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In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family Home Evening is a special time set aside every week when families come together and strengthen their relationships with each other and with Heavenly Father.

Family Home Evening is generally held on Monday nights. In 1970 the Church announced that Mondays were to be set-aside for Family Home Evening and that no other Church activity should be scheduled for that night. Family Home Evening usually begins with a song, followed by a prayer, then a scripture or poem reading. Following the scripture or poem, a lesson is given, followed by an activity. The Family Home Evening is then closed with a prayer, and many families often have snacks or treats. Members of the family usually take turns filling different roles such as leading the music, giving prayers, teaching the lesson, or planning with an activity.

The family has always been a central part of Mormon teaching and life. In 1903, President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith said that the family has a central role in teaching the gospel. A few years later, in 1909, the Granite Stake in Salt Lake City started a weekly home evening program for families. President Smith said that the stake had been inspired to start this program. It was very successful, and in 1915 President Smith asked all members to adopt the program on a monthly basis. When this direction was given, President Smith stated,

We advise and urge the inauguration of a ‘Home Evening’ throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. They may thus learn more fully the needs and requirements of their families.... If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them [1]

From the beginning, the blessings and benefits of family home evening have been taught to members of the Mormon Church. Interestingly enough, society is just now beginning to encourage designated family time.

In 1965, more emphasis was put on Family Home Evening. The Church began to publish manuals with weekly lessons. In the first manual President David O. McKay said,

The problems of these difficult times cannot better be solved in any other place, by any other agency, by any other means, than by love and righteousness, and precept and example, and devotion to duty in the home [2]

More recently, President James E. Faust has said this of having Family Home Evening:

It often takes a seemingly superhuman effort to get everyone together for family home evening. You may not always feel like praying when you finally do get together, but it will pay great dividends if you persevere [3]

Emphasis was and still is placed on various aspects of family home evening: teaching children the practical application of the principles they learn in classes during church meetings, giving parents an opportunity to address problems their children are facing, and discussing discuss family issues.

For More Information

References

  1. Improvement Era Vol. XVIII, June 1915, no. 8.
  2. Family Home Evening Manual, 1965, p. iii.
  3. James E. Faust, "Enriching Our Lives through Family Home Evening," Liahona, June 2003, 4.

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