Why Family Home Evening?
Church leaders have instructed members to set aside Monday night as “family home evening.” This is a time for families to study the gospel together and to do other activities that strengthen the family spiritually, create family memories, and increase unity and love.
The home is the most important place for gospel learning. No other organization can take the place of the family. Latter-day prophets have repeatedly called on parents to nurture their children with love and gospel teaching.
In 1915 President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency began a Churchwide effort to strengthen the family. They called on parents in the Church to gather their children once each week for a “Home Evening.” Families were to take time to pray and sing together, read the scriptures, teach the gospel to one another, and participate in other activities that would build family unity.
In 1970 President Joseph Fielding Smith joined with his counselors in the First Presidency to designate Monday night as the time for family home evening. Since that announcement, the Church has kept Monday evenings free from Church activities so families can have this time together.
Latter-day prophets continue to urge Church members to give highest priority to family home evening. They have promised that our dedication to this program will help protect our families against the evils of our time and will bring us abundant joy now and throughout the eternities.
All members of the Church should make Monday evening a sacred time, reserved for family home evening. Those who are married should have weekly family home evening with their spouse. As couples have children, they should include them in family home evening, adapting the program to their needs and interests and letting them participate. After the children grow up and move away, couples should continue to hold family home evening together.
A suggested outline for family home evening follows: opening song, opening prayer, scripture reading, lesson, activity, closing song, closing prayer, refreshments.
Lessons for family home evening should be based on the scriptures, the teachings of latter-day prophets, and personal experiences and testimony. Other sources to consider could include the Family Home Evening Resource Book (item number 31106), Gospel Principles (31110), the Family Guidebook (31180), and Church magazines.
- Lesson 13: Strengthening the Family through Family Home Evening “Lesson 13: Strengthening the Family through Family Home Evening,” Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, (2000), 112
- Family Home Evening: It’s a Matter of Time “Family Home Evening: It’s a Matter of Time”, Ensign, Oct. 2005, 10–13
Published in the Improvement Era, June 1915, 733–34. Capitalization and punctuation modernized. A formal family home evening program was developed in the Granite Utah Stake and was first endorsed and made Churchwide by this 1915 First Presidency statement.
- Making Monday Memories Ryan Carr, “Making Monday Memories”, New Era, Apr. 2004, 20
- “Do We Have To?” Another Look at Family Home Evening By Glenn I. Latham ““Do We Have To?” Another Look at Family Home Evening”, Ensign, Apr. 1984, 66