ABOUT THE BOOK
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 BYUWomen’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.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
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.
NOTE: I have seen many reviews of this book that are negative because the authors think that the story leaves out any room for mistakes. Here is my take on that topic.
I understand where the other reviews are coming from. After all, all people make mistakes, but does that mean we shouldn't try to keep God's commandments as well as we can? Yes, the Atonement is there because we need it and the forgiveness and sanctification that it offers. But the Atonement also helps us keep the covenants we make at baptism and other times, helping us seek to keep the commandments. How is the promise these kids make any different than the covenants made at baptism and in the temple? Are these kids likely to reject each other completely if one of them messes up? I don't think so. Such promises/covenants help us to remember what God has commanded us to do. These are commandments, not requests, and the Lord doesn't include exceptions. He doesn't say, keep the commandments except when you can't. Instead He makes a way for us to try again, to 'pass the test' the next time, to change through the Atonement with the Savior's help. As for nobody being able to do any of the mentioned things 'not even once' do we want to teach our children that it's okay to do any of those things mentioned in the book, 'just once?' I don't think so, those things generally have negative consequences and our children will be better off if they avoid them.
Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to offend anyone here. But I hate to see a good book so thoroughly condemned. The book could make for some great conversations between parents and children about obedience and consequences and repentance.