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New publication, "Helping and Healing Our Families," confronts serious family issues

From the BYU School of Family Life

Parents of wayward teens, families coping with death or addiction or divorce, in-laws who want to improve their relationships—readers experiencing these situations and many others will find fresh answers in a new, practical guidebook, "Helping and Healing Our Families," from the Brigham Young University School of Family Life and published by Deseret Book.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the release of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more than 125 authors have combined efforts to create a resource providing hope, principles and eternal perspectives to address many of the daunting challenges facing families today.

"Helping and Healing Our Families" is based upon prophetic principles of marriage and family life, particularly doctrines taught in the family proclamation. A companion volume to "Strengthening Our Families," published in 2000, this new book is more practical in nature.

“'Helping and Healing Our Families' shares insights, experiences and testimonies of Latter-day Saints on an encyclopedic breadth of family topics,” said David Dollahite, editor and BYU professor of home and family living. “It includes everything including the kitchen sink—in fact, the first essay is about the family and the kitchen sink.”

The book also covers divorce, single parenting, mental illness, death, marital and parent-child conflict, dealing with wayward children, helping children with special needs, launching young adults, grandparenting and much more. The doctrinal principles taught can be applied to all families as they seek to create, sustain and heal family relationships.

“While the book provides several insights to strengthen families, it also deals with the tough stuff families face,” said Elaine Walton, editor and BYU professor of social work. “These are the issues we wish we didn’t have to deal with, but we do.”

"Helping and Healing Our Families" grew out of a convergence of professionals from many academic disciplines and reflects their diverse areas of expertise. It showcases the work of seven editors and 125 authors with professional and personal experience in topics related to family life. Scholarly research and teachings of prophets combine with real-life experiences and concrete ideas to help readers in their marriage and family relationships.

“Beyond its 44 informative chapters, the book contains 40 essays that focus on personal experiences of Latter-day Saints. Our intent is that those who struggle with challenging family issues will find insights from others who have gone before,” said Lloyd Newell, editor and BYU professor of religious education.

“This book will remind readers of God’s love for each individual and of His great plan of happiness for marriages and families," said Craig Hart, lead editor and BYU professor of marriage, family, and human development. "It will help families move closer to the ideals set forth in the Proclamation on the Family and in the process, find greater happiness and joy in family life.”

The BYU School of Family Life sponsors research, outreach, and academic curricula to strengthen marriage and families. The school connects more than 75 faculty members from across the university who focus on family issues. At the creation of the BYU School of Family Life in 1998, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ admonished faculty members to produce textbooks worthy of a great university to help students and others become good parents and spouses. According to Dollahite, this volume seeks to respond to that apostolic charge.

"Helping and Healing Our Families" is available at Deseret Book, and wherever LDS books are sold.


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