Any dating or pairing off in social contacts should be postponed until at least the age of 16 or older, and even then there should be much judgment used in the selections and in the seriousness" (Kimball, 1975, p. As a consequence of this teaching, the age of sixteen has become the acceptable age when dating can begin. Nineteen is an especially pivotal age in the social and religious life of late adolescent LDS youth. Although many boyfriend-girlfriend relationships do not last through the mission separation, the mission experience frequently brings a maturity that better prepares young men and women for eventual marriage. "Marriage and Divorce." In 1976 Speeches of the Year. Despite the postponing effect of missions on dating activities, LDS men tend to marry at an age younger than national averages, while LDS women marry at about the norm.
Friendship, not courtship, should be the relationship of teenagers .
Missionaries leave romantic relationships behind and are counseled not to worry about or telephone girlfriends or boyfriends.
They are restricted from all dating activities during their missionary service.
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).