Every week, President and Sister Gilbert host student wards in their home for Home Evening. They take part in not only socializing with each student as they walk through the door, but also hold a question and answer with them after the opening prayer and song.
This has helped emphasize how important Home Evening is for the Gilberts. Although Elder Bednar was the one who implemented the idea, the Gilberts have run with it, and have enjoyed hosting these wards each week.
“We have Home Evening in our home, we participate in the Eternal Family course, we will teach that in fact tomorrow,” President Gilbert said. “We have tried talking about Home Evening in our devotional, we have done date night, but we will also talk about and show pictures of our family on our social media pages. Just trying to do our best as a family, and keep the spirit in our home.”
Even though the Gilberts are busy throughout the week, they still make time for these Home Evenings.
“We just try to include our kids as much as we can, so that the students will see the joy that family brings, and even though some things aren’t perfect, it’s fun and it’s what the Lord has in store for us here and we let Him guide us in that way,” said Sister Gilbert.
“It just felt more personable to have the students in our own home,” President Gilbert said.
President and Sister Gilbert have said on more than one occasion that the brethren have told them to emphasize the family in this calling.
“They know that the family is under attack, particularly in this generation,” President Gilbert said. “You set a pattern now, and even though it’s not perfect, and you’re going to have roommates in and out, you set a pattern that you’re going to be laying a foundation for a future family,”
“I remember as a student in college, my roommates and I wanted to have scripture study together,” said Sister Gilbert. That was a great experience for me, because it was different than what I had done with my family.”
“For me, and I think that this is similar to Home Evening, it was a pattern, that I was able to see something a little different than my family had done and bring other ideas that had come through some of my other roommates, and then to incorporate it into our dating, and then marriage,” Sister Gilbert said. “It just helped me to see a bigger picture of some of those programs that can really help us, and Home Evening is one of them.
Having the Gilberts stand behind having Home Evening, and seeing the time they put into having students in their own home, sets a tone for this campus in order for them to be engaged in a great program.
“Home Evening is more of a fun time to be together, and do things that are fun and gather as a family, and we will do things that will teach spiritual principles, and we also try and have fun as a family,” President Gilbert said.