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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Did It Make Me Think? Yes. Did It Make Me Yawn? Also, Yes.

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

How many times has a frustrated parent lamented, "If only kids came with an instruction manual!"  Well, guess what?  They do.  Yes, really.  And, where might you find this elusive book of parenting advice?  Simply open your scriptures.  Within the pages of the Bible, The Book of Mormon, and other volumes of holy writ, you will find every lesson a person needs to learn in life as well as examples of how to teach it to your children.  In Parenting with Spiritual Power, LDS teacher and author Julie K. Nelson assures parents that if they will study the stories in the scriptures along with teachings from modern prophets, they will have a clear, step-by-step guide to rearing good, obedient children.   

In the book, Nelson discusses 20 powerful doctrines taught in the scriptures that provide valuable lessons for children (and their parents!), including the power of faith, forgiveness, agency, sacrifice and the loving correction of rebellious behavior.  Nelson reviews the stories of famous scriptural people like Moses; Joseph and Mary; Adam and Eve; Alma and Amulek; and Captain Moroni, then discusses how to apply what these people learned in your own life and those of your kids.  Along with quotes from modern-day prophets, Nelson proves how important each of these doctrines are not just for children, but for all of us.

Nelson provides some very useful information in this short book (it's less than 200 pages).  It's nothing parents, especially those of the LDS faith, haven't heard before and yet it's the kind of stuff that can't be repeated often enough.  Still, I found myself growing a little bit bored with Nelson's detailed recountings of stories I've heard over and over throughout my life.  Parenting with Spiritual Power is a short book that felt really long to me.  I'm not sure why because it's not badly written, it's just exactly what you would expect from an LDS parenting book.  There's nothing that really makes Parenting with Spiritual Power stand out.  My conclusion?  This is a helpful book, but not a terribly exciting one.  Did it make me think?  Yes.  Did it make me yawn?  Also, yes.  In the end, it was just an okay read for me.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I don't read a lot of books like this [although I probably should], so I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  G for nothing offensive

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Parenting with Spiritual Power from the generous Julie K. Nelson via the folks at Cedar Fort.   

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