“Parenting With Spiritual Power”

Mormonmommyblogs Book Review 4/30/13

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am surrounded by stellar examples of righteous parents. Our church is very family focused, and since we’re going to be an eternal family, it’s important to build good relationships.

Parenting with Spiritual Power is a new book by Julie K. Nelson that uses examples from the Bible and Book of Mormon to teach eternal parenting principles.

This book has shed new light on some of my favorite gospel stories, and has paired them with parenting tips. It’s also good to see that even the most righteous parents have children who have gone astray… even with all the tools and knowledge that Heavenly Father has given us, our kids are going to make their own choices.

I’ve also learned a thing or two that has helped me in my Primary calling.

I’ve really enjoyed this book, and have already recommended it to a few friends. If you have children, or if you work with children, Parenting with Spiritual Power will help you implement gospel principles into their lives. If you don’t have kids, that’s okay too, because YOU are a child of God, and this book will help you to understand how much God loves you.

All in all, it’s a great book, you’ll definitely learn something, and I highly recommend it.

by Caroline Bingham


A Swift Kick In the Butt


Anyone who knows me is probably aware of what a huge fan I am of the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes.” In my opinion, when it left syndication, our society lost one of its shrewdest social commentators, satirists, and philosophizers on familial relationships. Not to mention it was the funniest thing ever printed (with the exception of perhaps “The Far Side”).

In one strip, Calvin, the 6-year-old boy/entrepreneur, has turned over a cardboard box on the sidewalk and is sitting behind it. On it he has written:  A swift kick in the butt: $1.00. Calvin’s friend Hobbes asks him how business is going. Calvin’s discouraged reply: “Terrible. I can’t understand it. Everybody I know needs what I’m selling.”

Those sagacious words passed through my mind as literally thousands of people streamed past me with shopping carts full of kids and Costco merchandise at my book signings. In my 3-hour signing segments over the past month, I had a lot of time to watch wonderful families in all shapes and sizes. You should try it sometime…with or without a signing. Just sit there and watch people interact as they hurriedly shop for all the glorious groceries we can’t live without…like chips and mango salsa, take-and-bake pizza, and a giant box of 110 frozen cream puffs.

Here are some things I learned:

When your son pulls you over to a table where there is a book for sale about parenting and tells you that you should buy it, take that as a swift kick in the butt and ask him why (and then listen very closely).

When you respond to your phone more often than your child needing your attention, take that as a swift kick in the butt and focus on what is real.

When a man comes up to the author at her book signing table and accuses, “CHURCH OF THE DEVIL! WORSHIPPER OF SATAN!!! (and worse things that I won’t mention here) and “FALSE PRIESTHOOD!!!!” someone needs a swift kick in the butt but I won’t mention who that is here either.

When you stop and talk to a friend for 2 hours while your kids wait patiently with nothing to do, take that as a swift kick in the butt and give them 2 hours of your undivided time later.

I got a swift kick to knock me down to reality after I heard the following:

“I bought your book last week and started to read it but fell asleep.”

“Does your book have a chapter about How To Not Lose Your Kid in Costco? I’d buy it if it did.”

“Does your book have anything in there about teaching your children about sex? My daughter has 4 sons and just had a baby girl. The boys looked over her privates and said, ‘Too bad. It hasn’t grown in yet.'”

I needed a swift kick in the butt to remind me of the hypocrisy of my signing books on the subject of parenting on the same night of my daughter’s 17th birthday which prevented me from being there for her.

After watching a deluge of families with bright, beautiful, friendly kids enjoying being together, even during mundane chores like shopping, I needed a swift kick in the rear to appreciate how many moms and dads are doing an amazing job at parenting.

Most of all, I got a swift kick, or gentle reminder, that life isn’t really all that complicated.  We just make it so. The things that matter most are usually right in front of us with feet dangling out the shopping cart and a face smeared with a sample of triple-layer chocolate cake.


Book Review: EmmyMOM: taking life one day at a time

See review at http://www.emmymom2.com/2013/03/parenting-with-spiritual-power-book.html

If you buy a new TV, it comes with an instruction manual. If you buy a new car, it comes with an instruction manual.  Heck, even the new toaster we recently bought came with an instruction manual.  All of the things in our lives come with instructional manuals— everything but one of the most complicated “things” that we have—our children.
I think all of us at times have wished for an instruction manual for our kids; what if I told you there was one?
I was given a copy of the book “Parenting with Spiritual Power” by Julie K. Nelson to review.

In the introduction it warns us about getting caught up in the changing philosophies, parenting styles and whatever is popular at the time and also introduces us to the parenting manual given by our Heavenly Father, the scriptures.
The book is broken into chapters, with each chapter looking at a certain person or scripture story from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon and the principles and parenting powers we can learn.  Chapter 1 talks of Adam and Eve and the lessons we can learn about the Power of Agency. It discusses the idea of offering our children choices and giving them ideas of what they can do and not just a list of things they should not do.  Other scripture stories throughout the book help convey such things as the power of good cheer, the power of correcting with love, the power of perspective, the power of forgiveness, etc.
She briefly talks about the scripture story and then helps show the principles it conveys and concludes with a brief summary at the end of every chapter.
At the very end of the book she also includes 21 discussion questions that are perfect for self reflection, for talking with your spouse, or even would be so perfect as part of a book club or parenting group.
The book is a very quick yet powerful read.  It presents good solid parenting advice backed by scripture references and stories.  For anyone who wants to parent with more faith and with more of a Christ-like approach, I definitely recommend this.

Book Review: Tristi Pinkston

Book Review: “Parenting with Spiritual Power” by Julie K. Nelson

By Tristi Pinkston, book reviewer for AML (Association for Mormon Letters) and Meridian Magazine at http://ldsmag.com/article/1/12346

When I first became a mother nearly seventeen years ago, I was overwhelmed—with love, with awe, and with a sense of tremendous responsibility. Nothing will make you feel the weight of adulthood on your shoulders like becoming a parent—a little being now depends on you for everything from food and diaper changes to nurturing in the gospel and instruction on how to return to our Heavenly Father. And perhaps the most overwhelming feeling of all was the message I received from the Spirit one night while taking care of my daughter—this was God’s baby, on loan to me, and I’d better do right by her.

Talk about pressure.

Because we have been entrusted with the care and keeping of our Heavenly Father’s children, it only makes sense that we should raise them in His way. I’ll liken it to babysitting. When you take a babysitting job, the parents will tell you the child’s bedtime and what they should have for dinner and what rules they should follow. They also provide a telephone number in case of emergency. Our Heavenly Father has done no differently. He has given us instructions for His children—commandments and the scriptures—and He gave us a way to contact Him—prayer—if we need help.

The new book “Parenting with Spiritual Power” by Julie K. Nelson outlines some of the examples we find in the scriptures of good parents and the way that God parents us. After all, what better example of a father could we find than our Eternal Father? The author posits that the scriptures are the best instruction manual we could ever find for raising our children and that by turning to them, we can feel as though we’re raising our children in the most loving, Christlike, and effective way.

Each chapter takes a story or episode from the scriptures and likens it to our relationship to our own children today. We start out the book with a discussion of how God dealt with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He outlined the rule, told them of the consequences, and then allowed them room to make their own choice. When they broke the rule, He didn’t pat them on the head—He made it clear that they had disobeyed. But He also gave them the opportunity to try again, and He continued to love them and teach them and be a father to them. While He did have to drive them from the garden because that was the natural consequence, He never ceased caring about their welfare.

The author then explains how the principle of free agency and consequences can be applied in our families as well. Adam and Eve were very much like children, and while we are not God, we can use His perfect example as we seek to teach and discipline.

Additional chapters examine the power of teaching our children doctrine, as demonstrated by the Savior’s interactions with Judas and with Mary. We learn about the power of having good cheer, as demonstrated by Lehi and his family. Alma and Corianton show us the power of correcting with love. And perhaps one of my favorite chapters in the book—the power of banners and fortifications as shown us by Captain Moroni.

One of the banners, in this case, was compared to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Just as Moroni took a pole and mounted a flag whereon he wrote his reasons for fighting, essentially reminding himself and everyone around him that his cause was just, we can hold the Proclamation up high and say, “This is what we believe, this is where we stand, and we won’t back down from it.” Of all the things we have to fight for, what could possibly be of more worth than the family? I can’t think of one.

This book caused me not only to think about parenting in a more godly way, but the scriptures as well. We’ve always been taught that we’ll learn great and important truths from the scriptures, but it’s key for us to realize that they aren’t just stories sprinkled with a bunch of wars. They are examples given to us for how we can better live our lives, and the book is a step-by-step curriculum for how we can implement the scriptures more fully. In addition, I would say that it gave me some hope on my journey of motherhood. At times it seems so overwhelming, and even impossible. But God loves His children so much that He made sure we would have the knowledge we would need to be successful parents, and we can turn to Him in prayer for comfort and additional answers. Children might not come with instruction manuals, but what they have been sent with is even more perfect.