Holding Worship Services at Home (For Families in Isolated Areas)

Family Guidebook, (2006), 16–17


Some families live in isolated areas and cannot regularly attend ward or branch meetings. With authorization from the stake, mission, or district president, such families should hold Sunday worship services in their home. In areas that do not have established Church units, families need the authorization of the Area President.

The father or another priesthood holder may prepare and bless the sacrament if he is worthy, is a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood or holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has permission from his priesthood leaders. Any priesthood holder may pass the sacrament. Instructions for administering the sacrament are on pages 21–23 of this guidebook.

A Sunday worship service should be simple, reverent, and dignified. It may consist of:

  1. 1.

    Opening hymn

  2. 2.

    Opening prayer

  3. 3.

    Blessing and passing of the sacrament

  4. 4.

    One or more of the following items:

    • One or two short talks or testimonies

    • Scripture reading and discussion as a family

    • A lesson by a family member

  5. 5.

    Closing hymn

  6. 6.

    Closing prayer

In planning a Sunday worship service, parents should seek and follow the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord. People of the Book of Mormon gave an example of this kind of service: “And their meetings were conducted … after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done” (Moroni 6:9).

The family should use the scriptures as their basic guide. In addition, they may use general conference addresses, Gospel Fundamentals, Gospel Principles, True to the Faith, For the Strength of Youth, missionary pamphlets, Church magazines, and other Church publications and audiovisual items.

If no one in the family holds the appropriate priesthood, the father or mother may gather family members together to sing hymns, study the scriptures, pray, and draw closer together and to Heavenly Father. The family’s designated priesthood leader is to arrange periodic opportunities for the family to receive the sacrament.

Parents should have weekday activities, such as hikes, picnics, wholesome movies, visiting relatives, sports, musical programs, and swimming.

The family should give tithing, fast offerings, and other contributions to their designated priesthood leader.

The family submits no written reports to the Church, but their designated priesthood leader interviews the father regularly, asking him to report on the family. Where necessary, leaders may conduct these interviews by telephone.