Family Home Evening
Family Home Evening, Family Night
The “Family Home Evening” program began in 1915, when Mormon Church President Joseph F. Smith urged the 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. Family Home Evening is not just for Mormon families, but it is a very important concept in the lives of active Mormons.
Members of the Mormon Church use Family Home Evening as a chance to strengthen family ties and to give parents a weekly opportunity to teach their children about spiritual and temporal matters and prepare them for life. Family Home Evening is held once a week, most often on Monday nights. Family Home Evening, or Family Night, is a time for parents to sit down with their children to study the scriptures with them, talk about important life lessons, cultivating talents, talk about family matters, and plan family activities and things of that nature.
From the beginning of this world, God’s prophets have tried to teach us that the most important organization is the family. Since the time of Adam, our loving God has organized his church on the earth for the purpose of teaching families how to be eternally happy. In the rush of our frantic lives, it is important for families to find quality time to spend together having fun and learning about life and God’s teachings. In our day, Satan strives to create unhappiness in our homes by provoking disunity, discontent, disharmony, and a host of other spiritual illnesses.
The greatest power Satan has in blocking the work of the Lord is in the home. ‘Sadly, it is here where he finds his greatest success, first by destroying family relationships and then by destroying the family unit’ (Peterson).
To counteract this blatant attack on the family, parents must require more of themselves. They must provide their children with experiences that are love-producing and family-solidifying. This can be accomplished in daily teaching moments and activities done together as a family. Simple, positive experiences with a child can change the mood of your home and foster unifying moments and feelings of happiness and acceptance. The Family Home Evening program is designed to create these positive learning and bonding experiences on a weekly basis. (Peterson)
In an interview with the Boston Globe, President Gordon B. Hinkley, current prophet of the Mormon Church 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,’ he said, ‘shall be the peace of thy children’ [Isa. 54:13]
It is often hard to find time for such weekly family gatherings. In regard to creating this important time, President Gordon Hinkley states, “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).
Sources: H. Burke Peterson, “Harmony in the Home,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 114 Gordon B. Hinckley, “Family Home Evening,” Liahona, Mar. 2003, 3