Subsequent relationships were the same. No one was told about it, but everyone else in the church ward could guess what had transpired. People looked down on them as if they had committed a heinous act of sexual terrorism against humanity. I devoured the book.
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Baker managed not only to keep my attention but to speak to my soul. She wrote humorously on all things spiritual and moral, sinful and silly. Her woes over losing her virginity and finding love without sex were real and relatable for so many. As I read, I looked down at the page and noticed it was wrinkled, that the lines were smudged. I realized suddenly that I was crying. It was natural and human and everything delicate and messy at the same time. To feel guilty over something so real and complex was, to me, a slap in the face of the Universe and a banner of illegitimacy above the feigned control I had over my life.
Friendship is when two people discover they have similar interests, similar views—things in common. They may hang out in the same social circle, study together, or participate in activities they both enjoy.
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It allows you to get to know a number of people and to interact with everybody else in the group, fostering a feeling of friendship. Friends follow a philosophy of inclusion—friendship is casual, no-pressure fun that keeps you from getting too serious with one person. As you take to heart the counsel of modern prophets, you will see how fulfilling your relationships can be, without having to deal with the complications and potential sorrow of teenage romance.
Friendship is more about fun.
Friendship is less stressful. Without romance, you can better balance your time between all of your friends, both male and female. There is less pettiness, jealousy, and disappointment in friendships among teens. Friendships can last a lifetime.
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Without the complications of romance, you can build healthy friendships that can continue far beyond high school. Teens have an easier time being honest in a friendship than a romance. Friends accept each other. They feel less of a need to put on a show or try to impress the other person. Friends are more likely to boost your self-worth. Friendship among teens is more often based on something like character or common values rather than looks or attractiveness.
The one will help you feel better about yourself, the other has a greater potential to make you feel worse about yourself. Friendship is a foundation. When people are mature enough to engage in romance and decide to fall in love, they are more likely to succeed if they first were friends, having built a foundation of trust.
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You can find true compatibility. Friends can determine what they truly like about each other character, personality, sense of humor rather than having to deal with the complications of romance. Friendship makes you better at choosing a marriage partner. Youth who choose a wide variety of friends rather than restricting themselves to a single relationship will be better informed in choosing a marriage partner.
If dating is considered a possible precursor to marriage, then it makes sense to set the standards high at these beginning levels.
However, is it more likely that a person will marry someone he or she has never dated? The answer is obvious, as dating is certainly the first step in a possible long-term relationship. The dynamics of a dating relationship between a boy and a girl creates a very dangerous situation for a believer if he or she has chosen to date someone of another faith. A relationship with another human should never mean more than a relationship with God.
The end does not justify the means. Christians who emotionally manipulate Mormons for the purpose of conversion place their integrity in a precarious situation. Why should the Mormon seriously consider following the Bible when the Christian obviously is not heeding its admonition? You have the missionaries come over and try to convince you.
To Date within or without the Church?
You ask me or someone like me to try to convince him. Here is what I hear you saying in your post: However, while I would never join, maybe I can help him become a Christian. However, I believe both you and your boyfriend each have selfish motivations, as you hope to convert the other for the sake of your relationship. Remember, I warned you that you might not like this, but I am pretending you were my daughter, and I want only the best for you. Years of wisdom and experience gives me the ability to tell you this, with all gentleness and respect. Trust me, I have heard many, many stories like yours.
How often does our advice get followed? Not all the time.
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