Archive for June 8th, 2007

FHE zealots

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Last night at a small Relief Society function the idea that Family Home Evening should only be on Monday nights and the support of any activities that occur on Monday night are in essence bad was shortly discussed. The feeling I came away with from the discussion was if you don’t hold family home evening on Monday nights and you support functions that are on that night your bad. Like you can’t hold family home evening on any other night of the week?
The Church has delegated Monday night Family Home Evening night (FHE), so as a consensus you don’t bother other church leaders on this night. Meetings can be held on any other night of the week and often you can find that a meeting or activity is being held on other nights of the week. As a church leader you have numerous meeting to attend and as a member you have numerous activities to attend, all of which will have certain church leaders there. So Monday is the one day sanctioned by the Church for FHE because you may have to do other things all the other days of the week.  I think it’s an extreme to say that you can never do any other activity on Monday.  Some extreme members might even say doing other things on Monday night would be similar to breaking the Sabbath like having a sports function on Sunday or a party.
The problem presented was a change in a school practice that is regularly held on Tuesday night to Monday night.  The mother was upset that there were 7 LDS members our of 9 on this board and 6 out of the 7 LDS member voted it was OK to hold the practice on Mondays, which they were changing so they could get more help from other experts in this field and better the children in the activity. (I know it’s vague, but I’m wanting to keep it vague.) The idea was how could these good upstanding LDS parents allow an activity to take place on FHE night, and what are they not doing that they’re OK with putting the practise first rather than the family. It was also mentioned that the instructor himself was LDS, so why would he want to change it in the first place? I was being timid and not wanting to start a debate, but really do we have to do FHE on Monday? Can’t we say okay we have no school or other activities on Thursday night, this is the night we’ll do FHE and  if something comes up that’s important we’ll skip it or discuss changing it for that week or all go as a family for the activity. I once had an institute leader give the example  of his daughter needing to put up posters for school on a Monday night and they all went as a family to help since it was FHE.
I find it funny that people judge others by the fact that they’re okay with having something on Monday so they must not do FHE. This change was for the better of the kids. I went to school on Monday nights for some of my college classes and we held FHE on Wednesday,  was I bad for wanting to better myself at something just because I did it on a Monday night?
I find it to be an extreme thought that you can only do something on one certain night a week because that’s when it’s been instructed and supported by the Church.  I think that somewhat overshadows the fact that we need to be gathering as a family at least one night a week, the night doesn’t really matter.
Do we have to sacrifice bettering ourselves for coming closer as a family? In which FHE might not really work, even though every leader will support it, but if you have a wayward teenager FHE may do nothing to help the family come closer. Might our children in the end become negative and hold a grudge if they’re not allowed to pursue their dream because it was held on a Monday night? (Yes, it’s FHE so it should be the family night and the argument of being able to do things on Sunday for fear of a grudge might be substituted, but what I’m talking about is a night that you have with your family that does not deal with Sabbath day worship but as bonding as a family and having spiritual lessons)
What if we decide to have FHE instead of having them go to weekly church functions. Are we  bad parents then?

We don’t hold FHE regularly. I’m in charge of it now and since we’re together almost every night and I’m with the girls all day long I find it a daunting task and I’m never quite sure what to do to interest the girls. We have been pretty regular in the past, but it’s hard. We try to delegate a night that is FHE and we usually end up watching a movie and having something special as a treat. With  having the Gospel Art Kit I’ll pull out pictures and try to tell a gospel story sometimes. We just haven’t done this lately. So maybe this comes from my guilt of neglecting FHE, but really I think sometimes we miss the mark if we’re focused to much on the little things rather than the big picture.
My kids are young and not involved yet in things for the church like activity days (for the 8- 11 year old girls) or mutual (once you’re in Young woman’s- 12-18), and they don’t have any outside hobbies just yet, besides dance, but that’s once a week when it’s occurring, so maybe as I get older our week might fill up and we may have things every night, and then the weekends are hard because of date night and our girls wanting to go out with friends. Maybe it could then be an afternoon, say Saturday afternoon you spend time with family, it is after all only two hours or so one night a week.
I guess I’m trying to balance the busy world with family life, but in the end I don’t want my kids to be in five different activities or sports and I hope that my callings in church don’t require me to be out 3-5 nights a week every week because of meetings and serving others. I know the goal of FHE is to have time together as a family to look at gospel teachings, but does God care if I hold it a different night than Monday? I personally don’t think so.
I think I might hold FHE on Tuesday’s just for fun, so whatever you do don’t call on Tuesday nights. 😉