Q. How far can I go with my boyfriend, whom I love with all of my heart and am planning on being right here waiting for him when he returns off his mission, before he leaves his mission?
A. I have toddlers. I wasn’t expecting to answer this question for 10 years from now! The answer is: Hold hands. Kiss innocently and sweetly. Hug while standing up. Make your interactions as pure and selfless as you can. Instead of showing your love physically, show it through service to each other. When you are dating a person that you are madly in love with, it feels like you are sitting on top of a little piece of matter that could EXPLODE at any instant and create an entirely new universe. It’s intense and fresh and wonderful. But you have to keep it under control. Make it your hobby to keep it innocent.
The best reason is because God told us to. Lots of times, and lots of places. “Bridle all your passions that ye may be filled with love” Alma 38:12. And having His blessing on your physical union is SO important after you are married. If you give way to Satan and your own lust while you are dating, you risk losing God’s help right after you are married. And Satan doesn’t want married couples to have perfect intimacy, he wants to destroy that. So he wants you to have exciting, sinful, distorted intimacy before marriage and guilty, self-conscious, marred connections once you finally are married. That’s Satan’s plan. And it leads to all sorts of unhappiness in every phase of your life. God’s plan is the opposite: You have sweet, pure interactions (not intimacy) before marriage, even though it is SO. HARD. and you keep from arousing that universe within each of you until you are married, and then after marriage, you have wonderful, satisfying and holy intimacy, blessed by God. You will be so glad you waited. The atonement is very real and very good at healing these relationships, but why even cause Christ to suffer for that? Why not just follow God’s plan through from the beginning? It will come soon enough after you are married–and if you don’t end up marrying him, you won’t have wasted your precious self on someone you won’t be with forever.