A Mormon Times article entitled, "Family home evening turns 40" commemorates when Monday nights were reserved in the Church exclusively for families to spend quality time with one another.
The month of October commemorates the anniversary of the God-given directive to set aside Monday nights as family night. For 40 years, members of the church have had the responsibility to strengthen their homes and families by spending time together on Monday evenings. . .
In October 1970, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially designated Monday nights for use church-wide as family night. On this night, no other ecclesiastical function was to be held so that families could gather at home for family home evening.
Although the designation of Monday night was new, the counsel to have a weekly family night was not. Members of the church were first asked to hold a regular family night in 1915.Emphasis on Family Home Evening has not waned. Currently, Church leaders devote considerable time and focus to it. The Church's web site has an entire section for Family Home Evening or FHE.
I'm not happy with how members apply this counsel. I think FHE on Monday nights should be considered a minimal baseline rather than a maximum goal. In other words, one night a week of quality time with the family is the minimal amount of time for FHE type activities you should aim for. You should probably try and do much more if you truly want to strengthen your family in the gospel. Less than one night a week is obviously inadequate.
It is sad that Church leaders have to order us to spend only one night a week with our families. It suggests that we aren't even achieving this modest target.
My husband and I are empty-nester's. I once told a friend, "Every night is Family Home Evening" for us, and it is. Our lives are built around each other. Sometimes it astonishes other people how much time we spend together. We've been doing it so long it just seems natural to us.
Societal forces seem to be pulling families apart. Our best efforts should be exerted in keeping them together. Let's view Family Home Evening as more than a modest one night occasion.