Kathy is a writer living with her family in Phoenix, Arizona.
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INTRODUCE THE DOCTRINE
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1. “We should be in the world but not of the world.” The lesson suggests asking the young women if they’ve ever heard this phrase and what it means to them. Because I’ve heard this phrase used so often in non-constructive ways at church, I would take the time to define and discuss specific words in it (below) before asking the young women their perspective on the entire phrase. By getting their input on individual words, I would try to build a class definition in a concrete, constructive way.
2. The lesson also suggests showing “Dare to Stand Alone,” the video of a story by Thomas S. Monson. The story itself is nice (President Monson standing alone as a Mormon in the Navy and then realizing he wasn’t alone). But I personally wouldn’t show the video — partly to avoid starting the lesson with the possible message that Mormons are the only good people in the world, and mostly to avoid the vignette of the teenage girl looking disdainfully at friends who suggest she wear a sleeveless dress, which I feel could derail the deeper possibilities in this lesson.
“We should be in the world, but not of the world.” Throughout my years in the church, I’ve heard this phrase so many times. Discussing it at church is challenging for me because most (but not all) class discussions about it tend toward the antagonistic, the self-righteous, or the vague.
I would take the time needed to clarify what I personally see in the phrase, as well as invite the young women’s input and insight.
Defining In & Of
- In: reference to a place where you are located
- Of: indicating origin, source, also denotes ownership or composition; expressing the relationship between the part and the whole.
In is pretty clear. It’s a location, as in: We are in this world.
But of is a little less obvious at first glance. How do you not be “of” the world? The word’s main definitions express origin or permanently belonging to in some way: “the daughter of Sister and Brother _____.” “the plays of Shakespeare,” or “the sleeve of her dress. . .”