Family Home Evening goes virtual
The Manosig family, originally from Taytay, Rizal, is an amazing Latter-day Saint family. The 13 children and five grandchildren are not the only reasons why this large family is amazing, they are an example of living their faith and walking on the covenant path.
All 13 children served missions and the five who are married were sealed in the temple. They follow the words of the prophet. After President Nelson announced the emphasis on the home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel learning, they decided to connect the different branches of the family and hold their Family Home Evening (FHE) online.
“We had our first online FHE on October 7, 2018, from an inspired idea of my husband Oliver. He wanted to test a video call together with his siblings and their families in Quezon Province and Cagayan De Oro,” shared Julie Niturada-Manosig who lives with most of the family in Taytay. Since then, they have been holding virtual home evenings regularly. “It has been a great help and strength for us all. We celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, successes and milestones for every member of the family,” she added.
Family Home Evening has always been a Manosig family tradition. The family patriarch, the late Timoteo Manosig, was particularly touched by the lyrics of the hymn “Love at Home” when he joined the Church in 1974. Since his marriage to Maria Erlinda Lado in 1976 and her subsequent baptism in 1977, they have dreamt of raising an eternal family. To achieve this, they taught their children to stay close to the Church. Sister Manosig emphasizes the importance of family prayer. When interviewed in 2016 for an article celebrating their 13th full-time missionary in the family, Brother Timoteo said, 'Family Home Evening is one of the keys for a strong family relationship.'
Maximizing the use of the internet was the natural next step in keeping the FHE tradition of the Manosig clan. For 18 months now, they have been holding weekly online home evenings with participants from Taytay, Cagayan de Oro, Quezon Province, and Valenzuela.
“Distance isn’t a hindrance,” according to Julie Manosig. “We laugh together as if we are all under the same roof, we can feel each other. We all participate in the program, from the youngest at 7 years old up to grandma who is 66. Imagine a 7-year old boy giving a simple lesson! It's really amazing, he has a big audience and kids are gaining confidence. The best part is, we always hear each other’s' testimonies, our love for the Savior Jesus Christ, and we feel each one's commitment to stay on the covenant path.”
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this multigenerational family continues to learn the gospel together and provide comfort for one another as they uphold their weekly tradition. The family members are quick to admit that it is not always easy, especially when there are technical problems. To help overcome challenges when it comes to holding home evenings, here is what Holy-man Manosig, Balingasag District President in Cagayan de Oro, has to say:
“Parents should put emphasis on the very essence of holding FHE by teaching their children and reminding them always of the eternal nature of the family. Only as family units can we receive the highest rewards of exaltation. Family home evening is vital to the growth and success of a family and parents should always take the lead. No matter your circumstances in life, your family should always be your priority. Focus on the goal of being eternal and the Lord will surely help us do the things necessary to attain that goal.”
Through their online FHE, the Manosig family receive the blessings promised by President Joseph F. Smith when he and his counselors introduced the Home Evening program 105 years ago on April 27, 1915.
“We advise and urge the inauguration of a ‘Home Evening’ throughout the church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. …
“This ‘Home Evening’ should be devoted to prayer, singing hymns, songs, instrumental music, scripture-reading, family topics and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel, and on the ethical problems of life, as well as the duties and obligations of children to parents, the home, the Church, society and the nation. For the smaller children appropriate recitations, songs, stories and games may be introduced. Light refreshments of such a nature as may be largely prepared in the home might be served.
“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” (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [1965–75], 4:339). ◼︎