Dancing and Singing

Church Educational System

Some may erroneously conclude from 1 Nephi 18:9 that the Lord does not approve of dancing or singing. Nephi said twice that they erred when their dancing and singing led them “to speak with much rudeness” (1 Nephi 18:9). The word rude refers to being harsh, vulgar, or coarse. The Lord has stated that He approves of proper dancing and singing (see Psalm 149:1–4; D&C 136:28). Note from these scriptures that we may praise the Lord through dancing and singing. Satan can use dancing or music, however, as a means of corruption and loss of the Spirit. This is why Church leaders caution us about the kinds of music we listen to and how we dance. The First Presidency has counseled:

“Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, [or] uses foul or offensive language. …
“Dancing can be fun and can provide an opportunity to meet new people. However, it too can be misused. When dancing, avoid full body contact with your partner. Do not use positions or moves that are suggestive of sexual behavior. Plan and attend dances where dress, grooming, lighting, lyrics, and music contribute to a wholesome atmosphere where the Spirit of the Lord may be present” (For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God [2001], 20–21).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)