For the Strength of Youth guidebook can guide us to date (and eventually marry) in the way the Lord wants us to.
I saw this printable (left) on the Little Miss Suzy Q site and thought it was very catchy...Decide to Abide by the Guide! (the original printable shown in the post matched the older version of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, the NEW printable that matches the latest version of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet is available from the Little Miss Suzy Q site here)
This printable was a perfect handout for the lesson, but "Abide by the Guide" could also be used as the basis for a Mutual activity, fireside / Bishop's Youth Discussion, or theme for a Standards Night. We focused primarily on dating and church dances, but you could expand the idea to include all of the other subjects covered in For the Strength of Youth (media, education, dress and appearance, etc) for a complete overview of the standards
This "Decide to Abide by the Guide" handout is easily printable at home, but you can also save it and have it printed in 4 x 6 photo size at a photo center (I used Walgreens). I printed out the information below and taped it to the back of the photo for the handout. I don't have a document for this, just copy the text over to a document and then edit the text size so that when you cut it down it will fit on the back of a 4 x 6 photo. I was able to fit 2 of these on one printed page.
For those who are interested in focusing on the dating aspect of For the Strength of Youth, I put this on the back of the photo for my dating handout:
THE LORD’S WAYS AND THE WORLD’S WAYS ARE NOT THE SAME!
WHEN IT COMES TO DATING, WILL YOU FOLLOW THE WORLD’S TRENDS?
OR WILL YOU FOLLOW THE COUNSEL OF THE LORD’S LIVING PROPHETS?
- You should not date until you are at least 16 years old
- When you begin dating (ie, high school years), go with other couples (group dates)
- Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person (ie, having a boyfriend)
- Choose to date only those who have high moral standards and in whose
company you can maintain your standards
Just because you can date when you turn 16, doesn’t mean that you should
have a boyfriend. In the world’s customs, going on a date with someone can
mean that you are instantly boyfriend/girlfriend. In contrast to that, the Prophets have
preached that youth should not pair off exclusively (ie, be boyfriend/girlfriend).
For instance, President Hinckley said, “When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating.
When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved.
But you boys who are in high school don’t need this, and neither do the girls”
If you aren’t dating to have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, then why even bother
dating? (Dating) can help you learn and practice social skills, develop
friendships, have wholesome fun, and eventually find an eternal companion (when you reach
that stage in your life). It is supposed to be fun and casual- a way to get to know people
and have fun experiences without the problems and potential temptations (emotional and
physical) of entering romantic relationships too soon.
Before you get married, would you rather date one person, or go on MANY dates
and get to know a lot of different boys? Which would be more fun? Would a girl who
had only steady-dated one or two people before getting married maybe regret what
she had missed out on later?
For the Strength of Youth is our guide for dating in the way that the Prophet & Apostles
have taught us. For lasting happiness, Abide by the Guide!
You can also order copies of the actual For the Strength of Youth pamphlets from lds.org (in the "Order Materials" section) at no cost and with free shipping, but it does take a while to get them (1-2 weeks) even if they are in stock, so be sure to plan ahead.