Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders

Is There Life Before Sixteen? On Your Mark, Get Ready, Get Set, Date PART 4

By: Michael W. Allred

From the book: Serving With Strength Throughout the World

In the early years of dating, we often fail to plan meaningful activities, so we end up driving around, asking each other what we want to do. I feel sorry for the girl who is asked out on a date where all the boy wants to do is go over to her house and watch television. Can you imagine how such a couple would spend their evenings together, should they actually end up married to each other? If you plan imaginative dates that provide for a variety of activities you will get to know your date’s personality, their ability to have fun, to relate to other people. Watching television ought to be the last choice. There are too many fun things to do.

We need to understand the purpose of dating. “You are sent to this earth not merely to have a good time or to satisfy urges or passions or desires. You are sent to this earth, not to ride a merry-go-round, airplanes, automobiles, and have what the world calls fun. You are sent to this world with a serious purpose . . . the matter of marriage” (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Matter of Marriage” [Address given at Salt Lake Institute of Religion, 22 Oct. 1976], p. 2). Dating becomes the prelude to marriage. Therefore, if marriage is a major purpose of life then so is dating. But does this mean we can’t have fun? I hope not!

Here are some suggestions on how to have fun and still accomplish a more serious purpose on a date. First of all, we need to have the Young Women’s values and colors in mind. For those male gender readers, let’s review a little. The Young Women’s values and related colors are:

Faith (white)

Divine Nature (blue)

Individual Worth (red)

Knowledge (green)

Choice and Accountability (orange)

Good Works (yellow)

Integrity (purple)

What if, each time you were getting ready for a date, you were to choose one of these values to focus on? While getting dressed, you were to choose some piece of clothing that reminds you of that value. For example, if I wanted to emphasize “Good Works” and find out my date’s attitude on that value, I might wear a yellow shirt and plan a date where we would wash my parents’ cars or something like that. By doing so, I would stay focused, and I would find out how my date feels about doing good to others. Plus, washing cars can get crazy if you’re willing to get a little wet.

I would like to share a quote with you. I have added the words in the brackets to show how the values we are talking about relate. “Associating with others under wholesome circumstances helps develop friendships and permits you to learn about qualities and characteristics in others [integrity and good works], to get to know them [knowledge], to have fun together [individual worth], to widen areas of choice [choice and accountability], to achieve a wider and wiser vision of what one may seek in an eternal companion [divine nature], and to ultimately find someone who shares common convictions [values] and character traits and whom you can marry in the right way in the right place by the right authority [faith]” (Marion D. Hanks, Now and Forever [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], p. 44.)

Think of all the crazy dating ideas you can and see if they can be made to relate in any way to these values. (See the examples on pages 12-13.) Using your imagination in planning dates can result in dates that are not only fun but productive. When you invite someone to go out or accept an invitation to date someone, it creates a situation where both of you can practice being courteous and thoughtful. Two young people on a date are usually trying to impress each other, and they are each on their best behavior. Developing these kinds of social skills is valuable and will help prepare you to be a better and more attractive candidate for serious dating and eventual marriage. You’ll have a lot of fun on these kinds of dates, but you’ll also get to learn something valuable from each of these relationships. That is one of the reasons why you’ll want to date a variety of people during your teenage years—and not just one person. So, is there life before sixteen? Yes, but beyond sixteen, too. Make it count!

I testify that our Heavenly Father loves each of us. He knows what is best for us, and he is allowing us to work out our own salvation. The dating game is a major part of our future. If we are still in the pre-game warm-up stage—getting ready to play but not yet called into the game—we need to work on our friendship, our personal qualities, and our commitment to follow the standards of the Church, including our own specific rules. If we are already in the middle of the game, we need to find out all we can about the people we date, including their inner values. But if we are to succeed, we need to pay attention to what our leaders have taught us, live worthy lives, and follow the rules. Then we can use the dating experience to have fun, meet new people, and ultimately discover a partner with whom we can enter into a celestial marriage.

In summary I would like to share this poem with you.

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Get Set, Date!

by Mike Allred

They’re off and running to get a date
To fill the void in their heart.
The girls are nervous, the boys all flirt;
The games are off to a start.
Some boys act cool, and tough, and mean
To show the amount of the man.
Some girls are ditsy; they’re smarter than none;
When brighter the boys all ran.
When thinking of acting to get a date,
To fake yourself as some do,
Remember the goal of dating is clear;
To find someone just like you.
Some find a date and think they’re in love,
Go steady; all friendships must end!
They fail to see that others around
Could help them become a true friend.
But friendships will always continue to grow;
A celestial value to earn.
Develop yourself to be a friend
By charity, love, and concern.
Dating with purpose, becoming as one,
In friendships and values and love.
Follow the counsel of our prophets and learn
The light from your father above.
The choice is coming to choose from them all,
Eternity, never to part.
On your mark, get ready, get set, date;
Take time in preparing your heart.
Is there life before sixteen? The answer is a powerful YES!

Prepare now
Only double date
Keep Word of Wisdom
Keep Sabbath day holy
No going steady
No dating until sixteen
No R-rated movies
Do own school work
Be on time to work
Smile more often
Be more pleasant at home
Go to interviews when asked
Treat your date with respect
Set and then observe a curfew
Improve the way I speak
Don’t be alone with a date
Don’t date the same person twice in a row
No making out
Don’t wear immodest clothes
No swearing
Don’t gossip

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>