Our primary takeaway, as a family, from General Conference is that we need to hold Family Home Evening once a week. This is not a new admonition, or better phrased invitation from the Prophet, but it is something we have struggled with and largely ignored in our home. Still, in an effort to show our children that we follow the Prophet’s counsel (really the Lord’s counsel) both Mr. Rancher and I have tried to incorporate one evening a week of learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fun as a family.
Here is our first attempt at such a night.
In preparation for FHE, I printed copies of our family mission statement, purchased red marking pencils and small spiral notebooks, and assembled the aforementioned with scriptures, regular pencils, and the framed copy of our mission statement and motto onto our kitchen table. Ty conducted and assigned Henley to say our prayer and selected a song for us to sing. I then jumped in with our lesson on what it means to be part of the Ty, Rachel, Henley and Becca Hawkins family and we read through and discussed our mission statement and motto. We read a scripture in Mosiah (Book of Mormon) about families and ended with our motto (Hawkins Have Fun!), prayer, and playing outside and a movie.
We’ve met for one more FHE since our first and it was a smashing success as well! A few things I attribute our success to:
- Ty (the father) is totally on-board and co-operative.
- I (the mother) take primary responsibility for planning and teaching the lesson, with the support of Ty.
- Everyone has their own materials. Becca spends FHE chewing on her pencil or ripping pages from her notebook, which I’m fine with. So long as she sits at the table for the fifteen minutes and is quiet, I don’t care what she’s doing!
- We eat something very simple for dinner. To date: ramen noodles and frozen pizza. Both are kid-friendly, easy-peasy to make, and quick to clean up. Mama has to have energy and pep to make FHE successful and nothing drains those faster than cooking and cleaning.
- We only meet for 15 minutes of formal learning.
- We spent a month developing our mission statement. It is a process and doesn’t happen overnight.
- We admit that we are trying to form a new habit and commit to listening to the Prophet’s counsel.
- Everyone can contribute and all ideas are treated as valid. Henley taught FHE this week, on the 10 commandments, and had some interesting commentary on why we shouldn’t steal…but it was her lesson and nothing she said was false doctrine so we went with what she had to say.
- It’s fall-time and Ty is able to be home in the evening. No joke, FHE will be much harder in the summer.
- Heavenly Father is blessing us for making this offering of our time and energy to follow Him. We don’t have it perfect yet and are still very new to this whole thing, but I know He has blessed us for our efforts thus far.