Monday, May 26, 2014

What is Mormon 'Family Home Evening'?

If you're wondering what Mormon "Family Home Evening" is, I'll try to explain.

In 1970, President Joseph Fielding Smith, the Prophet and President of the Church encouraged all church members to designate Monday nights as their time at home to teach and instruct their children in the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The purpose of Family Home Evening is to Strengthen Home and Family.  This is done by singing and praying together, having gospel lessons and scripture study as well as appropriate games, activities and refreshments.

Our current church President Thomas S. Monson has said this:
"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.”

As a child, and in a home with 8 children, Family Home Evening was a priority for my parents.  I am very grateful as it brought us closer together and helped us learn to love, serve, counsel and work together.  Sometimes we worked on our garden or family history, we had many other lessons and gospel discussions and always a song and a prayer and refreshements. 

At times we'd play games together (Dad's favorite was 'in the river, out of the river' - sort of like 'Simon Says' and we'd all try to follow).  Mom would often provide an activity as she loved 'people' games, quizzes, paper questionnaires, etc.  But, the best part of all was that we were together as a family and we didn't play with friends, answer the phone, or do regular weekly activities.  It was a time to strengthen the family and help us understand God's plan for his children.

It wasn't always easy, in fact, sometimes it was noisy or a bit unorganized or someone was complaining about something.  But, Mom and Dad perservered and...to this day, Monday nights are important to me and my children.  They are set-aside as family time and we try very hard to not have interruptions or other events that need to be attended to.

Here are some guidelines for running a Family Home Evening

And...information including pictures, stories, activities, ideas at: Family Home Evening.
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