Long-Distance Family Home Evening

Penelope Jensen, Washington, USA

My sister-in-law and I felt like we were missing out on the blessings of having family home evening with family; she had recently divorced and my husband was inactive, and our children were grown and had families of their own. My sister-in-law suggested we hold a monthly family home evening together on the phone since she and I live several hundred miles apart. I thought that was a great idea. We decided that each Monday we would discuss a different general conference talk (though we have deviated from that plan a few times). We alternate who chooses the talk, and we both read it ahead of time. Sometimes the person leading the discussion will e-mail in advance so we can coordinate the treat. We often finish by playing a few rounds of Internet Scrabble. We have been holding these family home evenings for over three years now, and it has been our sweetest and most rewarding time together.

Photograph by Robert Casey

Helps for Home Evening

“Natural Disasters—We Don’t Have to Be Afraid,” on page 22: Read the article beforehand and prayerfully ponder what your family can do to better prepare for natural disasters in your area. Then, as Elder Ellis suggests, utilize family home evening to put the inspiration you receive into action. You may decide to put together emergency packs, replenish your home food storage, or discuss how to be spiritually prepared. Emphasize Elder Ellis’s reassuring message that “when we are prepared, we can weather any storm.”

“Keeping the Faith in a World of Confusion,” on page 26: Consider sharing Bishop Caussé’s classroom experience found at the beginning of the article and then asking family members what they would have done in that situation. You may want to review the principles Elder Caussé follows to remain firm in his testimony (i.e., seek truth continually, accept unanswered questions, seek the testimony of the Spirit, seek the words of prophets and apostles, and nourish your faith).

“Finding Power in the Scriptures,” on page 54: As you read the article, invite family members to listen for the blessings that come from reading the scriptures regularly. Afterward, you may want to make a list of the blessings everyone heard. Together, evaluate your family scripture study habits and make a plan for improvement if necessary.