From my mystery correspondent. Remember the ground rule: This is a parlor game, so no punting to the “guidance of the Spirit.” If you were the official presented with these facts, what call do you make?
Sam Sacerdote graduated from high school, turned 18, and enrolled in the local college in June 2006. In September 2006, he was ordained to the office of Elder. In January 2007, his parents sold the house that they shared with Sam and moved out of state. Rather than withdraw from college and join them, Sam moved in with the LDS girlfriend he’s had since he turned 16 (she just recently rented her own one-bedroom apartment). Sam sleeps on her couch.
You are Sam’s stake president. Sam desires to serve a full-time mission. His bishop has made you aware of Sam’s living situation, and informs you that he has counseled Sam to move out of his girlfriend’s apartment so as not to “play with fire.” Sam has declined to do so, but assures his bishop and you that his relationship with his live-in girlfriend always has been and remains chaste. For the purpose of this hypothetical, assume that you know this to be true.
Now, in November 2007, two months from his 19th birthday Sam asks you to endorse his missionary application papers. Assuming that all else is in order, and taken as given that Sam’s relationship with his girlfriend is chaste, do you sign and submit his papers to Salt Lake City?
For those of you that would sign the papers of this dynamo of sexual restraint, is the result different if, rather than sleep on the living room futon, however improbably, Sam chastely shares his girlfriend’s bed?