And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.

Jarom 1:5


There are two parts of this verse that stand out to me every time I read it.

The first is that the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. I think we all want to wax strong. In our personal lives, in our marriages, in our work, in our service, in our community, in our families. We want to be strong and successful and feel the blessings of the Lord.

In the 1828 Dictionary, the word “wax” is defined this way: to pass from one state to another; to become.

The people of Nephi were becoming strong. I want every day to become strong, and I am so thankful for the days I feel that blessing in my life.

The second important part of this verse, to me, is the last sentence: And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.

I think there’s a connection between those two phrases. In fact, I wholly believe that there is an unbreakable link between exceedingly strict laws and becoming strong. This is a pattern from the scriptures that we can apply to our families and our parenting strategies.

The word “strict,” when applied to parenting, often has a negative connotation. Yet it doesn’t have a negative definition. Some of the words used to define “strict” in the 1828 dictionary: exact; accurate; rigorous; governed by exact rules; not mild or indulgent.

Children who don’t have exact or accurate expectations or rules are confused about how to behave. When we indulge them, we hamper their ability to learn self-discipline and how to manage their emotions and their lives.

I could write forty blog posts on this subject. But for now, let’s just think about the correlation between strictness and strength.