While it isn’t mandatory, having weekly family time is heavily encouraged. It allows families time to spend together reading scripture, praying, playing games, or catching up away from the rest of the world, in order to build a better connection.
Generally, Mondays are the days that most Mormon families choose to have a family day. It’s been this way since LDS Church president Joseph Fielding Smith issued an order in 1970, asking local churches not to hold events on Mondays to give families a chance to spend time together. While not all families stick to Mondays, it is by far the most common choice.
It's Always Growing
Currently, there are about six and a half million members of the LDS Church in America and more than sixteen million members worldwide. It's the fourth-largest religion in America, and it's one of the fastest-growing in the world, adding about one million members every three years.
They point not only to their missions as a reason but also to their common humanitarian aid. There's also the fact that because members are required to tithe if they want to be part of the Temple, there is plenty of funding for outreach, communicating with new communities, and supporting people who need help.
Paradise or Prison?
The LDS Church holds that when you die, you go to either Paradise or “Spirit Prison.” While Paradise is quite similar to traditional Heaven, Spirit Prison is somewhat different from the traditional thought of Hell.
There are no flames or pitchforks (which are Dante's creations anyway). Instead, the prison is for people who either haven't heard the LDS gospel or those who have heard it but have rejected it. Those who have rejected it have committed an unforgivable sin and are banished to the Outer Darkness, which is a little closer to what we think of when we think of Hell (though still not entirely the same).
An Antidote for the Modern World
While the main purposes of Family Night are to keep relationships within families strong, some have noticed that during the modern age, it now has additional advantages. TVs, computers, and phones are switched off or put away, letting people de-stress instead of burying themselves in social media or news about the world.
It's a quick fast from tech, something that is becoming more in vogue as smartphones continue to dominate the landscape. Even if you aren't part of the LDS Church, try putting away the media for an evening or a whole day – you might end up feeling refreshed.
Leadership in the LDS Church
Being a relatively new religion, you might be surprised to learn the LDS Church has already had sixteen presidents. The first, which shouldn't come as a surprise, was Joseph Smith, president from founding until his death in 1844. The second president was Brigham Young, who served for thirty years, 1847 until 1877.
The next president was John Taylor, who served only seven years. Several of the presidents have been family members — or direct descendants — of Joseph Smith or his brother Hyrum Smith, including Joseph F. Smith, president from 1901 to 1918, and his son Joseph Fielding Smith, president from 1970 to 1972.