Additional Resource

Family Night Builds Unity

Over the past year, a number of news reporters — including reporters from NBC and the British Broadcasting Corporation — have visited what are known as family home evenings in order to better understand individual Latter-day Saints and the role that families play in the Church.

Family home evenings were first started in 1915 when then Church President Joseph F. Smith asked Church members 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.

Teaching methods and activities of a family home evening are geared to the ages and developmental levels of the children. Often older children share the responsibility with parents to teach the younger children. Younger children may also present a message, select a song or offer a prayer, thus keeping everyone involved in the activities.

The Church does not give mandated lessons or a schedule for what is to be taught at a family home evening. Resources, however, are available to help parents with study topics.

Family nights are also held by couples after children grow up and leave the home, as well as by couples who have not had children and by single members.

The length of family home evening depends on the ages of the children or the activity scheduled. It can be as brief as a few minutes and seldom exceeds an hour.

The tradition of holding family home evenings on Monday night was set by Church leadership in 1970. While most families keep to the Monday-night schedule, some select a different night to meet individual schedules of family members.

Now in his 98th year, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley still expresses fond memories of his childhood family home evenings. “Out of those simple little meetings, held in the parlor of our old home, came something indescribable and wonderful. Our love for our parents was strengthened. Our love for brothers and sisters was enhanced. Our love for the Lord was increased. An appreciation for simple goodness grew in our hearts.”

“I don’t hesitate to say,” President Hinckley continues, “that if every family in the world practiced that one thing, you would see a very great difference in the solidarity of the families of the world.”

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