“What Are You Doing to Stay Dry?” New Era, January 2017
Be in the world but not of the world (see John 17:11, 15–16).
You’ve probably heard this phrase before, but what does it really mean? You might hear swearing at school. You might have a hard time finding anything modest for your next dance. You might see or read something inappropriate on social media or in a book or magazine. These things and a whole lot more are “of the world,” and since we live here, sooner or later we’re going to be exposed to them.
In the gospel we’re taught that we’ll find lasting happiness if we remain in the world but not of the world.
And you know what? You can do it!
In this cool experiment, you can show your family how to be fully immersed in the world yet not soak up its influence.
To start the lesson, fill your container with water. As you fill the container, explain to your family that the water represents the world’s temptations and challenges. Ask your family members to list what the “water” is in their own lives.
Fold the paper towel enough times to fit easily into the bottom half of the cup and then tape it down. Explain that the paper represents each of you.
Turn the cup over and submerge it slowly in the water until it’s covered. Make sure the cup doesn’t tilt as you put it in (or else the experiment won’t work). Tell your family that the cup represents the things you do to protect yourself against the worldly temptations and trials that you talked about in step 1. Explain how making sure the cup doesn’t tilt is similar to following the strait and narrow path that Heavenly Father has laid out for us (see 1 Nephi 8:20; 2 Nephi 31:18–19; 3 Nephi 27:33).
Once the cup is fully submerged, slowly pull it out, again making sure not to tilt it. Take the paper out of the cup, and try not to fall over in shock when you see that it’s still completely dry! Because the cup went in straight, the air in the cup created a small pocket and a barrier that protected the paper towel from the water.
In this lesson, the paper towel was in the water, yet it remained dry. Likewise, we can be in the world but “remain dry” of its negative influences, ultimately helping us find lasting happiness through living the gospel. We can do things every day that can help create a barrier (like the air pocket) that protects us. As a family, discuss ways you can do this in your own lives, like reading your scriptures and praying sincerely every day, keeping the Sabbath day holy, doing family history, and going to the temple.
But just remember: even if you do make a mistake and get “wet,” we can always repent and once again be “dry” of worldly influences.
As we protect ourselves from negative worldly influences, we can find real happiness through the gospel. Like the glass and air pocket that protected the paper towel, living the gospel can and will protect us too.