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What's new: Book shares 31 principles to become better parents

"PARENTING PRINCIPLES: 31 Teachings to Raise Children in Righteousness," by David A. Christensen, Cedar Fort, $14.99, 128 pages (nf)

When David A. Christensen was growing up, all he wanted to be was a dad. Now, he's using his more than four decades of parenting experience and knowledge of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in "Parenting Principles: 31 Teachings to Raise Children in Righteousness."

"Parenting Principles" includes 31 chapters, each discussing a different principle. Christensen has formatted the chapters to not only teach about the specific principle but also to encourage self-examination and application. Each chapter is structured beginning with a quote from a general leader of the LDS Church, followed by experiences from his own life or others he knows. Christensen also includes scriptures that apply to each principle and asks questions to invite introspection.

Some principles included are "Parents Who Know," "Just Love Them," "Teaching About Work," "When Things Don't Go As Planned," and "Come What May and Love It." There are principles available to apply to different stages of life, with young children, teenagers and even grandchildren.

Christensen, who has eight children and is also a grandfather, emphasizes that there isn't a recipe for becoming a better parent and raising children to be righteous individuals. These principles are just guidelines to focus one's thoughts in the right direction for a job that is never completed. A common theme in this book is to do your best and remain prayerful.

Christensen has taught the Teachings of The Living Prophets course at Brigham Young University-Idaho for more than 20 years, and his teaching skills shine through in his writing, with each chapter organized so it is easily understood and applied, but still containing enough depth that a reader at any level will be able to gain something from reading.

Tara Creel is a Logan, Utah, native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.