News Release

LDS Church Celebrates 100 Years of Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening is a vital and integral part of the lives and beliefs of Church members

This month marks 100 years since the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged members to hold “family home evenings.”

A statement released from the First Presidency on 27 April 1915 quoted scripture from the LDS text known as their Doctrine and Covenants, stating “And they [parents] shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” And in Exodus, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

The statement further read: “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.”

Family Home Evening (FHE) for Mormon families typically includes prayer, singing hymns & songs, scripture reading and discussing family topics. It is a way for parents to share specific instruction on principles of the gospel and other pertinent duties of children to parents, Church, society and nation. Parents often modify their weekly lessons to accommodate young children, using songs, stories and games. There are usually light refreshments served (to the delight of children!). In most homes, assignments are rotated throughout the family members, depending on ages. Some give prayers, some share spiritual thoughts, others coordinate music, games or refreshments, and others are assigned to give the lesson.

Holding meetings such as this is not a new concept in the Mormon faith. Years after the statement on ‘home evening’ was made, President Harold B. Lee (eleventh President of the Church) shared, “In the last epistle written to the Church by President Brigham Young and his counsellors, it was urged that parents bring their children together and teach them the gospel in the home frequently. So family home evening has been urged ever since the Church was established in this dispensation.”

In an effort of giving parents more resources to access, a manual was published in 1965, with weekly lessons to be taught in each home in the Church. In 1985, the Family Home Evening Resource Book was published, with lessons and resources that could be used and adapted from year to year. That book is still in print, and also available on the Church’s website at Also on that web page are links to other useful resources for families.

The Church counsels parents to strictly observe one night a week for family home evening and not allow anything else to conflict with it. In 1970, the weekly family home evening night was standardized throughout the Church as being Monday evening. All LDS meetinghouses and temples were closed that night, and no other Church functions were to be planned to conflict with it. That practice continues to this day.

Some individuals not living at home with family, such as college students, often meet together for weekly home evening in their student congregations. Other single adults in the Church gather together in groups to observe weekly family home evening.

Today, 100 years after it was introduced to the Church, family home evening is as vital and integral to the lives and beliefs of Church members as ever.

Help us all celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this wonderful program… Do you have a special memory, pictures or personal insights pertaining to family home evening, experienced either as a child or a parent? You are invited to share it with South Africa Mormon Newsroom by sending to:  NOTE: By submitting your stories and pictures, you are giving us permission to use them on our website or other publications.

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