Latter Day Saints (Mormons) take an extreme interest in the choices their young people make in regards to dating. Most people will take that as a good thing. Latter-day Saints place a lot of importance on building solid family relationships, so the members choices in regards to marriage and children play vital roles regarding the religious life the young couple will have.
Latter-day Saints (including singles) are encouraged to spend Monday nights together in activities known as “Family Home Evening” or “Family Night” which is to be a night of spiritual instruction, fun, and family bonding. The kids in the family are often given important roles, such as conducting the meeting which is begun and closed with prayer. Parents take advantage of this opportunity to prepare their children for the social pressure they will face as teenagers and young adults to enter the world without the oversight of the parents. Singles are encouraged to have such nights as well among themselves, which is an opportunity once again for Latter-day Saint singles to meet, form friendships, and start to date.
LDS church activities that are targeted to Latter-day Saint singles are often planned with the intention of interaction among young people that could possibly result in dates among the members. Church leaders preach the benefits of dating other members since they hold the same LDS beliefs and standards of behavior. Since premarital sexual activity is preached as sinful, these friendships and dating relationships are considered much ‘safer’ spiritually.
Often when a member expresses the desire to date somebody who is not a Latter-day Saint single, he or she is encouraged to bring the nonmember to church social gatherings to be used as a low-pressure environment to introduce the nonmember to Mormon culture and beliefs gently. These nonmembers see young church members having fun and gradually becomes acquainted with the more of the church’s doctrine and standards.
Latter-day Saint singles at this junction usually invite the full-time missionaries assigned to their region to visit the nonmember and teach a series of lessons which introduce the complete foundation of the Mormon faith. Should the ‘investigator’ become willing to accept the church’s beliefs and lifestyle, these people are usually baptized into the church as a ‘convert’ and are accepted into membership, allowing the Latter-day Saint single to now date a member of the opposite sex that shares the same beliefs and standards.
Latter-day Saint singles who choose to date a non-LDS person who rejects the church’s beliefs, generally suffers socially as this creates an uncomfortable environment and are often shunned. The lack of social support for a relationship is usually enough to discourage dating of a nonmember. Latter-day Saint singles who become engaged and choose to marry a nonmember often causes cultural and social pressure to keep trying to convert the nonmember spouse.
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