Q&A: Questions and Answers


Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

How can I help encourage my family to have family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study?

New Era

  • Set a good example by having your own prayer and scripture study.

  • Encourage your family members to participate, and make home evening enjoyable for them.

  • Help your family feel the Spirit by being reverent and loving.

  • Be patient with your family, and keep trying. The blessings of family prayer, scripture study, and home evening will be worth it.

You’re doing the right thing by wanting to have family prayer, home evening, and scripture study. These activities build faith, improve communication, create a good feeling in the family, and can be fun too.

Few things in families are more important than family gospel study and prayer, but they can be hard to do, even if your whole family is active in the Church. To encourage your family, set a good example. Have prayer, scripture study, or home evening by yourself if necessary or with a brother or sister if the entire family isn’t participating. Your example in fulfilling these commandments will encourage others.

As family members join you for home evening, try to make it fun for them. At first, you could play a game or watch a Church movie. Prepare treats and activities they enjoy. In the lessons, show them how the gospel can apply to their lives. Later, they may want to give a lesson themselves. Let them know you can help.

If your parents are members of the Church, they probably want to do these things and may just need a little help. Offer to prepare a lesson. Encourage your siblings to participate with a positive attitude. Be prompt when your parents call you for these activities. If your parents aren’t members, they would probably support a weekly family night. Plan one or two so they can see how good home evening can be for your family.

Most important, invite the Spirit of the Lord during prayer, scripture study, and home evening. You can do that by being reverent, sharing your testimony, and expressing your love and gratitude for the gospel and for your family. When family members are impressed by the Spirit, they will want to continue these activities.

At times, you might get frustrated with your family, but try to be patient. Being upset is the opposite feeling these activities are intended to create. Instead, do your best to encourage your family—invite them, fast and pray for them, plan fun and spiritual home evenings—and then let your family choose. As you patiently and lovingly set a good example, they may join you.

Whether you do these activities by yourself, with a brother or sister, or with your whole family, you will be blessed for your efforts. Family prayer, scripture study, and home evening will strengthen your family and lead you closer to the Lord.

The First Presidency

“Monday nights are reserved throughout the Church for family home evenings. We encourage members to set aside this time to strengthen family ties and teach the gospel in their homes. “Earlier this year we … counseled parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities.” —The First Presidency, see Gordon B. Hinckley, “Family Home Evening,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 4.

Readers

When it is time for family scripture study and prayer, I tell my siblings and parents, “Scriptures and prayer in five minutes.” This gives them time to finish up what they are doing. For family home evening, we take turns giving the lesson. Maybe you can bring up this idea to your parents and offer to make a calendar and remind the person giving the lesson in advance. Courtney Moss, 15, Hidden Springs Ward, Moreno Valley California Stake

The key is prayer, love, and faith. Thus, in time, your family will become sensitive to your efforts to maintain family unity and your desire to have an eternal family. Diana Martins, 18, Lisboa Fifth Ward, Lisbon Portugal Stake

To help our family get excited about home evening, my sister and I hand out homemade invitations to our family members, saying when and where the lesson is going to take place. Then we get on www.lds.org and plan a lesson. Once my sister and I did a skit and sang a song. Sometimes we make treats for the end of the lesson. Autumn Reese, 13, Woodhaven Ward, Idaho Falls Idaho Taylor Mountain Stake

A great incentive that we can all give to have family home evening, prayer, and scripture study is to be an example. If we do our part, the Spirit of Christ will enter our homes and there abide. Érika Patrícia Gomes da Silva, 15, Guarujá Ward, Guarujá Brazil Stake

My family has struggled with family home evening. I always knew it was important, so I decided to do something everyone enjoyed and invite my family to join in. From that simple gesture, it turned into a structured family home evening every Monday. This has strengthened my family a great deal. Ashley Atkinson, 17, Bracebridge Ward, Sudbury Ontario Stake

I can help my family by praying that everyone can receive inspiration to do these things. I am going to try to be a good example in my family by being diligent in reading the scriptures and praying that my family members will be influenced. Lotomua Lealaisalanoa, 16, Pesega Third Ward, Pesega Samoa Stake

I’ve helped motivate my family by asking my parents what we are going to do. I try to offer fun and original ideas that the entire family will enjoy. I offer to give the lesson for family home evening. Preparing special treats works well to bring the family together for an evening. Try to make home evening something that your family wants to come to, not something they dread each week. Jarrett Lever, 15, Holladay Fourth Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake

I made a chart that says personal prayer, family prayer, daily scripture reading, and so on. As we complete each activity, we put a sticker on the chart, and the one who gets the most is given a prize. Francisco Javier Domínguez Lubiano Hdz., 15, Pedregal Ward, Monterrey Mexico Libertad Stake

We must continue to motivate our families by bringing the Spirit of the Lord into our homes. Pray, study the scriptures, and speak gently with each other so that you are living in harmony. Ask the Lord to help you so that you can attain eternal happiness in your family. Vanessa T. Teupoorautoa, 18, Hipu Branch, Raromatai Tahiti Stake

[photo] Photograph by Welden C. Andersen, posed by models