Lest you think that our Family Home Evenings are so structured and spiritual and preplanned… I bring you a nearly minute by minute account of our Family Home Evening this past Monday. To be honest, if everything wasn’t printed in a binder, it just wouldn’t have happened. Whenever I feel frustrated about our Family Home Evenings, I remember a favorite quote of mine from Neil A. Anderson:
“Certainly there are times when getting the family together to read the scriptures does not stack up as a spiritual experience worthy of a journal entry. But we must not be deterred. There are special times when the spirit of a son or daughter is just right and the power of these great scriptures goes down into their heart like fire. As we honor our Heavenly Father in our homes, He will honor our efforts.”
And now, without further ado, Family Home Evening from the Slacker Family.
Me: Gary? Should we start family home evening?
Gary is outside, changing a tire: Yes, give me a few minutes.
I am changing a particularly smelly diaper.
Gary: Sarah, are we doing family home evening?
Me: Yes, just a minute. Can you grab the FHE binder?
Kids have gathered in the family room.
Me: Should we start with a song? Or a prayer?
Gary: Uh, let’s do a song first.
Me, glancing at the binder: It’s Choose the Right.
Gary: We know that one, right? (Hums a few bars, kids give blank stares.)
Me: Rebecca, go grab the Children’s song book.
Me, singing the words to remind the children, then: Let’s sing the other one. We don’t know this version very well.
Gary and Sarah: Choose the right, when a choice is placed before you
(Kids mumble along)
Choose the right… there’s… safety… for hmm mm?
(Song continues to meander with words inserted and forgotten as we go.)
(Rebecca mumbles a prayer blessing us to sleep well.)
Me, glancing at manual:Jordan, can you go grab my scriptures? They are in my nightstand.
Me: So, Nephi and his family are in the wilderness, just hanging out for awhile, when Lehi gets a vision. In the vision, the Lord tells Lehi it’s time to get packing and head for the promised land.
Nicole, opening up a picture in her Book of Mormon: Mommy, is this the picture?
(It’s a picture of the Brother of Jared seeing the Lord’s finger.)
Me: Yup. (I continue to tell the story, then wrap up.) Do we have a Liahona in our lives?
Kids: (silence) No.
Me: Yes we do, what do you think it is? (Holding scriptures up.)
Kids: Church? Prayer?
Me, holding scriptures higher: No, it’s something to help us know the things we should do.
Kids: The Holy Ghost?
Me, pointing to scriptures: Something that tells us the word of God.
Kids: The scriptures?
Me: YES. (We talk a minute about this.)
Me: We have a game planned. Gary, should we do the game?
Gary: Uh, what time is it?
Gary: Let’s do it later.
Me: Okay kids, we’ll do it later in the week. And I’ll make treats. It’ll be like Family Home Evening part 2.
Me: Maybe.Gary, do we want to read scriptures?
Gary: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Yeah, okay. Can we give them melatonin first?
Me: Good idea. Kids, get your scriptures and Daddy is going to give you melatonin. Gary, are we catching up or just reading the next day?
Gary: Let’s just read one section tonight.
(Jordan has read the first section, and Rebecca has asked if she can fall asleep.)
Gary and Sarah: No.
Gary: Should we finish the next section?
(The little girls wander off to play somewhere they won’t be bothered by our reading.)
Me: Yeah, might as well catch up now.
Gary: Jordan, please go find your sisters and tell them it’s time for prayers.