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Duty to God

How can I be in the world but not of the world?

“Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider” (Thomas S. Monson, “Priesthood Power,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 66). The Lord wants us to remain true to His standards and not partake of the evils of the world. At the same time, He expects us to be a good influence on those around us.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel will be most helpful to the young men you teach?

Live Worthily, Fulfilling My Duty to God (2010), deacons, 16–17; teachers, 40–41; priests, 64–65

Genesis 39:1–20 (Joseph of Egypt resists advances from Potiphar’s wife)

2 Kings 6:14–17 (Elisha’s servant realizes that he is not alone)

Matthew 26:41; D&C 10:5 (Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation)

John 15:19; 1 Nephi 8:24–28 (Those who follow Christ are often mocked and hated by the world)

1 Corinthians 10:13 (We will not be tempted above what we can bear)

D&C 3:6–8 (If we trust God more than men, He will support us against the adversary)

D&C 62:1 (The Lord knows our weakness and how to succor us during temptation)

D&C 87:8 (Stand in holy places)

Dallin H. Oaks, “No Other Gods,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013

Robert D. Hales, “Stand Strong in Holy Places,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 48–51

Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60–67; see also the video “Dare to Stand Alone”

Video: “Bloom Where You’re Planted”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite each of the young men to write on a piece of paper one sentence that summarizes what he learned from last week’s lesson. Have several young men read their summaries aloud.
  • Show quorum members an orange (or another citrus fruit). Invite them to name some of the standards in For the Strength of Youth. As they name them, write them on the orange. Place the orange in a container of water (it will float). Take the orange out of the water and peel it. Place it back in the water, and it will sink. Invite the young men to share what this teaches them about keeping the Lord’s standards. Share a specific example of how keeping a standard has blessed your life.

Learn together

The purpose of this lesson is to help each young man understand how he can be in the world but not of the world and how this helps him live worthy to exercise the priesthood. As part of this lesson, quorum members should make plans in their Duty to God books to study and live the standards in For the Strength of Youth. Before quorum meeting, invite the young men to bring their Duty to God books with them to church, along with a copy of For the Strength of Youth. In future quorum meetings, invite them to share experiences they are having as they fulfill their plans.

  • Invite the young men to read the scriptures listed in this outline (individually or as a quorum) and discuss what they learn about overcoming temptations. How do they live the Lord’s standards when the world tempts them to do otherwise or makes fun of them for having high standards? How have they felt when they have lived the Lord’s standards and resisted temptations? What experiences can they share?
  • Ask the young men if they have ever heard the phrase “We should be in the world but not of the world.” What does this mean to them? What experiences can they share related to this principle? Invite them to share ways the Savior was in the world but not of the world (for some examples, see Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Stand Strong in Holy Places.” What do the young men learn from these examples?
  • Invite the young men to search the table of contents of For the Strength of Youth and choose one or more standards they would like to discuss. Invite each young man to take a few minutes to study the standard he chose and prepare to share what he learned. Ask each young man to open his Duty to God book and write in the “Act” section his plan to live this standard (page 17, 41, or 65). Encourage the young men to share their plans with each other if appropriate. Invite the young men to come prepared in the next few weeks to share how following their plans has helped them be “in the world but not of the world” (see John 15:19).
  • Invite the young men to read Exodus 20:3–6, and ask them how these scriptures apply to us in our day. Read section I of Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “No Other Gods” as a quorum. Consider bringing to class several objects that represent the six priorities that Elder Oaks mentions, and ask the quorum members to match the objects with the priorities. As they make a match, discuss ways someone could overcome putting this priority above serving our Heavenly Father. How can putting God first impact how we pursue our other priorities in life?
  • Ask the quorum to make a list of commandments that might be difficult for young men their age to keep. Invite each young man to choose one item from the list and use the scriptures, For the Strength of Youth, and his own experiences to give advice on how to overcome temptation to disobey this commandment.
  • As a quorum, read Doctrine and Covenants 87:8, and ask the young men what they think it means to stand in holy places. Invite them to ponder this question as they watch the video “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” What additional insights do they gain about standing in holy places from this video? Ask the young men how they feel they can make their family, their school, or their community a more holy place.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand why they, as priesthood holders, must be in the world but not of the world? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his testimony of the importance of living the Lord’s standards.
  • Commit the young men to fulfill the plans they have made in the “Live Worthily” section of their Duty to God books.