“In the world but not of the world.” A phrase that we often see and hear in the church, especially now, as the world’s values continue to move further away from Heavenly Father’s. So, I asked several people a simple question that I know I have often wondered: HOW. How can we stay in the world but not of the world? I am going to share their advice but if it seems long and overwhelming, pick a few of their quotes to read, they’re all amazing!
“I think social media is a big one. You can use it to uplift others, post pictures that are not seductive, or revealing. Avoid putting others down on those sites. Keep comments kind and appropriate. Also, search out learning and media that uplifts and inspires.” -Laura Ashby
“I think in this day and age, it’s critical that we put God, his opinion and his commandments first in our day-to-day life. No Instagram post, rumors and gossip, or even protecting your social status will ever be more important than God and the things we do to please Him.” -Katie Kirk
“Let me start by saying a quote by Dr. Seuss, ‘A tree falls the way it leans.’ Be careful which way you lean. I feel like our focus in our day to day tells us a lot about where we are headed. If we constantly think about our bodies then we will have only moved or progressed toward our ‘perfect’ physical self. And the same goes to church or school or what others think. In a more round about way, I believe if we focus our lives – our thoughts, habits, goals, and actions- toward God then we will successfully live in the world but not of the world. I am a firm believer that the thoughts we think shape the outcomes we face in life, so if we think about Christ and serving others and focus on our eternal journey, and not our mortal one, we can reach our eternal potential, despite living in a corrupt world.” -Sam Brown
“I think that if we look for Christ and Christlike people in this world we can see so much more good and avoid the temptations of this earth. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis, ‘Look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else.'” -Sarah Adamson
“I think one of the main ways to stay in the world but not of the world is to always keep an eternal perspective. It’s easier to stay close to God when we remember that it is the only way to get back to Him in the long run. It’s also easier to be kind to other people and to make good choices when we realize their worth and our own individual worth in the sight of God. Keeping an eternal perspective means only performing actions that will pave our way back to God for eternity. It means always staying positive and knowing that everything will eventually work out. Our trials won’t last forever.” -Maggie Olson
“I have been asked this a lot in Priesthood and I think that we can be in the world by not letting all of the worldly things around us influence us. I say as we go about our lives, we stick to what we believe and our own standards, and it will allow us to be in the world but not of it.” -Eric Thackeray
“Staying in the world but not of the world is to be kind, respectful and loving to those around us who do not share our beliefs and standards. When we remember the divine potential that every single one of God’s children have, even those who do not yet realize who they are or who do not act like it, we not only stay true to our beliefs but also help our brothers and sisters feel the love and joy that the gospel and a personal testimony bring. By helping others choose to live in a way that is in keeping with the commandments, we are blessed to be able to do the same with less temptation and experience Christ’s charity.” -Kate Romney
“This reminds me of the ‘Good, Better, Best’ talk. One of my leaders was talking about the Sabbath and she said that even Satan sometimes tempts us by making things seem okay or even good. Also, even though something may be good, there may be multiple things that are better or even best.” -Brooke Lusty
“I think that as long as we have a moral compass and are willing to make hard choices, love will always be that answer to conquer fear or hate. We can’t forget that God’s greatest power and gift is his endless love, we should emulate that when given the chance.” -Izzy Reynolds
“I’d say to me it has to do with being among temptations and worldly things and not lowering our standards, rather than trying to avoid them altogether. We obviously don’t want to encourage or approach behaviors contrary to our standards, but simply running away from temptations isn’t enough. We have to be able to face them without backing down on our standards. It’s about fearing God rather than men. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, it’s by C.S. Lewis, ‘If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.'” -Ryan Barney
“I think it’s not only hard to be in the world and not of it but also to be in the world and not against it. Because if you go too hard against the world then you are also not following what God wants to a point, we need to acknowledge this world. Being in the world gives us the opportunity for trials and situations that God has put us on this earth at this time to experience and we need to use the resources that we have been given, we also need to watch our sources in the world. But if we always have our ultimate goal, which is eternal life, in mind, it is impossible to become of the world.”- Liza Randall
“I think peer pressure is the hardest thing, it’s so hard to say no to your friends. That’s why I try to stick with friends that I know will uphold the Lord’s standards. Having a reputation of being good is also important. One of my leaders told me that all of his non-Mormon friends would keep him from doing bad things because he was supposed to be the good kid.” -Xander Lehnardt
What are some ways that you remain in the world but not of the world? How can you help others to avoid becoming of the world?