DeseretNews.com

As Valentine's Day approaches, thoughts turn to romantic love.

The following quotes from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints address many facets of love and relationships.

Click through this list to read advice from President Thomas S. Monson, Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and other LDS leaders.

Elder Robert D. Hales
DeseretNews.com

"Again, may I speak frankly? The track that leads to marriage passes through the terrain called dating! Dating is the opportunity for lengthy conversations. When you date, learn everything you can about each other. Get to know each other’s families when possible. Are your goals compatible? Do you share the same feelings about the commandments, the Savior, the priesthood, the temple, parenting, callings in the church and serving others? Have you observed one another under stress, responding to success and failure, resisting anger and dealing with setbacks? Does the person you are dating tear others down or build them up? Is his or her attitude and language and conduct what you would like to live with every day?

"That said, none of us marry perfection; we marry potential. The right marriage is not only about what I want; it’s also about what she — who’s going to be my companion — wants and needs me to be.

"Speaking plainly, please don’t date all through your 20s just to 'have a good time,' thus delaying marriage in favor of other interests and activities. Why? Because dating and marriage aren’t final destinations. They are the gateway to where you ultimately want to go. 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.'

"Your responsibility now is to be worthy of the person you want to marry. If you want to marry a wholesome, attractive, honest, happy, hardworking, spiritual person, be that kind of person. If you are that person and you are not married, be patient. Wait upon the Lord."

Elder Robert D. Hales, "Meeting the Challenges of Today's World"

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Gerry Avant, Deseret News

"There are many qualities you will want to look for in a friend or a serious date — to say nothing of a spouse and eternal companion — but surely among the very first and most basic of those qualities will be those of care and sensitivity toward others, a minimum of self-centeredness that allows compassion and courtesy to be evident. 'That best portion of a good man’s life (is) his ... kindness,' said Mr. William Wordsworth. There are lots of limitations in all of us that we hope our sweethearts will overlook. I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can’t always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command — such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "How Do I Love Thee?"

President Thomas S. Monson
Tom Smart, Deseret News

"Begin to prepare for a temple marriage as well as for a mission. Proper dating is a part of that preparation. In cultures where dating is appropriate, do not date until you are 16 years old. 'Not all teenagers need to date or even want to. … When you begin dating, go in groups or on double dates. … Make sure your parents meet (and become acquainted with) those you date.' Because dating is a preparation for marriage, 'date only those who have high standards.'

"Be careful to go to places where there is a good environment, where you won’t be faced with temptation.

"A wise father said to his son, 'If you ever find yourself in a place where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!' Good advice for all of us."

President Thomas S. Monson, "Preparation Brings Blessings"

Sister Kristen M. Oaks
DeseretNews.com

"Our responsibility is to become the best disciples of Christ we can become. On one occasion, full of worry and frustration about my single situation and my advancing years, I went to a priesthood leader for a blessing to strengthen me. The words spoken in that blessing stay with me to this day and ring truer to me as time passes. I can still quote them: 'If you cannot bear the difficulties and challenges of single life, you will never be able to bear the difficulties and challenges of married life.' I sat a bit stunned. Those words were a call to action for me to make my life wonderful regardless of any situation or difficulty I faced. If I made a happy single life for myself, it would determine the happiness I would have as a married woman, and I wanted a happy future. I realized I had the capacity not only to bear difficult things but to look for the best in every situation. My attitude became much more positive. Life is a challenge, but it will always be a challenge — single or married — and I wanted to be equal to that challenge. I testify from hard-earned experience that the Lord is always preparing us for greater happiness and blessings. We need only try our best and trust in him with all our hearts."

Sister Kristen M. Oaks, "To the Singles of the Church"

Brother Larry M. Gibson
DeseretNews.com

"It would seem that with all of the social media, we should easily be better connected than ever before. In ways, however, technology may be causing us to have relationships that are less meaningful. Merely tweeting, texting, emailing and friending cannot genuinely create a well-rounded relationship. Spending real face-to-face time with other people is necessary to build true friendships.

"It is time for you, our wonderful youth, to bring back the old definition for when young men and young women get together for a social experience. You may have heard the term; this experience was once referred to as a date."

Brother Larry M. Gibson, "What About Dating?"

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“This will be the most important decision of your life, the individual whom you marry.

"There is no substitute for marrying in the temple. It is the only place under the heavens where marriage can be solemnized for eternity. Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t cheat your companion. Don’t shortchange your lives. Marry the right person in the right place at the right time.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Life's Obligations"

Sister Elaine S. Dalton
DeseretNews.com

“When young men and young women start dating, teach them to ask themselves, ‘Will this person in this relationship lead me to the temple?’ If they can’t honestly answer yes, then they ought to think about what they are doing and make some changes.”

Sister Elaine S. Dalton, "Dating and Virtue"

Elder Richard G. Scott
IRI

"There is more to a foundation of eternal marriage than a pretty face or an attractive figure. There is more to consider than popularity or charisma. As you seek an eternal companion, look for someone who is developing the essential attributes that bring happiness: a deep love of the Lord and of his commandments, a determination to live them, one that is kindly understanding, forgiving of others, and willing to give of self, with the desire to have a family crowned with beautiful children and a commitment to teach them the principles of truth in the home."

Elder Richard G. Scott, "Receive the Temple Blessings"

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
Courtesy LDS Church

"In my judgment there is no more important single act that any Latter-day Saint ever does in this world than to marry the right person in the right place by the right authority. The right person is someone for whom the natural and wholesome and normal affection that should exist does exist. It is the person who is living so that he or she can go to the temple of God and make the covenants that we there make."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, "Why the Latter-day Saints Build Temples"

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
DeseretNews.com

"The key is to have our eyes wide open to our own faults and partially closed to the faults of others — not the other way around! The imperfections of others never release us from the need to work on our own shortcomings."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "A Brother Offended"

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

"... Be friends first and sweethearts later, not the other way around. Otherwise, people who think they are sweethearts may discover they can’t be very good friends, and by then it may be too late."

Elder Bruce C. Hafen, "The Gospel and Romantic Love"

President Gordon B. Hinckley
DeseretNews.com

"Choose a companion of your own faith. You are much more likely to be happy. Choose a companion you can always honor, you can always respect, one who will complement you in your own life, one to whom you can give your entire heart, your entire love, your entire allegiance, your entire loyalty."

President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Life's Obligations"

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
DeseretNews.com

"Love, like individuals, is tested by the flame of adversity. If we are faithful and determined it will temper and refine us, but it will not consume us. Enjoy what you now have. Be a disciple of Christ. Live worthy of marriage even if it doesn’t come soon. And cherish it with all your heart when it does."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Some Things We Have Learned — Together"

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
DeseretNews.com

“Save your kisses — you might need them someday. And when any of you — men or women — are given entrance to the heart of a trusting young friend, you stand on holy ground. In such a place you must be honest with yourself — and with your friend — about love and the expression of its symbols."

Elder Bruce C. Hafen, "The Gospel and Romantic Love"

Sister Camilla Kimball
Deseret News Archives

"But remember that when young people have visited with Sister Camilla Kimball about how wonderful it must be to be married to a prophet, she has said, 'Yes, it is wonderful to be married to a prophet, but I didn’t marry a prophet. I just married a returned missionary.'”

Sister Camilla Kimball, as quoted in "Some Things We Have Learned — Together"

Elder Marvin J. Ashton
DeseretNews.com

"If we would know true love and understanding one for another, we must realize that communication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally."

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "Family Communications"

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Chuck Wing, Deseret News

"To our young adults of marriageable circumstances, I hope you will not put off marriage too long. I do not speak so much to the young women as to the young men whose prerogative and responsibility it is to take the lead in this matter. Don’t go on endlessly in a frivolous dating game. Look for a choice companion, one you can love, honor, and respect and make a decision."

President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Thou Shalt Not Covet"

President Boyd K. Packer
DeseretNews.com

“The powers awakened earlier in your life have been growing. You have been responding to them, probably very clumsily, but they now form themselves into a restlessness that cannot be ignored. You are old enough now to fall in love — not the puppy love of elementary years, not the confused love of the teens, but the full-blown love of eligible men and women, newly matured, ready for life. I mean romantic love, with all the full intense meaning of the word, with all of the power and turbulence and frustration, the yearning, the restraining, and all of the peace and beauty and sublimity of love. No experience can be more beautiful, no power more compelling, more exquisite. Or, if misused, no suffering is more excruciating than that connected with love.”

President Boyd K. Packer, as quoted in "The Gospel and Romantic Love"

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
DeseretNews.com

"If you are just marking time waiting for a marriage prospect, stop waiting. You may never have the opportunity for a suitable marriage in this life, so stop waiting and start moving. Prepare yourself for life — even a single life — by education, experience and planning. Don’t wait for happiness to be thrust upon you. Seek it out in service and learning. Make a life for yourself. And trust in the Lord."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Dating Versus Hanging Out"

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

“A young man wanting to ask a woman on a date should talk on the phone instead of sending a text,” Elder Ballard said. “Do not lose this opportunity while you’re here to get acquainted with each other. You don’t do that if you don’t talk with each other, if you don’t learn to communicate with each other.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard as quoted in "Elder Ballard speaks at Salt Lake Institute about righteous expectations"

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
DeseretNews.com

"Avoid the habit of feeling sorry for yourself, and don’t worry excessively about those times when you feel socially unsuccessful. Everybody in the world doesn’t have to marry you — it only takes one."

Elder Bruce C. Hafen, "The Gospel and Romantic Love"

President Thomas S. Monson
Deseret News Archives

"I would admonish you to maintain an eternal perspective. Make certain that the marriage in your future is a temple marriage. There is no scene so sweet, no time so sacred as that very special day of your marriage. Then and there you glimpse celestial joy. Be alert; do not permit temptation to rob you of this blessing."

President Thomas S. Monson, "Whom Shall I Marry?"