Sunday, September 4, 2016


On the three channels of the 12 inch television we had when I was young, my parents felt very comfortable watching the material which was presented by Bob Hope, Red Skelton and those other comedians during prime time. They had little fear that what was presented by these humorists might lead to a lengthy rendition of ‘the talk’.

The gulf between what we enjoyed during those evenings together, watching our ‘rabbit eared’ flickering reception, and what is presented today by so called comedians is so wide that no bridge would ever be able to span it. It only takes the lowest level of blockage on the computer to wipe out the words from all most all the acts of the current crop masquerading as comedians.

I have come to realize that if you were to extract the mention of body parts and functions and profanity from the routines of most of the acts of 21st century comedians, their time on stage would not exceed what used to be a 2 ½ minute talk in our church meetings. (If you have no idea what a 2 ½ minute talk is – ask your grandfather or one of the gray haired people at church – recent gray haired converts excluded)

It isn't that they cannot tell a joke without being ‘blue’, as evidenced by how they clean things up when appearing on a ‘prime time major network show.’ It just seems that today’s so called humor has sunk to the lowest common denominator of human morality.

One of the better definitions of humor is: ‘an exaggeration of reality.’ Therefore, if I attempt to be humorous outside of the bounds of reality, you will undoubtedly not find it funny. We seldom laugh at those things to which we cannot relate.

Let me give a personal example.

Because of the cultural norms, in our church we find humor in what we call ‘mormonisms’. These would not even slightly tickle the funny bone of someone who is not familiar with the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

My son came home from church saying he wanted to be bishop so that he can sleep in church.

If you don't stop misbehaving, everyone will think you are the bishop’s child.

Put a badge on a young man and he miraculously changes from being a teenager to being an Elder.

Who knew that there would be a rule in the mission field about what time you go to bed and get up?

High Priest groups are a meeting held for frustrated spit and argue club debaters!!

Finally, we arrive at the point of this Thought.

There have been many times when I have come home after one of those unresolved debate sessions and wondered why we all hadn't followed Nephi’s counsel to his brothers that if they really wanted to know the truth, they needed to inquire of the Lord.

By its very definition humor cannot be truth, since its basis is exaggeration. It seems not to matter whether our humor comes in the form of the sterile clean days of Hope and Skelton or from the polluted humor of today’s ‘blue’ comics or from one of the many culture norms in which we exist, it will always fall short of being truth.

The seeker of truth must find loftier ground to walk upon if they are going to have a chance to discover that which is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:24)

As we examine the lives of Nephi’s un-prayerful brothers, Laman and Lemuel, hopefully it is not like holding a mirror and looking deeply into our own souls. Sadly, forever in time those characteristics resulting in Laman and Lemuel not knowing truth and which have caused Heavenly Father’s children to wander about on all other avenues before calling upon God, seem to bear a remarkable sameness.

Lack of faith

Reluctance born of unrepentant lives

Lack of self-confidence, which keeps us from soliciting aid from a
Being from whom we have estranged ourselves

Failure to cultivate the talent which makes it possible to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit

I feel confident that if we were to spend as many hours seeking truth from its fountain, as we have spent listening to the exaggerations of men attempting to humor us, we would be amazed at how satisfying the living waters of truth are and we would begin the process which leads to never thirsting again.

I suggest if we were to spend the same energy in trying to overcome the barriers which keep us from receiving truth from The Source, as we do debating our various guesses, we would begin to see the barriers disappear as they did for Nephi of old, and our inquiring of the Lord would bear the fruit of added light and understanding.

I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Book of Mormon – Moroni 10: 4, 5)

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