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The males are expected to leave home for a two-year Church mission.
Many young women upon reaching twenty-one will serve missions.
Two doctrinally based principles guide the dating and courtship of LDS youth: first, because of the religious significance of marriage, virtually everyone who can is expected to marry; second, because of the spiritual and social importance of chastity, sexual relations must wait until after marriage.
Latter-day Saints place an unusually strong emphasis on marriage, believing that marriage is ordained of God (D&C ) and is a prerequisite for obtaining the highest heavenly state after mortality (D&C 131:1-4; see Exaltation).
Presumably, the value placed on marriage makes LDS youth less likely to postpone marriage for education and career advancement; they are certainly less likely to cohabit instead of marrying, and the customary pattern is to continue courting until the time of marriage (see Single Adults).
LDS prophets have consistently instructed young Mormon men that it is wrong to delay marriage unnecessarily (Benson; Kimball, 1975).
They are restricted from all dating activities during their missionary service.
In some cultures, parents still closely supervise courtship and arrange children's marriages, but youth worldwide have increasing choices in dating and mate selection.
Wallace Members of the Church are somewhat distinctive in their dating and courtship practices, but they are also influenced by broader cultural patterns.
For most young people in the United States outside the Church, dating begins at an early age (about age thirteen during the 1980s); it has no set pattern of progression, and is often informal and unsupervised.
These contemporary dating patterns form a social context that influences somewhat the majority of LDS youth.Any dating or pairing off in social contacts should be postponed until at least the age of 16 or older, and even then there should be much judgment used in the selections and in the seriousness" (Kimball, 1975, p. As a consequence of this teaching, the age of sixteen has become the acceptable age when dating can begin.