100 Years of Family Home Evening

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Thomas S. Monson has said, “We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position. …Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.”

As a parent, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by raising a family in these ‘troubled times.’ One can feel powerless to the influences of society’s standards upon their children and may question how their testimony could possibly counterbalance the world’s view.

Do not feel overwhelmed! We are not powerless! The Gospel of Jesus Christ provides answers!

The Family: A Proclamation to the World encourages, even warns, parents to turn to Gospel principles when rearing our families.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”

This is how we can strengthen and protect families! We start by empowering our own through regular Family Home Evening!

Read some of the counsel given us by the prophets on holding regular Family Home Evening:

We, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must stand up to the dangers which surround us and our families. To aid us in this determination…begin with family home evening. We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.” (President Thomas S. Monson, Constant Truth for Changing Times, April 2005.)

In our Home Evenings and other positive family experiences we can fill our souls with the things of God, thus leaving no room for evil to find a place in our hearts or minds” (The First Presidency, Family Home Evening [manual, 1972], 4).

Surely, the most important ingredient in producing happiness at home for members of this Church is a deep religious commitment to God and His gospel. In family home evening, such commitment can be nurtured in children by the wise, mature supervision of parents. Couples can strengthen and sustain each other in living and understanding gospel principles…..Devotion to God developed in these settings seems to forge the spiritual moorings and stability that can help families and individuals cope with the complexities of life. Some may say this is an oversimplification of a very complex problem, yet I believe the answers lie within the framework of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
(President James E. Faust, Enriching Our Lives through Family Home Evening, Ensign, June 2003)

We advise and urge the inauguration of a Home Evening throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home, and teach them the words of God … 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 influences and temptations which beset them.” (The First Presidency of 1915, Family Home Evening: Counsel and a Promise, Ensign, June 2015)

The blessings promised 100 years ago through Family Home Evening are still applicable today! Filling our children’s souls with the things of God will not only fortify our homes and strengthen family bonds. It will also provide a powerful foundation upon which our children can stand firm through troubled times.

by Shelby Rodgers