The month that the Church declared Monday night as “Family Night” was the same month that Monday Night Football began


mnfFamily Home Evening, or Family Night, refers to one evening per week that families are encouraged to spend together in study, prayer and other wholesome activities. The idea of Family Home Evening began in a letter dated April 27, 1915 from President Joseph F. Smith and distributed to local leaders. The letter encouraged a church-wide practice of a weekly “Family Home Evening”. The letter did not give a specific day of the week in which this event should occur.

“The designation of Monday night for family home evening came in September 1970. ThePriesthood Bulletin announced that ‘in a recent meeting the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve approved the setting aside of Monday night for holding family home evening throughout the entire Church. Encouragement is now given to stakes, missions, wards, and branches to reserve Monday evening for family home evening. … Families [should] be left free from Church activities so that they can meet together in family home evening.'” – Rex W. Allred, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Jan. 1987, 52

So we can date Family Home Evening on Monday nights to September, 1970, but when did Monday Night Football begin?

Well, the first ever NFL game on Monday night was held on September 28, 1964, but it was not televised. The NFL experimented with one Monday night football game per season in 1966 and 1967 and two games per season in 1968 and 1969. It wasn’t until the 1970 season that the NFL officially had a televised Monday night football game each week and promoted it as Monday Night Football. The very first official Monday Night Football game was held on September 21, 1970.

So, both Monday Night Football and the Church declaring Monday night as “Family Night” occurred in September, 1970. Was it just a coincidence or is this just one more battle in a very old war?

MNF starts when Family Home Evening begins

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