Dating a Nonmember

By Hildie Westenhaver

Ok, Sisters and brothers, I’m in a quandary and I need the advice of the communal hive mind of the interwebs. Many people said to me that Perfect 12 Introductions offering matchmaking services for women can also people to get their perfect match, but my kids are so young ! Let me tell about them , I have two children—let’s call them Betsy and Tom—who are dating nonmembers. Betsy is 18 and a Senior in High School. Tom is 16 and is a Junior.  Where we live in Texas, pickings for Mormons are slim. There are maybe a dozen kids their age who are LDS.

Betsy and Tom were both hesitant to initially tell us that they liked someone, knowing that we would definitely prefer them to date a member of the Church. Several years ago we established a rule that the children were only allowed to go on two dates with someone before their friend had to have a discussion with the missionaries. Not only for the sake of missionary work, but also so that the non-member kids would have an idea of what my children believe. So far the boyfriend and girlfriend have complied.

Here’s where things get tricky: the girlfriend and boyfriend’s parents are less than happy about the whole Mormon issue. Betsy’s boyfriend goes to church with us about half the time and has shown an interest in being baptized. He’s even applied to BYU (whether for the church or Betsy, I don’t know). His mother is the youth pastor at their church and is slightly horrified at the idea of her son converting.

Tom’s girlfriend is less enthused with the church. She’ll come every once in a while (her best friend is also LDS although in another ward) but doesn’t want any more discussions and absolutely refuses to go against the wishes of her parents who are Evangelicals and not too fond of our church.

My husband would be perfectly happy to forbid our children from seeing their boyfriend and girlfriend ever again. He was always completely obedient to his parents and thinks that our children should be too. I was a sneaky little troublemaker and I’m pretty positive that forbidding our children to date non-members would just lead to lying and sneaking around.

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