It seems almost every Sunday in our ward someone takes the time to crack a joke from the podium. I find this ever so wonderful being one who enjoys a good laugh. But what I have found out, by pure experimentation, is that I am the only one in the congregation laughing.
I have wondered if it was purely me being a chuckle head but as I look to my left my wife is laughing also. I know they all these people have a sense of humor. . . . or do I.
There was the time when our last Missionary was being sent out. He stood up in front of the congregation and thanked everyone who he had to pay to attend church that Sunday before he left one his mission. I laughed. But did anyone else. I also went up to him later and demanded the money he agreed to pay me for attending. He just told me to get in line with the others.
There was also the time when I was asked at the last minuet to give the lesson on chastity last year out of the life of Spencer W. Kimball. The other teachers didn’t want to give the lesson so it was up to me. I prepared for the lesson and stood up infront of the entire Elders Quorum and stated:
This talk I am about to give is about the The Law of Chastity. I am throughly convinced the reason I was selected to give this talks is . . . I would be to one leased likely to see blush.
I got a lot of sound from the audience but not much laughter. But since I was asked back as a Perma-Teacher in the Elders Quorum I guess some of the people in our ward has a since of humor.
You MUST be living in a pretty dead set of wards. Ugh. Come to my current ward. Anything you’d said mentioned above not only would have gotten some chuckles, but would have seen a bit mild compared to the rest of the things I’ve seen since moving here.
Frankly, and very honestly, I think that laughter is very good. That said, there’s a time and place for it. Yesterday was our stake conference. We had a visiting GA who cracked a few jokes from the pulpit and got full laughter (all very polite and restrained, of course) from the congregation. The point is that there are SOME people who are very uptight about the remonstrations to “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.” (D&C 88:121). I personally take such advice more in the vein of the mocking of the sacred, seeking certain types of lewd and bawdy entertainment, and the like. Especially given some of the things that GBH said in conference, and given the response that I saw both in my home and by those that I know, humor is well appreciated by a lot of people in the church.
Of course, I’m not the one that tells jokes from the pulpit usually. I have no talent for it generally speaking, so I leave it for those that do, which is entirely appropriate. I can make people laugh in private conversation, but on stage I’m not that great as a comedian. Everyone has a strength.
I have always found a lot of things at church to laugh about. The rigidity of modern day Mormon experience gives us many great opportunities. I have to be careful because I tend to find humor in almost everything and sometimes I am a “party of one,” as my wife tells me.
But I also find that most GAs have a pretty good sense of humor, even some of the most stodgy ones. I found President Hinckley to be hilarious. I imagine in private he was even funnier.
We have a lot of goofy sacrament meeting speakers that always start with a joke, intentional or not. Such as when the speaker starts off with, ” When Brother so and so called me, I…..” I always think that is funny. Because it is always the same thing about how they didn’t want to speak, etc.
Jamie, I wonder if your EQ were afraid to laugh at your joke….
On the other hand, I hear the “When the bishop asked me to speak” line so often any laughter which accompanies it seems forced and out of politeness for the speaker.
Now, in Gospel Doctrine, you can really get some laughs going in my ward.
Our bishop has set the tone for “reverent levity” by nearly always making a self-deprecating comment from the pulpit and cracking jokes left and right. Unfortunately, some of us need permission to be relaxed and human at church.
I give you my permission. As one who often gets in trouble for my cracks and jokes.
Oh, and Jamie, that’s a lovely last name, how do you pronounce it?
And can I steal it for my writing?
1. Benjamin – The leaders in our ward really do have a good sense of humor. It’s sad sometimes that a lot of the congregation does not. Our Bishop is a really genuine guy. Even if we weren’t members I’d want to hang around him and his family.
2. Jeff – Yes I do think some might have been afraid to laugh. But the risk paid off. Thank goodness for that.
3. John – This is so true.
5. Benjamin – Trwth is pronounced Truth. A play on the word Truth and the letter W (Double U). Making my last name Doubly True. Yes you can steal it. Just tell me where you are placing it after you steal it. I really love to read the writings of others.
Jamie, perhaps the rest of the ward has a sense of humor and you are the one with one.:)
A sense a humor includes a sense of non-humor.
Doh! I messed up my own joke.
Jamie, perhaps the rest of the ward has a sense of humor and you are the one without one.
Aww, not the timing is all off.:(
Jamie, thanks for that. I’ve always wondered how to handle that. What linguistic origin does it have?
I think jokes are fairly commonplace in my branch. Most people include a joke or funny story that ties in with their talk it seems. The best certainly do. I love it.
#9 I could say ‘West Indian’ but I would be lying. It’s from a Lost Language. The name of which has been lost to antiquity. Of which only Trwth prevails.
Re: #9 & 11: The word “cwm” (pronounced “koom”) is a Welsh/Irish word–not that Jamie’s name is Welsh per se, but it’s another example of “w” used as a vowel.