I also sent them into the world – John 17:18
The Savior wants his people to be right in the middle of the mix of the world. The salt of the earth can do nothing if it is over in a corner. Is it any wonder that the Savior had his covenant people right in the middle of the ancient world? He wants us to be involved outside of ourselves and our tight communities, out in the world, changing it for better. He sent the apostles out to the world, to do all that they could to bring the light of the gospel to everyone. I believe the Savior wants everyone to partake of his love, to learn his doctrine, to know him. This cannot happen if we stay “out of the mix” of the things in the world. Yes, the world is wicked. But it is also awesome. It is filled with interesting people. People that are different from you. Get to know them. Love them. Your light will shine as you do.
Elder Ballard put it this way:
“Perhaps we should state the couplet … as two separate admonitions. First, ‘Be in the world.’ Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, ‘Be not of the world.’ Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right. …
“Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it” (“The Effects of Television,” Ensign, May 1989, 80).