So what is Family Home Evening? Or FHE for short.
Basically its about setting aside a little time each week to devote yourself 100% to your family. In this day and age it is so easy to get side tracked with TV, technology, out of home commitments and it stops giving you time to be a family.
It tends to be an activity, a lesson and a something fun to eat...you can get a free planning print out here. They don't need to be an elaborate planned activity, it can be as simple as baking cookies together or playing a game. The most important thing is to center them around Our Lord Jesus Christ!
Personally I love Family Home Evening, its an excuse to have uninterrupted time with the family. I have had challenges, the biggest being knowing that my children are so young right now and I get that little niggle about 'well they dont understand, they're too young", I promise this is furthest from the truth. They understand that you are there as parents spending time with them and sharing what you want them to learn. They are hungry for knowledge and I love to give it to them.
I wanted to add what the First Presidency has said about FHE.
First Presidency Statements
"We advise and urge the inauguration of a 'Home Evening' throughout the church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. . . . 'Home Evening' should be devoted to prayer, singing hymns, songs, instrumental music, scripture-reading, family topics and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel, and on the ethical problems of life, as well as the duties and obligations of children to parents, the home, the Church, society and the nation. For the smaller children appropriate recitations, songs, stories and games may be introduced. Light refreshments of such a nature as may be largely prepared in the home might be served."
"If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them."
(First Presidency letter, 27 April 1915 — Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose)
"Homes are more permanent through love. Oh, then, let love abound. Though you fall short in some material matters, study and work and pray to hold your children’s love. Establish and maintain your family hours always. Stay close to your children. Pray, play, work, and worship together."
(President David O. McKay, 1968)
"Well-planned family home evenings can be a source of long-lasting joy and influence. These evenings are times for group activity, for organizing, for the expressions of love, for the bearing of testimony, for learning gospel principles, for family fun and recreation, and of all things, for family unity and solidarity."
(Family Home Evenings, 1970-71, p. v — Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and N. Eldon Tanner)
"Family home evening is for everyone. It is for families with parents and children, for families with just one parent, and for parents who have no children at home. It is for home evening groups of single adults and for those who live alone or with roommates. . . . Regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellow men, and trust in our Father in heaven."
(Family Home Evening, 1976 — Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney)
"Our spiritual progress, individually and as a Church, will largely be determined by how faithfully we live the gospel in our homes. The most important calling of a priesthood holder is that of husband and father. The most divine station of woman is that of wife and mother. . . . Fathers should lead their families in holding meaningful family home evenings. Such experiences will build family unity and influence each person toward increased righteousness and happiness."
(Family Home Evening, 1980 — Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney)
"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."
(Salvation; A Family Affair, Ensign, July 1992, p. 4 — President Ezra Taft Benson)
"Monday evenings should be reserved for family home evening. Local leaders should ensure that Church buildings and facilities are closed, that no ward or stake activities are planned for Monday evenings, and that other interruptions to family home evenings be avoided. The primary emphasis of family home evening should be for families to be together to study the gospel. We remind all that the Lord has admonished parents to teach their children the gospel, to pray, and to observe the Sabbath Day. The scriptures are the most important resource for teaching the gospel."
(First Presidency Letter, 30 Aug 94 — Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson)
"We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility. We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities."
(First Presidency letter, 11 February 1999 — Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and James E. Faust)
"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. . . . Church buildings and facilities should be closed on Monday evenings. No ward or stake activities should be planned, and other interruptions to family home evenings should be avoided."
(First Presidency letter, 4 October 1999 — Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and James E. Faust)
I know I have my challenges and that my FHE's are centered around young children, but I hope I can give you some ideas. I would love to know more about your FHE's and what you do.