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The Not Even Once Club

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This book written by Elder Nelson's wife Wendy Watson Nelson has been getting a lot of negative attention. I have not read the book, but looking at the reviews from clinical psychologist who mention they are LDS and others comments say this book is very damaging for children and adults to stay clear of it.

"The Not Even Once Club" Can be reviewed here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Not-Even-Once ... 1609073371

In this LDS children's picture book, Tyler moves into his new ward and meets his new Primary class. Tyler's new friend, Kyle, invites him to their Primary class tree house and gives Tyler the secret password: "Not Even Once." When Tyler sees how cool the tree house is, he's thrilled to be a member of the club. But first, Tyler will need to pass the test, and keep the club promise. This book shows, in a fun and effective way, how Tyler and his new friends are great examples about keeping the Word of Wisdom and living the other standards of the Church. • The perfect book to help reinforce LDS standards to young children. • Full-color illustrations by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Brandon Dorman. • Includes a link to download your own personal copy of the "Not Even Once" poster, which reads: "From this moment on, I will never break the Word of Wisdom, lie, cheat, steal, gossip, procrastinate, dress immodestly, break the law of chastity, in any way. I will never intentionally look at anything pornographic on TV, the Internet, a cell phone, a billboard, or in a magazine or a movie." Wendy Watson Nelson holds a PhD 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. In 1999 and 2000, she served as chair of the BYU Women's Conference. She is the author of several books and talks on CD.

A couple reviewers comments:

Psychologically Unhealthy for Children (And Adults)
By Kristy Straubhaar on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As an LDS clinical psychologist I strongly recomemnd you steer your children away from this book. This teaches children all the wrong messages from authority figures whose time would be better spent teaching them about unconditional love and forgiveness. I cannot stress enough how damaging this message about attainable perfection is. There are many developmentally healthy books out there that are appropriate for children. This is NOT one of them. Steer clear!

POOR POOR TYLER.
By Believing Mormon on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I wonder if Sister Nelson includes Prozac on the list of things Tyler should try not even once. Because when poor Tyler grows up and feels so guilty and depressed because he's a human and makes human mistakes he's going to be needing a lot of counseling and pharmaceuticals to help him feel normal if he takes the message of this book to heart. This book is embarrassing, completely disregards the Atonement of Christ, and should never have been allowed to be printed.


Some pretty strong words, I guess this book describes her personal beliefs of what we should teach our children.

Anyone read this book, if so thoughts?

(we should have a book review section, ha! Since books and the such are such hot topics these days.)
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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BMC wrote:(we should have a book review section, ha! Since books and the such are such hot topics these days.)

We do - viewforum.php?f=13

:)
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Yikes!
Once upon a time there was a group of people who wanted to be better than everybody else. They forgot about weightier matters of the law such as love, humility, and Grace and began looking beyond the mark.

They decided to form a club, an elite group of people who were better than the rest, detached and separate. They called themselves the prushim (pharisee) because they were superior to lesser mortals.

In order to meet where nobody else could meet they build a Great and Spacious Tree house, up above the other people where only the select few could meet.

They decided to name the Great and Spacious Tree House, Rameumptom, and whenever they would gather there they would talk about how thankful they were that there was nobody else like them and how thankful they were that they didn't believe in the Grace of Christ.

What they didn't understand is that everybody thinks they are better than everybody else, and the only way to be truly unique is to be humble.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Not-Even-Once ... 1609073371

One more:

Four stars for humor. This book reads like a parody of every stereotype -- fair or not -- of Mormon culture. I mean, wow. An exclusive club, high in a treehouse, with the ladder kept out of reach of the rest of the world? The metaphor should be infuriating. But the author clearly has no idea how awful it sounds, and that makes it very funny. :-)

"Oh, you're not a member yet. You'll need to pass the test and then always keep the club promise." Don't worry, the club has a handy manifesto lest you forget that billboard pornography (?) is forbidden. And the illustrations! Children all beaming warmly while they explain that they'll only be friends with the new kid if he abides by their religion, and they'll shun him if he fails. LOL! But conformity will be rewarded with candy, so yay!

Especially hilarious is the premise behind the club's worthiness test: that a little primary kid actually would be tempted to drink coffee or alcohol over lemonade. Oh, to be 8 again, nursing my fifth of Jager.

I did have to dock one star on behalf of my LDS friends, who never once have threatened to throw me out of a treehouse and who are understandably annoyed and embarrassed by this book. But to an outsider, the unintentional comedy is sublime. I bought a copy for my husband -- a quirky artifact of our life in Utah. :-)


People are getting excommunicated nowadays for writing books...
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23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Actually, there is a book review section on the forum if you scroll way down.. :D

Sorry: Just saw Stella already commented on that. I have not read the book myself so I'll refrain from forming any opinion on it yet. However, IF the premise is what the title suggests I would likely not promote that message to my children. Just a personal choice. Nothing against sister Nelson.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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BMC wrote:"By Believing Mormon on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I wonder if Sister Nelson includes Prozac on the list of things Tyler should try not even once."

One would hope so, as Prozac is addictive and dangerous.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Stella Solaris wrote:
BMC wrote:(we should have a book review section, ha! Since books and the such are such hot topics these days.)

We do - viewforum.php?f=13

:)


Ah thanks! I miss the obvious sometimes and thanks Ashley For pointing this out too. Next time I will know better.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Haha, No worries BMC.. I took me a while to even be aware of the whole bottom half of the forum. Most the time I still forget its there.
- Ashley Bullock

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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Here is one of the other book reviews. I wanted to read some of the positive ones and this was one of them.

"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?"


However I admit when I read this one I couldn't help but reply in my head " Yeah, its called, "UTAH."

Ok... I know .. I know.. that was below the belt. :p Sometimes I just can't help it.

On another note and in Sister Nelson's defense doesn't Christ ask for perfection from us? "Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect?" I have seen "anti's" try to trap missionaries by using that statement from Christ and presenting a paradox to somehow make the BOM look bad. I think this book does a great job at presenting what the lower law is all about and that is what the church teaches. The whole reason we need Christ is because no one can live the lower law. Its kind of why the lower law is called a curse and why the children of God are left with it when they reject the fulness. It was created to be a burden as Joseph Smith taught in his temple grove sermon. Being under the law is burdensome and designed to be impossible. So we would see the necessity of coming out from under it and realizing our hopes are pinned on Christ.
- Ashley Bullock

" When we begin to know how to come to Him, He begins to come to us. When we are ready to come to Him, He is ready to receive us. " - Joseph Smith (King Follet Discourse)
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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AshleyB wrote:However I admit when I read this one I couldn't help but reply in my head " Yeah, its called, "UTAH."


The kids in Utah only pretend to be in this club Ashley... I grew up here ;)
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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coachmarc wrote:
People are getting excommunicated nowadays for writing books...


Too right, I doubt she will have any issues there, she does have a lot of clout in her favor. But stranger things have happened these days, was it deliberate on her part to write a book that could cause potential harm and damage to children or was she simply trying to help people see a unique way to teach gospel principles to their kids.

A word of wisdom for aspiring writers, publish under a pseudonym.

edited to fixed misspelled words
Last edited by BMC on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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JulesGP wrote:
AshleyB wrote:However I admit when I read this one I couldn't help but reply in my head " Yeah, its called, "UTAH."


The kids in Utah only pretend to be in this club Ashley... I grew up here ;)


:)) ... I know.. that was the point I was trying to make. :D There are many people who also seem to not have a difficult problem from abstaining from many of the outward things but is says nothing about their hearts. We are all guilty of straining at knats while swallowing a camel.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Ill give her the better movtive she was thinking of this.

Doctrine and Covenants 45:58
58 And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

I wondedr what the correct way really is?
101:38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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that book makes me sad.
this thread, which is just an opportunity for the Love Denver Snuffer (LDS) group to pile on also makes me sad. I love Denver also, by the way, but this enthusiastic trashing of this book that is indeed terrible - the whole thing doesn't feel right.

I will say that LDSFF makes me not feel right on a regular basis lately. I see apologists that I feel are institutionalized (in the Shawshank Redemption sense of the term) and I see many who complain that Christ is never mentioned in the church, but then the majority of their posting centers around Denver and WWDSD and very little (there I some and it is wonderful) posting about Christ and the gospel. And these people also now hold our very thinly veiled bitterness towards the institution.

The forum is making me sad. I don't want to leave because I Zion won't be built if every time we disagree with someone, we withdraw and separate. But I am not feeling the joy, and my light feels like it is dimming not brightening.

I am glad for those who are progressing and who the forum is helping. And I am not sure if the fact that posts that uplift me are becoming the rare gem - I do not know whether the fault lies within myself or if it noise to signal ratio tanking.

Definitely need to hit the scriptures and stay away from here for a while.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Growing up I never committed any major sexual sin, never swore, never even thought about breaking the word of wisdom, walked out of movies at the first bad part and stopped reading books for the same reason, participated in all the Church activities and young adult programs...

And I was constantly crushed by the weight of my own feelings of impurity and unworthiness. I never read this book, and for that I'm glad, but I picked up this message from plenty of other sources. As big a worry that influential Church leaders are writing books like this is that this message is the prevalent one in our LDS culture.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Looks like Denver Snuffer has jumped to her defense. I'm sure he is being sincere here. Right? :-s

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Original_Intent wrote:that book makes me sad.
this thread, which is just an opportunity for the Love Denver Snuffer (LDS) group to pile on also makes me sad.


OI, not sure why you say this. You are the first one in the thread to bring up Snuffer. This book has been out for a little while now, and has made the rounds of various blogs and forums.

That being said, I hope this thread sticks to the ideas (good and bad) presented in the book, which is completely legitimate to discuss.

Not all book reviews are going to be positive, and I personally think this book deserves a thumbs down.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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This thread has nothing to do with Denver though I see now that he posted on his blog about it and someone shared that here. I personally would like to NOT bring Denver into discussion on this thread, there are several already circulating to hash it out there.

I don't think she had the wrong intentions, but certainly the response to her book is not good. From the reviews I will not be buying this for my children. She is a public figure if you will due to the nature of her marriage which has further implications. In light of all that, people who write LDS books of late have come under such scrutiny regardless of their motives for writing. She certainly is causing issues in the LDS community with this book. A petition has been posted seeking DB to remove her book.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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AshleyB wrote:Here is one of the other book reviews. I wanted to read some of the positive ones and this was one of them.

"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?"


However I admit when I read this one I couldn't help but reply in my head " Yeah, its called, "UTAH."

Ok... I know .. I know.. that was below the belt. :p Sometimes I just can't help it.

On another note and in Sister Nelson's defense doesn't Christ ask for perfection from us? "Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect?" I have seen "anti's" try to trap missionaries by using that statement from Christ and presenting a paradox to somehow make the BOM look bad. I think this book does a great job at presenting what the lower law is all about and that is what the church teaches. The whole reason we need Christ is because no one can live the lower law. Its kind of why the lower law is called a curse and why the children of God are left with it when they reject the fulness. It was created to be a burden as Joseph Smith taught in his temple grove sermon. Being under the law is burdensome and designed to be impossible. So we would see the necessity of coming out from under it and realizing our hopes are pinned on Christ.


I am so tired of the of the Utah-Mormon vs. non-Utah paradigm. It honestly just seems lazy to me. Isn't there plenty of other ways that Satan has found to divide us? I don't think that Mormons in Utah are better or worse than any other group of members. Are we judgmental, vain, hypocritical, and self-serving? Yep. Are members elsewhere really much better? I'm sure Deseret Book will only sell this book in Utah.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Fairminded wrote:Growing up I never committed any major sexual sin, never swore, never even thought about breaking the word of wisdom, walked out of movies at the first bad part and stopped reading books for the same reason, participated in all the Church activities and young adult programs...

And I was constantly crushed by the weight of my own feelings of impurity and unworthiness. I never read this book, and for that I'm glad, but I picked up this message from plenty of other sources. As big a worry that influential Church leaders are writing books like this is that this message is the prevalent one in our LDS culture.


I Agree Fairminded and I think that is the real issue at hand.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Fairminded wrote:Growing up I never committed any major sexual sin, never swore, never even thought about breaking the word of wisdom, walked out of movies at the first bad part and stopped reading books for the same reason, participated in all the Church activities and young adult programs...

And I was constantly crushed by the weight of my own feelings of impurity and unworthiness. I never read this book, and for that I'm glad, but I picked up this message from plenty of other sources. As big a worry that influential Church leaders are writing books like this is that this message is the prevalent one in our LDS culture.


Fairminded, thanks for sharing, I do know how you feel all to well. This is definitely the culture more so in Utah and else where in the US but not as bad. I always struggled growing up never feeling I met the mark of what was expected, sometimes still plagued by that. With this thought and what this book appears to teach in a funny candid sort of way. The church atmosphere can be very different else where, thankfully, my family all lives in Utah and all are inactive except my father and I, largely it is due to the prejudice they have personally experienced by not meeting the standards of others and fitting in. If I was still there, I may not have found my way back.

This book, from the reviews will do what I do not wish upon anyone continuing this practice and thought that we can never meet the mark of our creation and be happy with ourselves. A double thumbs down for me.

The petition for those who are interested is located here: http://www.change.org/petitions/deseret ... nventory-2


The Not Even Once Club" is a book that encourages children to promise they will never sin, "Not. Even. Once." It endorses giving children candy as a reward for righteous behavior and withholding candy and group membership for children who sin even once. This book does not mention Christ, the Atonement, or repentance---except in a tiny section of the parents' guide.

We urge Deseret Book to prayerfully consider the spiritual and psychological damage caused to children by leading them to believe they can live a perfectly sinless life without a single mistake, a standard so impossible that only Jesus Christ achieved it.

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9



In light of this book, does anyone have any children book recommendations for ages 6-8 (boy/girl)? I am lacking in that area of books on the shelf for kids that are gospel related and would like to build that up. Thanks!
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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jonrizzy wrote:
AshleyB wrote:Here is one of the other book reviews. I wanted to read some of the positive ones and this was one of them.

"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?"


However I admit when I read this one I couldn't help but reply in my head " Yeah, its called, "UTAH."

Ok... I know .. I know.. that was below the belt. :p Sometimes I just can't help it.

On another note and in Sister Nelson's defense doesn't Christ ask for perfection from us? "Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect?" I have seen "anti's" try to trap missionaries by using that statement from Christ and presenting a paradox to somehow make the BOM look bad. I think this book does a great job at presenting what the lower law is all about and that is what the church teaches. The whole reason we need Christ is because no one can live the lower law. Its kind of why the lower law is called a curse and why the children of God are left with it when they reject the fulness. It was created to be a burden as Joseph Smith taught in his temple grove sermon. Being under the law is burdensome and designed to be impossible. So we would see the necessity of coming out from under it and realizing our hopes are pinned on Christ.


I am so tired of the of the Utah-Mormon vs. non-Utah paradigm. It honestly just seems lazy to me. Isn't there plenty of other ways that Satan has found to divide us? I don't think that Mormons in Utah are better or worse than any other group of members. Are we judgmental, vain, hypocritical, and self-serving? Yep. Are members elsewhere really much better? I'm sure Deseret Book will only sell this book in Utah.


I was poking fun at the LDS culture in general which includes ME. Utah just has the highest percentage of lds so its naturally going to be a focal point. No offense intended. Sorry I offended you.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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BMC wrote:In light of this book, does anyone have any children book recommendations for ages 6-8 (boy/girl)? I am lacking in that area of books on the shelf for kids that are gospel related and would like to build that up. Thanks!


Not a "church" book, but Farmer Boy is a good one. My wife and children still discuss it affectionately 10 yrs after they read it.
http://www.amazon.com/Farmer-Little-Hou ... 0064400034
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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The criticism of this book is sad. I'm sure sister Nelson is crushed she didn't call it the "do good when you can and repent later club" because striving for perfection is sooo evil and leads to suicide you know

Ill gladly cover sister Nelson with a cloak of charity for her efforts at writing a children's book with an actual message of ways to create positive peer pressure.

Though she probably was intending it to be a subliminal message to get kids to eat high fructose corn syrup candy since she is obviously an evil minion of Monsanto
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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ajax wrote:
Original_Intent wrote:that book makes me sad.
this thread, which is just an opportunity for the Love Denver Snuffer (LDS) group to pile on also makes me sad.


OI, not sure why you say this. You are the first one in the thread to bring up Snuffer. This book has been out for a little while now, and has made the rounds of various blogs and forums.

That being said, I hope this thread sticks to the ideas (good and bad) presented in the book, which is completely legitimate to discuss.

Not all book reviews are going to be positive, and I personally think this book deserves a thumbs down.


Not sure if you are being disingenuous or sincere; Denver was brought up because Denver's blog post about this book was the motive force behind this thread. Note that I am not trashing Denver for bringing it up, I am saying there are people that pounce on things like this blog post and then take it to a much darker place. It grieves me, and I don't use the term lightly. I have never seen a single thing written or posted by Denver that wounded me, or that I felt the least discomfort over; some of his more ardent fans, however...I can't and won't speak for Denver, but I get the sense that "they draw near to him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him." And I don't mean that as an irreverent comparison of Denver to the Lord.

back on the topic of the book, I agree, what I have seen of it is terrible. I understand the principle, which is to make commitments to "not even try" certain things. This lesson was ground into me as a kid, and sure enough on many things I blew it. Mostly because I felt like on those things a single "taste" would not do irreparable harm. And those samples were just that - one time things. There were certainly issues that I understood were boundaries never to cross and I never did. Essentially I took a drag on a cigarette, and my uncle makes wine and I once tasted about a quarter of a shot glass (with my parents looking on).

There is nothing wrong with the IDEA of committing to "Never Once" fall short. And I understand why in a children's book there is not a corollary "but of course you will" because to children this is pretty much like saying "Make the commitment, but keep your fingers crossed when you do." Basically, I don't know how you teach both messages at a level that a child understands. I agree with the criticism, I am just saddened by the motive.
Last edited by Original_Intent on Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Thanks Ashley. I read your post again and can see you are just poking fun. The fact that I took offense says more about me than you. I just hear this Utah Mormon thing thrown around a lot (not so much on this forum) and it bugs me. Utah is a focal point and we often don't live up to the billing. But I just need to let it go.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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How many will remain members of the club? Answer Zero. Sorry some of you Zoramites don't get that. You deny the Christ when you think you can live a perfect life.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Knowing Wendy as I do, I feel safe in saying she had only the highest best in writing this book. She urges having the highest of standards. I haven't read the book, so I don't know what she put in there about the idea of mercy to accompany the quest for perfection, but I do know that if she's saying that we should teach our children to be perfect, she's recommending that people teach their children to follow the words of the Savior. I don't know if any of these "expert" child pshrinks have come out and said people should avoid the scriptures because Jesus commands us in there to be perfect, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Children read books about little girls breaking into houses and eating someone else's porridge. They read about a man travelling through forests and finding a passed out woman and waking her with a kiss (a strange woman!) They read about a littlte boy chopping down an enormous beanstalk to kill a giant so he can get away with stealing the giant's gold-producing bird.

I'm guessing some of these "pshrinks" think that Miley popping her booty, rubbing her crotch with a foam finger or simulating sex with some dude is a healthy expression of self image for children to see. I remain unimpressed.
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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jonrizzy wrote:Thanks Ashley. I read your post again and can see you are just poking fun. The fact that I took offense says more about me than you. I just hear this Utah Mormon thing thrown around a lot (not so much on this forum) and it bugs me. Utah is a focal point and we often don't live up to the billing. But I just need to let it go.


No worries jonirizzy. :ymhug: We all have those sensitive buttons based on our experiences. I feel like that sometimes too with different things. The internet is also a really difficult place to communicate properly. Thanks for your kindness. :)
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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Thomas wrote:How many will remain members of the club? Answer Zero. Sorry some of you Zoramites don't get that. You deny the Christ when you think you can live a perfect life.

I assume the irony of your post escapes you
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Re: The Not Even Once Club

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BMC wrote:
In light of this book, does anyone have any children book recommendations for ages 6-8 (boy/girl)? I am lacking in that area of books on the shelf for kids that are gospel related and would like to build that up. Thanks!


I agree with ajax that Farmer Boy, and all the Little House series books, are very wholesome and entertaining. I read them all when I was younger and still pick one up every now and again.

For younger kids, though, one of my favorite books as a young child is called the "Do Something Day", about a boy whose helpfulness ends up saving the day for a family celebration he's excited for. I think teaching kids good attitudes and behaviors in a fun way goes a lot farther than setting impossible standards they'll then feel guilty about not meeting.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13
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