YSA wards attempt to reinstate FHE activities

Members of the Provo YSA 20th Ward play Spikeball for FHE to maintain social distancing and be outside. (Hailey Williams)

Family home evening activities in YSA wards are starting back up and several students expressed their eagerness to return to ward and family home evening activities.

Kevin Moffitt, bishop of the Provo YSA 3rd Ward, said he is still planning to hold FHE while following recommended protocols from the Church and the state. The guidance he received said it is acceptable to have activities inside as long as social distancing is possible but outside activities are preferable. The guidelines also state everyone should wear a mask and respect social distancing.

Moffitt’s ward held FHE last week, but just like church on Sundays, the ward was split into two groups. He chose to do the activity outside and said everyone was wearing a mask.

“While the weather is warm, that will be easy to do,” Moffitt said. “But when we want to be inside, we probably will not be able to social distance adequately. We may have to revert to Zoom or some other technology.”

Moffitt is still planning on splitting the ward up into FHE groups like he normally does. He said members of the same apartment do not need to distance from each other, but different apartments and households should be socially distanced. “The challenge will be there is they really need to respect the household issue so I’m not sure how they’re going to do activities,” Moffitt said. “We haven’t crossed that bridge yet.”

Steven Hughes, a BYU student and FHE group leader in the Provo YSA 20th Ward, said he received instructions to do things outdoors as much as possible and to always encourage people to take precautions. “If they don’t feel comfortable attending, they are encouraged to do what they need to feel safe.”

Hughes also said he was told the group leaders should attempt to accommodate individuals in the ward who might feel uncomfortable and find ways to make them feel included. “I think a big worry is that people will suffer from isolation, especially since college is supposed to be a high time socially.”

Hughes organized an FHE activity during the first week of the semester, but it ended up having more people than he anticipated, making social distancing difficult. “We ended up being pretty compromised,” he said. “I think people are just desperate to be together again and it’s now my number one goal with this group to make it happen as safely as possible.”

BYU student Alyssa Perfili from the Provo YSA 83rd Ward said she was told they should only have FHE with roommates right now. “I’m kind of mixed because none of us have had a chance to meet any of the ward members,” Perfili said. “But I know that it’s crisis time so it’s hard to meet people anyway.”

Perfili hopes the ward will eventually start doing some outdoor activities so she can get to know more people in the ward.

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