“Threefold Family Home Evening,” Ensign, June 1992, 72
When my husband and I asked ourselves how we could teach our children the gospel, a single thought pressed upon our minds—family home evening. We decided to use the threefold mission of the Church as the regular format for three of our family home evenings: the first family home evening is dedicated to proclaiming the gospel; the second, to perfecting the Saints; and the third, to redeeming the dead.
Proclaiming the gospel. Some of our family home evening activities include writing our testimonies in several copies of the Book of Mormon to be given to acquaintances with whom we wish to share the gospel; sending packages and letters to full-time missionaries; and inviting recently returned missionaries to our home to share their missionary experiences with us. We also enjoy inviting our friends of other faiths over to share our family home evenings. Other times we focus on the practical side of preparing for a mission, such as starting a missionary fund, learning to cook or to sew on a button. Lessons can be on basic gospel principles, preparing spiritually for missionary work, or memorizing scriptures.
Perfecting the Saints. Family home evening is the perfect time to teach faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can share stories that build faith and encourage sacrifice and service. Our activities include organizing our home, working on gathering a year’s supply of food, and preparing 72-hour kits. Sometimes we visit the sick, the lonely, or those in need of a bit of good cheer and take them a “love basket.”
Redeeming the dead. Together, we have found great excitement in researching and recording our family history and in submitting names to the temple. We visit the temple grounds, look through old photo albums, and write in our journals. Sometimes we invite members of our extended family to our family home evening to tell us stories of their lives or those of our ancestors.
We also go hiking, swimming, roller skating, kite flying and star-gazing. We visit nearby museums and libraries, go for drives in the country, have picnics, work in the garden, and play games as well as do arts and crafts. Every family home evening activity, lesson, prayer, and scripture helps strengthen our family commitment to be together forever.—Tracie Sneed, San Antonio, Texas