August, 8, 2012

For the Children’s Sake

The Boyer Family: Courtesy of Education in Zion


Even outside the Latter-Day Saint culture, people regard their children as their greatest possession—one that none of us want to lose. With that said, it’s no surprise that the home is identified as the most important element in a child’s education and overall development.

In 1909, Frank Y. Taylor, president of the LDS Granite Stake in Salt Lake City, set aside Monday evenings for Home Evening. A son of John Taylor, the third president of the Church, and Margaret Young Taylor, a daughter of Brigham Young, Frank became a strong advocate for strengthening the family primarily for the benefit and development of children.

Response was less than immediate, but finally, in 1915 the First Presidency issued a statement to establish Family Home Evening church wide. “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 influences and temptations which beset them.”[1]

President Gordon B. Hinckley remembers when the statement was issued. “We were miserable performers as children. We would laugh and make cute remarks about one another’s performance. But our parents persisted.” [2]

Publications were written to assist parents in implementing this activity. Early suggestions included:

  1. Avoid formality and stiffness.
  2. Keep it brief.
  3. Elements to include: song, program, refreshments, recreation, etc.
  4. At times bring outside help, like a person to talk on a subject.
  5. At times invite guests or combine with another family.
  6. Parents can contribute stories.
  7. Let the children participate in program preparation.

Quality time can be difficult for parents to define or create. But the rise of family programs in and outside the LDS church suggests quantity or consistency is just as good.


Suggested Links:

Watch a 4 minute segment of Elder Bednar’s “Consistency is Key”

View our online gallery text and documents!


[1] The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, “Family Home Evening: Counsel and a Promise,” Improvement Era, June 1915, 733-34.

[2] Label text, Education in Zion Gallery