I don't feel the same way and I'm a former Baptist. I feel it's sensationalistic.


At 10:41 AM 07/15/2003 -0600, you wrote:

And I for one just love Gospel music and am grateful that I can find some on
the cable channels.  The Baptist may have a lot wrong, but they have great


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stacy Smith" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 1:41 PM
Subject: Re: [ZION] Is Laughter a Sin?

It's been a mystery to me for a long time, but being serious-minded myself I felt I didn't have to worry about it. This is, however, one of the reasons I won't listen to sing-songy Protestant hymns and deplore the choir from singing them. I also refuse to listen to Gladys Knight for the same reasons. I think there is too much emotionality in these songs that could contribute to levity.


At 09:46 AM 07/14/2003 -0800, you wrote:

>Yesterday in Priesthood Meeting we studied the sermons of John Taylor on
>the topic of keeping the Sabbath day holy.  At one point in the lesson we
>came to these words:
>"And when we do meet to worship God, I like to see us worship him with all
>our hearts. I think it altogether out of place on such occasions to hear
>people talk about secular things; these are times, above all others
>perhaps, when our feelings and affections should be drawn out towards God."
>In the course of our discussion of this particular teaching of President
>Taylor, I mentioned my puzzlement over a related issue.  To my mind, one
>of the mysteries of Mormonism is the commandment found repeatedly in the
>Doctrine and Covenants and elsewhere that we avoid loud laughter and light
>D&C 59: 15.
>15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful
>hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with
>a glad heart and a cheerful countenance-
>D&C 88: 69.
>69 Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast
>away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
>D&C 88:121
>  121 Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter,
> from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness,
> and from all your wicked doings.
>When I turn to the Topical Guide, and read the references cited under
>"Levity" I gain some insight from this:
>D&C 43:34
>  34 Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of
> the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the
> solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds.
>Even Joseph Smith seemed to think that "levity" was a sin:
>JS-H 1:28
>  28 But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial
> company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be
> maintained by one who was called of God as I had been.
>Further, I see these scriptural admonitions reflected in our church
>culture.  Our hymns are thought unusually solemn by other
>churches.  Mormons are frequently accused of taking themselves too
>seriously.  And not a few have remarked that many Mormons don't seem to
>have much sense of humor.
>I grew up outside the Church largely among Jews in the Omaha Jewish
>community.  I have long been impressed with how well developed a sense of
>humor the Jews have.   Indeed, many of our best professional comedians are
>Jewish.  And while living among American Indians at BYU I noticed that
>most Native Americans are almost as funny as Jews.  But as a group, the
>Mormons are a deadly serious people.  At least that is the way it seems to
>So is cracking jokes a sin?  If not, then what do these scriptural
>passages mean?  In D&C 88:121 we are actually commanded to cease "from all
>laughter."  What is the reconciliation?  Or must this remain a mystery to
>John W. Redelfs                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
>"There is no place in this work for those who believe only
>in the gospel of doom and gloom.  The gospel is good
>news.  It is a message of triumph." --Gordon B. Hinckley
>All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
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