his Apostles and it was a grievous yoke to place on the necks of any people; but as the children of this family would run after Babylon, and after the pride and the vanity and evils of the world, and seek to introduce them into Israel, the Lord saw fit to place this burden upon them.
How is it with you, sisters?
Do you distinguish between a man of God and a man of the world? It is one of the strangest things that happens in my existence, to think that any man or woman can love a being that will not receive the truth of heaven. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. Cannon When Latter-day Saints marry those who are not of their faith, I look upon it as a great misfortune to those who do so. If those barriers were to be broken down which ought to exist between us and the world I should view it as a great calamity.
One of the strictest commands that the Lord gave to Israel in olden times was that they should not marry with the nations surrounding them; and this law is equally binding on us, and we should do everything in our power to maintain it inviolate. My oldest daughter asked a work friend to partner her to her school formal prom. She eventually married in the temple and has three children born under the covenant.
She says she learnt from her nonmember versus member dating experiences what it was she really wanted in a husband. Another daughter met a wonderful young man at university.
They were friends, then good friends for over a year before they actually began dating. He joined the Church a year and a half ago, and their temple wedding is planned for next year. A third daughter is about to leave on a mission and has never entertained the idea of dating a non-member. Our son dated very little if at all!
His eternal companion had only been a member a year when they married — they actually had to fit their wedding date to her baptismal anniversary, in order for her to attend the temple. Is this a cut-and-dried question? Thanks, too, for sharing your success stories. I feel that it is absolutely okay to date nonmembers, especially in high school.
I grew up in Nevada, and there were quite a few LDS youth in my area. As a result, I went on dates with some members and some nonmembers, and had wonderful experiences with all of them.
In high school dating, my father taught me that the most important thing was to get to know a wide variety of people and learn what qualities I like in others. Can you guess which one I dated? If LDS status was a deeply important issue to my parents, I may have missed the mark. That being said, once high school is over and one starts thinking of marriage, the bar can and should be raised. Ideally, they will have the desire to marry in the temple, which implies marrying a member.
However, I know of many instances in which a righteous member dated a nonmember who ended up converting before or after marriage. I also know situations where the member still hopes and yearns for a temple sealing with a nonmember spouse.
Faith Over Family: A Dating Dilemma for Mormon Singles | Emily Belanger
The answer here is so completely individual. The important thing is to stay close to the spirit and be open to promptings to go on a date with a nonmember if it feels right."Gay Mormon Dating: 101" Dating a Non Member
They may not convert, and it may not lead to marriage, but friendship and seeds can both be planted. The pathway to conversion and to the temple looks different for everyone. God moves in a mysterious way. I home teach a sister who was originally sealed to a man who went south on her after six kids. She then dated and married a nice man who was not a member. We have almost got him baptized a few times, but no success yet.
She had two children with him who are not sealed.
None of her children are very active in the Church. One of the counselors in my stake presidency has a friend that dated a nonmember but refused to be engaged if he were not a member and she refused to be married unless it was in the temple.
He took the missionary lessons and joined and a year later took her to the temple. He is now an Area Authority Seventy. All of their children are married and sealed in the temple. I know others who have been prompted to initially marry out of the temple and their spouse later joined.
However, most of those I know who have done that, their spouses have not yet joined or taken them to temple. I met a man years ago that told me his courtship story. He received a sports scholarship to a southern Utah college.
Faith Over Family: A Dating Dilemma for Mormon Singles
He came to school knowing nothing about the Church. In his first semester he noticed a gorgeous young lady and told his colleges that he wanted to date her. He was so smitten by her that he investigated the Church on his own and joined. Afterwards he asked her out and, to make a long story short, they were married on the temple and reared a very successful family.
We ask those not married to set dating standards for themselves so that increasing emotional attachments that are apart of the dating process, including the increasing desire for full and complete intimacy drives them to marry someone less that they deserve and need. Most of the time strict dating standards are very productive for our young adults. However, there is enough evidence that shows that the Lord directs some of our young adults into directions outside of the common standards as he has other plans for their lives.
Dating should never be used as a religious rehab tool or a friendshipping method. If he wants to date good member girls, then he needs to meet their standards. Rescue and friendshipping in our church is the responsibility of the same sex youth and their leaders.
They are the ones to reach out with open arms. I just had to accept the fact that I was not meeting their expectations, whatever they were, and it did not scar me for life. I eventually found a good women to marry in the temple whom I am very happy with.
Eric Bunker Thanks for all those great stories, Eric. Also, I appreciate your pointing out that nobody has the right to blame their destructive behavior on others. I know that because my own husband befriended nonmembers because the kids in his ward would have nothing to do with him.
As a people we love fellowshipping. In mortality, it will forever be easier to sink to a lower level than rise to a higher one. Thanks for sharing your experience, Vickie. Even though some people may be inspired to date nonmembers in a fellowshipping sense, this is not something that comes without consequences. Sometimes, as your family members learned, the consequences do not have happy endings.
I live in a place where Latter-day Saints are few in number. Active women outnumber active men. Why some women are deluged with proposals, and others have never even been kissed by the time they reach 40 still remains a mystery to me.
Most young women even if they are pretty and clever and good will hardly ever date if they stick with members — and we all hope they do, as if they date outside the church there is a certainty that their date will expect them to break the law of chastity with them after a few evenings out.
If you can marry in the Church, or remain celibate, then great.
Kimball said it was best to marry a nonmember as long as he was a good God-fearing person. But obviously younger women should only date members; dating non-members should only be done by those who have had no success finding a spouse inside the Church. I suppose guys that have joined or become active later in life and have not gone on missions suffer some exclusion from picky girls.
Luckily for me he joined the Church of his own volition a few days before we wed. This was good for missionary work, but it has caused some challenges. But it has meant that I have stayed in the fold of the Church rather than leaving like many others in my position have. We all have to deal with what life brings us, which is dependent on the choices we make.
Vim, UK I especially loved your last sentence, Vim! I think it is absolutely wise counsel to date those who are church members and who are worthy. Having been married to a nonmember I know first-hand how difficult it is to make a marriage work the more differences there are in your values. The real danger is that worldly teen relationships can so easily become faux courtship, and it is hard to give up those you originally sin with even when you know you should.
And sometimes the only person in a community who shares high standards is not the LDS peer. I absolutely stand on the idea that when you start acting in ways that belong to marriage, and when you have reached the age and maturity where you can see yourself getting married immediately to the people you are seeing, you need to be restricting your selection process to those who share your love of the Savior, who practice the gospel much the same way you do, and who are worthy to take you to the temple.
But until then, being with a variety of good people will broaden horizons. If you want to read the updated guide, click here. Lucky for me my husband dated outside the Church, because I was not a member or even likely to become one when we met. The other three parents objected. When I met being a church member was his only flaw; he was otherwise the perfect man. The upside to that is that I became a spiritual rather than social convert.
We have told our children that the default is to just date inside the Church, but that we should follow the spirit at all times.
One of my three kids was told in a patriarchal blessing to marry someone magnifying his calling, among other things. We really need to realize that what would be disastrous for one may be wonderful for another.
Dating and Marrying Non-Members
We need to always be mindful of individual revelation as well as really good advice from our leaders. Happily Ever After What a terrific letter, Happily! Loved what you said about the default being to date inside the Church, but that you should follow the spirit at all times. I worry about this a lot.
I grew up in an area with very few members, and out of those few there were not many I would want to date. In some cases they were not worthy. Also, I had been in their Primary, seminary and youth classes for so many years that they felt more like brothers than romantic interests.
My daughter is growing up in a similar situation, and I worry about her future dating prospects. Besides her brother and younger sister she is the only member at her school. I teach the ward seminary, and we have an enrollment of four kids. She is excited about going into Young Women this year, but by the end of the year there will only be five Young Women in our ward.