The Not Even Once Club is an adorable and appealing way to engage children in a story that will help them choose for themselves to keep the commandments and to never break them. Not even once.
Children will meet Tyler, an energetic boy who is excited to make new friends in his Primary class. They have invited Tyler to join their special club, but first he has to pass the test and keep the club promise.
With illustrations from bestselling illustrator Brandon Dorman, The Not Even Once Club is a fun and engaging way for parents to help teach their children the importance of keeping the commandments. Included in the back of the book are additional teaching helps for parents and leaders.
Click here to download your free "Not Even Once" Discussion Questions.
Click here to download your free "Not Even Once" Certificate.
- Size: 10" x 9"
- Pages: 32
- Year Published: 2013
About the Authors
Wendy Watson Nelson holds a Ph.D. in family therapy and gerontology. Prior to her marriage to Elder Russell M. Nelson, she was a professor of marriage and family therapy for twenty-five years. Sister Nelson has served as a stake Relief Society president, stake Primary president, and chaired the BYU Women’s Conference. Currently, she is an institute instructor and visiting teacher. Sister Nelson was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada, to Leonard David and Laura Byrde McLean Watson. For a complete list of Sister Nelson’s books and CDs, visit DeseretBook.com.
BRANDON DORMAN is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wizard. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he studied fine art and illustration. He and his wife, Emily, have three children and live in Washington, where he enjoys working as a freelance illustrator. His work has appeared in children’s books and on numerous covers, including Pingo, The Candy Shop War, and the Fablehaven series. See more of Brandon Dorman’s artwork at BrandonDorman.com
Misses the mark entirely
by Alison - reviewed on September 04, 2013
Why would we want to read our children a book that teaches that you need to be perfect in order to belong!! The idea that in order to be a "member of the club" you don't make mistakes or you can't be part of the "club" is terrible and damaging. All of us are going to make mistakes! The other thing is this doesn't teach children the real reasons for making certain choices and why those might be healthier... it paints it as if you want to belong you do what the club requires. If you don't want to be left out you agree to the club "rules". Not at all the message we should be giving children.
Something to aspire to
by Debra - reviewed on November 24, 2013
I think some of the reviews are very harsh. This book teaches children the possibility of what they can achieve. As children grow, they learn about repentance. It is emphasized over and over again throughout Primary, the youth programs and the adult programs of the Church. This book is a feel good book for young children. It is fun for them to have a feeling of belonging to a special "club" in a world that tells them that the WOW is silly. Children can recognize that the club represents an ideal. It represents how we would all like to be and in a very real sense how we all can be. This book is in no way damaging to a child's self esteem. Those critical reviewers need to look at the books children are reading in school etc. The world is teaching our children, through various media sources that they are weak, not good enough in many areas and that they don't need to aspire to anything aside from fame and money. This book offers them something they CAN aspire to and that they all can achieve regardless of their background, culture, etc.
Lead to a couple great discussions
by Kathy - reviewed on September 05, 2013
This was a fun book to read to my 7 year old daughter. She was the perfect age to get what this book was trying to teach. The Not Even Once Club is a picture book aimed at and written for LDS primary aged children. The children in the N.E.O. club pledge to never cheat, bully, steal, smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol, etc. As a child I heard a story of an adult who had never smoked, never drank and never done drugs. I set a goal to be able to say the same thing when I was an adult. As a result I can say I have never drank alcohol, never taken illegal drugs and never smoked... not even once. So obviously I agree completely with the message and aim of this book. I had a fun discussion with my daughter after reading this book. The only thing she was disappointed in was not getting to see the kids play all the fun games and eat all the treats that were present in their club house. After reading all the negative reviews about this book I had another discussion with my daughter. My question to her - what if you did do something like lie or cheat or steal? What then? - She looked at me, rolled her eyes and said - "say sorry and repent" "everyone makes mistakes".
No! Not Even Once!
by Stephanie - reviewed on September 11, 2013
In this picture book, new-kid-in-the-ward, Tyler visits his new primary friends in their tree house club for the very first time. At first perplexed by the "NEO" carved on the door he quickly realizes that the carving stands for "Not Even Once," the secret code word that gets him in the door to this club his friends are inviting him to join. After entering the clubhouse Tyler's new friends offer him some surprising things....like coffee and alcohol! "Haven't they heard of the Word of Wisdom?" Taylor wonders. Then understanding dawns as he hears his friends answer to the coffee, tea, and alcohol. "Not even once!" they respond emphatically. Happy and relieved to hear his friends agree to the Word of Wisdom Tyler realizes he passed the test to join the Not Even Once Club. He receives a special certificate with a pledge agreeing to follow the commandments and is officially welcomed into the club! I thought this was a cute book that is very appropriate for kids of all ages. This book is a perfect fit for family home evening. The final page offers a guide for parents and children where the principles of the gospel, modesty & pornography, obedience and repentance are broken down into sections for discussion. Quotes, references to talks from The Friend, and scripture references offer a lot of insight into just how important it is to our Heavenly Father that we stay away from the things that will cause us spiritual and physical harm. You also have an opportunity to download your own "Not Even Once Certificate" and deeper discussion questions for kids ages 8-11.
by Customer - reviewed on August 14, 2013
Not only does this teach our children how to make good choices about the word of wisdom, but also how important it is to make good friends. Everyone needs to own this book who has children. We used it for a FHE and printed the poster. My daughter has started her own little club with friends. Awesome to see. Thank you for a wonderful book!
Good intentions, but too much pressure.
by Customer - reviewed on September 12, 2013
I wanted to like this book--I really did. I remember making a promise when I was young that I would never, ever watch an rated R movie, and I never have. So I picked it up, hoping to read it with my 4 primary age kids and talk about it. In the end, I decided not to read it to them at all. Because if my kids internalize this, and then sin (which they will), then I'm afraid they will kick THEMSELVES out of the church ("the club") out of shame. It's just a dangerous message. I'd love to see more emphasis on making good choices, and repenting when you don't. Like if Tyler had broken one of the commandments, and there was a way back into the club maybe???
Teaching Principles to children
by Lisa - reviewed on September 12, 2013
The Not Even Once Club is a very cute book discussing the importance of making good choices. Tyler is a new boy to the neighborhood. He makes some friends at church and they invite him to be a member of their club. The name of the club is Not Even Once. To be a member of the club he needs to commit to not doing drugs, viewing pornography, stealing, cheating, etc. He needs to promise this even if he is teased. I loved the message to children this book conveys. I know I have said this in the past and I firmly believe that books offer a starting point for parents to talk to their children. By reading principles or concepts it's a non-threatening tool to lead to meaningful discussion. The illustrations are adorable and fit nicely with the written words.
Sometimes perfection IS possible
by Courtney - reviewed on September 23, 2013
I have noticed that a few parents are concerned that this book in somehow contrary to the Atonement. I understand why you think that but I completely disagree. Repentance is real and the Atonement is a wonderful and necessary gift to us. We will all make mistakes and would be completely lost without it. That being said, we are told “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” We all know it’s impossible for we humans to be perfect, but there are a few things in which perfection IS possible. It IS possible to be perfect with the Word of Wisdom. It IS possible to be perfectly chaste. It IS possible never to steal and never to cheat. Just because we embrace the atonement doesn’t mean we can’t teach our children to aim for following these commandments with perfection. For the rest of my review go to http://ordinaryhappilyeverafter.com/blog/2013/09/not-even-once-club-review/
A must have book!
by Customer - reviewed on July 10, 2013
This beautifully illustrated book is a powerful story with which to help young children understand how living gospel principles can bless their lives. It is my new favorite book! The free poster is also a fabulous FHE lesson. I am confident this book will help many children have countless "choose the right" moments. Thank you Wendy & Brandon!
by Jeff - reviewed on September 12, 2013
All of us want our young children to make good choices, be chaste and adhere to the word of wisdom. But do we really want to teach our kids that if they make a mistake they will be ostricized. Or worse yet to shun people who don't approach the gospel in their family identically to ours? Should you not be friends with someone who drinks a coke for example? This book is clearly well intentioned, but certainly does not seem to teach the gospel as Christ would.
Covers Obedience- Would love to see more on Repentance (in a future book?)
by Heather - reviewed on September 06, 2013
The purpose of the book is to focus on making a decision to be obedient before you come face to face with it which is a great principle! Reading the book is a way to get some discussions started with your kids about different commandments. It doesn't go into great depth about the different commandments- so just know that you will want to have your own discussions about those, and the book may bring up questions). At the back of the book is a Guide for Parents at the back of the book that lists suggested questions to discuss with your children about some of the commandments that are briefly touched on in the book (including topics like the law of chastity and not looking at pornography- topics that you may not have touched on very much with your young children). In the guide, you will find a section about Obedience and a section about Repentance (something that will be very important to teach your kids in conjunction with the subject of obedience which is teachable with the help of the story in the book). I would love to see Wendy come out with a second book that focuses on the atonement because of course we're never going to get through life without committing any sins. That being said, there are some commandments that are easier to make life-long commitments to than others and this book highlights those.
A fun way to introduce children to the importance of obeying God's commandments.
by Heidi - reviewed on September 07, 2013
A cute, beautifully illustrated book about the importance of obeying God's commandments. The book refers to specific LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon) beliefs so some background might be needed for those who aren't members. Tyler has joined a new Primary class and has been invited to join a club called the Not Even Once club. This club is made up of children who have committed to 'not even once' try coffee, tea, alcohol, pornography, lie, cheat, steal, or dress immodestly. The story follows Tyler's entry into the club and 'passing' the test. There is also a page at the back of the book for parents to help them discuss things with their children. I also appreciated the mention of repentance since after all we all make mistakes. The illustrations are typical gorgeous Brandon Dorman. There's a reason he is one of my favorite illustrators.
Jesus taught inclusivity not exclusivity
by Customer - reviewed on September 03, 2013
Teaching children to never do bad things is important. Framing it around an exclusive club that includes bribes, chanting, and a test is so problematic and borders on creepy. This book misses the mark big time. With any message of "don't do that" there needs to be a front-and-center focus on teaching children about the ultimate good news of the gospel: the atonement. We didn't have to sign a "Not Even Once" pledge to come to this earth, in fact, God, in his infinite wisdom put a in a beautiful encompassing fail-safe for us all. Please do not perpetuate ideas that, while seemingly cute in this form, promote a turning of their back if Tyler someday slips up, or even more insidious, is judged to have slipped up (i.e. what if his sister calls him a "bully," is he out of the club?") I call for Deseret Book to not sell this book, not even once.
I'd Recommend this book to anyone with kids or grandkids
by Rachelle - reviewed on September 24, 2013
The Not Even Once Club by Wendy Watson Nelson is the perfect story to help kids the understand the power of their choices, of peer pressure, and also the power of good friends. Illustrated by Brandon Dorman, this book has pictures that pop, appealing to children young and old. After I read this book, I was so excited that I went to the website in the book and printed out posters for each of my kids. Then we read this book for our family night and had a great discussion about what "Not Even Once" means. My kids loved it! They began using Not Even Once as their password when they were playing games. Even my two-year-old could be heard chanting, "Not Even Once!" I was so impressed with this book that I took it to church and read it to my seven-year-old Sunday School class. Such a great lesson in an enjoyable book! I'd recommend this book to anyone with children or grandchildren!
The physician comes to the sick
by Customer - reviewed on September 04, 2013
In order to understand the doctrinal problems with this book it is important to remember who Christ is speaking to Mark 2:17. In this passage Christ says "They that are whole need no physician, but they that are sick: I come not to call the righteous, but sinners unto repentance". In this passage Christ is speaking to the Pharisees and explaining why he dines with sinners rather than with with Pharisees. We know from other passages that Christ considered the pharisees to be among the worst of sinners. So what he is saying is that repentance is available not to the self-righteous who cordon themselves off from the rest of the world in an exclusive tree-house, but rather to those who admit that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". The problem with the exclusivity and works-only focus of this book is that it separates people from the Atonement of Christ. According to Moroni chapter 7 the litmus test of whether something is good or not is whether it makes us humbler, more loving and more receptive to Christ, not whether it makes us feel exclusive or superior.
by andrea - reviewed on September 04, 2013
Great book with an excellent message that's told in a way that children can understand the importance of doing what's right. I'm aware that there is a campaign by a particular group of people who are opposed to this book, so they are encouraging as many people as possible to write negative reviews--whether they've read the book or not. How sad! If only they would take heed to the message this book offers! Our kids need more messages like this--great book!!
Don't See What all the Fuss is About
by Gail - reviewed on October 14, 2013
This is a great book to help teach children about obeying the commandments. When I quit smoking with the church's help, I signed a promise to God that I would never smoke again. And I never have. If for some strange reason I broke my covenant with Heavenly Father and I truly repented I know that he would forgive me. That is what parents are supposed to teach while using this teaching tool. And that is what this book is, a teaching tool. Read the page people, it tells you how to instruct your children and grandchildren on this subject. I believe that those of you who are afraid that this will set your children up to fail have very little faith in your little ones. Or maybe you don't have any faith in yourself. I loved this book, and it was written by an Apostle's wife. I think that should be enough. At least it is for me.
by Melanie - reviewed on September 12, 2013
(3.5 stars) I'm mixed on this book and have so many different thoughts that I hope what I say will make sense. I liked the overall message in this book but there were a couple of things that concerned me. I read this to my children, who are 12 and 9, to see what they thought about this book and they liked it as well. The kids in the book pledge to not smoke, drink alcohol, lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, bully, dress immodestly, etc. These are all things I've been teaching my children since they were young and I try to live this way myself. This led to a discussion of "So, what would happen if you took this pledge and then broke it?" We then were able to discuss repentance and forgiveness and getting back on track right away. We all make mistakes and I think it's great to aspire each day to be a little bit better than you were the day before. Knowing what you're striving for helps to accomplish that. I had great friends growing up and know that the friends my children choose will have a huge impact on how they turn out. I am grateful that they also have great friends. Not all their friends believe the same things we do, either, but they are still great kids. In thinking of a real life application of this club, I would be concerned that a club like the one in this book can be exclusive. I have a brother-in-law that was raised in Utah and he wasn't LDS. One day, he saw some kids jumping on an old rubber tire and having fun. He asked to join them and they said he couldn't because he wasn't a Mormon. That cut him pretty deep. He is now a member of the church but that is still a hurtful memory. I wouldn't want my children to do that to anyone else because they weren't part of their club. I also would worry about how my children would feel if they made a mistake. Would they feel like they were the worst person in the world and not worthy to be friends with the other kids anymore? I would hope not but kids' understanding is different than mine as an adult, and I can actually see my daughter feeling this way. Also, would they feel comfortable talking to me about it or would they keep it inside because they wouldn't want me to be disappointed in them? I would love to see a second book written that deals with someone making a mistake and how that person deals with it and how the rest of the group deals with it as well. The illustrations are amazing! The tree house is very cool and looks like a fun place to hang out. The illustrator, Brandon Dorman, has worked on several of our favorite books so that was fun to learn! I would highly recommend reading this book with your children so you can have discussions with them. There is a guide at the end that lists some great resources and ideas to get discussions going.
A WONDERFUL BOOK!
by Shauna - reviewed on September 02, 2013
Tyler is the new kid on the block. His friends from church have invited him to their clubhouse. But Tyler must pass the test before he can become a member of their club. He must choose for himself to keep the commandment and church values and to never break them...NOT EVEN ONCE! Told in such a cute way even little children will understand and be excited to take on this challenge. EVERYONE needs to take this pledge! Can you even imagine a world where we lived by these rules? CUTE CUTE pictures. AMAZING story. WONDERFUL goal. Let's make it happen! READ THE BOOK! JOIN THE CLUB!
Great KIDS book!
by Customer - reviewed on September 05, 2013
Remember this is a kids book and the story is based off a real group of kids that did this. Many of those that have disparaging remarks about the book have been directed to from blogs that feel offended in some way and think parents that teach their children to never sin are evil, many haven't even read the book. When we're baptized don't we covenant to keep God's commandments? Don't we renew that covenant each week? Also, in the back of the book is a parents guide, with discussion questions, scriptural references and a section on repentance! It begins with "Mortals make mistakes." And also references the atonement as well as articles in the Friend.
The Not Even Once Club
by Mindy - reviewed on September 03, 2013
What an amazing book this is. I loved the children in the story. Great examples of kindness and of children wanting to do their best. The illustrations are so beautiful, they bring this book to life perfectly. All of my kids, even my teenagers, thought this book was fun and sweet. It is a great reminder for us all to promise to do what our Heavenly Father asks. The last page gives parents and children a wonderful guide that explains the LDS church's view on the issues in the book. The Word of Wisdom, modesty, pornography, obedience and repentance. It also refers to articles and products the church has on these topics. Even for questions to discuss with your older children. 5 out of stars. Enjoy this book with your kids and grandkids and start your own Not Even Once Club!
Beautifully captivating, excellent lesson in moral guidance
by Renae - reviewed on September 18, 2013
http://bookdeep.blogspot.com With all of the detailed and animated illustrations, bold words, and bright colors, this book has my 2 year old daughter mesmerized every time she picks it up. The story line captivates young audiences with the promise of good things including toys, candy and a fun clubhouse filled with friends, as long as you keep your promise to your heavenly father, and follow the word of wisdom. The story shows how you can easily make friends with the right people who will gladly accept you, as long as you follow the rules. This story is easy to follow and the lesson is easy to understand. I highly recommend this book if you have young ones at home, as it will help them to better understand why you need to keep the club promise and follow the motto of Not Even Once.
Noble intention with unfortunate implication
by Adam - reviewed on September 03, 2013
This book appears to have divided people into two groups - it's either "Satan's Plan" or "A Cute Book for Kids How Neat!" I feel mixed about it. There is good in the message, e.g. promising to oneself to abstain from dangerous things (e.g. illegal drugs). The unfortunate side is that this good message is not limited to just that one type of example. It's talking about the commandments of God. In other words, it's teaching kids that "it's better never to sin in the first place, so promise now that you won't." I really hate to admit it, but I see the point of those who consider this book to be a version of Lucifer's plan, i.e. "don't ever sin, then you will be saved." At least there is agency here, as Sister Watson allows for a choice to never sin, rather than it being forced, a la Satan. I hope to teach my children to do their best, and I think that is the intention of the book. The end result, however, tells children that they should promise to never break any commandment, "not even once." This is impossible. We need to remember the song, "I'm trying to be like Jesus," and not confuse it with, "I promise to be perfect like Jesus." The Atonement, and the Church, is for sinners. It is a hospital, not a club for those who have promised perfection. Perhaps someone could write a book with more doctrinal orthodoxy called, “The ‘I Made Mistakes But I’m Improving Every Day’ Hospital.” I sincerely hope people who initially liked this book might give it a second thought about the potential messages it might send, despite the good it tries to offer.
Great book for kids!
by Customer - reviewed on September 02, 2013
I loved this children's book geared toward LDS children! The pictures are beautiful and vibrant and the message of the book is wonderful! Any LDS parent will want to read this to their children! It is short enough to keep their interest and it teaches a powerful message about the importance of obeying the commandments. I loved that Tyler was strong in his convictions while he was taking his 'test' to join the club and he already knew what his response would be to whether or not he would break the Word of Wisdom. I think that for children and even teenagers, it is a great idea to have them promise that they won't try drugs, alcohol, lie or cheat (and so on). Not even once! The poster that the club gave to Tyler so he could join is available for download on Deseret and it would make a great Family Home Evening activity! You could read the story and then give a poster to each of your children or have them all sign their names to one! A fabulous message in a world where it is getting harder to choose the right, The Not Even Once Club can boost your kids' confidence in their every day decisions in life!
Cute Story to Get Kids Motivated!
by Alexis - reviewed on September 19, 2013
It's a sweet story that I think young children will love and they'll want to join the club too. And the pictures are amazing! I love Brandon Dorman's illustrations! My daughters (who are both too young to read) have already looked through the book a few times and just looked at the pictures. It will be fun to be able to talk to them about it more as they grow older. This is a great tool to start conversations with your children about things that we should and shouldn't do. From keeping the word of wisdom to not looking at pornography to dressing modestly and bullying - all are briefly mentioned. And Wendy Nelson even provides some teaching questions and resources to help your children better understand why we should keep the commandments. I think young children could get excited about this! And the beautiful pictures will help get them thinking about it too. I think it's a great book and teaching tool!
Extremely Damaging Idea
by Edward - reviewed on August 29, 2013
I can think of no worse message for a child than that they can live life perfectly without ever breaking a commandment. Mistakes are part of life's growth process and Christ's atonement is available for everyone, because EVERYONE falls short of the glory of God. I have no idea how this got through the publication process.
by Customer - reviewed on September 03, 2013
Its not a long book, you can read it at the store and then make your decision. But if you don't have a DB in your area and you are ordering it online, there are a couple things you should know. 1. If you haven't discussed pornography or the law of chastity with your smaller children, you'll want to cover that first or skip that part when reading it to them because it is listed in the pledge that Tyler must sign to belong to the club (viewing pornographic images on a cell phone etc) 2. I worry about sending a message to younger children that it is ok to create a club that excludes others who make mistakes. If a group of children were to try and duplicate such a club at school, I worry that the results might not be very Christian.
by Beth - reviewed on September 02, 2013
First of all I want to say that I love to read any children's books that have a focus on God. My opinion is that children should grow up knowing the Lord and believing in him and this book does not disappoint. It was a very cute book that used everyday situations to show the children in the book the right paths to follow. I also was very happy to see that the illustrator used several different cultures and races when creating the characters that are portrayed. It shows that all children are equal and that religion is good for everyone. The colors and scenes of the illustrations were beautiful and bright. They captured my attention and I loved turning the pages. The author used the children in the book to speak to other children and to encourage them to do the right thing and follow the commandments. All in All this was a beautifully written children's book and beautifully illustrated as well!!
by Paul - reviewed on September 03, 2013
This book carries a damaging message, teaching kids they can go through life without making any mistakes is probably the worst message to teach children. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. We grow from our mistakes. For a church that has Jesus Christ in the name, this book has nothing to do with Jesus and his atonement. Sounds more like Satan's plan in the pre-existance. If you want to teach your kids false teachings - buy this book! I gave it one star because I couldn't give it 0 stars.
Where is the Atonement?
by Customer - reviewed on September 04, 2013
I will not let my child read this book - NOT EVEN ONCE! What happens to the child that will stumble and fall, is he allowed in the club anymore? He's booted from the club! It takes just ONE day until that club house is empty. We are all sinners and we all make mistakes. Let's get Jesus back into our dialog not on the back page in the small print. The message in this book is just wrong.
Would never buy for my kids
by Anna - reviewed on September 03, 2013
This legalistic view of our faith completely denies the need for an atonement. Seeing yourself or others as broken for committing one sin/breaking a commandment is offensive to Christ as someone who can help us overcome all sin. This book's premise is sure to lead to kids judging each other and deeply shaming themselves in the process. This seems to be a trend in the culture that belittles the power of Jesus and his greatest commandment, love.
Not a good message for kids.
by Erin - reviewed on September 03, 2013
To decide to NEVER make a mistake is a difficult thing to do. Is it an admirable goal? Yes. Is it possible? No. I feel like the intentions behind this book were good, but we should be focused on helping kids know Christ and his Atonement, not trying to lead perfect lives. The principle of obedience cannot be separated from love for the Savior and the promise of repentance. "Not Even Once" is a discouraging and unrealistic expectation that will lead kids to be too hard on themselves AND their peers. It smacks of a "works alone" approach and could unintentionally teach a young child that if they mess up on a "big commandment" that they aren't worthy of God's love. Please don't do this to your kids. Childhood is hard enough already. Kids are much more motivated to choose the right by seeing the adults in their lives make the right choices and repent when necessary.
A Perfect Allegory
by Customer - reviewed on September 03, 2013
I love this book! My children and I have read it over and over together. Sister Nelson has written a perfect allegory for Satan's plan in the premortal life. The primary teacher that bribes the children with creature comforts, banishment for failure, utter lack of grace, and obedience-for-reward ethic all fall perfectly into the plan proposed by the Evil One. The critics may complain, but they clearly don't understand the author's intent. With its cute illustrations and foreboding message this book is destined to become an LDS classic for generations! Perhaps in her next book Sister Nelson can write about the Atonement.
by Benjamin - reviewed on September 03, 2013
While I have the utmost respect for Sis. Nelson and other wives of apostles, prophets, and church leaders in general, the message of this book, that we are expected to commit and conform to perfect obedience throughout our entire lives, troubles me deeply. Even more troubling is the fact that this message is being perpetuated to our youth. I have made it through life, so far, because I know that I am here to learn and grow, and the only way I can do that is by being mortal and imperfect - making mistakes, and seeking Christ for repentance. I am better than I otherwise would be, for that..
From the Dolores Umbridge School of Teaching
by Jennifer - reviewed on September 04, 2013
The primary teacher in this book must have learned her teaching methods from the Dolores Umbridge School of Teaching. Because deep down you know that you deserve to be excluded. Don't you, little, lonely Tyler? In this book, never is there a message of love, never is there a message of repentance. This book advocates coercion and perfection and my children will never see this book.
This is really harmful.
by Customer - reviewed on September 05, 2013
Please do not buy this book. Where is the Atonement? How many people leave the Church because they feel they can never measure up? Are we now going to ingrain that in our Primary children? This book is the opposite of grace. My children will learn that His grace is sufficient, and that the reason to make good choices is out of love for the Savior who will save them in spite of their mistakes when they repent. We can do SO much better than this.
by Customer - reviewed on September 09, 2013
I love a statement from Elder Maxwell's final conference address: "We made room for each other to grow, to make dumb mistakes, to repent, and to begin to develop at least some spiritual reflexes. Today, some anxious parents seem to insist on constantly pulling up the daisies to see how the roots are doing." I love the image of homes and the Church as hospitals, a place of healing and growth for imperfect people. I am sad to see the country club image used so often these days for both the Church and, in some cases, homes: a club for the supposed elite - the modern-day Pharisees. I'm disappointed the Deseret Book editorial board approved this. It just doesn't seem consistent with the message that at least President Monson and Elder Uchtdorf are trying to spread.
I am sure the intentions were good
by Teresa - reviewed on September 09, 2013
But I don't know if the message it will send out is exactly what the authors hoped for.I think that the idea of telling yourself "Not even once" is fine. I have never drank or smoked. But the idea of forming a club and excluding people that don't believe exactly as you? I think those kids are going to miss out on a lot of really wonderful friends and they are going to give themselves and the church a bad name. The idea that people that have drank tea or coffee are now damaged and not worthy of being included in ones circle of friends is very limiting. Maybe if they tweaked the story a little it would be better. Having a support system is good. This kind of support system...not so good.
The Idea is a good one, but not realistic in practice.
by Customer - reviewed on March 06, 2014
I have very strong emotions regarding this book. I respect the Authors credentials but I strongly feel she missed the mark. I have read the reviews. it would seem that there are many LDS people that think they must approve of the book because it is written by the wife of a Church Authority. She as well as you and I are capable of error. This book, it is all about error. Committing to do no error. This is an lofty goal. It is however very unrealistic. I would assume that those who approve of the book have never been on the receiving end of this sort of teaching. I have. I can tell you that even in the most well intentioned hands this is a recipe for disaster. I get to have a strong opinion because I have been there. We are not talking about toilet training where treats can be very helpful. This is a commitment to never sin. This is a set up for failure, it is a goal that can never be reached. So what happens when the child sins? They are punished by parents who make mistakes. This sends a message to the child that it is not ok for them to sin, and they will be punished if they do. But parents can do what ever they want. Do as I say not as I do? Belong to the club. All that matters is how it looks, not how it is. I was abused by these very same Ideals by well intentioned parents. I can tell you it was very damaging to me. I suffered very low self esteem. I felt like I would never be good enough no matter how hard I tried. I have suffered most of my life with a belief that God would never love me no matter how hard I tried. I never was a bad kid. I never committed any big sins. I tried with all my heart to be good enough for my parents to love me and for God to love me. It is an unattainable goal. It is a set up for failure, it causes a barrier between children and parents and between children and God. Only people in the club are enough, You must be perfect always. Where we not place here to learn? Was it not expected that we would fall down? Is this not why Jesus came? Are we not forgiven of everything and anything? I can tell you that this kind of thinking is a kin to child abuse of the worst kind. The child fears being found imperfect and unworthy of Gods love. If the Author is humble, she will read the reviews with an open heart and be teachable. If not, she will blame the reader for misunderstanding her intent and continue to push this sort of ideas. I can not express myself with anymore of my hear. I was abused. This is bad and this type of material must be stopped. Just because a woman of position, authority and respect, brings a message, does not mean that it is with out possibility of error. This message is the greatest error I have ever known. I have lived the consequence of this type of thinking. I was almost destroyed and I may never fully recover.