One-on-One Home Evenings
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    “One-on-One Home Evenings,” Ensign, July 2003, 73

    One-on-One Home Evenings

    Our family home evenings were in some ways nontraditional since it was usually just my three-year-old daughter and I.

    Soon after I was baptized, a family in the ward gave me a family home evening manual. From it I chose lessons to teach my daughter, followed by an activity and refreshments. Following are some favorite family home evening activities that others may also enjoy.

    1. Act out scripture stories. In my mind, I can still see my daughter picking up one of her dolls and exclaiming, “Look, it’s a baby!” as she was pretending to be the pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses in the Nile. We also took turns pretending to be an animal on Noah’s ark, while the other guessed which animal.

    2. Sing hymns and Primary songs. When my daughter was older, we would sometimes sing hymns all evening. Great gospel lessons are contained in the lyrics, and we enjoyed harmonizing with the beautiful melodies. Younger children can also gain appreciation for music by singing Primary songs during family home evening.

    3. Give anonymous service. We enjoyed making cookies, leaving them at a member’s house, ringing the doorbell, and running away. We always attached a note that said, “From the Parkland Ward Phantom,” so the recipients would know the cookies were safe to eat.

    4. Play “I love you because …” Sometimes when others would join us, we used to play a game where we’d spin a bottle and the one spinning would say, “I love you because …” to the person the neck of the bottle pointed to. Then the “loved one” would spin the bottle and continue the compliments. It was a great bonding experience for us and helped include family members who were not members of the Church.

    Family home evenings helped me teach my daughter the gospel. Now she is grown and married, and she and her family have been sealed in the temple. I believe our family home evenings helped prepare her for those blessings. I hope that other families with similar situations will have the hope and courage to keep trying.

    Velma Rice, Belleville Ward, O’Fallon Illinois Stake

    Illustration by Beth Whittaker