I Challenge


Excerpt from an October 1977 General Conference address by David B. Haight: 1

My remarks this morning are directed to the young women of the Church, particularly those who are dating our young men. I desire to be appropriate and correct in what I say, but because of necessity and the urgency concerning this matter, I must be very direct and candid.

Some young men cannot go on missions because they are not worthy.

I challenge the young women of the Church who associate with and date our young priesthood bearers to become real guardians of their morality. You can. You must. Many of you are. Please do not underestimate your role. I am aware that the total responsibility is not yours. However, on a date you can set the proper atmosphere to encourage your companion to honor the commandments of God. In fact, you have the opportunity to emphasize the Mormon ideals of womanhood in all their honor and glory. I know the Lord expects it to be so.

You young ladies have a profound influence on young, masculine behavior. Young men wear clothes they think you like. Their hair will be cut to please you. You can control how fast they drive their cars if you want. They will dress as grubby as you like. You need not dress in the extreme fashions of the world. Are you aware that fashions and styles are promoted because someone has a product to sell? The rightness or appropriateness or effect on a youthful society does not matter as long as it sells. But the day will come when the world will follow the ways of the Church. Its influence will be as though flowing from the stars to affect the actions of men. Your influence with young men is important. You encourage Church standards and dress and conduct.

Interviews with some prospective missionaries regretfully indicate that some actions involving young women are most disappointing. Some are even ugly and are far, far different from what is expected of you. The Savior knew so well our weaknesses. He warned: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit … is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41.)

Young women, lift the tenor of your association with our young men now preparing to be worthy so their bishops will be impressed to call them on missions. The young man you are with in a car or at home is needed in the Lord’s work. Hundreds, even thousands more like him are needed—prepared in the Lord’s way.

Young men—maturing, learning, and forming habits—have ideals and special persons they admire. You may be such a person. In a matter of months these young men will become missionaries and will be blessed so as to be able to teach investigators by the Spirit. The Lord said, “And the Spirit shall be given … by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” (D&C 42:14.) Our missionaries teach and testify by the Spirit. But they must be in tune with the Lord. Hoping for the Spirit is not enough. Praying is not enough. Missionaries must do what the Lord requires: live the commandments, be clean, be wholesome in deed and thoughts. “The Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples.” (Alma 34:36.)

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart.” (Ps. 24:3–4.) The Psalmist is teaching the necessity of clean actions that comply with divine law—a pure heart, pure thoughts, a desire to live in harmony with the Lord and to love Him.


1 Young Women—Real Guardians, October 1977 General Conference, David B. Haight – https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1977/10/young-women-real-guardians?lang=eng