So here we are, the question that many have asked since their youth: “What are Mormon dating rules?”. Actually, there is something wrong with this question. The word “rules” isn’t entirely correct. Yes, there are commandments, and we believe in following the Law of Chastity, which forbids sexual relationships before marriage. But beyond that, there isn’t much else that is given as “rules”. Instead, we will be referring to them as “standards”.
So what is a standard? According to the dictionary, a standard is “an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations” and “principles of conduct informed by notions of honor and decency”. So standards are things that govern our actions, as well as things we use to measure ourselves. The important thing is to compare ourselves to the correct standards. God has given us clear standards in regards to dating, morality, and sexual purity.
The Church has a great pamphlet called “For the Strength of Youth”. There are two sections that apply to this conversation, the one on dating and the one on sexual purity. Instead of restating everything written in these two sections, we encourage you to read and study them yourselves. But here are some key points.
- Do not date until you are at least 16 years old.
- Only date those with high moral standards who will help you to maintain your own standards. You both have a responsibility to protect each other’s honor and virtue.
- Make dating and marriage a high priority.
- Seek a companion who you can be sealed to in the temple
- Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred
- “The Lord’s standard regarding sexual purity is clear and unchanging. Do not have any sexual relations before marriage, and be completely faithful to your spouse after marriage.”
- Treat others with respect, not simply as an outlet to satisfy your own physical, emotional, or selfish desires.
- “Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body.”
- Say no to pornography.
- Do not arouse sexual feelings by oneself (no masturbation).
- Avoid media or conversations that will arouse sexual feelings.
- No homosexual or lesbian behavior.
You can also visit our collection of LDS Dating Talks and LDS Dating Quotes to get further information and advice from Church leaders. The doctrine and teachings regarding this subject are fairly clear. Some may even have personal standards that are stricter than the ones outlined here. Just remember to respect your date and know how they feel about this subject, and be sure to hold yourself to your own standards as well.