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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : What does living in the world but not being a part of it mean to you? » What does living in the world but not being a part of it mean to you?

What does living in the world but not being a part of it mean to you?

Susan M - September 29, 2006

To me, it means:

  • Going to bars to see bands play, hanging out with friends that are drinking, and when one of them makes a bar run for more beer, he brings me back a bottled water
  • Going to my company’s yearly social activity, “a day at the races,” and replying with a “yes” when a co-worker asks if it’d still be against my beliefs if he bet my money for me
  • Not developing a potty mouth when so many of my co-workers swear (and though I’ve never complained to any of them, they’ve all realized it bothers me and watch their langauge around me)
  • Living in Orange County, working in L.A., and not caring (actually I’m thrilled) that I drive a Toyota, rather than the standard, which is a BMW (can’t believe how many Beamers there are around here)
  • Loving people unconditionally

I feel like I should mention that most of those values weren’t instilled in me by the church, but rather my non-member parents.

So how do you live in the world without being a part of it?


  1. As a business owner, being honest.
    As a husband, being faithful.
    As a father, being there.
    As a member, being a member.

    Comment by Don — September 29, 2006 @ 9:12 am

  2. basically i try to be nice. sometimes the world is nice back to me.

    Comment by mike d — September 29, 2006 @ 9:32 am

  3. Good topic.

    Being an artist, a painter, I know some interesting people. I was at a downtown festival with another Mormon couple and kept running into artist-friends of mine. One had her hair dyed bright red and was wearing stockings with multi-colored horiozontal stripes. Another had a large mohawk. The third had his usual white tank top with pants three sizes too big and chains of all sorts and sizes draping off of his belt. (Incidentally, I, as usual, was very conservatively dressed.)

    We bumped into these people in quick succession. After greeting the last, it dawned on me that my friends were probably wondering what in the world I do all day to be acquainted with such a “colorful” crowd.

    But they didn’t even bat an eye.

    THAT is being in the world, but not of it.


    Comment by John Cline — September 29, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

  4. I used to hang out in bars too. About 20 years ago, I played basketball with a bunch of guys from my firm in the city lawyers basketball league. After games we would go to a nearby bar for some refreshment. All the guys knew I was a Mormon, and I’d usually have a ginger ale or a Coke.

    I did wonder sometimes, though what would happen if some member of my ward/stake (I was serving in rather prominent leadership positions in one or the other during the entire time) saw me walking into a bar. Would it have shaken their faith, or caused them to decide a pop once in a while was ok?

    So, I guess I’d wear my dark glasses next time I went in the bar, even at night.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 29, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

  5. I often join members of my Stake Presidency at a local sports bar to watch BYU football games that we can’t watch at home. Lots of ginger ale, and we always over-tip to make up for the alcohol they didn’t sell. They take good care of us there.

    Of course, this was all before the MTN.

    Comment by Chad Too — September 30, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

  6. Susan, not everyone has a BMW in Orange County, so lay off. Some of us have Jaguars.

    Comment by gst — October 1, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  7. I guess it depends on what area of Orange County. It’s actually LA that’s overrun with beamers. Newport Beach is the place to see all kinds of rad sportscars, that’s for sure.

    What is the MTN?

    Comment by Susan M — October 2, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  8. The MTN is in reference to the stupid new cable channel that airs the BYU sports (but nobody gets the channel). It’s quite the controversy right now in Utah.

    Comment by Rusty — October 2, 2006 @ 11:13 am

  9. To me it means that we should be the good kind of worldly but not the bad kind of worldly: we should be educated and engaged in learning about different people, ideas, cultures, worldviews and such, but we should look to prophets, not “the world,” to define moral and behavioral ideals. We should be friends with all kinds of people and not judge them, but in so doing we shouldn’t lower our personal standards.

    Comment by Tom — October 2, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

  10. Helping my brother-in-law transport all his belongings to his new place on a Sunday evening and having to go into a bar to use the payphone. Shirt and tie and all that.

    Comment by Kim Siever — October 2, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  11. This is a good topic, Susan.

    I’m careful what movies I watch. I seldom watch an R rated movie, but I make an exception for excellence or funny. :)

    I’ve gone into bars with friends; for instance, I’m a member of nationwide advocacy group, long story. We all went into a bar in Washington, DC, once, and I was the only one not drinking. I had 7up. But I was the only one eating! They had all this free food at happy hour and I was pigging out and I said, “you guys, this is free!” I guess they were used to it.

    But mostly, I suck at not being of the world.

    Comment by annegb — October 2, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

  12. That happened to me too annegb. My dad I and were building an apartment building in downtown Vancouver, and when the crew attached the roof, the contractor decided to celebrate by taikng everyone to the bar across the alley.

    Needless to say I didn’t need supper when I got home that night.

    Comment by Kim Siever — October 3, 2006 @ 8:58 am

  13. Viviendo en el ultimo pais del mundo (Chile) y sentirme parte de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos De los ultimos dias de todo el mundo


    Comment by luis — October 4, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

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