“The ideal way to transform your home into a house of learning is to hold family home evening faithfully. The Church has reserved Monday evening for that purpose. In 1915, the First Presidency instructed local leaders and parents to inaugurate a home evening, a time when parents should teach their families the principles of the gospel. The Presidency wrote: “If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them.”
“President David O. McKay gave the same promise in 1965 and added that the youth will gain power “to choose righteousness and peace, and be assured an eternal place in the family circle of our Father.” In 1976, the Presidency reaffirmed that “regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellowmen, and trust in our Father in heaven.
“Considering these glorious promises, we would expect every faithful member to be exceedingly diligent in following this prophetic counsel. But, of course, we are all human, and our best plans don’t always materialize. Why not? Let it not be for lack of commitment. I know the Lord will keep his promises. I know also that we can keep this commandment if we will organize ourselves and prepare “every needful thing.” (D&C 88:119.)
“I am grateful that my parents and grandparents provided such traditions of learning for our family. My father wrote this account of how his parents taught their children:
“‘The musical, cheerful voice [of my mother] called, ‘Come, children, it is the singing and story hour.’ … She seated herself in a well-used rocking chair, admonished us to listen carefully, to sing well, and to ask questions. …
“’We learned the words of the song by rote, and the meaning or story of each song was made clear to us. ‘Joseph Smith’s First Prayer’ brought to us the story of the restoration of the gospel and the story of his life was made most impressive. ‘Come, Come, Ye Saints’ opened the door to the richness of pioneer achievement, faith, and loyalty. …
“’A testimony of Joseph Smith’s divine calling, of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and above all, the reality of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, were the blessings derived from the family song and story hour.” My father further wrote: “My heart is filled with gratitude to my angel mother for … teaching me the doctrines of repentance, faith, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. She taught me the power and blessing of prayer, of the actual existence of the Father and the Son, and that Joseph Smith saw and talked to them when a boy fourteen years of age. We knew from her teaching that our Prophet saw other heavenly messengers … , and that through them the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth.” 7
“When I was a boy, our family home evening took place at the dinner table. It was most pleasant and enjoyable. It was a time when our father would reminisce and tell us about his life. He often told us of his inspirational and exciting experiences while preaching the gospel as a missionary in Germany. Each story seemed to improve the more often it was related. I grew up never doubting that I would become a missionary, and I never lost the zeal that he instilled in my heart. Our mother taught us about the nobility of her pioneer parents and their great faith in the gospel.
“Home can literally become a house of glory. Memories of early childhood can become significant in our daily lives.“