Today, I would like to introduce you to what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints call, Family Home Evening. Family Home Evening was first introduced by the Church to its members on the 27 April 1915, that is over 100 years ago and it continues today.
Family Home Evening is often referred to as, FHE. The Church set aside Monday evenings for this purpose and continues to encourage church members to continue to do so. All members of the family and in come cases, extended family are encouraged to meet on a Monday evening. The structure of FHE was to contain, prayer, music – singing is encouraged – a short spiritual lesson, an activity and a treat and should be brought to a close with a prayer.
All members of a family should participate, even small children can say a prayer or help a parent to prepare and carry out a lesson, an activity or indeed creating and serving a treat. FHE is meant for every household, no matter how many people live in the house. As this program is for everyone, and when there is only one or two of you, or one parent and one child, it can feel like the Lord isn’t speaking to you and this is not for you, but it is.
What is your family, like mine consists of only one person? (What do I do?) After being put on the spot at church one day, when asked by one of the children’s leaders, what i did for FHE, I realised that I didn’t do anything special, but since then i have tried to do something to make that evening different.
- Listen to a talk by a church leader.
- Write a letter to someone who needs a lift.
- Watch a film you have been meaning to watch.
- Join with others.
- Cook yourself something special.
- Enjoy a treat.
- Catch up with your Journal writing, scripture reading.
- Ponderize a scripture.
- Prepare a lesson, that you are going to be teaching.
- Have a bubble bath or buy your favourite shower gel and spend some time pampering yourself.
- Write a gratitude Journal.
Two adults – when there are two adults, you may need to remind each other that it is FHE or it’s Monday evening and make yourself available on that evening.
- You can do all of the above, but take turns – one week one person does the lesson and the other makes the treat. The idea is that you spend time together, out of the world and include God in your evening too.
One parent and one child – I think this is the hardest group to be in and the reason for this is, if the child is young then the evenings preparations will fall on the shoulders of the parent and week after week this can become tiring and sometimes frustrating. My advice is, make it fun! Include a lesson that is only a few minutes long and involve the child as much as you can, lots of hands on. Make the activity part of the lesson. Then add a treat, which is simple, but fun to make.
Parents and children or parents, children and extended family – create a FHE chart, so that different people can do different parts of the evening each week and then rotate their names around. Even a small child, with help can say a prayer or help teach a lesson or create an activity or a treat.
What is important is this; that FHE is carried out every week. What if you cannot do it on Monday? Then write it on the Calendar for a different evening, schedule it. Never be too busy for your family. Invite God to attend. Have fun. Don’t stress, when things don’t go to plan…this is easier said than done, but even now, I know my children still remember FHE at our home, at least how it made them feel, which was good – i hope!
This is a simple game, called Don’t Eat Pete…you will need to print the PDF file out onto light card. You will also need some kind of chocolate bean, Smarties, M & M’s, or even Skittles – they need to be colourful.
- Place one chocolate bean on each face on the game.
- Send one person out of the room.
- The other players then need to choose Pete, by selecting one of the beans/faces as Pete. Make sure everyone is in agreement.
- Invite the person who went out back in again.
- This person needs to select one bean at a time, they can eat the beans as they go, but it might be quicker to get them to make a pile until their turn is over.
- They continue to select beans until they pick Pete, that’s when everyone else shouts (normally loudly) ‘Don’t eat Pete’ where they mustn’t eat Pete (although in our home, we got to eat Pete too, but no more)
- Then that person’s turn is over and the next person gets to have a go until everyone as had a go.
- You can repeat for as long as you want or until the beans hold out.
FHE Charts – you might like to try ‘Pinterest’ for ideas or you might like to come up with one of your own. I think, at one time, our chart was a house, not unlike the one below. Make it out of card. Make the names removable, so you can move them around the chart – more chart than people, either make a simpler chart or duplicate the names. You could do this on your first family home evening.
You can find other resources here – FHE
Remember it is about; Inviting God into your home, spending time with your family, and having fun too!!
Every week, i will put a themed FHE idea at the bottom of the Home page.