What do Mormons do to keep families together?
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“What do Mormons do to keep families together?” Ensign, Aug. 1974, 87

I have heard that Mormons are strong family people. What do you do to keep your families together, especially in this time of high divorce rates and other family problems?

Jack Anderson, Nationally syndicated columnist: Every Monday evening my wife and I and our nine children sit down together for family home evening. On the same evening, hundreds of thousands of other families are doing the same thing throughout the Church.

We are following divine counsel to spend at least this much time together each week to learn about each other and to help each other learn more about the truths of the gospel.

Family home evening is not a crisis program designed to keep Mormons out of trouble on Monday nights in a newly sinful world. The problems of family disintegration were seen by prophets more than half a century ago. From the beginning of this century, Church leaders have been encouraging us to enjoy specific, constructive family time.

In addition to family home evening, the Church has a program for every age group: Primary for the very youngest, Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women for our young people, Relief Society for women over 18, Melchizedek Priesthood MIA for single people over 18, and priesthood quorums for men and boys. All of these groups exist to help us live together as families.

The Church believes that the family is the basic unit of social organization. It is fighting as hard as it can to overcome influences that are basically anti-family.

Another factor that I think contributes to the solidarity of Mormon families is the understanding of roles—a father who understands and honors his role as head of his home and a mother who magnifies her calling to raise children who love the Lord and the gospel and to make her home a “heaven on earth.” Latter-day Saints place no purpose and no social role for women on a higher plane than that of a mother. Most Mormon mothers feel liberated to do just what they have always done—put the teaching of the children and the unity of the family above all other interests.

A recent Church president, David O. McKay, put the importance of the home in perspective for both mothers and fathers when he said, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”