News Story

Family Day Celebrations Strengthen Family Relationships

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the country join with other Canadians in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick to celebrate Family Day on February 17, 2020. The family is the fundamental unit of the Church. Church doctrine teaches that family relationships are eternal and continue beyond the grave (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World“).

Latter-day Saints are encouraged to strengthen family relationships throughout the year. Families worldwide gather weekly for a family-centred evening called “family home evening,” and the Church’s new home-centred, church-supported curriculum, launched in 2019, reinforces the importance of family relationships. The new curriculum decreased the length of weekly church meetings and increased the initiative for families to study the scriptures together.

Brian J. Hansbrow, a curriculum developer for the Church, explained that “home is the best place to live, learn and teach the gospel, and gospel learning and teaching should be part of our daily lives, not confined to Sunday classes” (“Home Centered, Church Supported,” Ensign, Oct. 2018).

Ways to celebrate Family Day are as diverse as families themselves. The idea is to spend quality time together. We asked various people across the country how they celebrate Family Day; these are their responses:

Amanda Buessecker and Nicholas Taylor in Toronto, Ontario, have plans to spend the day working on family history and fulfilling tombstone photograph requests for

Michael Sullivan in Victoria, British Columbia, grew up spending Family Day skiing and watching fireworks with his family in Panorama, British Columbia. While that is not an option this year, his parents will spend the weekend with him on Vancouver Island instead.

In Saint John, New Brunswick, the Spragg family will celebrate Family Day by playing board games together.

Crystal Schlenker in Toronto, Ontario, loves tobogganing with her kids. She shares, “Often people tell me that when I’m out with my kids, I have my hands full. I then respond, ‘My heart is full too.’”

The van Bruggen family of Sturgeon County, Alberta, enjoys lots of family fun on their home skating rink. The grandkids don’t know which is better, the skating or the s’mores that follow at the campfire. For mother Jo-Anne, it’s all about being together with family.

Benedetto and Vanna Parisi in Toronto, Ontario, traditionally go to their favourite restaurant buffet to celebrate special family days. “It doesn’t really matter what we do,” says Vanna. “We just love being together.”

The Seely and Remington families, both of Alberta, are grateful for a long weekend during which they can take their children to visit their grandparents. “Our family traditions continue to evolve as kids grow up, go off to school, get married and get jobs in new cities. This weekend we are all meeting in my hometown to bring cheer to Gramma Cammy and Papa Zan,” says Noelle Remington.

Elder Michel J. Carter, Area Seventy of the North America Northeast Area, wishes all a happy and meaningful Family Day. He encourages, “Take time to show appreciation and express love to your family and help them feel the love of their Heavenly Parents on this special day.”

If you have fun Family Day photos to share, please send them to Canada Newsroom.

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