Note that the scriptures reference "loud" laughter and a "light mind."
J. Golden Kimball, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Gordon B. Hinckley, and
many other general authorities have not only used humour, but spoken of
the therapeutic value of laughter.
Loud, raucious laughter (of the type which I am too frequently guilty) is
not condusive to the feeling of the Holy Spirit. Worse: it can distract
someone else feeling the Spirit!
So it's no wonder that the Lord tells us to temper our laughter (just as
we're to temper all our emotions, and it's just as difficult), especially
in solemn settings. Those are the instances that the Lord brought to
Joseph's attention -- Joseph was a man of powerful good humour who loved
to laugh and play with children. (A friend who edits a competitive yo-yo
magazine asked me if I thought Joseph would have played with the 19th
century yo-yo -- called "bandalore" then, and I heartedly told him Joseph
would have had difficulty getting back to work, because he'd have been
out in the streets practicing yo-yo tricks with the kids.) And it's
especially difficult when one feels pure joy -- there have been many
times that I've felt so happy in the temple that I felt like laughing
aloud. And it's probably been good for me to restrain myself.
"Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you
are doing the impossible."
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