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
- 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!
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?