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Book offers parenting tips from the scriptures

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

In a world offering a plethora of self-help and how-to books, there are many research-based studies and books on family dynamics and parent/child relationships. But there isn’t much available on how to handle specific issues with specific children in specific families.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been told that the best “how-to” guide for raising righteous children is found in the scriptures and in personal revelation.

Julie K. Nelson has taken that counsel to heart in her newest publication, “Parenting with Spiritual Power” (Cedar Fort, $13.99).

Drawing on examples from her own experience, the counsel of LDS general authorities and scriptural parents and children, Nelson highlights principles associated with specific scriptures and illustrates how modern-day parents can use these examples from the past to solve current challenges to raising righteous children.

• Moral agency involves making choices, as well as living with the consequences, as illustrated by the story of Adam and Eve. When children clearly understand what their choices are and the possible consequences, it is more likely that they will make wise decisions.

• Faith is acting as if; believing in an outcome that cannot be seen. Just as Alma and Amulek did not know how their teaching would be received, parents cannot always know how their children will receive their teachings. They must trust that the Lord knows and that he will assist them.

• Jacob and his 12 sons provide a strong example of forgiveness.

• The power of consistency is illustrated by Jacob and Enos in the Book of Mormon. Children may often not seem to be listening to what parents are trying to teach them, but patiently repeated words and examples do penetrate.

• Captain Moroni used banners and fortifications to protect his people. Parents can use modern-day “banners” such as “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and fortifications, such as putting on the armor of God, to help prepare and protect their children against the adversary.

Chapters conclude with a summary of the parenting principle discussed, followed by endnotes. Discussion questions about each topic for use in group study or other teaching settings are included at the end of the book.

Nelson, who currently teaches at Utah Valley University in Orem, is a member of the LDS Church. She is a wife and the mother of five children.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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