Weekly Family Night
It’s moments like this that we appreciate most. Spending time with our children can bring great happiness. And we know these will be the moments we cherish when we look back on our lives.
Of course, time together doesn’t always go so smoothly. We know parents around the world can relate to hearing the cries of sibling bickering and arguing. And it’s a constant struggle and effort to teach our children to love one another.
That’s what makes weekly family nights so important to us.
It’s not always easy to carve out the time. But we’ve witnessed that when we make the consistent effort to do so, we’ve been blessed. And we know that past blessing are only the beginning. We believe that continuing this habit throughout our lives will bear fruit far into the future.
Weekly Family Home Evening
In our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we’re encouraged to set aside Monday nights as a weekly Family Home Evening. And we’re so thankful for the reminders to do so because spending time with each other in today’s world is so important. Even when living under the same roof, it’s easy to drift apart as we concentrate on our own individual desires.
But a weekly family home evening helps us constantly refocus on our most important priorities.
It’s a special time set aside each week that brings family members together and strengthens love for each other, helps draw closer to Heavenly Father, and encourages all to live righteously.
While the hectic pace of today’s society seems ripe for this type of counsel, the direction to have a weekly family night was first given in 1915. President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency of the Church 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.
And throughout the almost century since, prophets have continued to admonish families to establish this practice for building strong families.
We love and have experienced the blessings promised in this counsel:
If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them.
Well-planned family home evenings can be a source of long-lasting joy and influence. These evenings are times for group activity, for organizing, for the expressions of love, for the bearing of testimony, for learning gospel principles, for family fun and recreation, and of all things, for family unity and solidarity.
It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping them withstand temptations everywhere.
The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility. We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities.
Although it’s not always easy and many activities encroach (especially as kids get older), our weekly family night will always be a strong part of our family life.
The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.
We also encourage all families worldwide to set aside a weekly family night as well. Pick the night that works best for your situation and try as hard as you can to consistently maintain it. The blessings will come.
And while last night wasn’t spent at “home” (nor was a single board game played), we definitely enjoyed our family evening together appreciating this beautiful world we live in.
Learn more about Family Home Evening.