For the STRENGTH of YOUTH ..• LDS Standards
The general officers of the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual
Improvement Associations, together with the Brigham Young University and the Church
School System and a large group of representative youth of the Church, have prepared an
excellent treatise on Latter-day Saint standards and entitled it "For the Strength of
Youth," with sub-titles on Dress, Manners, Dating, Dancing and Clean Living.
We wish to endorse what has been here written, commend all responsible for their
efforts, and express the hope that all members of the Church, not only the youth, will
familiarize themselves with suggestions herein contained and conform to the regulations
set forth. All rules and regulations, in fact all laws, especially the laws of God, are made
for the benefit of the people. It is, of course, of the utmost importance that we become
familiar therewith and conform thereto that we may have the blessings which were
Let us never lose sight of the eternal principle enunciated by the Master that while
free agency will not be trammeled by our Heavenly Father, conformity to established
rules of conduct is a necessary prerequisite to the blessings promised to those who obey
and keep His commandments.
ALL PRIESTHOOD LEADERS should familiarize themselves with the
information in this book and should create an opportunity to distribute it in order to
inform the youth and their parents of its contents. All members of the Church should
realize that this booklet contains accepted standards by which they should conduct
themselves. A copy in the hands of every young person in each ward and branch will help
them set higher goals and standards by which to live.
We commend the following recommendations to all into whose hands they may
(signed) Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, N. Eldon Tanner
The First Presidency

Most people who know anything about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints know that it maintains the highest moral standards. It is up to every member of the
Church to uphold this image in every way. How important it is at all times to know how
to dress, to act, and to live. To be different from the world in this respect is a privilege
rather than a restraint. While these standards are given as a guide, blessings will result
only by their daily application.
All LDS youth should know and uphold the following standards.

Church standards regarding the appropriateness of dress should be a constant
guide to the youth of the Church wherever they are so they will always be comfortable,
knowing they are within the realm of good taste.
It is difficult to make an over-all statement concerning modest standards of dress,
because modesty cannot be determined by inches or fit since that which looks modest on
one person may not be so on another.
Whether youth are at school, attending a sacrament or other church meeting,
dance, athletic, or sports-camp activity, at home or away, church standards require young
men and women to be appropriately dressed. Modesty is a protection for the youth of the
Church and is one of the Lord's ways to help them live clean, wholesome lives.
Girls should dress to enhance their natural beauty and femininity. Clothes should
be comfortable and attractive without calling attention to a person's body; for example,
skirts and dresses should be of modest length, leng eneugh Ie eeveF II~elflleeeaj9, and they
should not be too tight fitting. Dresses should not be cut extremely low at the top.
Strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are not acceptable either on sun dresses or evening
dresses. Few girls or women ever look well in backless or strapless dresses. Such styles
often make the figure look ungainly and large, or they show the bony structures of the
When at home working in the yard, hiking, traveling to the mountains, camping,
or participating in active sports, girls or women may appropriately wear slacks. However,
they should not be too tight. Pedal pushers, knee-knockers, bermudas, capris, or any pants
which reach just above the knees are acceptable. Ofeeb/I'!ie, Ihese whe have heen IhFBugh
the tenlflle 8R! expected 18 ,,,car clething efEtflf3fflJ3Fiate style. PaN!s.f8ryetl11g we.'1'lcn81¥3
net tiesr,=cthle 811ir=e Jfar SJt8flfJiJig, 611 scheel, in the JihFa1)" in eBfeter-ifJ;s aT FestSll'F61nts.
"The Church has not attempted to indicate just how long women's or girls'
dresses should be nor whether they should wear pant suits.... We have advised our
people that when going to the temple they should not wear slacks or mini-skirts. or
otherwise dress immodestly. We have not, however, felt it wise or necessary to give
instructions on this subject relative to attendance at our Church meetings, although we
do feel that on such occasions they should have in mind that they are in the house of the
Lord and should conduct themselves accordingly. " (Statement given by the First
Presidency, April 1, 1971. Also printed in the New Era, August 1971, p. 50).
Any apparel that suggests a house robe should not be worn in public but only in
one's home or apartment. Tight-fitting sweaters and figure-hugging clothes of any kind
are not appropriate LDS dress.
Any bathing suits which immodestly expose the body, such as bikinis and those
with bare midriffs, should never be worn. Swim suits are fashioned for a particular
purpose and should not be worn as casual dress for summer, but should be worn only for
swimming. While traveling to and from the beach or swimming pools, young men and
women should be fully dressed or at least their swimming suits should be covered with
outer clothing.
It is not appropriate for young men to wear extremely tight-fitting pants. When
driving around in cars, working in the yard or elsewhere, they should wear appropriate
trousers and shirts. Shorts may be worn during actual participation in active sports.

Young· men should always dress appropriately for the place an.d the o~casion. For special
school or church dances, they should wear a suit with dress shirt and tie, but never tennis
shoes or "T" shirts. Sports jackets or dressy sweaters are appropriate apparel for the more


casual dances.
Shorts or athletic costumes of any kind should not be worn in the chapels of our
Church. Wisdom and good judgment should be used in choosing appropriate clothes


which are in good taste.


III-Fitting Clothes, Curlers, Hair Fashions
Girls should always try to look feminine in their dress. They should not dress like
boys or try to imitate a masculine appearance. Dress often determines their actions.
Soiled, sloppy or ill-fitting clothes are inappropriate in public for everyone. A "real lady"
does not go out in public, to the market, or to shops with her hair in curlers.
Women's hair is much more becoming and flattering in a lovely, natural hair-do.
Young men's hair should not be too long. Extreme hair styles are equally poor taste for
young men as well as for young women.
Good Grooming
Looking well groomed and immaculately clean are special characteristics which
reflect the standards of the Church. Not only should clothes be clean, but nails, skin, and
hair should have the glow of health that bespeaks meticulous care in grooming. Personal
cleanliness of body and cleanliness of one's clothing builds morale and a good name. In
using make-up, girls should keep in mind that cosmetics are used only to enhance their
natural beauty. Excessive use of make-up should be avoided.

Propriety in All Things
Young people should understand propriety in all things-not
only how to dance,
sing, speak, perform, and participate, but how to conduct themselves like young ladies
and gentlemen under any and all circumstances, such as while traveling, sightseeing,
using public rest rooms, eating in restaurants, staying in motels or hotels, attending
theaters, or attending church meetings and conferences.
Youth should never litter rest rooms, public buildings, or highways with papers,
food, or refuse. They should express appreciation for all services wherever or whenever
received-for restaurant service, service station help, etc. It is not polite to run in and out
of motel or hotel rooms late at night, making a disturbance which keeps other guests
awake. It is poor taste to display in public affections for a girl friend or a boy friend. A
young lady and a young gentleman will not indulge in loud talk, profanity, or rowdy
behavior since it detracts from an otherwise wholesome appearance; neither will they
whisper or talk in Church. When attending school, young people who wish to study
together should do so in the school library or in places conducive to good study.
Youth group functions should have sponsors or chaperones always present to
provide security, guidance, and direction so that all of youth's experiences will be happy
ones. It is a mark of consideration and graciousness to express appreciation for the
presence and guidance of hosts and chaperones at such functions. They, too. appreciate
thoughtfulness; it makes them feel welcome and wanted.




To make dating wholesome, purposeful, protected, and really enjoyable
experiences for young people, the Church recommends the following safeguards.
TluFe sh.8h4'ltlhe 11:8 tJ.aring hefar:e (lie age ef sixteen.. Up Ie this Eim:e, seciall(fe
sHaull' he limited 18 g1TJltp activities.
"No dating activities should be planned for the Beehive girls and deacons
(Scouts) in the programs of the Church. Supervised activities are plannedfor these young
people to socialize together, learn the basics of dancing and the social graces as a
foundation for future dating.
"Mia Maid girls and teachers (Venturers) have many activities of a social nature
planned for them, both in their school and Church programs, which they should enjoy in
groups. They should avoid boy-girl single-dating relationships.
"When young people enter senior high school (approximately Laurel-priest
[Explorer] age), they may appropriately date with the consent of their parents, who are
the best judges as to whether they are mature and responsible enough for this kind of
young-adult experience. It is generally advisable that they double-date with friends.
Outside of the United States, where school terminology differs-after girls have been in
the Mia Maid class two years and boys in the teacher [Venturer] class two years-they
may appropriately date with the consent of their parents, if customs of the country permit.
"Youth should observe the policy of their social group (school and Church
groups) and observe standards of dating for their particular group, provided that such
standards meet the standards of the Church. This policy isfor the protection of youth
during their early teen years, allowing them to learn and develop adequately before
assuming responsibilities oj maturity." (The New Era, January 1971, p.30).
Variety in dating is desirable. Double dating, triple dating, or group parties build
new friendships and enhance the old. lt is exciting and fun to trade dances, as this offers
the opportunity for more associations and a greater choice of "dating" friends.
All events planned for the regular weekly M1A night are no-date events. Fil'esides
and Dances held on other occasions may be date affairs for those ever sixleell yeers ef
ege of dating age. Members of Mia Maid- Venturer age l43,mger mel1'l8ers.feblrleeJi Ie
sixleell yeeFS e/ ege may attend but should come in groups without dates. In such cases,
the boys and girls should be brought by their leaders or selected parental chaperones who
should remain with the group during the dance or social and return the youth to their
homes at the conclusion of the event. Young people I....'elve Ie .feblrleell yeeFS ef of
Beehive and Scout age are not invited to attend these events.
Steady dating during the early dating years should not be practiced. lf steady
dating is carried on in the late teens, regardless of worldwide customs it should be with
full observance of the customs and manners of polite society, moral behavior, and church
standards. All dating should be an opportunity to broaden one's circle of friends and
companions. The selection of a life's partner can be made more wisely when many
associates are available during courtship.
Necking, petting, intimacies, and improprieties of every kind should not be
indulged in at any time in dating or in courtship. Love and affection are precious, and
virtue must never be placed in jeopardy.


Acceptable Dancing
Youth together with their parents, their auxiliary and pnesthood leaders must be
united and conform with church standards as contained in this standards booklet. Church
standards prohibit dancing that is suggestive or sensual in any way. The dance ~hould not
be a grotesque contortion of the body such as shoulder or hip shaking or excessive body
jerking. As members of the Church, it is imperative that youth use wisdom m establishing
and adhering to church dance standards so that good taste in dance is exemplified.
Dances should be evaluated in terms of acceptable dance standards.
The following should be observed:
Good Posture-If one concentrates on good posture, many dances can be danced
in a manner which will meet LDS standards. Some examples of these dances are the
waltz, fox trot, tango, rhumba, cha-cha, samba, swing, and most of the folk dances.
Dance Positions-When
dancing, young people should avoid crouching,
slumping over, trying to do a backbend, or having too close a body contact.
Body Movements-Members
of the Church should be good dancers and not
contortionists. Extreme body movements-such
as hip and shoulder shaking, body
jerking, etc.-should be avoided, and emphasis should be placed more on smooth styling
and clever footwork.
Type of Music-The kind of music that is played has a definite effect upon the
actions of those participating in dance. With this in mind, those who are called to serve
on a dance committee should always review the music suggested for use during the
dance. This decision should never be left to a disc jockey or others who may not be
familiar with LDS standards.
Moderate and modest music should always be played. When electronic bands or
instruments are used, an extremely loud beat is discouraged because it is inconsistent
with church standards.
Musical lyrics should always be in good taste and sung in a dignified way.
Dance Planning-Representative
youth should be selected to serve on dance
planning committees under adult leadership. All should be informed concerning
acceptable dance and music standards. In planning dancing events, youth and their
leaders can determine the selection of proper music, type of dancing, dress standards,
standards of conduct, and other pertinent arrangements.
This will enable the youth to know, promote, and participate in a dance program
compatible with church standards.
President David O. McKay out of his love and concern for the well-being of the
youth of the Church has made the following statements:
"Many of the young people of our Church do not have any evil intentions in
dancing current fad dances. However, we think the test of a proper dance is not whether
the dancers have evil intentions, but whether the dance is of such dignity and propriety

that, even to an onlooker, it suggests nothing but style and good grace. After all, young
men and women of our Church should shun even the appearance of evil, and that is why
we would very much prefer that you avoid the current trend of what, to many of us,
appears to be vulgar dancmg. There are too many fine things in this world for the young
people to engage in WIthout resorting to dances that are questionable.
"I hope that you will follow my advice by dancing in accordance with the
standards described. You will find that when you accept these standards you will get
much more joy and wholesome satisfaction than you do from the questionable dancing
engaged in by many."
Literature, TV, Entertainment
Youth should rigidly and energetically resist at all times, unclean stories,jokes,
reading or printed matter, salacious films, objectionable TV programs, immodest or
degrading advertising, and immoral material in any form. Such material is an affront to
right living and clean thinking and must be rejected wherever one comes in contact with
it in social experiences, in entertainment, or in school. Youth must assert themselves in
making choices and demanding only that which is uplifting.
Clean Living
One of the standards of the Church is to uphold the sanctity of the body in
accordance with the scriptures and the counsel of the General Authorities of the Church.
Bodies are precious temples of the spirit given by the Eternal Father. Keeping this in
mind, youth should live in a way that will enhance their purity as well as their personal
All should lead by example and help one another to enjoy the good life. No matter
how much one is enjoying himself, he must never forget who he is and how his behavior
is making other people feel.
The world often judges the whole Church by the actions of its youth. The youth of
the Church are the finest on the face of the earth. They must live up to their
responsibilities as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by being
kind, clean, thoughtful, refined, dignified, and obedient. Youth are on their honor to live
all of the church standards. Young people like to be trusted and must merit that trust.
Young people can have fun while being considerate and loyal to the Church and making
its standards an integral, happy part of their lives.