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stemelbow

Being in it and not of it

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stemelbow    4,144

In the "Mormons being distracted" thread, bluebell brought out the popular LDS teaching (I don't know who else might use it) of being in the world and not of the world.  Says she's in introducing it:  "We just had a lesson on sunday in YWs about being in the world but not of the world.  I think that a lot of us LDS don't see the ways that we fail at that."

If the teaching is used as phrased, then I doubt anyone that is LDS is able to see the ways anyone fails at it.  That is the phrase is used in a very authoritative, absolute way.  It is a very dogmatic teaching, I've noticed over the years.  I question whether there's a very good definition of what it means or how to apply it, since over the years I've seen it thrown out in all sorts of circumstances to support all sorts of ideas, sometimes contradictory.  So here goes.  Let's discuss. 

I responded to bluebell:

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Mostly because it's an ill defined awkward teaching.

She came back with:

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It's an awesome teaching.

Being 'of' something means you are an actual part of it.  Being in something just denotes location.  If you have a glass of lemonade with ice in it, the ice is in the drink but it's not of the drink.  The lemon is of the drink.  

Who you are 'of' is who you belong to, who you're a part of.  We live in the world but we should not belong to it or be a part of it.  We are of God, we are a part of Him.  The world is not our tribe.  God is our tribe.

I'll use this as context and to provide a spring board for discussion.  Speaking of ill-defined:  When Bluebell says "Being 'of" something means you are an actual part of it".  What does that mean in terms of the world?  Are we not part of the world?  Do we as a Church not want to make an impact on the world?  Should we as individuals ever see ourselves as not being part of this world?  How do we do that? 

She says, "Being in something just denotes location".  Well, that necessarily suggests then if we are in a location, we are also part of that location, no? 

" If you have a glass of lemonade with ice in it, the ice is in the drink but it's not of the drink.  The lemon is of the drink."  No offense, but what?  Sure it's of the drink.  As soon as ice is added, it gets mixed with the drink.  It is the drink. 

Again, "Who you are 'of' is who you belong to, who you're a part of.  We live in the world but we should not belong to it or be a part of it.  We are of God, we are a part of Him.  The world is not our tribe.  God is our tribe."

The world, it seems, is everyone else (?).  As I understand it, the use of tribe in this vernacular suggests one is identifying who is their people.  Here we have a dichotomy in this sense set up.  It's everyone else that is in the world, or of it, contrasted with God.  Thus, we shouldn't see ourselves as in this with everyone else.  We should only see this as we are with God at the exclusion of everyone else, although we would like more to join us? 

The we are part of God is also something I'd like to bring out.  What does that mean?  If we are, is not anyone and everyone else?  What part are we, and how does that define us as not being of the world? 

I don't mean to get after Bluebell, when I question her ideas, I hope that is obvious.  I mean no offense here.  I'm just quite curious how this teaching/idea works, because I've never seen it work very well within the Church.  it seems to mean nothing and yet everything. 

The brethren might be said to be in the world but not of it, I suppose.  But what does that say?  That they are more spiritual?  or what?  Do they not participate in the world?  have they not found success by following rules, sometimes arbitrary ones that helped them succeed in the world?  Does that not, then, suggest they are as much of the world as anyone else? 

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Duncan    3,568

I think we shouldn't get involved in worldliness, as per DC 78 14, "that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world;" when I say worldliness I think of a myriad of addictions we can get involved in, basically as someone said before anything that could seperate us from God, spouse, family and alienate us. The Church should have an impact on individuals lives' hopefully for the better and in turn they impact the world. Pres. Kimball said in April 1979 GC 

"that the Church is at a point in its growth and maturity when we are at last ready to move forward in a major way. Some decisions have been made and others pending, which will clear the way, organizationally. But the basic decisions needed for us to move forward, as a people, must be made by the individual members of the Church. The major strides which must be made by the Church will follow upon the major strides to be made by us as individuals.

We have paused on some plateaus long enough. Let us resume our journey forward and upward. Let us quietly put an end to our reluctance to reach out to others—whether in our own families, wards, or neighborhoods. We have been diverted, at times, from fundamentals on which we must now focus in order to move forward as a person or as a people."

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Gray    4,514
1 minute ago, bluebell said:

The world, in that phrase, is a metaphor for ''wickedness and the natural man.'  The phrase has nothing to do with church membership or that kind of delineation.   It comes from verses in the NT where Jesus teaches that His followers are not to be 'of the world.'

That doesn't seem controversial to me.  I think it's amazing when people can remember who they belong to.  Choosing to belong to God, rather than the secular world, is an awesome thing!

 

I think that's right. It's an injunction not to be worldly - not to engage in activities thought to be sinful. If you read it too literally it could sound like an injunction against being a part of your wider community, but I don't think that's how most read it.

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CA Steve    547

I attended a San Francisco Giants baseball game at AT&T Park the other day, wearing my Kershaw Dodger jersey. I now know what it means to be in the stadium but not of the stadium.  :vava:

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Rain    3,228
1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

In the "Mormons being distracted" thread, bluebell brought out the popular LDS teaching (I don't know who else might use it) of being in the world and not of the world.  Says she's in introducing it:  "We just had a lesson on sunday in YWs about being in the world but not of the world.  I think that a lot of us LDS don't see the ways that we fail at that."

If the teaching is used as phrased, then I doubt anyone that is LDS is able to see the ways anyone fails at it.  That is the phrase is used in a very authoritative, absolute way.  It is a very dogmatic teaching, I've noticed over the years.  I question whether there's a very good definition of what it means or how to apply it, since over the years I've seen it thrown out in all sorts of circumstances to support all sorts of ideas, sometimes contradictory.  So here goes.  Let's discuss. 

I responded to bluebell:

She came back with:

I'll use this as context and to provide a spring board for discussion.  Speaking of ill-defined:  When Bluebell says "Being 'of" something means you are an actual part of it".  What does that mean in terms of the world?  Are we not part of the world?  Do we as a Church not want to make an impact on the world?  Should we as individuals ever see ourselves as not being part of this world?  How do we do that? 

She says, "Being in something just denotes location".  Well, that necessarily suggests then if we are in a location, we are also part of that location, no? 

" If you have a glass of lemonade with ice in it, the ice is in the drink but it's not of the drink.  The lemon is of the drink."  No offense, but what?  Sure it's of the drink.  As soon as ice is added, it gets mixed with the drink.  It is the drink. 

Again, "Who you are 'of' is who you belong to, who you're a part of.  We live in the world but we should not belong to it or be a part of it.  We are of God, we are a part of Him.  The world is not our tribe.  God is our tribe."

The world, it seems, is everyone else (?).  As I understand it, the use of tribe in this vernacular suggests one is identifying who is their people.  Here we have a dichotomy in this sense set up.  It's everyone else that is in the world, or of it, contrasted with God.  Thus, we shouldn't see ourselves as in this with everyone else.  We should only see this as we are with God at the exclusion of everyone else, although we would like more to join us? 

The we are part of God is also something I'd like to bring out.  What does that mean?  If we are, is not anyone and everyone else?  What part are we, and how does that define us as not being of the world? 

I don't mean to get after Bluebell, when I question her ideas, I hope that is obvious.  I mean no offense here.  I'm just quite curious how this teaching/idea works, because I've never seen it work very well within the Church.  it seems to mean nothing and yet everything. 

Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like you are not really listening to our answers, but I am going to take you at your word here and reply to your post. I'm just hoping it works well between us all this time. 

Quote

The brethren might be said to be in the world but not of it, I suppose.  But what does that say?  That they are more spiritual?  or what?  Do they not participate in the world?  have they not found success by following rules, sometimes arbitrary ones that helped them succeed in the world?  Does that not, then, suggest they are as much of the world as anyone else? 

The lemonade metaphor works because until the ice cubes melt into the lemonade they are in the drink, but not of the drink. It isn't a perfect metaphor, but I think it describes well the of the world idea.

I think the biggest difference is our focus. We live on an earthly world. We have earthly things we need to do - make money, go to the bathroom etc. Until we die we are going to in/on the world. However, when we focus on the next life and on Christ we don't become consumed by earthly things.

Examples: one (individual/family) must make money somehow. That is an in the world thing, but we make the choice to not be of the world by focusing on what matters concerning that job. One might choose a job that helps people mentally, physically, emotionally. Another may focus on not bring work home mentally so he/she can BE there with family. Another may work fewer hours because time spent with family or helping others in the main focus. Another may focus on coworkers and helping them succeed. 

I think some may have some black and white thinking of in the world, but not of it. They may think that this means you constantly read your scriptures and never do anything "fun". But people not of the world do a huge variety of things. They just look to see if something takes them closer to God or further from it. 

One could go running to avoid being with family, doing church callings, or as a matter of pride etc or one could run to listen to God away from noise, to be healthier so you can serve God better, to be more emotionally fit etc. 

It's just recognizing we live in an imperfect world and that we don't have to "melt" into a world focus, but can choose to prepare ourselves for the next world.

Edited by Rain

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smac97    6,663
38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I'll use this as context and to provide a spring board for discussion.  Speaking of ill-defined:  When Bluebell says "Being 'of" something means you are an actual part of it".  What does that mean in terms of the world? 

The context here is important, otherwise "in the world" and "of the world" would be synonymous.

In an LDS context, "in the world" means that we are . . . in the world.  We are physically residing here.  And not only that, we are located in and part of society.  We do not retreat to compounds or communes or monastaries.  We are enmeshed in society.  We interact with other parts of our societies.  Thus being "in the world" is a good thing.  We are here to learn and to grow.  We are here to interact with and, hopefully, serve and love others, and do our best to meaningfully contribute to and improve society.  Think of the scriptural references to "salt" and "leaven."  

In contrast, being "of the world" references man's fallen state.  This is described in Moses:

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5:13 - "And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish."

6:49 - "Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God."

 

And Mosiah 6:

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3 For they are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil.

4 Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state.

5 But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.

And Alma:

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Chapter 41:

11 And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.

12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?

13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.

Chapter 42

7 And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.

8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.

9 Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.

10 Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.

11 And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Now contrast these two concepts in the context of AoF 13: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."  To believe and do this, I submit, is to be "in the world" but not "of the world."

An example springs to mind.  Consider the types of music there are in our society.  Some are beautiful and uplifting ("virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy").  And some are rather horrible ("carnal, sensual, and devilish").

Here is an example, IMO, of the former:

This video, I submit, is a good example of being "in the world" but not "of the world."  It is beautiful.  It is uplifting.  It is "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."  And it is available to the world on YouTube (20 million+ views!).  The world is, in some small way, made better by these fellows contributions to it.  There is nothing about it that is "carnal, sensual, and devilish."  Thus The Piano Guys have, in the above video, demonstrated one way to be "in the world" but not "of the world."

I was going to contrast the foregoing music video with a "carnal, sensual, and devilish" one, but there are too many of those to choose from (and I didn't want to trigger a "yeah, but" argument).

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Are we not part of the world?  Do we as a Church not want to make an impact on the world?  Should we as individuals ever see ourselves as not being part of this world?  How do we do that? 

See above.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

The world, it seems, is everyone else (?). 

No.  Categorically no.  "The world" refers to those aspects of our individual and collective words and deeds which are "carnal, sensual, and devilish."

"Everyone else" are our brothers and sisters.  We should be kind and loving to everyone, and to the greatest extent possible.  That does not, however, mean that we embrace those types of words and deeds which are "carnal, sensual, and devilish."

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

As I understand it, the use of tribe in this vernacular suggests one is identifying who is their people.  Here we have a dichotomy in this sense set up.  It's everyone else that is in the world, or of it, contrasted with God. 

I do not think you are interpreting Bluebell correctly, but I'll let her address that.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Thus, we shouldn't see ourselves as in this with everyone else.  We should only see this as we are with God at the exclusion of everyone else, although we would like more to join us? 

Exclusivism is not our thing.  Ours is a missionary church, which is rather antithetical to exclusivism.  We are all sinners in one way or another.  We have an obligation to share what we believe to be true, and to invite our fellow sinners to join us in discerning and following the will of God.  The message of the Restored Gospel is intended for every single person on the planet.  So nope, no exclusivism here.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I don't mean to get after Bluebell, when I question her ideas, I hope that is obvious.  I mean no offense here.  I'm just quite curious how this teaching/idea works, because I've never seen it work very well within the Church.  it seems to mean nothing and yet everything. 

I think marrying "tribalism" to "be in the world, but not of the world" is not the best way to go.  The latter does not, IMO, require an "us versus them" (or "tribalist") mindset.

The LDS Church is a community of faith, but not an exclusivist one.  I use "exclusivist" here in the sense of having arbitrary or capricious or otherwise improper conditions for admission.  That we are a missionary church, that we spend untold amounts of time, money, and effort seeking to share what we believe and inviting others to join us, belies the type of repellant "tribalism" that you may have in mind.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

The brethren might be said to be in the world but not of it, I suppose.  But what does that say?  That they are more spiritual?  or what? 

The Brethren are not categorically distinct from the rest of us.  I think most of us struggle with avoiding being "of the world" in varying ways, and with varying degrees of success.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Do they not participate in the world? 

They clearly participate in society.  Again, we are located in and part of society.  We do not retreat to compounds or communes or monastaries.  We are enmeshed in society.  We interact with other parts of our societies.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Have they not found success by following rules, sometimes arbitrary ones that helped them succeed in the world? 

Generally, obeying the laws of the land is a good thing.  Education, employment, etc. requires it.  Obeying man-made laws is generally not incompatible with the concept of being "in" but not "of" the world.

38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Does that not, then, suggest they are as much of the world as anyone else? 

No.

Let me give you an example.  It is my understanding that many people "get ahead" in terms of education and employment connections/prospects by going to college.  That's fine, right?  Plenty of Latter-day Saints can do this and still be "in" but not "of" the world.

However, many college students participate in the "Greek system" of fraternities and sororities.  Any problem with that?  Well, maybe, maybe not.  Many (most?) Fraternities and sororities include activities (and conditions for entry) that are incompatible with the Restored Gospel.  I am thinking here of some of the pledging/rushing/hazing activities used in some of these groups, alcohol- and drug-fueled parties, sexual activity, and so on.  I have very limited personal experience with fraternities and sororities, but I suppose there are some that may have standards of conduct that do not require a Latter-day Saint a compromise on his/her moral code.

That said, there are plenty of fraternities and sororities which do plainly require (or heavily pressure) participants to engage in conduct that is incongruent with the moral code espoused by the LDS Church.  Moreover, there are plenty of ways in which an LDS college student can breach his/her moral code without any help whatsoever from fraternities and sororities.

So it's quite possible to be "in the world" as to attending college, but not "of the world" as to the behaviors one undertakes while attending college.  The same goes for being "in" but not "of" the world in terms of employment, or service in the military, or in politics, and so on.

Thanks,

-Smac

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stemelbow    4,144

More later but anyone want to supply some ideas or examples around what we're talking about.  I'd venture to say in the way people are talking about it everyone is of the world in some sense.  So is it ok to be of the world and not in it sometimes?  Are things that appear innocuous but are of the world or are worldly ok?  If so what does that say about the phrase?  What about things that appear innocuous to us, who can't really see, but aren't innocuous as we get more revealed, like the disowned previous doctrine or teaching about why the priesthood ban (think of mcconkie's explanation of going on limited understanding)?

Edited by stemelbow

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bluebell    14,876
22 minutes ago, Rain said:

It's just recognizing we live in an imperfect world and that we don't have to "melt" into a world focus, but can choose to prepare ourselves for the next world.

This reminds me of the story of the invention of the chocolate chip!

Ruth Wakefield and the story of chocolate chip cookies

The chocolate did not melt and become 'of' the cookie, but instead resisted the heat and remained 'in' the cookie instead.  And that led to the most popular cookie of all time. :D 

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bluebell    14,876
19 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

More later but anyone want to supply some ideas or examples around what we're talking about.  I'd venture to say in the way people are talking about it everyone is of the world in some sense.  So is it ok to be of the world and not in it sometimes?  Are things that appear innocuous but are of the world or are worldly ok?  If so what does that say about the phrase?  What about things that appear innocuous to us, who can't really see, but aren't innocuous as we get more revealed, like the disowned previous doctrine or teaching about why the priesthood ban (think of mcconkie's explanation of going on limited understanding)?

Remember what 'being of the world' in the phrase means.  Since being 'of the world' means embracing wickedness and the natural man, I can't think of any.

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Amulek    196
26 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

So is it ok to be of the world and not in it sometimes?

Of the world but not in the world? You mean like a wicked astronaut?

 

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JLHPROF    7,204
2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

" If you have a glass of lemonade with ice in it, the ice is in the drink but it's not of the drink.  The lemon is of the drink."  No offense, but what?  Sure it's of the drink.  As soon as ice is added, it gets mixed with the drink.  It is the drink. 

You sort of hit the nail on the head with regards to the challenge.
We may be the ice in the metaphorical worldly glass of lemonade.  But the longer we are immersed IN the world, the more impossible it becomes to avoid blending with them.

Maybe in this labored metaphor we can call the Church, or even the temple, the freezer.  Us ice cubes need to chill out and re-solidify ourselves occasionally.

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Amulek    196
7 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

We may be the ice in the metaphorical worldly glass of lemonade.  But the longer we are immersed IN the world, the more impossible it becomes to avoid blending with them.

Not me. I am one of those bpa free reusable ice cubes. ;)

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bluebell    14,876
46 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You sort of hit the nail on the head with regards to the challenge.
We may be the ice in the metaphorical worldly glass of lemonade.  But the longer we are immersed IN the world, the more impossible it becomes to avoid blending with them.

Maybe in this labored metaphor we can call the Church, or even the temple, the freezer.  Us ice cubes need to chill out and re-solidify ourselves occasionally.

The metaphor of the chocolate chip cookie works much better. :D 

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stemelbow    4,144
1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Remember what 'being of the world' in the phrase means.  Since being 'of the world' means embracing wickedness and the natural man, I can't think of any.

Ok still struggling to see how this works.  Is getting an unnecessary purely aesthetic boob job embracing wickedness or the natural man (woman)?  Is seeking success in business so one makes more than another embracing wickedness or the natural man or woman?

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bluebell    14,876
38 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Ok still struggling to see how this works.  Is getting an unnecessary purely aesthetic boob job embracing wickedness or the natural man (woman)?  Is seeking success in business so one makes more than another embracing wickedness or the natural man or woman?

Not necessarily.  It depends on why someone is make the choices they are.

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stemelbow    4,144
4 hours ago, Rain said:

Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like you are not really listening to our answers, but I am going to take you at your word here and reply to your post. I'm just hoping it works well between us all this time. 

I get it can be frustrating.  I attribute it more to disagreement than not listening though.  Most of my comments and questions in this thread have gone unaddressed.  I could feel no one's listening, but I also just think people disagree with me overall and only want to address that which works for them. 

4 hours ago, Rain said:

The lemonade metaphor works because until the ice cubes melt into the lemonade they are in the drink, but not of the drink. It isn't a perfect metaphor, but I think it describes well the of the world idea.

A drink is good with ice.  Thus, ice is the drink my mind.  But if it works for you, I'm cool with that. 

4 hours ago, Rain said:

I think the biggest difference is our focus. We live on an earthly world. We have earthly things we need to do - make money, go to the bathroom etc. Until we die we are going to in/on the world. However, when we focus on the next life and on Christ we don't become consumed by earthly things.

I don't doubt this is possible, but the absoluteness of this phrase concerns me.  I don't know that's how it works for sure. 

4 hours ago, Rain said:

Examples: one (individual/family) must make money somehow. That is an in the world thing, but we make the choice to not be of the world by focusing on what matters concerning that job. One might choose a job that helps people mentally, physically, emotionally. Another may focus on not bring work home mentally so he/she can BE there with family. Another may work fewer hours because time spent with family or helping others in the main focus. Another may focus on coworkers and helping them succeed. 

Or one might seek all the above.  That's the thing with us humans, in my view, we're each fairly complex in determining why we do what we do, or why we say what we say.  What causes one action, at least for me, often entails many different motivations, sometimes conflicting ones. 

4 hours ago, Rain said:

I think some may have some black and white thinking of in the world, but not of it. They may think that this means you constantly read your scriptures and never do anything "fun". But people not of the world do a huge variety of things. They just look to see if something takes them closer to God or further from it. 

That kind of ruins the phrase then.  if you are partly of the world, then the phrase doesn't work, particularly when being partly of it isn't a bad thing. 

4 hours ago, Rain said:

One could go running to avoid being with family, doing church callings, or as a matter of pride etc or one could run to listen to God away from noise, to be healthier so you can serve God better, to be more emotionally fit etc. 

It's just recognizing we live in an imperfect world and that we don't have to "melt" into a world focus, but can choose to prepare ourselves for the next world.

Thanks.

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smac97    6,663
3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

More later but anyone want to supply some ideas or examples around what we're talking about.  I'd venture to say in the way people are talking about it everyone is of the world in some sense.  

Yes.  Just like we are all sinners in some sense.

3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

So is it ok to be of the world and not in it sometimes?  

I don't think so.  I provided quotes above from Mosiah, Alma, etc. If those scriptures reference the state of being "of the world," then no, that's not okay.  That is why we need to be constantly praying, repenting, changing, etc.  It's all a part of living according to the covenants we have made.

3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

Are things that appear innocuous but are of the world or are worldly ok?  

Yes.

3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

If so what does that say about the phrase?  

That it is aptly applied, but in different ways to different people.  Those who have made covenants with God are going to be held to a different standard than those who have not.

3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

What about things that appear innocuous to us, who can't really see, but aren't innocuous as we get more revealed, like the disowned previous doctrine or teaching about why the priesthood ban (think of mcconkie's explanation of going on limited understanding)?

I don't follow.

Thanks,

-Smac

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stemelbow    4,144
4 hours ago, smac97 said:

 

This video, I submit, is a good example of being "in the world" but not "of the world."  It is beautiful.  It is uplifting.  It is "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."  And it is available to the world on YouTube (20 million+ views!).  The world is, in some small way, made better by these fellows contributions to it.  There is nothing about it that is "carnal, sensual, and devilish."  Thus The Piano Guys have, in the above video, demonstrated one way to be "in the world" but not "of the world."

I was going to contrast the foregoing music video with a "carnal, sensual, and devilish" one, but there are too many of those to choose from (and I didn't want to trigger a "yeah, but" argument).

See above.

No.  Categorically no.  "The world" refers to those aspects of our individual and collective words and deeds which are "carnal, sensual, and devilish."

"Everyone else" are our brothers and sisters.  We should be kind and loving to everyone, and to the greatest extent possible.  That does not, however, mean that we embrace those types of words and deeds which are "carnal, sensual, and devilish."

I do not think you are interpreting Bluebell correctly, but I'll let her address that.

Exclusivism is not our thing.  Ours is a missionary church, which is rather antithetical to exclusivism.  We are all sinners in one way or another.  We have an obligation to share what we believe to be true, and to invite our fellow sinners to join us in discerning and following the will of God.  The message of the Restored Gospel is intended for every single person on the planet.  So nope, no exclusivism here.

I think marrying "tribalism" to "be in the world, but not of the world" is not the best way to go.  The latter does not, IMO, require an "us versus them" (or "tribalist") mindset.

The LDS Church is a community of faith, but not an exclusivist one.  I use "exclusivist" here in the sense of having arbitrary or capricious or otherwise improper conditions for admission.  That we are a missionary church, that we spend untold amounts of time, money, and effort seeking to share what we believe and inviting others to join us, belies the type of repellant "tribalism" that you may have in mind.

The Brethren are not categorically distinct from the rest of us.  I think most of us struggle with avoiding being "of the world" in varying ways, and with varying degrees of success.

They clearly participate in society.  Again, we are located in and part of society.  We do not retreat to compounds or communes or monastaries.  We are enmeshed in society.  We interact with other parts of our societies.

Generally, obeying the laws of the land is a good thing.  Education, employment, etc. requires it.  Obeying man-made laws is generally not incompatible with the concept of being "in" but not "of" the world.

No.

Let me give you an example.  It is my understanding that many people "get ahead" in terms of education and employment connections/prospects by going to college.  That's fine, right?  

Beats me.  What if someone gets ahead at the expense of another?  or what if someone does so neglecting other good obligations?  Is that a good thing?  Why do we assume it's a good thing, when it is clearly an element of being of the world?  Does being not of the world always equal good?  Is it good to be steeped in secular learning, for instance? 

4 hours ago, smac97 said:

Plenty of Latter-day Saints can do this and still be "in" but not "of" the world.

However, many college students participate in the "Greek system" of fraternities and sororities.  Any problem with that?  Well, maybe, maybe not.  Many (most?) Fraternities and sororities include activities (and conditions for entry) that are incompatible with the Restored Gospel.  I am thinking here of some of the pledging/rushing/hazing activities used in some of these groups, alcohol- and drug-fueled parties, sexual activity, and so on.  I have very limited personal experience with fraternities and sororities, but I suppose there are some that may have standards of conduct that do not require a Latter-day Saint a compromise on his/her moral code.

That said, there are plenty of fraternities and sororities which do plainly require (or heavily pressure) participants to engage in conduct that is incongruent with the moral code espoused by the LDS Church.  Moreover, there are plenty of ways in which an LDS college student can breach his/her moral code without any help whatsoever from fraternities and sororities.

So it's quite possible to be "in the world" as to attending college, but not "of the world" as to the behaviors one undertakes while attending college.  The same goes for being "in" but not "of" the world in terms of employment, or service in the military, or in politics, and so on.

Thanks,

-Smac

Doesn't quite make sense to me.  But if it works for you great. 

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stemelbow    4,144
3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

 

I don't follow.

Thanks,

-Smac

Let me lay it out more.

So the Race and the Priesthood essay suggests the explanations of the priesthood ban that were said to be true by leaders of the Church were not true.  We have the 1949 first presidency statement claiming the explanations are true.  We have Brigham and others preaching these now disavowed theories as doctrinal truth.  So it seems, the leaders, the prophets of the past embraced a "of the world" teaching and propounded it as true revelation from God.  We can see now that these of the world teachings were untrue, in hindsight< I suppose.  But how would we know?

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smac97    6,663
4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Let me lay it out more.

So the Race and the Priesthood essay suggests the explanations of the priesthood ban that were said to be true by leaders of the Church were not true. 

Okay.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

We have the 1949 first presidency statement claiming the explanations are true. 

CFR (I'm not doubting you, but I just want to be clear what it is you are referencing here).

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

We have Brigham and others preaching these now disavowed theories as doctrinal truth. 

Okay.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

So it seems, the leaders, the prophets of the past embraced a "of the world" teaching and propounded it as true revelation from God. 

To some extent, yes.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

We can see now that these of the world teachings were untrue, in hindsight< I suppose.  But how would we know?

The same way we discern anything else.  Study.  Prayer.  Pondering.  More study.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

Thanks,

-Smac

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stemelbow    4,144
1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Not necessarily.  It depends on why someone is make the choices they are.

So nothing's of the world, then?  It only depends on whether we can really figure out or decipher all that makes someone do what they do? 

For instance, I may want to advance in my job so I can make more money, have more means to do fun things, buy a second house, boat, and all that.  But that desire might not really be of the world because I also want to support my family and give more money in tithing.  So it's a good thing to work to get ahead.  It's not an of the world thing?  That'd be kind of odd because it is certainly a worldly thing to do that, no? 

Or a woman may want to look better, more attractive because it may help her advance in her career, or feel more confident so she can have more attention, but it might not be of the world to get a breast enhancement deal, because she also may just need to get out of a slump in life and wants to feel better about herself?  (this example works because you used the phrase in reference to ladies who tend to spend time and money on getting physical enhancements)

How would we ever really nail down how to preach this injunction if that is the case? 

If we say that doing things that are of the world is sinning and nothing more, then how does that phrase fit?  The added problem to that is of course, we all sin.  Thus we are all of the world while also being in it.  We can't and will never achieve the idea that we can be in the world and not of it.  Right? 

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stemelbow    4,144
8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Okay.

CFR (I'm not doubting you, but I just want to be clear what it is you are referencing here).

Okay.

To some extent, yes.

The same way we discern anything else.  Study.  Prayer.  Pondering.  More study.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

Thanks,

-Smac

If study, pondering and prayer had us fooled for 100 plus years during the ban, how will it work now if we insist on being wrong about something in a similar way? 

if you want to read the 1949 statement:

https://bycommonconsent.com/2004/04/21/a-statement-from-the-first-presidency/

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stemelbow    4,144
5 hours ago, Gray said:

I think that's right. It's an injunction not to be worldly - not to engage in activities thought to be sinful. If you read it too literally it could sound like an injunction against being a part of your wider community, but I don't think that's how most read it.

Is worldly sinful in all cases?  I think that's the type of question this phrase/teaching raises.  Some might say, what's wrong with doing the worldly steps of advancing in one's career?  Well, worldly is sinful, one might say. 

Is it sinful to enjoy and follow sports?  Or play sports?  or read books not related to church stuff?  Or travel to embrace culture and learning?  Because all of those things can certainly be said to be worldly, no? 

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