In the Temple we are counseled to “avoid loud laughter”. I confess that I do not avoid loud laughter, but I actively seek it out! I love a good joke, and I especially like satire and dark humor. There is a study that found that appreciating dark humor is a sign of intelligence. I don’t believe that, or I would be a member of Mensa with my crazy humor.
My father was a joke teller, and to this day whenever I pass a cemetery, I’m reminded of my father telling us kids why there is a fence around the Cemetery: “because people are dying to get in”. My father also introduced me to Monty Python when it first was shown in the USA on local PBS stations in the early 1970’s.
I love Monty Python, and at the ward talent show years ago I got two others in the ward with a warped sense of humor, and we did a Monty Python sketch (Buying a bed) for our talent. I think the single funniest scene in any movie I’ve ever seen, and brought me to tears I laughed so hard, was the stoning scene in Life Of Brian . The whole movie is a satire of religion in general and Christianity in particular, And this scene pokes fun at the Law of Moses and the prohibition on uttering the name of Jehovah.
While the Law of Moses does have lots on rules that are easily made fun of today, I wonder what a Monty Python sketch about Mormons would look like. I can imagine John Cleese as Brigham Young, with the other guys (Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin) dressed in drag playing three of his wives, all getting ready to go out to a dance. The wives would be bickering about who is BY’s favorite, complaining about the new young bride he is spending all his time with, etc. BY would then come in, and try to smooth things over. A fight would ensue, blood would be shed (it’s just a flesh wound!), and BY would storm out flustered, mumbling something about polygamy and if it is such a good idea.
So what do you think about loud laughter? Does the Lord really disprove of it? Or is the temple injunction some holdover from 19th century puritanism , or maybe even Masonic origins?