Family home evening was challenging when our children were young. My husband and I took seriously the latter-day prophets’ counsel to hold regular family home evenings, but between our Church callings and other responsibilities, we too often found there wasn’t time or energy to plan an effective, loving family home evening when Monday night came around.
While visiting Primary one Sunday I noticed how captivated the children were by the stories, visual aids, and brief but effective activities planned for sharing time and music time. I was also absorbed in learning from the well-prepared efforts the Primary counselor and music leader put into their callings. “They obviously spent adequate time mingled with lots of love,” I thought. “They do wonderful things in their callings.”
Just then a thought came to mind: “Family home evening is one of your callings. In fact, it is part of your most important calling—motherhood!” I reflected on that insight. “If I can make the time to magnify my callings as newsletter editor and visiting teacher, I can surely magnify my family home evening calling.”
After that, family home evenings became top priority in our family. Days ahead the lesson topic was chosen, and we prepared as thoughtfully as if we were to teach a lesson in church. Saturday errands began including things such as finding a large roll of paper to represent eternity and buying other lesson materials. Sunday was the perfect day to make visual aids, and the children loved being involved in cutting or coloring for the lessons. Our preparation built excitement for Monday nights. “What are the colored envelopes for, Mom?” my daughter asked. “It’s a secret,” I responded. “Come to family night and find out.”
Since my realization that Sunday in Primary, I haven’t been released from my family home evening calling, and I don’t plan ever to be. I love it. Its value is immeasurable.
Our family home evenings have changed as our children have grown. Now we sometimes invite the widows of the ward, and we often enjoy good doctrinal discussions. I am ever grateful that the Spirit touched me that day to accept and magnify my family home evening calling.
Designed to assist members in building family unity and teaching principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home, the Family Home Evening Resource Book is distributed across the world in 17 languages. It contains family home evening lessons and ideas for creating your own lessons, as well as suggestions for family tips on how to improve home evenings, and helps for rearing children. This book (item no. 31106, U.S. $5.00) is a valuable asset for every home, whether you are a single adult, an older couple without children at home, a single-parent family, or a couple with children of any age.
The Church also provides the following materials designed for use with the resource book:
Family Home Evening Video Supplements (53276 and 53277, $6.00 each). These two videos contain short segments that support lesson topics. Instructions for when to use each segment with the resource book are on the cover of each videocassette.
Children’s Songbook (35395, $10.00) and Hymns (31243, green cover, $5.00). The references in the resource book do not correspond to these two newer music books. Look up the title of the song in the indexes of these two books to find the correct page.
Gospel Art Picture Kit (34730, $30.00). The kit contains a scripture index for using each picture, and each picture has a scripture reference and summary on the back.
Gospel Principles (31110, $3.00). This manual contains an overview of basic gospel teachings, and its use is frequently suggested in the resource book.
As you prayerfully consider your family home evening responsibilities, we invite you to look again at your copy of the resource book or order one through your Church distribution center.