Growing up it wasn’t uncommon to hear my dad say “it’s family home evening, not family home hour” on Monday nights as the family gathered for Family Home Evening. And while there were definitely times that he got a few eye rolls from that comment, FHE was something I really grew to appreciate and enjoy as I grew up. It was a time for the family to come together and share and laugh and feel the Spirit – and if you think about how busy the world is today, that is something really special.I love this quote by our prophet:
I whole-heartedly agree that the time spent together for family home evening is something important and essential. And because growing up it was always something we made time for, as I got married my husband and I have done the same. As newlyweds and empty-nesters it might seem that sitting down for a lesson each week is pointless since there are only two of you. Not so! But it can be a little tricky to come up with things to do each week. So I’m here to tell you a bit about how we do it and what works for us.
Since there are only two of us, we rotate each week who does the “thought” and who does the “activity.” Just to be totally transparent here, there have been several times that one of us got home from work or school and the other says “you have the thought, right?” and then we realize we spaced it and our FHE doesn’t look like anything out of a Mormon message. But here’s the thing – we still do it. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– The Ensign: We even like to go back several years ago to find articles we can read and discuss. Sometimes we are really on top of it tell the other person ahead of time to read it and think about it, or sometimes we just read it together then discuss.
– CES Devotionals: These are great to watch together and discuss. If you are tight on time one night just watch part of one and figure out what you can learn from it.
– Missionary Assignments: My brother is currently serving a mission in Hungary and when he writes he will sometimes give us scriptures or talks to read and study. It is a great way to feel connected to him and continue to grow spiritually.
– Books by General Authorities: There are so many to choose from, but some of our favorites are the ones you can get that come with a DVD. You can read a chapter and watch one section and talk about what you learned and felt. Elder Bednar has a few (here, here & here) and another one by Elder Holland (here). Also, this book by Clayton M. Christensen about missionary work is fabulous!
– The Mormon Channel: We love this awesome resource. There are lots of great podcasts to listen to! We especially love the section “Gospel Solutions for Families” because it talks a lot about marriage and family.
– Hymn Study: There is great power in music. My husband and I will each pick a hymn or 2 that we love and then read the scriptures associated with it and also look up the history of the hymn, then we share what we learned with each other.
– Institute Manual: A great one to start with is the “Eternal Marriage” manual. You could also use any of the other ones to help study the scriptures!
– Theme Study: For this we will pick a theme, whether it be faith, tithing, hope, repentance, etc. and then each take some time to find talks or scriptures that help us learn about it. Then we share!
– Preach My Gospel: We have been told by many general authorities how important it is to use this tool in our homes. Pick a section and read and discuss or teach it to each other! I also love this because my husband will share lots of mission stories while we go through it.
– Make a treat and deliver some to neighbors or friends.
– Go play a sport together or get active. Sometimes we go play tennis, go on a walk or take a leisure bike ride together.
– Play a couple rounds of your favorite card game.
– Have a dance party! Fast and slow songs are encouraged.
– Do a household “fix-it” project together. It’s always more fun together!
– Go through your 72 hour kits or create your 72 hour kits.
– Newlywed & Oldlywed Game: You get a list of 5 questions that you will answer for yourself and for the other person. Some ideas can be found here. Once you answer the questions for yourself and your spouse, share what you wrote. We always learn new things about each other!
– Go for a picnic for dinner, then have the thought outside.
– Design your dream home by going for a drive and picking out parts of homes you see that you like.
The most important part of Family Home Evening is connecting with the people you love. As stated in this talk, “Through family home evening, the gates of heaven and the front doors of our homes are but a few steps apart.”