Family Day: A Reflection of Family Home Evening Values

News Release

Five provinces observe Family Day in February: Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The holiday was introduced as a way to celebrate families and the importance of family life to society in general. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints join the celebration, which aligns with core teachings of the Church.

Family has always been a focal point for Mormons. In 1915, Church leadership introduced family home evening as a means of strengthening family bonds. Family home evening is a time set aside one night per week during which parents teach their children principles of the gospel as well as pray and enjoy family activities together.

Kim Tylka, a member of a Latter-day Saint ward in Toronto, Ontario, and a mother committed to holding weekly family home evening, says, “Family home evening is one of the practices we try to incorporate into our family life. I believe the practice has turned into a tradition. I pray that this tradition is embedded into our children’s hearts for many years to come, because it is within this tradition that lessons are taught, fun is had and memories are made.”

In addition to weekly family home evening, Family Day gives families the opportunity to spend more time together to enjoy activities such as participating in winter sports, attending museums or art exhibits, watching movies or shows or gathering to play board games or build puzzles. Family Day also gives families more time to share meals together, visit extended family or even volunteer at a shelter or food bank.

In response to the growing concern about the sanctity of family in our day, the Church officially presented “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in 1995. President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said at the proclamation’s 10-year anniversary that it “was then and is now a clarion call to protect and strengthen families and a stern warning in a world where declining values and misplaced priorities threaten to destroy society by undermining its basic unit” (“What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,” Oct. 2005 general conference).

Sara Whitsitt, a Latter-day Saint member in Kitchener, Ontario, and a supporter of family home evening, says, “Family Day is a sign that the world still believes that families are important. It is a day dedicated … in order to bring family and loved ones closer together. It is so good to know that the day is there to share in the joy that can come from building relationships that will last in this life and the next.”

In 1999, the First Presidency of the Church gave strict counsel for families to “give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities” (“Letter from the First Presidency,” Liahona, Feb. 1999). As families do so, they are promised to enjoy the blessings of greater love, faith and protection from negative influences (see “Gospel Classics,” Ensign, June 2003).

Holding weekly family home evening and observing Family Day are wonderful opportunities to build lasting memories and strengthen family bonds by participating in wholesome family activities.

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