The media has been talking a lot about proms, lately. They have become enormously expensive and many teens can’t afford to attend. Because they are so expensive, some see them as more important than they need to be and many times, those proms end in disaster, either physically or morally.
In California, some teens are fighting the trend of overly expensive proms. Mormon teenagers and their guests held a prom at the Santa Margarita Bell Tower that cost just fifteen dollars. The boys wore suits (most Mormon boys already own suits that they wear to church) and the girls wore lovely dresses that were modest and did not appear to cost the many hundreds of dollars some traditional prom dresses cost.
You can see how the teens dressed in the media coverage of this Mormon prom at Deseret News.
The music was carefully chosen to be morally appropriate while still modern and popular. The teens were not allowed to engage in sexualized dancing. Everyone had to be at least sixteen, since Mormons believe dating should be reserved for those sixteen and older. Eighty percent had dates, but those who preferred not to date yet were welcome.
Mormons believe that dating in high school is a chance for young people to get to know each other and to develop friendships with and understanding of those of the opposite gender. However, they teach their young people to date in groups and to date a wide range of people rather than to become exclusive at such a young age. Studies have shown that teens who pair off too young are more likely to become pregnant or to marry too soon.
Mormon boys are taught to wait until they return from their volunteer missionary service to begin courting (dating one person exclusively with the thought of possible future marriage in mind). Girls are encouraged to wait until they finish high school or return from their own missions. This allows them to avoid serious relationships until they are old enough and mature enough to marry.
Mormons also teach their young people to remain morally pure before marriage. This is one reason to avoid early serious relationships. They are taught that they are responsible for the moral well-being of their dates. This holds true for both boys and girls. The same standards apply to both.
The prom helped the teens to improve their social skills, since they were given guidance on how to plan and prepare for the date. They also learned they could have fun in an inexpensive and completely moral environment. There is no need for teens to compromise their values, even on prom night.
Read more about Mormon dating standards.