Methodist Mom: How My Son's Mormon Mission Changed My Life | LDS Living
As ex-mormons, can anyone here offer some insight about this girl, her religion, and what exactly I may be getting myself into if I continue dating. Are the parents of my Mormon girlfriend insane?? . I exhibited similar insane behavior regarding my first son and his marvelous fiancée. .. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to. Methodist Mom: How My Son's Mormon Mission Changed My Life . You can't talk to year-old boys with their own car and a girlfriend, having the time of their .
Any advice or help you can give would be much appreciated! Here is my response to her: Thanks for writing me. Yes, I have studied Mormonism since the early s, much longer than you have been alive!!!
And I guarantee you are not going to like it. Many local LDS congregations host weekend dances and other social events to which their young people are encouraged to invite nonmember friends. Nonmembers often end up becoming attracted to the wholesome Latter-day Saints. Over the years we have counseled a number of young people who have become involved in relationships with Mormons of the opposite sex.
Typically, these Christians are encouraged to participate in the missionary lessons and join the LDS Church if they hope to take their relationships to the next level. In other words, they are pressured to convert to Mormonism. Christian researcher Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministry believes the problem is especially prevalent with those attending college.
By that time, the person is often in a serious relationship that will lead to a temple wedding, which the [non-LDS] parents will not be allowed to witness. In 2 Corinthians 6: One problem that often arises is a religious stalemate in the marriage. When children come along, the couple has to determine a strategy for church attendance. Often this results in a compromise with the children dividing their attendance between two different churches that profess major doctrinal differences.
For children, this can be especially confusing. If dating is considered a possible precursor to marriage, then it makes sense to set the standards high at these beginning levels.
However, is it more likely that a person will marry someone he or she has never dated? The answer is obvious, as dating is certainly the first step in a possible long-term relationship. The dynamics of a dating relationship between a boy and a girl creates a very dangerous situation for a believer if he or she has chosen to date someone of another faith.
A relationship with another human should never mean more than a relationship with God. The end does not justify the means. Christians who emotionally manipulate Mormons for the purpose of conversion place their integrity in a precarious situation. Why should the Mormon seriously consider following the Bible when the Christian obviously is not heeding its admonition?
Like most of their non-Mormon peers in dating cultures, LDS youth date to have fun as they participate in social activities with other boys and girls. As plainly stated by prominent leaders of the Church, "It is natural to date.
Every right-thinking young person has a native desire to become acquainted with the opposite sex, looking eventually to pairing off in honorable marriage" Petersen, p. Because the selection of a mate in life is so extremely important, we should intelligently seek the experiences which will help us to make that great decision" Howard W. Hunter, Youth of the Noble Birthright,pp.
Typical of the advice given to LDS youth is the following counsel about dating: Only those whose standards are high, like your own. Clean places, decent places, proper places where you can be proud to be.
Associating with others under wholesome circumstances helps develop friendships and permits you to learn about qualities and characteristics in others, to get to know them, to have fun together, to widen areas of choice, to achieve a wider and wiser vision of what one may seek in an eternal companion.
Not too young, not too often, not on school nights as a rule, not too expensively. Fun things, wholesome things, good and useful things - things pleasing to you, to parents, to God. With others, in groups, chaperoned when proper, appropriately dressed, cheerfully, courteously, modestly, wisely, prayerfully. And let parents know where you are, with whom, doing what, and when you will return.
Have a happy time! During the two-year mission, no dating is allowed and the missionaries maintain fairly strict rules regarding the opposite sex no flirting, keep an arm's length away, stay with your assigned companion, keep thoughts clean, etc.
Once they return, returned missionaries tend to date actively and often marry within a couple of years from their return. I also think that LDS youth tend to be creative in dating, with a focus on fun and getting to know others. Lots of wholesome activities are sought, some of which may seem corny but cute.
This is much better than just going to movies - they don't help you get to know your date very well. And today, not many are clean enough for LDS people to bother with. Are the parents of my Mormon girlfriend insane?? Here is an excerpt from a question received inmodified to maintain anonymity: I am [a] non-mormon. I am currently dating a 16 year old Mormon girl. We have been dating for awhile now and I am happier then I have ever been in my life.
I have several other friends dating mormon girls and everything is fine for them. Well my girlfriends parents decided now that she has to date other guys if she ever wants to see me again. Do you find that normal in your religion or are her parents just insane? Do you think her parents will loosen up or just get stricter. If you could help me out with this I would appreciate it alot. Thanks for the question. The answer is simple: From the perspective of the teenagers, insanity may be the best explanation for the behavior of some LDS parents, but from their perspective they are just trying to guide their daughter safely toward a happy destination in a world that offers many pitfalls for our youth.
Since you have taken the initiative to dig into LDS issues and contact me, I bet you are a pretty decent guy trying to do what's right and be respectful of your girlfriend and her faith, which is great. Given the realities of life, I would suggest being patient right now, for things aren't likely to change right away. She will be 18 sooner than you think, and then what she does is her choice. Meanwhile, don't overlook the telephone.
And you should know that if she cares about her religion, she may ultimately want to marry within the faith and raise her children LDS. That's an issue that you may wish to explore. For now, take some steps to help the parents be more comfortable with you, like learning about her religion, spending some time with the girl with her family around, getting to know the parents better, not being too affectionate in front of the parents, being as patient as you can with them, etc.
They started dating at age 16, and as insane parents, we imposed a lot of rules, too, some of which were really too strict, in my slightly less insane opinion of today. He is completing a great mission, and they will soon be married in the temple, with what we expect to be a wonderful and happy married life.
We didn't need so many rules for them, but I just didn't know it then. Say, is your girlfriend the oldest child or oldest girl in the family?
I hope you and your spouse-to-be will find great happiness, also. But for now, whoever you are dating, know that if the parents are faithful LDS people, there is a chance that they will seem genuinely insane at first. For example, I bet that your girlfriend's parents are neurotic, unreasonable, paranoid, overly protective, utterly psychotic, and completely devoted to doing what they think will help their daughter find happiness in a dangerous and destructive world where loving, caring, protective parents are a rare commodity.
Some of us parents overreact and get too strict, but be patient with that. They may believe that their sweet year-old girl is far too young to go steady and enter into a serious and possibly permanent relationship. For the well-being of their precious child, they hope that she will choose her companion wisely, and even be so wise as to marry within her faith, allowing her marriage and her family to be blessed with unity in one of the most basic aspects of human life, religious belief.
I'm dating a Latter-day Saint girl. What should I expect in terms of views on sexuality and affection? In LDS theology, sexuality is a divine part of human nature, a sacred gift, which must be used within the limits the Lord has set. Sexual activity is reserved solely for the marriage.
Latter-day Saints are taught that our bodies are sacred and should be kept modestly dressed and should not be touched or used in any sexual way outside of marriage. Affection for a non-married couple should be simple, brief, and appropriate, avoiding things that can stimulate passion.
Thus, Church leaders teach against lengthy, passionate kissing and other more passionate forms of affection. Thoughts should be kept clean and under control, avoiding lust or things which stimulate lustful desires. Violations of these principles are sinful and require sincere repentance.
Fornication and adultery - sex outside of marriage - are considered to be among the gravest sins especially for those who understand the Lord's will and deliberately violate itfor they toy recklessly with the sacred powers that give life, just as murder toys with the gift of life itself.
There are many other forms of immorality, including those that have been publicized by the gross actions of some modern politicians, which are terrible sins of a similar nature. A wonderful message related to this topic was offered by an Apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott, in the April General Conference of the Church. His message is " The Sanctity of Womanhood. If you have participated in such serious sins, please repent and turn to the Lord.
His Atonement makes full forgiveness possible. Stop the sinful behavior, ask God for forgiveness, and have faith in the redeeming blood of Christ that was shed for you. He can make you pure and clean again - and what a marvelous feeling that is! Does the Church prohibit marriage to someone of a different religion? No, but the Church encourages its members to marry within the Church.
This is sound advice in general, for the more a married couple have in common, the more likely their marriage will be successful. When a couple disagrees on basic core values and beliefs, it can lead to additional stress, conflicts, and disappointment.
The issue of how kids are raised can be especially problematic. Naturally, the Church hopes they will be raised LDS. We believe that the Lord wants children to be raised with the truth of the Gospel. Some of the greatest blessings of the Gospel are available to married couples who both live the Gospel and are willing to receive sacred covenants made in temples.
Temple marriage, for example, offers the potential to be married throughout eternity and to enjoy the blessings of family life in the presence of God. Thus, we hope that all our young people will choose to be married in the temple to a spouse who is committed to Christ and is willing to live life according to the Gospel. Are those who marry outside the Church ostracized? It is fairly common, though not the ideal. I'm sure that it can impair some social relationships with other couples who are both LDS, for the part-member couple will be less likely to attend church and church activities together.
But those who look down on non-members or who shun them in any way are living well outside the teachings of the Gospel and of Church leaders. They need to repent and become more Christlike. What do Mormons think about human sexuality? It's actually a very important and sacred topic, one that needs to be approached with sensitivity but one that needs to be clearly taught and understood. Sexuality is viewed as a God-given gift, related to our divine nature and to our divinely appointed gender see the Official LDS Proclamation on the Family and Family Practices.
But this gift must only be used in proper ways. An excellent overview of this topic is given by Terrance D. Olson in his article, "Sexuality," in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.Child Disapproves Of Interracial Couple - What Would You Do? - WWYD
In LDS life and thought, sexuality consists of attitudes, feelings, and desires that are God-given and central to God's plan for his children, but they are not the central motivating force in human action. Sexual feelings are to be governed by each individual within boundaries the Lord has set.
Sexuality is not characterized as a need, or a deprivation that must be satisfied, but as a desire that should be fulfilled only within marriage, with sensitive attention given to the well-being of one's heterosexual marriage partner. As the offspring of God, humans carry the divine Light of Christ, which is the means whereby the appropriate expression of sexual desires can be measured.
Depending on whether men and women are true or false to this light, they will be the masters or the victims of sexual feelings.
Such desires are to be fulfilled only within legal heterosexual marriage, wherein sexual involvement is to be an expression of unity, compassion, commitment, and love. Mutuality and equality are to be the hallmark of a married couple's physical intimacy. The purposes of appropriate sexual relations in marriage include the expression and building of joy, unity, love, and oneness. To be "one flesh" is to experience an emotional and spiritual unity.
This oneness is as fundamental a purpose of marital relations as is procreation. The union of the sexes, husband and wife and only husband and wifewas for the principal purpose of bringing children into the world. Sexual experiences were never intended by the Lord to be a mere plaything or merely to satisfy passions and lusts.
We know of no directive from the Lord that proper sexual experience between husbands and wives need be limited totally to the procreation of children, but we find much evidence from Adam until now that no provision was ever made by the Lord for indiscriminate sex [, p.
Furthermore, as Paul noted, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: Thus, physical intimacy is a blessing to married couples when it is an expression of their mutual benevolence and commitment to each other's well-being, an affirmation of their striving to be emotionally and spiritually one. The key in sexual matters is unselfishness.
Self-centered pursuit of physical desire is destructive of the unity and love that characterize healthy marital relations. Such love or charity is long-suffering, kind, not envious, does "not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not [one's] own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil" 1 Cor.
Bringing children into a loving home is considered a sacred privilege and responsibility of husbands and wives. Given that context, birth control is a matter left to the prayerful, mutual decisions of a righteous couple, with the counsel that husbands must be considerate of their wives, who experience the greater physical and emotional demands in bearing children.
A woman's health and strength are to be preserved in childbearing; thus, wisdom should govern how a husband and wife carry out the responsibility to become parents and to care for their offspring.
Sexual feelings in the mature man or woman are relatively strong and constant, and they are not evil. An early apostle of this dispensation, Parley P. Some persons have supposed that our natural affections were the results of a fallen and corrupt nature, and that they are "carnal, sensual, and devilish," and therefore ought to be resisted, subdued, or overcome as so many evils which prevent our perfection, or progress in the spiritual life Our natural affections are planted in us by the Spirit of God, for a wise purpose; and they are the very main-springs of life and happiness-they are the cement of all virtuous and heavenly society-they are the essence of charity, or love There is not a more pure and holy principle in existence than the affection which glows in the bosom of a virtuous man for his companion [p.
As with any appetite or passion, physical desire can be distorted, overindulged, or misused. Kimball observed that, as in all other aspects of marriage, there are virtues to be observed in sexual matters: That is not true and the Lord would not condone it" Kimball,p. The Church prohibits sexual involvement except between a man and woman who are lawfully married to each other. Latter-day Saints are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse prior to marriage and to honor the marriage covenant by confining sexual relations to the spouse only.
Sexual morality also requires abstention from activities that arouse desires not expressible until marriage. Sexual abstinence prior to marriage is considered not only right and possible but also beneficial. Abstinence is not viewed as repression, nor are there any particular negative consequences to so living. Parents have the obligation to teach their children both the goodness-the sacredness-of the power to create life see procreation and the principles of maturation and sexual development.
Church leaders encourage parents to discuss sexuality openly with their children, answering their questions straightforwardly and contrasting the Lord's plan for his children-which includes their eventual ability to produce children themselves-with the ways this power to create life can be profaned or abused. Children are to be prepared while young and, according to appropriate stages of development, are to be taught regarding human reproduction and the emotional and spiritual meanings of the procreative power and sexual desires that will grow within them Parents are expected to teach correct principles and to be examples of what they teach, treating each other with compassion and charity and living in a relationship of absolute fidelity.
Fundamental to all parental instruction is a parent-child relationship of love and trust. Youth are vulnerable to sexual enticements both because of the strength of their developing desires and because they are still growing in understanding and responsibility. Full comprehension of the consequences-to themselves and to succeeding generations-of the failure to abstain sexually may not come simultaneously with their sexual interests. Trust and respect for parents can help insulate adolescents from temptation while their capacity to exercise full rights and responsibilities matures.
Parents' responsibility to educate children sensitively and directly should not be delegated to the public schools or other agencies outside the home. When public sex-education programs are offered, LDS parents are counseled to assure that such programs adequately acknowledge the sanctity of marriage and promote family-oriented values and standards The standard of sexual morality endorsed by the Church applies equally to men and women. Given that the power to create life is central to God's plan for his children, sexual transgression is most serious Those who violate the law of chastity may be subject to Church disciplinary procedures, designed to help them cease their transgressions and restore them to full fellowship.
Whether it is adultery, fornication, sexual abuse, incest, rape, perversion, or any other unholy practices, such behavior is to be addressed vigorously by local Church authorities, who seek the repentance of perpetrators and the protection of any victims.
Homosexual relationships are prohibited In such cases, the Church affirms that such distortions in sexual feelings or behavior can, with the Lord's help, be overcome. A compassionate interest in the well-being of transgressors and the healing of relationships should motivate Church interest and action. Sexual wrongdoing is not to be condoned, ignored, or addressed casually.
Transgressors themselves can be forgiven, but only by repenting and coming unto Christ Victims of rape or incest often experience trauma and feelings of guilt, but they are not responsible for the evil done by others, and they deserve and need to be restored to their sense of innocence through the love and counsel of Church leaders. Practically speaking, the benefits of living a chaste life prior to marriage and of observing a relationship of fidelity after marriage apply to every dimension of marriage and family relationships.
By remaining chaste before marriage and totally faithful to one's spouse in a heterosexual marriage, one can avoid some physically debilitating diseases, extramarital pregnancies, and venereal infections passed on to offspring. The sense of trust, loyalty, love, and commitment essential to the ideal of oneness in marriage and family life is not damaged or strained. Furthermore, one's relationship to and confidence in God are strengthened.
By governing the power to create life, one sets the stage for the exercise of these desires, not whimsically, but with a reverence for the sacredness of the divine powers of creation. The Teachings of Spencer W. Salt Lake City, Writings of Parley Parker Pratt, ed.
Entire issue on sexuality. Why can't non-LDS people attend a temple wedding? This is especially painful when the parents of a son or daughter are excluded from attending the wedding. This is one of the most painful parts of the Gospel for those that are not members.
The most wonderful ceremony of all is marriage "for time and eternity" NOT till death do you part performed with the sealing power of the Priesthood, the same power that Christ gave to Peter in Matt. Temple marriage can only be performed in the holy Temple of God, and attendance in the Temple for ceremonies requires that one not only be a member of the Church, but that one meet high standards of personal worthiness.
When parents aren't members, they won't be able to attend in the temple. Many LDS couples try to deal with the situation by having a separate ring-exchanging ceremony outside the temple or having a public reception, but there is little that can relieve the pain of a parent who does not understand the significance of temple marriage or the reasons why the marriage ceremony can't be observed.
What happens if you do not marry your sweetheart in the temple? You mean what happens if you marry her in a civil marriage only? Then you can still have a great marriage and wonderful life and family, but it's strictly "till death do you part.
I much prefer knowing that my family is joined eternally by the power of God's priesthood than to have a relationship that will end in a few years. I am a devout Catholic and am in love with a girl who is a pretty devout Mormon. What do you think are the chances of me and her being able to marry?
I'm glad you found a pretty devout Mormon, as you say. But remember, beauty isn't everything. What are the chances of you marrying? Of course, successful marriage is difficult - and having different religions makes it even harder. Faithful LDS people usually really want their kids to be LDS also, and want to have a marriage and family that lasts forever, not just until death. That requires temple marriage ultimately. So sure, you can get married and be happy - but the greatest happiness and success is possible when both husband and wife are able to make sacred and eternal covenants in the Temple of our Heavenly Father.
Hope you'll be able to make such covenant with your wife someday. How can there be marriage in heaven? Doesn't that contradict the Bible? Many people have quoted the story in Matt. Marriage is an ordinance bringing change in relationships and is thus an ordinance for this mortal world that must be performed before we enter into the eternal realms in the presence of the Father.
We do not marry in heaven - that ordinance must be done beforehand. To have eternal power to seal in heaven what is sealed on earth, the sealing of a man and woman must be performed in the Temple by one who has received the sealing power that Christ gave to Peter. This is what Temple marriage is all about.
And it can only be done on earth. Further insight into this questions comes from Dan Bachman e-mail, March It may interest you to know that the Matt. The Lord's response to his prayer is known as Doctrine and Covenantsand is the main revelation responsible for our belief in eternal marriage. What I'm saying is the very passage you say refutes the idea of eternal marriage is the one which led to its introduction in the LDS Church. The story told to Jesus by the Sadducees was about a specific woman and her seven husbands.
They wanted to know "in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? He said that they erred in denying the resurrection on the basis of this story for two reasons. First, they did not know the scriptures.
Second, they did not know the power of God. That is interesting, because these were supposedly the scripture experts of that day -- yet he said they did not know them. He went on to say "For in the resurrection THEY neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Let me make the following points regarding the Savior's reply. Who were these people? Sadducees were a rather worldly group that denied the resurrection and generally rejected Christ. They aren't likely to be in the kingdom of heaven, so their marriages on earth are irrelevant.
Yet, most Christians believe that this verse means that nobody is married in heaven. That is wrong - and fact made even more clear by the next point below. I believe it is this implication that perhaps led Joseph Smith to inquire of God about the meaning of this passage. Joseph left two records about what he learned by revelation in answer to his question.
The first is a summary statement about the story, which comes from the minutes of a meeting where he told a questioner that he learned that a man must marry for eternity or else he would be single in heaven. The most pertinent verses are 7, Verse 7 explains that for a marriage to be eternal it must meet four conditions which are: Verses make clear the distinction between being eternally married and being an angel. Temple marriage, like baptism, is an ordinance of change and covenant making that must occur prior to entering into heaven.
They are ordinances intended for mortals to prepare them for the endless state of Eternal Life in God's presence by bringing mortals into unchanging, eternal covenants. Christ did not say that the married state does not exist, nor that husbands and wives will not be sealed in the heavens, but he said that marriages aren't performed in heaven. Neither baptism nor marriage is performed in heaven, but must be done on earth. Temple marriage is also called "sealing" since a husband and wife are sealed together.
It is an ordinance that can only be done on earth, like baptism, but if done with proper authority and if the terms of that covenant are fulfilled, then the sealing will be valid in the heavens and the husband and wife will be heirs together of the grace of life 1 Pet. Thus, in a generic sense, Christ explained that after we are resurrected, there would be no confusion about relationships because marriages aren't performed there.
Marriage, baptism, and some other covenants are handled on earth, either by the living themselves or by the living vicariously for the deceased, and sources of confusion will need to be ironed out and resolved with God's help before we enter into Eternal Life in His presence. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Adam and Eve, before they fell, were immortal and were joined by God. There is no indication that God said "until death do you part" in joining them.
They were married in an immortal state and were intended to remain joined together. Those who have experienced the rich joy of true love between a husband and wife - as I have - should marvel that God would want it any other way. Marriage is one of the greatest and most divine gifts - a gift that is not eradicated in the resurrection. The world has lost this knowledge, but I'm grateful for the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel and for the restoration of the Temple, where such sacred ordinances are performed.
If there is eternal marriage, why didn't Christ teach this in the Bible? There are indications of eternal marriage and eternal families in the Bible. One of the earliest comes from Job. At the end, Job is blessed with double of all the things he had lost Job We are then given a lost of these things, and indeed we see that he was blessed with double the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and asses.
But "he had also seven sons and three daughters" Job The implication is that he still had the original children, consistent with the LDS view that families can be eternal. Another suggestion of eternal marriage comes from the word of Christ about the sealing power he gave to Peter Matt. And of marriage, Christ said "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" Matt. Also, in the Lord possibly meaning in heaven or in the eternitiesthe man is not without the woman and vice versa, according to 1 Cor.
The Bible is admittedly incomplete in its teachings of eternal marriage, as it is for many doctrines and practices had by early Christians, including baptism for the dead 1 Cor. But that doesn't mean that these concepts were not taught clearly by the Lord. Christ taught his apostles for 40 days after His resurrection, and we hardly have a word recorded of what He taught.
John says his record just scratches the surface of all that Christ did and taught John And we have abundant evidence that there were books of scripture treasured by the ancients that are no longer available see my LDSFAQ page about the Bible.
How do you know that eternal marriage was not known and taught? It's existence is not obvious in the current canon of books that were written and preserved, but there are evidences from early Christian sources that eternal marriage was known. See Mormonism and Early Christianity archivedan excellent site by Barry Bickmore, for more information.
Why do Mormons tend to only marry other Mormons? Not all do, but it's definitely best to marry within the Church. It makes life simpler the more you have in common. Further, from a religious perspective, we are commanded to marry within the faith. For example, Paul in 2 Corinthians 6: It really hinders progress. Verse 17 of that chapter says to "come out from among them" and "be ye separate" - warnings against adopting the ways of non-believers.
Likewise, Moses warned strictly against marrying outside the faith Deut. I can imagine many good reasons for this wise counsel. And to make sure that one marries within the faith, one really should date within the faith, for people tend to marry those they date. Why did your church practice plural marriage polygamy? Ending inthere was a nearly year period in which polygamy was sanctioned and encouraged by the Church.
It is now strictly forbidden. The practice commenced in the same way it ended: I don't know why the Lord commanded it, just as I don't know why there was polygamy among some of the greatest prophets of God in the Bible Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others. It is at odds with my cultural views and I'm grateful that it is no longer in force.
Adultery involves having sex with someone who is not your wife. Brigham Young and other past LDS polygamists were properly married to their wives - just the opposite of having extramarital relations. If having more than one wife is inherently sinful, then we also have to condemn the Bible which teaches that the old polygamist Abraham was a great and righteous prophet. Christ even spoke about God as being the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" - giving tribute to flagrant polygamists.
Polygamy is unacceptable unless the Lord authorizes, but it is not inherently sinful. Did men have to give up their families when polygamy was abandoned? After the Manifesto, the government eased up on the persecution of polygamists. It was generally understood that men would not be required to abandon their wives and families as the government had tried to make happen before. Clemency came in several steps, with a fairly general clemency given to those who had not engaged in new plural marriages since What are the rules for modesty?
Is it true that LDS girls can't wear sleeveless dresses? Modesty is about respecting our bodies and not causing inappropriate attention to them. It is about not trying to tempt others to think inappropriate thoughts.
Modest dress depends on the occasion, to a degree. What is modest at a beach might be immodest in a classroom. As a minimum, modesty entails keeping our bodies properly covered. Modesty is important for both men and women. Speaking from the male perspective, I really appreciate women who dress modestly.
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Immodest dress is selfish, calling undue attention to one's body, and it makes life a little harder for the males out there that really want to keep their thoughts clean. Of course, what guys think is their responsibility, not yours.
What about the details? Call me old-fashioned, but I recommend knee-length dresses, high necklines, and avoidance of tight-fitting clothes.
I also recommend keeping the midriff covered. As for sleeveless dresses, I personally discourage them. Sometimes women don't realize the problems that some types of clothing can cause. I vote against sleeveless dresses and recommend a little thought when selecting attire. If that's offensive, I'm sorry. As for details that the Church teaches it's members, you may wish to consider the Church's booklet that it gives to young people and their parents, For the Strength of the Youth.
The "Dress and Appearance" section states the following: The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" 1 Corinthians 3: Your body is God's sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside.
Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you. Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.
Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire.
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Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners.
Ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence? Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time.
Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings. Show respect for the Lord and for yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities, whether on Sunday or during the week.
If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask your parents or leaders for help. Macmillan Publishing Company, Modest dress serves as a physical and spiritual guard against immoral behavior and its inherent physical, emotional, and spiritual harm.
Because modesty in dress cannot be reduced to a matter of particular styles, individuals are encouraged to use discretion to determine appropriate dress in varying situations. While we do have general standards, we must not get judgmental about those who seem immodestly dressed. They usually don't understand our perspective. When I was in high school, a very nice non-LDS girl I associated with came to school with a deep, plunging neckline that embarrassed a number of us guys.
One of my LDS guy friends talked with her privately and talked about guys and hormones and the problems that women can inadvertently cause. She was surprised and started carrying her notebooks in front of her chest, and never wore that dress again.
Well, sometimes our youth need a helpful reminder of that sort - but it should be done privately and with sensitivity. So what are the rules for affection while dating? One Church leader, expressing his personal opinions on the matter at a local youth conference in my town, talked about the strike zone in baseball - from knees to shoulders - and said that we shouldn't throw strikes against those we date, explaining that we should not touch others in this strike zone. I found that helpful, though I don't think he really meant that one can't put one's arms around someone's waist or give someone a hug.
We encourage our youth not to get too serious too early e. Anything that stirs passions or sexual thoughts should be avoided. Being all alone late at night is just not a good idea, in my opinion. I recommend getting home early, staying out of parked cars try the 2. Hand-holding and brief, non-passionate kisses are O. And touching someone else in the "strike zone" - especially in private areas you know, the places you need to keep covered with a swimming suit at a "decent" pool or beach - is wrong.
Touching that stimulates sexual excitement often called "petting" is wrong. What's wrong with physical intimacy with someone I'm dating? Dating is about getting to know other people and eventually about finding someone that you can grow close enough to that successful marriage is a possibility.
Developing that kind of relationship requires growth through communication, thoughtfulness, understanding, maturity, sacrifice, and tenderness.
Growth in these areas prepares a couple to enter into the covenant of marriage and add the dimension of physical intimacy to what should by then be a deep and growing relationship. Sadly, many couples in this world quickly jump ahead to a sexual relationship without building the foundation that is needed for a successful relationship. They bypass the growth that is needed and base their relationship on shallow physical attraction. It often becomes a house of cards that collapses into divorce or adultery or abuse or sorrow.
The dimension of physical intimacy should only be added to a relationship after the couple has been legally married. Marriage is a covenant that the Lord has given. Sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. Even for purely social reasons, the risk that a woman takes in uniting with a man and possibly bearing children requires some legal recognition and protection, lest women be exploited this still happens all too often as it is.
But the Lord's perspective makes it especially important the sex be only within marriage, as emphasized in the LDS Proclamation on the Family. For Latter-day Saints, the ultimate goal of dating is to find a spouse that can take you to the Temple to receive the blessings of eternal marriage - marriage that is not just "till death do you part," but one that can last eternally.
This sacred blessing requires that the couple be living the Gospel and be worthy to enter into the Temple. Sexual activity prior to marriage makes a couple unworthy to enter the Temple.
Repentance of such sins can take quite a while and is not a trivial thing. I urge you to remain morally clean and do things the way the Lord has specified, waiting until marriage to enjoy the blessings of physical intimacy.
Even from a purely secular perspective, sexual intimacy or living together before marriage is still harmful - especially to the woman - as she is being "taken advantage of" without the legal protection of marriage. Sexuality without commitment has proven to be harmful to the parties involved, with millennia of social evidence to confirm that. Marriage as a social institution is their to protect the woman and society from the abundant harms of sexuality without commitment.
Back to the LDS perspective, we are grateful that a loving Heavenly Father has told us how to live to be happy, and sexual morality is at the heart of that.