Advice to a young man who is dating a future missionary
[With a nod to Eloise Bell]
This is an exciting time of life for you and your future missionary. Sooner than you can imagine, she will be gone to the far reaches of the globe to preach the gospel; she will leave a bright-faced girl, but return a wise woman, ready to be a leader in the Church and in the home. Don't waste these 18 months while she is gone – you can be developing many skills to enhance your masculine qualities. Learn to barbeque. Replace the hinges on all your doors with decorative brass hardware. Take a course in auto detailing so you can add artistic flair to any vehicle you own. It is these little masculine touches that make a house a home.
You can be serving her while she is serving the Lord. You may write to her, but make sure that you are not a distraction from her important work. Keep your letters bright and cheerful, and in the boyish style she has grown to love. Write to her of your little trials and successes; though her work and accomplishments may seem infinitely more important than your own, rest assured that she will still delight to hear of your modest achievements.
Remember that no young man should be the cause of a young woman's unworthiness to serve a mission! It is very difficult for young men to understand how easily tempted a young woman may be by their dress and appearance. Do not wear tight-fitting "muscle" shirts! Do not take your shirt off to mow the lawn, even if the heat index is over 100 degrees! Remember that the prophet has counseled young men to be clean-shaven! (You may think that a little facial hair is not a big deal, but to a young woman with strong desires, a beard is an ever present reminder of your masculinity!)