Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it. I heard it from my year-old granddaughter. Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent. An occasional group activity is OK, but when you see men who make hanging out their primary interaction with the opposite sex, I think you should lock the pantry and bolt the front door.
And, young women, please make it easier for these shy males to ask for a simple, inexpensive date. Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious. If we are to persuade young men to ask for dates more frequently, we must establish a mutual expectation that to go on a date is not to imply a continuing commitment.
Finally, young women, if you turn down a date, be kind.
Otherwise you may crush a nervous and shy questioner and destroy him as a potential dater, and that could hurt some other sister. My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football.
Marriage is not a group activity—at least, not until the children come along in goodly numbers.
Up to this point I have concentrated primarily on the responsibilities of single men. Now I have a few words for single women. If you are just marking time waiting for a marriage prospect, stop waiting. You may never have the opportunity for a suitable marriage in this life, so stop waiting and start moving.
Prepare yourself for life—even a single life—by education, experience, and planning. Seek it out in service and learning. Make a life for yourself. And trust in the Lord. Now, single sisters, I have an expert witness to invite to the stand at this time. It is my wife, Kristen, who, as an adult, was single for about 35 years before we married. I am asking her to come up and tell us what is in her heart. Thank you, Elder Oaks. Before I start, I feel to tell you how much you are loved by your Heavenly Father. We saw the Christus and the video Special Witnesses of Christ, and they went into my heart.
This is your time.
Make it count by dedicating your time to your Heavenly Father. I love what President Boyd K. Packer says about the Atonement.
The Atonement is not something that happens at the end of our lives. It is something that happens every day of our lives. And so I say to our single sisters, make it count. It can be very painful to be single for such a long time, especially in a church of families. I know how it feels. On my 50th birthday my brother-in-law was reading the newspaper.
I would also say to you, be balanced. As a single woman, I had to go forward. I got a doctorate and became so involved in my profession that I forgot about being a good person. I would say to everyone in this room, always remember that your first calling is as a mother or as a father.
Develop those domestic talents, talents of love and talents of service. As a single, I had to go searching for service projects, and now I have one every night across the table. In closing, I think about the painful times in our lives. They will happen whether you are single or whether you are married. You may have a child who is very ill or experience the death of someone close to you or have a period of life that is very lonely. You may lose a child or have a situation you have no control over, such as a lingering disease.
The boy on the football team represents the person that you wanted so badly and maybe you dated or maybe you didn't, but you wanted them. “There's more to life than dating the boy on the football team.” ― Taylor Swift. Share. Tweet. WhatsApp. Pin It. Email. Cheezburger Image
I would ask you to consecrate that to Heavenly Father. You are my favorite group in the world. You are most dear to me because I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. I was in them for a very long time. It is His Church. And most of all, I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, as He was my best friend when there was no one else to love me. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Now, brothers and sisters, if you are troubled about something we have just said, please listen very carefully to what I will say now.
Perhaps you are a young man feeling pressured by what I have said about the need to start a pattern of dating that can lead to marriage, or you are a young woman troubled by what we have said about needing to get on with your life. Why would I make this request? Afterward a man came up to me in tears saying that what I had said showed there was no hope for him. He explained that he had been a machine gunner during the Korean War.
During a frontal assault, his machine gun mowed down scores of enemy infantry. The toboggan jumped the track. Thrown free, Bret slammed into the hillside, then slid a long way over tough, rocky terrain. That evening his dad soaked Bret in the bathtub so he could peel the clothing away from the torn skin.
Bret fainted from the pain. He spent the next three days in bed taking medication, wondering if the agony would ever end. The people who put up those warning signs knew what they were doing. Bret had started out doing something that seemed safe and fun. But then he deliberately ignored the warnings, got going too fast, and before he knew it, the situation took control of him. One of the nicer things about being a teenager is getting to know members of the opposite sex.
At the appropriate age, dating can be a wonderful part of this experience. There is nothing wrong with dating, just as there was nothing wrong with Bret taking that ride. But Bret ruined his fun by ignoring the rules. Then a happy experience can go flying off the tracks and end in ugliness and tragedy. Both of them faced a tight turn on the Alpine Slide of dating. He talked about challenges they all would face in the next few years. Nicole thought he was talking to somebody else, not her. Rules were for the rowdy kids, not for me.
Then she met a young man she really liked, and they started spending more and more time together.
One night, after spending many late evenings alone together, they lost control. Or at least I lost the future that I thought I once had. The police had caught her friend and a date parking up there, and had taken them to the police station. Without speaking, her date turned the car around, and a few minutes later they were sitting in her living room eating pie with her parents.
Just like Bret, Nicole and Lisa intended to just have some fun. Just like Bret, Nicole got going too fast and crashed. Lisa knew when to put on the brakes. Other young people are learning the same basic lesson that these three have learned: But is it really that simple? Is it all just a matter of being cautious?