FHE: Family Home Evening

I’ve alluded to it twice now, and most of you are probably entirely confused as to why I would have mixed emotions about being the number 1 hit for an “I hate FHE search” on google. What is this FHE, and why do I keep referring back to it?

Family Home Evening is a time for families to get together to read, pray, study gospel principles, and basically just spend time together. Can you believe it was instituted back in 1915? I know my family life with my parents was pretty crazy at times, and there were just two kids to coordinate with, I can’t imagine what it is like for families with 4, 5, 6 or more. Church leaders knew that life was only bound to get crazier as time went on and so they developed a way for families to find time to reconnect during the week.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“Family home evenings should be scheduled once a week as a time for discussions of gospel principles, recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. Like iron links in a chain, this practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty.”

A typical FHE night growing up was structured like this for me:

  • Opening hymn (Ok my old family doesn’t do this, but my new family, consisting of That Husband and I, has done it twice and it’s not that bad)
  • Opening prayer
  • A lesson is presented
  • Discussion of the personal schedule of each family member throughout the week, family vacation planning time, etc
  • Activity
  • Scripture study
  • Family prayer
  • TREAT! (Can you tell this is my favorite part?)

I am sure that many of you can comment and say that your family did it differently growing up, but these seem to be the basic components that exist throughout the church.

With so many things to be done, you might be wondering who does what. Of course, the crafty ladies of the church have come up with a solution to that dilemma, and it’s a solution thats repeated in almost every LDS home I have ever been in. I present to you, the FHE assignment board!

I hope that other LDS members can find the irony that I do in having a special tag just for them missionaries. I’m sure the missionaries LOVE that idea!

Sometimes moms even get super crafty and come up with a “wheel of fortune” type board. Then one lucky child gets to spin the board to see what family member will be assigned to each job that week.

Now as for what is done for each component, the prayers and treat should be pretty self explanatory.

Song: If children are older a hymn is sung, otherwise scriptural songs for children we call Primary songs will be used.

Lesson: The number of topics that can be used for the lesson are rather endless. They are always geared toward reiterating gospel principles that will help family members make correct choices when faced with decisions in life. I discovered this great resource with lots of tips for Family Home Evening while writing this post.

Activity: I always tried to get all fancy and make my activity into an object lesson that related to what princples had been taught in the lesson, but sometimes we just played spoons.

Scriptures: Families finish FHE by reading the scriptures together, from whatever section of the Bible or Book of Mormon they are currently reading from as a family.

So I don’t hate FHE, in fact, I love it! It’s such a wonderful time to sit down together as a family and learn more about each other. My favorite thing about it is how loose the guidelines are regarding what should be done during FHE. In fact, there really aren’t guidelines at all, other than do it!

That Husband kicked off our FHE’s as a newlywed couple by doing a series of lessons on finances. I may have grumbled about it at first, but there was something so wonderful about snuggling up next to him and developing our family financial goals together. For the next few weeks, FHE will consist of writing Thank You notes. After that the FHE activity will probably be Christmas cards. Once the New Year begins we will do New Years Resolutions, and then we will have to start getting extra creative from there on out.

For members of the Church, what are your favorite FHE lessons, activites, or treats? As a newlywed couple we definitely need suggestions.

For those who aren’t member of the LDS Church, do you have anything like this within your own set of family/religious traditions?

9 thoughts on “FHE: Family Home Evening

  1. Well not necessarily in my family. However, by myself I try to read the bible or a couple of devotionals I have as many nights of the week as I can (usually about 5). Ryan and I try to read some sort of devotional together a few nights a week.

    Anything you can do to immerse yourself in your faith seems like a great idea to me!

  2. Avo, I find your posts on the LDS church really fascinating. Keep it up!

    I grew up Protestant, so our family didn’t have FHE, but my mother was really good about coming up with creative and fun things to do together as a family, especially when we were young. She was a great mom, I only hope I can do the same for my (future) family! 🙂

  3. I grew up in the Church, but we rarely had FHE in my part-member family. When I went away to college, however, I was called as one of the FHE coordinators in my singles ward, so I definitely got my opportunity to learn what FHE was all about. I know they weren’t family FHE’s, but some of my best (and possibly craziest!) college memories came from meeting with my little FHE group each Monday night. AND I met my husband through my FHE group, so you better believe I’m thankful for it!

    Thanks for sharing the format your family uses. I think it’s always interesting to see how other people do it. As far as ideas go, when we first got married we printed out lessons from the Eternal Marriage Student Manual. There are a lot of different topics and they’re good for getting a discussion going. You can find it here: http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/full/CESInstitute_Marriage_Student_00__Complete_35311_eng.pdf

    Hope that helps!

  4. Before Renny came along, Colin and I would read articles from the Ensign together– especially talks given during General Conference.

    A bit of advice: One ward that we were in had a FHE kit making group to create lessons geared for little ones. I didn’t do it then because I didn’t have any children at the time. I’m kicking myself now because I could have had a TON of lessons prepared all before having a kid (when having free time for such things is more difficult). So, if you have the opportunity to make some kid FHE lessons, do it! Warren absolutely loves them!

  5. Oh it’s similar to Sunday Morning Prayers (Catholic)- I imagine my future kids will hate me for them that. I talked to some kids in the parish and while they despite because it takes away from their teen time, they appreciate what it does in their life.

    Right now, I do the Rosary prior to Mass and once a month we do a Sunday Morning Prayer Service. Cool.

  6. That’s an interesting way of keeping everyone connected. Many families do something similar with their family nights, even if they don’t call it that, it’s about a time to reconnect. I don’t remember a “family night” as designated, but we almost always had a proper meal/evening together on Sundays.

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