Extending the Blessings
June 1993

“Extending the Blessings,” Ensign, June 1993, 74

Extending the Blessings

Several years ago we decided to start the tradition of having a family home evening with our extended family. On the first Monday evening of each month, a different family hosts a potluck dinner and prepares the main course and the lesson. We also celebrate any birthdays that come during the month.

Some of our family home evenings have been simple, and others have been elaborate. Over the years we have viewed Church videos, played games, shown slides, given lessons from the family home evening manual, and written letters or recorded tapes for our family members serving as full-time missionaries.

One Mother’s Day we made a special Mother’s Day card for our 97-year-old grandma. On the card, everyone wrote a note of love and appreciation for her. Then we had a neighbor take a picture of the entire group, and we pasted the photo to the card.

Another evening we all told faith-promoting experiences. The spirit of the gospel was strong as we shared our testimonies.

Another time our family home evening came on my mother-in-law’s birthday. She sat in a chair in front of the group, and each of us expressed our love for her. We recorded the family home evening on an audiocassette so she could listen to it many times.

For Christmas one year, we decided to help another family in need instead of exchanging gifts ourselves. On the first Saturday in December, our extended family home evening group spent the day making pajamas, doll blankets, and other gifts. The following week, we wrapped all the gifts. The Monday before Christmas, we gathered together after dark and loaded Grandpa’s truck with the gifts, a turkey, and other foods for a delicious Christmas dinner. We stopped near the family’s home and watched as a few of the older boys quietly placed the presents and food on the front porch. Then they rang the doorbell and ran. We were thrilled as we watched the parents and their children excitedly gather up the gifts and food.

Greater love has developed among our extended family as a result of these gatherings, and it continues to grow as we share our extended family home evenings each month.—Gretchen Stone, Kaysville, Utah

Photography by Phil Shurtleff