Subject: Loud Laughter
Date: Feb 18, 2008
Author: OldSoul

The part about refraining from "loud laughter" in the temple ceremony always bothered me (I know, I know, you're thinking "Really that's all that bothered you?"). Now that I'm on my way out. I can finally ask, what the hell was that supposed to mean? Laughter is bad? I tried to rationalize it as mocking laughter or making light of sacred things, but that didn't seem to fit. I like to laugh and laugh loud. Is TSCC [this so called church] really trying to stamp all joy out of life by trying to make you self conscious and guilty even when you laugh?

Was there some other other basis for this little part of the oaths? Why was that in there?


Subject: According to early Mormon prophets, loud laughter was a terrible sin...
Date: Feb 18 12:21
Author: Deconstructor

The Prophet Joseph Smith:

"Think not that we would enjoin you a Monkish sadness or hypocritical gravity: not so, but we would have your forsake all your loud laughter which is always indicative of an empty mind, and as we have before remarked, is calculated to grieve the Holy Spirit and make it withdraw, leaving you to the influence of that spirit which lures but to destroy."
- The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, Kirtland Ohio, May 1836, Vol.2, No.8, p.306

The Prophet Brigham Young:

"Some of you are very fond of passing jokes, and will carry your jokes very far. But will you take a joke? If you don't want to take a joke, don't give a joke to your brethren. Joking, nonsense, profane language, trifling conversation and loud laughter do not belong to us. Suppose the Angels were witnessing the hoe-down we had the other evening, and listening to the haw, haw's, the other evening would they not be ashamed of it. I am ashamed of it."

"The revelations in the bible, in the book of Mormon, and doctrine and covenants teaches us to be sober; and let me ask you Elders that have been through the ordinances in the Temple, what were your covenants there? I want you should remember them. When I laugh I see my folly, and nothingness, and weakness, and am ashamed of myself."
- Prophet Brigham Young, May 29, 1847, The Essential Birgham Young, p. 29

The Prophet Joseph F. Smith:

"Let the parents in Zion give their children something to do that they may be taught the arts of industry, and equipped to carry responsibility when it is thrust upon them. Train them in some useful vocation that their living may be assured when they commence in life for themselves. Remember, the Lord has said that "the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer," but all in Zion should be industrious. Neither should they be given to loud laughter or light and foolish speeches for these are not only unbecoming, but grievous sins in the sight of the Lord. And, we read that the wages of sin is death, and death is banishment from the Spirit and presence of the Lord.
- Gospel Doctrine Ch.16, p.370


Subject: Here is a personal aside on "loud laughter" about my wife
Date: Feb 18 12:02
Author: Cats

I bought a BBC show hosted by John Cleese and Elizabeth Hurley called "The Human Face."

In it John goes to India where a doctor there has a created laughter clubs. He claimed 800 world-wide but mostly in India. The mostly consists of a daily dose of loud laughter. He also advocates fake laughing out loud because it has as many health benefits as real laughter. He said their mantra is "fake laugh till you make laughter."

Well, it just hit me that my wife made a strange comment after we watched that episode. She said it was a wonderful idea to have a daily does of loud laughter.

She is a firm believing Mormon. It didn't even dawn on me until your post that this is in direct contradiction to what people covenant to in the temple.


Subject: As far as I'm concerned.......
Date: Feb 18 12:07
Author: Harbinger was my dad's excuse to punish us every time we were too loud while he was watching the news. ;-P

There's nothing wrong with loud laughter or "lightmindedness". It's like "no evil speaking of the lord's annointed" - it's a loosely-defined control tool. That way the household p'hood holder can interpret it any way he finds convenient at the moment.


Subject: Controlling humor keeps participants from laughing at baker hats,
Date: Feb 18 12:07
Author: Cheryl

funny aprons and such. They probably added this directive early on because the snickering and guffaws overwhelmed the quiet pensive mood they wanted to project.


Subject: Obviously those Full of Themselves Mormon prophets...
Date: Feb 18 18:58
Author: DoxiNoMo

... never bothered to read Proverbs.

Proverbs 17:22 (King James Version)

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."


Subject: Re: Loud Laughter
Date: Feb 18 12:51
Author: OldSoul

Thank you Deconstructor! That was hugely informative. I now understand it's just as horrible as I thought. I WAS supposed to feel guilty for laughing and having a good time. Heck, it even made Brigham Young "ashamed."


Subject: Re: Loud Laughter - old Biblical notions - loud laughter is the opposite of sober and serious
Date: Feb 18 13:26
Author: SusieQ#1

Loud laugher was a sign of drunkenness also. Just like "lightmindedness" it is the work of the devil, playing cards, etc., anything that distracts from being industrious and serious.

What many forget or do not know is that much of Mormonism is Biblical -- and still lived today.

Do not criticize the pastor? Obey him!
This is right out of the Mormonism play book!

See: How to treat the pastor on this link!

Sound like Mormonism? You bet it does. It's Christianity which is where much of Mormonism came from and still practices.


Subject: JS low self esteem
Date: Feb 18 13:46
Author: kl

I always thought it was the childishness of JS who maybe felt "left out" when others were laughing. Perhaps such low self esteem made him think others were laughing at him? Easy fix--just forbid laughter.


Subject: As many of you know, I come from a long line of Christian ministers. The work of the devil
Date: Feb 18 13:59
Author: SusieQ#1

was found in being too boisterous, playing cards, being idle, (idle hands are the devil's workshop), making light of serious things, and on and on and on.

My friends who went to Catholic school for instance, didn't have nuns who taught them to laugh a lot! :-)

It was about how the Biblical scriptures were interpreted. Joseph Smith Jr lived in Christian dominated area. It was the thinking of the times.

Loud laughter and lightmindedness is right out of Christianity of the 1800's -- and continues today in many churches!


Subject: Re: Loud Laughter
Date: Feb 18 14:09
Author: visitingteacherofchaos

Loud laughter and true enjoyment of oneself may actually scare away evil spirits.


Subject: In that case, there are no "evil spirits" anywhere near me!! :-)
Date: Feb 18 14:17
Author: SusieQ#1

So when you feel an "evil presence" it's best to laugh loudly! I bet Ghost Busters and Sylvia Browne (etc.) don't know that - someone, quick, contact them! :-)


Subject: I didn't catch this one when I went through the temple...
Date: Feb 18 15:53
Author: Adult of god

The one that hung me up was the no sex without marriage covenant. I crossed my fingers on that one.

I didn't realize that I had promised to laugh only demurely and behind my fingers until I arrived at this board.

I have always laughed loudly and at whomever, annointed or not. And I did notice when my sister stopped laughing along with me--it was after she was married in the--yup, the temple.

Does this mean no Daily Show or Colbert for TBM's?


Subject: I actually felt guilt if I laughed too loud, seriously...
Date: Feb 18 16:20
Author: anon

and I also happen to be a very "light minded" person. Whoa, double whammy! I love to take life with a big helping of humor on the side. This was, in my eyes a fault I needed to bridle, but I couldn't. I'm a goofy, crazy, witty mom/person. I felt bad about that.

I remember moments while laughing at the funny little remarks my young children would make where I'd pause and worry that I was offending God for being too light minded and laughing too loud. How truely DUMB!

What a messed up teaching! Sheesh!


Subject: "No loud laughter." That is absolutely, positively the one thing about the Temple
Date: Feb 18 16:21
Author: JackMormon'sWife

. . . that *PISSED* me off! I come from a long line of Irish Catholics and loud laughter has *always* been a part of my life.

Now that I'm ex-mo I get back at the cult on RfM by engaging in as much loud laughter as my little heart desires.

Shannon ;o)


Subject: This subject matter is from The Law of the Gospel, in the temple covenants. (link)
Date: Feb 18 16:31
Author: SusieQ#1

A little refresher:

Law of the Gospel: We are required to give unto you the Law of the Gospel as contained in the Holy Scriptures;
to give unto you also a charge to avoid all lightmindedness,
loud laughter,
evil speaking of the Lord's anointed,
the taking of the name of God in vain,
and every other unholy and impure practice, and to cause you to receive these by covenant.

This is the impetus for my DOOR SIGN for Mormons who are pests and refuse to leave you alone...!!


I am under no obligation to:
avoid all loud laughter,
evil speaking of the lords anointed
or any other impure or unholy practice

Enter at you own risk
Rachel, My New Name

This is really quite an interesting exercise -- to watch the faces of the temple attending/endowed Mormons when they read this dialog right out of their temple ordinances on my front door! They can't leave the house fast enough! :-)


Subject: Probably drunken laughter
Date: Feb 18 16:30
Author: Concrete Zipper

JS's dad was an alcoholic which probably had an enormous impact on him as a child. Imagine what it was like to be a child, living in a tiny log cabin with a father who drinks to excess.

The laughter would wake you from your sleep. Your father would act strangely, perhaps violently, which would frighten you. Your mother's reactions to a drunken father would further show that something was very wrong.

Also, JS's adamant refusal of alcohol as an anesthetic for his leg operation is very telling. The kid came from a troubled home.



Subject: Re: Probably drunken laughter- Many of the early members drank to excess and the JOD records
Date: Feb 18 16:44
Author: SusieQ#1

how the Ward Teachers would have to go out and find brother so and so and take him home and counsel him.


Subject: Outside the temple and chapel, this one is definitely
Date: Feb 18 17:51
Author: heresy

prey to cafeteria Mormons. Plenty have the sense to ignore it in my experience.


Subject: I did take note of the loud laughter, but bow your head
Date: Feb 18 18:12
Author: cl2

and say yes was BIG. The prayer circle--whew! There were so many things.

I think that the reason they say this is because we are supposed to be emotionless zombies. Look around, listen--watch conference. No anger, no loud speaking (that soft voice). My mother used our arguing as children to tell us we were bad--

Mormons show NO EMOTION--they aren't even supposed to have sexual feelings.

So--laughter is showing EMOTION. Any BIG show of emotion is wrong.

For those of you who watched the PBS special (just watched it last week), Marlin Jensen (was it)--the church historian--no emotion. A few little smiles, soft speaking, white shirt, dark suit--a robot.

We used to think it meant you were HOLY.

If he had burst out into loud laughter, then I would have thought he was HUMAN.


Subject: Re: I did take note of the loud laughter, but bow your head
Date: Feb 18 20:57
Author: Spot

Yes, you must not show emotion or have emotions. If you have emotions how are you to know the difference between the holy ghost and your own emotions.

Therefore you must remain emotionless at all times so you can know at all times that you are being led 100% by the holy spirit.

Insanity is another word for it.


Subject: Re: Loud Laughter [cuss]
Date: Feb 18 22:56
Author: JBug

Mt husband is BIC and has had the LDS nonsense shoved into his brain since birth. I remember one time in 1983, we went to see the movie "Splash" in the theater. [the mermaid one with Tom Hanks] There is a line towards the end that John Candy says that made me hysterical with laughter, I was holding my sides and almost rolling down the aisle I was laughing so were a lot of others there. My husband got quite upset with me because I was "laughing too hard" and it was not "ladylike". I couldn't believe it, he said women should only "tee-hee" very quietly and smile, no matter how funny something was.

Kind of f*cked up, this "no loud laughter" business. As a convert, I never did really understand it very well.


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