Hanging out vs dating vs courtship
Prepare yourself for life—even a single life—by education, experience, and planning. I am asking her to come up and tell us what is in her heart. I was married in my middle 50s, and I feel like I’m becoming the poster girl for “old.” Before I start, I feel to tell you how much you are loved by your Heavenly Father. Make it count by dedicating your time to your Heavenly Father. It is something that happens every day of our lives. It can be very painful to be single for such a long time, especially in a church of families. On my 50th birthday my brother-in-law was reading the newspaper. I would say to everyone in this room, always remember that your first calling is as a mother or as a father.
We are in Oakland, and I’ve just been to the visitors’ center across the way with President Robert Bauman of the mission. He said, “Hey, it says here in the paper that at age 50 your chances for getting killed by terrorists are better than your chances for getting married.” I knew that dating was tough when he said that, but don’t give up. Develop those domestic talents, talents of love and talents of service.
Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent.
Don’t make it easy for young men to hang out in a setting where you women provide the food. An occasional group activity is OK, but when you see men who make hanging out their primary interaction with the opposite sex, I think you should lock the pantry and bolt the front door.
For many years the Church has counseled young people not to date before age 16.The old-fashioned date was a wonderful way to get acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. It allowed you to see how you treat others and how you are treated in a one-on-one situation.It gave opportunities to learn how to initiate and sustain a mature relationship. My single brothers and sisters, follow the simple dating pattern and you don’t need to do your looking through Internet chat rooms or dating services—two alternatives that can be very dangerous or at least unnecessary or ineffective.Up to this point I have concentrated primarily on the responsibilities of single men. If you are just marking time waiting for a marriage prospect, stop waiting. Now, single sisters, I have an expert witness to invite to the stand at this time.You may never have the opportunity for a suitable marriage in this life, so stop waiting and start moving. It is my wife, Kristen, who, as an adult, was single for about 35 years before we married. The Atonement is not something that happens at the end of our lives. I got a doctorate and became so involved in my profession that I forgot about being a good person.
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My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football.