"The best way to avoid divorce from an unfaithful, abusive, or unsupportive spouse is to avoid marriage to such a person. If you wish to marry well, inquire well. Associations through “hanging out” or exchanging information on the Internet are not a sufficient basis for marriage. There should be dating, followed by careful and thoughtful and thorough courtship. There should be ample opportunities to experience the prospective spouse’s behavior in a variety of circumstances." (Divorce, Dallin H. Oaks, Apr 2007)
Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you togrow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it. If you don’t know what a date is, perhaps this definition will help. I heard it from my 18-year-old granddaughter. A “date” must pass the test of three p’s: (1) planned ahead, (2) paid for, and (3) paired off.
Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent. Don’t make it easy for young men to hang out in a setting where you women provide the food. Don’t subsidize freeloaders. 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.
If you do this, you should also hang up a sign, “Will open for individual dates,” or something like that. 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. (Dating versus Hanging Out, Ensign Jun 2006)
On religious freedom Sister Dew asked Elder Oaks if he thinks we can turn the tide. He said that he is not sure if we can turn the tide. But that we can place a stone in the stream that will crate enough calm for us to do our work. (About 45:00)
At a recent stake conference a woman handed me a similar letter. Her husband had also served in important Church callings for many years while addicted to pornography. She told of great difficulty in getting priesthood leaders to take this problem of pornography seriously: “I got all kinds of responses—like I was overreacting or it was my fault. The bishop we have now has been great. And now after 15 years my husband is trying to deal with his addiction, but now it is 15 years harder to quit for him and the loss has been incalculable.”
Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others. (Pornography, Dallin H. Oaks, Apr 2005)Dallin added this during the Conversations program at 53:19
I believe we need to be quite explicit in teaching young people (older people too for that matter) the effect of pornography, which is to drive away the Spirit of the Lord. In this mortal journey, viewing pornography is just equivalent to smashing your compass when you're trying to find your way through the dense woods or across the uncharted sea. The Holy Ghost withdraws; we are without its companionship; and that's a very serious matter; and a matter not understood by those who don't have the Holy Ghost or understand its influence. So Latter-day saint parents must teach clearly the effect of pornography and then love your children and talk to them.
There is too little parent-child talking in today's world. Too much texting by the young people. And too much busyness by the parents. That one on one time is precious and that's the time when you can sense that everything is not right. And that is the time when you can informally teach. And those informal teachings are a lot more powerful than pulpit or classroom teachings.