Discuss this article or ask questions at the LDS.net Forums.
Family Home Evening
The “Family Home Evening” program was begun in 1915, when Mormon Church President Joseph F. Smith urged Church members to set aside one evening a week devoted specifically to the family. Family Home Evenings, or Family Nights, are often held on Mondays.
Members of the Mormon Church use Family Home Evening to strengthen family ties. Parents have the opportunity to teach their children about spiritual and secular matters and prepare them for life. Family Home Evening is held once a week as a time for families to sit down together and study the scriptures, talk about important life lessons, cultivate talents, discuss pressing issues, and plan activities and goals.
As modern life fills with a myriad of distractions, it is important for families to share quality time together, having fun and learning about life and God’s teachings. In modern times the family has been assaulted with elements that cause disunity, infidelity, discontent, and a host of other spiritual illnesses. Members of the Church realize that the home is the most basic bulwark against an onslaught of negative influences. Therefore, Latter-day Saint parents require more of themselves. They try, with the aid of Church programs, to provide their families with experiences that encourage love, respect, harmony, and solidarity. This can all be accomplished through simple, positive experiences and moments of happiness, fun, and acceptance. The Family Home Evening program is designed to magnify these positive learning and bonding experiences on a planned, weekly basis.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “I don’t hesitate to say if every family in the world practiced [the Family Home Evening program,] you’d see a very great difference in the solidarity of the families of the world” (interview, Boston Globe, 14 Aug. 2000).
Isaiah said, ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord. And great shall be the peace of thy children’ (Isaiah 54:13).
Although it may be difficult to find time for such weekly family gatherings, it is possible. President Gordon B. Hinckley offered, “You have to establish in your life some sense of prioritizing things, of giving emphasis to the important things and of laying aside the unimportant things that will lead to nothing. Establish a sense of what is good and what is not good, what is important and is not important; and that can become a marvelous blessing in your lives. . . . There is nothing more important than your families. You know that” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Family Home Evening,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 3).
The practice of holding Family Home Evening is a powerful tool for improving the lives of families and individuals. It is a very important concept for all active Mormons, regardless of marital or familial status. Thus, besides families, childless newlyweds, single students and neighbors may gather Family Home Evening groups as a means of increasing mutual support and nurturing spiritual conviction.
- H. Burke Peterson, “Harmony in the Home,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 114
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “Family Home Evening,” Liahona, Mar. 2003, 3