Dating & Courtship:
The Beginning of an Eternal Marriage

Readings in the Student Manual:

Chapter Pages

Love 154-158
Dating Standards 51-58
Author Title Pages

Elder Dallin H. Oaks The Dedication of a Lifetime
(Pages 4 thru 7)
Acrobat Reader
Elder Bruce C. Hafen The Gospel and Romantic Love Acrobat Reader

Recommended Reading:

Dr. Gawain & Gayle Wells Courtship: Labor of Love

Readings in this Page:

Dr. Marcus Martins

Elder Bruce C. Hafen

A Functional Definition of "Dating"

The Eternal Relevance of Romance

Counsels for Dating

Questions for Review  

Dr. Marcus Martins
A Functional Definition of "Dating"
Winter 2001; revised Winter 2006

For the purposes of our discussion, let us define "dating" as more than just "going out or 'hanging out' with someone", and more than "going out on a date."  Whenever we mention "dating" in this course we will mean:

"To be romantically involved with an individual with whom one would seriously consider marrying, and when such feelings are corresponded."

Dr. Marcus Martins
The Eternal Relevance of Romance
circa Winter 2004

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;  And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."  (Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4)

As we ponder on this inspired teaching from the Prophet Joseph Smith, we reach the corollary (i.e. a thought that naturally follows another) that in order to obtain the fullness of the blessings, privileges, honors, and glories afforded by the highest order of the divine priesthood, one must first find and fall in love with a "special" person who has mutual feelings.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Counsels for Dating
"The Gospel and Romantic Love," Ensign, Oct. 1982, pp.64-67

[Be] friends first and sweethearts second. Relationships between young men and young women should be built like a pyramid. The base of the pyramid is friendship. And the ascending layers are built of things like time, understanding, respect, and restraint. Right at the top of the pyramid is a glittering little mystery called romance. ... you don’t have to be very smart to know that a pyramid won’t stand up very long if you stand it on its point and expect the point to hold up everything else. In other words, be friends first and sweethearts later, not the other way around. Otherwise, people who think they are sweethearts may discover they can’t be very good friends, and by then it may be too late.

... Don’t date someone you already know you would not ever want to marry. If you fall in love with someone you should not marry, you can’t expect the Lord to guide you away from that person after you are already emotionally committed. It is difficult enough to tune your spiritual receiver to the whisperings of heaven without jamming up the channel with the loud thunder of romantic emotion. ...

[Avoid] the habit of feeling sorry for yourself, and don’t worry excessively about those times when you feel socially unsuccessful. Everybody in the world doesn’t have to fall in love with you and marry you--it only takes one.

... The opportunities for developing friendships ... with members of the opposite sex are ... plentiful at a college. ... In approaching these opportunities, remember: "Worry not that you are not well known. Seek to be worth knowing."

Questions for Review:

1. Dr. Lowell Bennion suggested that relationships are built like a "pyramid." What are some of the layers? (Elder Bruce Hafen; The Gospel and Romantic Love)

2. What wise insights did Elder Bruce Hafen offer to college students who sometimes may feel socially unsuccessful? (Elder Bruce Hafen; The Gospel and Romantic Love)

3. What must reinforce physical attractiveness in order to generate true love? (Elder John A. Widtsoe; Student Manual, page 154-155)

4.  According to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, what is the test of three p’s a “date” must pass? (Elder Dallin H. Oaks; The Dedication of a Lifetime)

5.  What was Elder Oaks' counsel to male returned missionaries who are still following the dating patterns from young adolescence? (Elder Dallin H. Oaks; The Dedication of a Lifetime)

6.  According to Elder Oaks, what can single sisters do while marriage prospects do not materialize? (Elder Dallin H. Oaks; The Dedication of a Lifetime)

7.  According to Elder Oaks, what are the social benefits of the "old-fashioned" date that cannot be achieve merely by "hanging out"? (Elder Dallin H. Oaks; The Dedication of a Lifetime)

This web page was published only as a support for classroom discussion.
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