The Mormon Beliefs and Practices on Dating and Marriage
A quick summary of the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
about dating and marriage as well as the church’s practices on them.
People are wondering if “happy ever afters” really exist. Some of us have bitterness in our hearts because of the heartbreaks in the past. The pain we felt made our hearts cold, thus, believing in true love — a never-ending true love — is difficult. This belief made us focus on playing with people’s feelings rather than loving them unconditionally.
But the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that those who are worthy will be blessed with “happy ever afters”. We believe that the pain and hardships in the past were just challenges that everyone can overcome through faith, hope, love, and prayer. And we also believe that finding true love is possible through proper dating and eternal marriage.
Mormon Beliefs and Practices on Dating
As of the year 2019, dating has become a mainstream activity for teenagers. Kids have started dating at a very young age and always thought that it’s not important to whoever they date or wherever they go. But the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been taught how we should go out on a date and whoever we go out with.
But first, what does “dating” really mean?
Dating is when a young man and a young woman went on a planned activity (such as eating out in a restaurant or watching a movie in a theater) that allows them to get to know each other. Dating lets us practice our social skills, develop friends, do fun activities, and explore the good things that we haven’t tried yet. And once we reach adulthood, dating helps us to find our eternal companion.
So what are the Mormon beliefs and practices on dating?
The Mormon beliefs and practices on dating aren’t really difficult to follow, In fact, even our friends outside the faith also do the things that we do and follow the things that we follow when it comes to dating.
For starters, a young man and a young woman are only allowed to go on a date if they are at least 16 years old. So kids at the age of 15 and below aren’t supposed to go out on a date. How about you? When did you start dating people?
Moreover, they should go out with one or more additional couples. Meaning, a young man and a young woman should NOT go on a date just by themselves — even if they’re going on a public place, eat out in an open area, or doing sports. Remember, at this point, you should only be doing “casual dating” and not the “steady or serious dating”. (Check out “Unsteady Dating” for more info.)
Another Mormon practice on dating is to avoid getting frequent dates with the same person, especially if you are still in your teenage life. Why? Because if you do, you will possibly develop a serious relationship at a very young age — which limits the number of people you meet and might probably lead to immorality.
The latter-days saints also believe that parents should meet and be acquainted with the person you’re dating. One important Mormon belief is to “honor thy parents.” Thus, to respect your mother and your father, you must politely ask for permission before going out on a date and let them know who you’re dating and where you’re going. But if you’re already an adult, at least, let them know the significant things happening in your dating life.
Another essential factor when it comes to dating is that date only those who have high moral standards, and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Choosing to date a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the BEST CHOICE, but this doesn’t mean that latter-day saints are forbidden to date non-members. As long as you date someone with high moral standards, and as long as you both respect each other’s honor, values, and beliefs, then that shouldn’t be a problem.
And of course, always plan dating activities that are inexpensive, safe, positive, and healthy — whether both of you are wealthy or not, strong or delicate, and explorer or idler. Remember, dating (at this point) is focused on “getting to know each other” and not for taking photos of expensive stuff or going to fancy places for the sake of your Facebook post, Instagram feed, and Twitter updates. Good latter-day saints only go to places where they can maintain their decency, agree?
(Photo: churchofjesuschrist.org, Mormonad)
Another Mormon belief about dating is that young men generally take the initiative in asking for and planning dates. But if a boy is so nervous and doesn’t have the confidence to plan dates, he can ask for some guidance from his family, friends, church members, or even from our friendly missionaries. We’re just talking about dating here, not marriage. So, take a deep breath and relax!
You can also read more details about dating on churchofjesuschrist.org’s “Top Questions (with answers) About Dating.”
And after young men and young women’s missionary service, once they enter their adult years, they should make dating and marriage a high priority. You should start seeking a worthy companion which to be sealed with you eternally — which latter-day saints call “celestial marriage.” (We will get to that shortly!).
Mormon Beliefs and Practices on Marriage
Since we’re done with the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on dating, we will now move on to the next stage — marriage.
Let’s answer the most frequent questions of our friends outside the faith:
What are the Mormon beliefs on marriage?
Can a Mormon marry more than one person?
How many husbands can a Mormon have?
Do Mormons arrange marriages?
These are the popular questions all around the internet. Before we continue, I would like to clarify again that “We will be more grateful if you call us Latter-day Saints, not Mormons.” But for the sake of our friends outside the faith, you will still see the nicknames “Mormon, Mormons, and Mormon Beliefs” throughout the article.
So what are the Mormon beliefs about marriage? Let’s start with the most controversial topic — do “latter-day saints” practice polygamy or monogamy?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches its members to marry one person at a time, which is monogamy. But our friends outside the faith are confused because they sometimes heard that “Mormons” practice polygamy — the marriage of more than one woman to the same man — which is also true. BUT THOSE ARE NOT US, those are not the “latter-day saints” type of Mormon.
The types of Mormons that practice polygamy now are the various splinter groups that have been formed when President Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a revelation from God called “The Manifesto” that said it was time to stop practicing polygamy. (For more information, check out this article.)
This is also one of the main reasons why the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are properly called “latter-day saints” rather than “Mormons” to avoid people getting confused. For a detailed explanation, check out the video What Mormons Believe: Polygamy.
Every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must prioritize dating and marriage once we reach the right time — generally, after the missionary service. But before settling down, we should also be prepared spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
And talking about the Mormon beliefs on arranged marriages, I’m 100% sure of one thing — the latter-day saints are free to marry whomever they love. It’s not actually necessary for the latter-day saints to arrange marriages. We all have the freedom to agree with arranged marriages or not.
However, there is a Mormon belief that one part of the Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is that a man and a woman can be sealed to one another for time and eternity. Nothing, even death, can separate them forever. This is one of the common goals of the latter-day saints, to marry in the temple so that their families (yes, parents and their children) can be together FOREVER. Only the worthy members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are eligible for eternal marriage.
So basically, Mormons don’t actually arrange marriages. But if you want to be sealed with your family eternally, you and your spouse must both be worthy latter-day saints. For a deeper explanation of Mormon beliefs and practices on marriage, check out Gospel Principles, Chapter 28: Eternal Marriage.
These things are just a few of the numerous Mormon beliefs and practices on dating and marriage. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will respond to you in no time!
You can also read the article “Mormonism and Christianity: Beliefs, Rules, and Facts” to know more about the basic Mormon beliefs.
“Whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God,
for marriage is ordained of God unto man”
(Photo: churchofjesuschrist.org, Mormonad)