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These are structured and well-supervised social and religious activities that bring teenage boys and girls together to help them develop appropriate social relationships.
While the Church sponsors joint social activities, its leaders have strongly discouraged early dating.
During the 1970s the age of sixteen took on special significance in this regard when Spencer W.
Kimball, as President of the Church, said: "When you get in the teen years, your social associations should still be a general acquaintance with both boys and girls.
Presumably, the value placed on marriage makes LDS youth less likely to postpone marriage for education and career advancement; they are certainly less likely to cohabit instead of marrying, and the customary pattern is to continue courting until the time of marriage (see Single Adults).