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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 a 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

What scriptures and other resources will help the young women recognize that their examples can help others remain true to the Lord’s standards?

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

Matthew 5:14–16 (We should let our light shine)

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

1 Nephi 15:23–25; Alma 34:39; Helaman 5:12; D&C 10:5; 27:15–18; 87:8 (How to be in the world but not of the world)

Neil L. Andersen, “Overcoming the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 58–62

Mark A. Bragg, “Brighter and Brighter until the Perfect Day,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 36–38

Neill F. Marriott, “Sharing Your Light,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 117–20; see also the video “Sharing Your Light”

“Message to the Youth from the First Presidency,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), ii–iii

Videos: “Bloom Where You’re Planted”; “Dare to Stand Alone”; “The Lost Purse”; “195 Dresses”; “Guided Safely Home”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Ask the young women 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. When did He face temptation and overcome it? Encourage them to share scriptures that show how Jesus Christ resisted temptation. How does His example inspire the young women?
  • Show one of the videos suggested in this outline and invite the young women to ponder the following question while they watch the video: How do we live in the world without becoming of the world? Give them time to discuss their answers and share experiences they have had that relate to the video.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand how they can be in the world but not of the world. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • On the board, write “Overcoming the world is … ” and “Overcoming the world results in … ” Ask the young women to study Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Overcoming the World” and find various ways to complete these sentences. Discuss what they find. Invite one of the young women ahead of time to come prepared to share the story about Elder Bruce D. Porter from Elder Andersen’s talk (or watch Elder Andersen tell the story in the video of his talk). How might others have reacted to this same trial? How did Elder Porter overcome the world?
  • One way to help the young women understand how to find light in a darkening world would be to bring three flashlights to class. Divide the class into three groups and assign each group to read one of the sections from Elder Mark A. Bragg’s talk “Brighter and Brighter until the Perfect Day.” After the young women have studied the talk, turn off the lights and give each group one of the flashlights. As they share what they have learned, they could turn on their flashlight and set it in the middle of the room. How does each source of light help us in a dark world?
  • Ask the young women to write a list on the board of places they feel are holy. Read Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 together, and ask the young women what they think it means to stand in holy places. Invite them to ponder this question as they watch one of the videos suggested in this outline. What additional insights do they gain about standing in holy places? What can they do to make their family, their school, or their community a more holy place?
  • Invite the young women to read the scriptures listed in this outline (individually or as a class) 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?
  • Invite each young woman to select one of the standards in For the Strength of Youth or one of the values in Personal Progress. Ask her to study her standard or value and then share with the class a summary of it and how living it has helped her to be in the world but not of the world.
  • Ask a young woman to come to class prepared to share what Sister Neill F. Marriott teaches about the influence that temples have on their surroundings in her talk “Sharing Your Light.” Invite the young women to search Sister Marriott’s talk for sentences that inspire them to be a light to others in a world that seems to be increasing in darkness. Give them an opportunity to read their sentences aloud and share why they find them meaningful. Together, you may decide to plan a Mutual activity where young women make a poster that features the sentences they have chosen.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to 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 helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Work on Choice and Accountability value experience 2 or 3 in Personal Progress.
  • Watch or share the videos listed in this lesson with a family member or friend and share how they feel about them.

If appropriate, invite the young women to share what they feel inspired to do as a result of this lesson.