For 100 years, families in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have gathered together in their homes to teach and learn the gospel, to sing and pray, and to enjoy games and treats.
It was on April 27, 1915, that the First Presidency (the highest authority) of the Church issued a letter encouraging parents to gather their children and to set time apart, on one evening each week, to teach them principles of the gospel, build unity and – importantly – to strengthen bonds of love.
“It’s not easy to set aside time when we are so busy with work, study, church and other commitments but we do it because we know it will strengthen our family,” says mum Wendy, of the Modbury ward (congregation).
Her husband, Kai, agrees with her, “I received so many lessons from my parents during Family Home Evening. I learned how to sing, how to teach, how to learn and live the gospel. I want my children to have the same benefits and happy memories.”
That first letter instructed that “formality and stiffness should be studiously avoided”. Wendy agrees, “Definitely! We have the best times together, laughing and playing. We pick up ideas for family games from all around the place – kindy, school and books. I found a game that taught teamwork and the boys loved it. They didn’t want to stop.”
Wendy and Kai and their two sons, Mulokai and Alexander, live in the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide. Wendy is a youth Sunday School teacher and an assistant accountant working towards accreditation as a Certified Practising Accountant. Kai serves as the ward Bishopric second counselor (a support to the Bishop who is the pastor of a congregation of about 200 members). He is also a children’s book illustrator, known among South Australian children for the Captain Plop series of books commissioned by SAWater.
Summing up their feelings about what is often known simply as ‘family night’, Wendy says: “We just want our boys to know that we love them and they can talk to us about anything. We will continue to hold Family Home Evening to help us do that.”
Learn more about Family Home Evening here
* Do you have a favourite FHE activity or memory? If so, share your ideas in our comments section.