Punctuation

Q. I’m editing a writing sample and am trying to explain (in writing) one of the rules for using periods within parentheses: “Add a period after sword and make your parenthetical element a stand-alone sentence enclosed in parentheses, like this: ‘(Romans 13 clearly delegates that job to government.).’” Do you see the issue? The two periods are driving me crazy, but because the one within parentheses is necessary to illustrate the grammar rule, I can’t drop it. Nixing the period following the closing parenthesis also feels wrong. Please help me!

A. The problem is that this material isn’t suited to a run-in sentence or paragraph. The example needs its own line:

Add a period after sword  and make your parenthetical element a stand-alone sentence enclosed in parentheses, like this:

(Romans 13 clearly delegates that job to government.)

If the material must be formatted the way you have shown, you’re doomed to tolerate those two periods.