BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

On Mormon Laughter


Shawn R. Tucker


Mormon studies, laughter


Shawn Tucker, an associate professor of fine arts, offers an interpretation on the scriptural injunctions against excessive and loud laughter found in Latter-day Saint scripture. Having grown up in a home with lots of joyous, good-natured laughter, the author recalls his confusion at such commands. His research explores the teachings of leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sociologists, and great thinkers such as C. S. Lewis.

The article shows that laughter that is cold, cynical, and belittling is a perversion of a God-given faculty that should delightfully lift and edify. A good sense of humor can build bonds and create joy. The author's conclusions bode well for those who find that a light heart and a healthy laugh is not only good medicine but good religion.