Standards are important for security and consistency. There are standards in weights, measures, and distances that you can count on. You know that one

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Slide 2 Standards are important for security and consistency. There are standards in weights, measures, and distances that you can count on. You know that one pound is always 16 ounces. One foot is always 12 inches. One mile is always 5,280 feet. You can depend on those measurements always being the same. Imagine what life would be like if those things were arbitrary and different from person to person or circumstance to circumstance. Slide 3 Standards are found in education. Many tests are standardized, such as the ACT. Everyone takes the same test in essentially the same conditions. An ACT score of 25 means the same thing in California as it does in Pennsylvania. When you read and write (at least in the US), it is standard to move from left to right, top to bottom, front to back. Standards are found in driving. It is standard to drive on the right hand side of the road. Red lights always mean stop and green lights always mean go. Speed limits are designed to provide a safe standard driving speed for specific roads and conditions. Slide 4 There are standards in sports. A standard basketball hoop is 10 feet high. A standard pitchers mound is 60 6 from the batters box. Scoring is standard. Rules are standard. The sizes of fields and courts are standardized. Would you want to compete with someone who refused to follow the rules and made up their own instead? Slide 5 Standards provide consistency, protection, security, and can increase our happiness in life. Just as there are standards in measurement, education, driving, sports, and many other areas, there are also standards for dating. For Latter-day Saints, who determines the dating standard? The importance of the Lords standard for dating was expressed in the pamphlet, For the Strength of Youth, under the heading Why Standards. Slide 6 Standards are rules or guidelines to help you measure your conduct. Why has the Lord given standards? He wants all his children to return to live with him one day By comparing your behavior and thoughts with your Fathers standards, you are in a better position to govern yourselves and make the right choices. Gods commandments (standards) are constant, unwavering, and dependable. As you adhere to them, you will receive countless blessings from heaven including the gift of eternal life. Slide 7 By learning what Gods dating standard is, we come to know how he thinks and feels about it. We then can compare our personal conduct with the thoughts and desires of our Heavenly Father. As stated by the First Presidency: By comparing your behavior and thoughts with your Fathers standards, you are in a better position to govern yourselves and make the right choices. Making the right choices always brings greater happiness. Slide 8 Right marriage begins with right dating! Soul mates are fiction and an illusion! Do you think you noblest thoughts? Do you aspire to your finest deeds? But in so doing, be humble, be prayerful, and the smiles of heaven will fall upon you! Dont rush it unduly and dont delay it unduly! Dont use too much makeup, to be over decorated is bad taste! You cant afford to take a chance on falling in love with someone who may never accept the gospel! Date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry! Walk according to His precepts and commandments! Slide 9 Date only those who have high standards, who respect your standards, and in whose company you can maintain the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Slide 10 President Kimball counseled: Cultural differences pose dangers for marriageWe discourage intermarriage, not because it is sin. I would like to make this very emphatic. A couple has not committed sin [by interracial marriage] but it is not [wise]. Marriage is not easy. It is difficult when all factors are favorable (TSWK 302). We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background, and above all, the same religious background, without question (Marriage and Divorce). Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: Interracial marriages are discouraged by the Brethren (Mormon Doctrine, 527). Slide 11 Dating: A Time to Become Best Friends, Claybaugh suggests that one of the most important ingredients for a successful marriage is friendship. He identified four things that contribute to the development of friendship during courtship. First, time. Friendship takes time to develop. It cant occur in a weekend. It requires that you spend your time in activities that help you get to know each other well. Second, restraint. One of the quickest ways to destroy friendship during courtship is to allow physical intimacies to occur. Third, creativity. Friendship is enhanced by creative dating. Avoid the dinner and movie rut. Variety is not only the spice of life. It is the spice of dating. Fourth, inspiration. True friendship in which we bring out the best in each other is most likely to occur when we have the Lords Spirit with us. The Spirit enables us to see the good in others. Slide 12 Is there anything we can learn from this relative to marriage and preparation for marriage? What did you like best about those friends and your relationship with them? (Are these the things you are trying to find in dating/marriage partners? Are you trying to develop them in yourself?) What was there about you that made you such a good friend? (Is there anything we can learn from this relative to preparation for marriage?) What made the relationship last so long? (Is there anything we can learn from this relative to preparation for marriage? Slide 13 A well known researcher by the name of Keith Davis identified eight qualities of good friends. 1. Good Friends enjoy being with each other and feel good when they are together. They have fun together and bring out the best in each other in the process. Elder Hugh Pinnock said: When a marriage loses its happiness, it becomes weak and vulnerableHusbands and wives who no longer laugh and play together are losing their love for each other and their capacity to stay together (For Husbands and Wives, Ensign, September 1981, 35). Slide 14 2. Good friends accept each other as they are. I once heard someone define a good friend asSomeone who knows all about you and likes you anyway. 3. Good Friends trust each other. President David O. McKay said It is a greater compliment to be trusted than it is to be loved (Gospel Ideals, 261). Slide 15 4. Good Friends respect each other. 5. Good Friends help each other. 6. Good Friends share with each other (experiences and feelings, thoughts and opinions). 7. Good Friends understand each other. 8. Good Friends are honest with each other. Slide 16 One reason we date is to develop friendship. A second reason for dating is to have fun. Dating should be fun and enjoyable. But, if our only purpose for dating is to have fun, relationships tend to be shallow. A third reason for dating is to develop our social skills, such as our ability to communicate. A fourth reason for dating is to choose a mate. Before missions, the emphasis in dating should be on the first three reasons. Afterward, the emphasis shifts more to the fourth reason, even though the first three are still very important. Slide 17 Why would the Lord counsel us, through his Prophets, to not date until the age 16? The average age to begin dating in this country is 13. What difference does it make if we start dating at age 13, 14, 15 or 16? In a recent study conducted by Terry Olson of Brigham Young University and Brent Miller of Utah State University among Latter-day Saint youth, they found that there was a strong relationship between premarital sex and the age at which dating began. They found that 56% of those who began dating at age 13 had premarital sex before they graduated from high school. 53% of those who began dating at 14 had premarital sex before they graduated from high school. 40% of those who began dating at age 14 had premarital sex before they graduated from high school. 20% of those who began dating at age 16 had premarital sex before they graduated from high school. In addition, they also found that those who started dating early were more likely to steady date than those who waited until age 16 and those who were less active were more likely to steady date. Slide 18 President Kimball taught: Clearly, right marriage begins with right dating Therefore, this warning comes with great emphasis. Do not take the chance of dating nonmembers, or members who are untrained and faithless. [You] may say, oh, I do not intend to marry this person. It is just a fun date. But one cannot afford to take a chance on falling love with someone who may never accept the gospel (Miracle of Forgiveness 241-42). At the time President Kimball gave that counsel, statistics showed that only about 15% of non-members ever joined the Church, while 50% of the members became inactive. Slide 19 President Benson taught: If someone wants to marry you outside the temple, whom will you strive to please-God or a mortal? If you insist on a temple marriage, you will be pleasing the Lord and blessing the other party. Why? Because that person will either become worthy to go to the temple - which would be a blessing - or will leave - which could also be a blessing - because neither of you should want to be unequally yoked. You should qualify for the temple. Then you will know that there is no one good enough for you to marry outside the temple. If such individuals are that good, they will get themselves in a condition so that they too can be married in the temple (Benson, CR, April 1988, 4-5). Slide 20 David of old, choice in the sight of God, allowed his eternal soul to fall into the depths of hell. Can we say that God has been with us as much as He was with David in his youth? Can we claim the faith of God that David showed? Yet, David fell! We can fall too, no matter how choice we are! To fail to be