All over the world, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) are expected to participate in a weekly family devotional called family home evening.
What is Family Home Evening (FHE)?
In the LDS church, leaders teach that the family is the fundamental unit of all religious education. Mormon youth attend Sunday School and other church-sponsored activities, but parents are expected to provide the majority of spiritual instruction at home.
Mormon couples, whether or not they have children, are taught to hold a special LDS family night once a week called family home evening (FHE). These weekly devotionals, usually held in the home on Monday nights, are supposed to highlight family togetherness and positive gospel teaching.
History of Mormon Family Home Evening
The “home evening” program was first established by LDS church president Joseph F. Smith in 1915. His churchwide directive for regular Mormon family devotionals included the request that “Church [leaders] set aside at least one evening each month for this purpose.”
In 1970, president Joseph Fielding Smith encouraged Mormons to hold family home evening weekly rather than monthly. Monday night became off-limits for church activities and meetings to facilitate busy Mormon families in finding time each week to have FHE.
Family home evening doesn’t have to take place on Mondays, but most active Latter-day Saint families find it convenient to do so. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is run by volunteers with full-time jobs in addition to their clerical responsibilities, so many men and women find it easier to fit FHE in on Monday nights.
Mormon FHE Resources and Lesson Plans for LDS Family Night
LDS church leaders recommend the following sample itinerary for family home evenings:
● Opening song and prayer
● Scripture reading
● Lesson on a gospel topic
● Closing song and prayer
Mormon family devotionals should be adapted to the ages of children and the situation of each individual family. They should be informal events where all family members are encouraged to participate.
The LDS church provides a Family Home Evening manual with suggested lesson plans, but parents are encouraged to create their own lesson plans based on the needs of their families as long as they are centered on teachings in the scriptures and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.