Thursday, October 25, 2018

President Hugh B. Brown on having a wholesome sense of humor

Elder Hugh B. Brown (1883–1975) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1953, then as an apostle in 1958.  He served as a counselor to President David O. McKay from 1961 until President McKay's death in 1970, then for five more years as a member of the Quorum of Twelve until he passed away.
"We have often urged our young people to carry their laughter over into their mature years. A wholesome sense of humor will be a safety valve that will enable you to apply the lighter touch to heavy problems and to learn some lessons in problem solving that 'sweat and tears' often fail to dissolve. A line from Proverbs advises us that 'a merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones' (Prov 17:22)."
- Hugh B. Brown, Conference Report, April 1968, p. 100

Sometimes we see Church leaders as solemn, rarely-smiling men behind pulpits. In reality, they are normal people with very pleasant personalities and often very keen senses of humor. I love this counsel from President Brown about the importance of laughter and a "merry heart":

In modern revelation the Lord counsels us to do things "with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance" (D&C 59:15). We can have a "cheerful heart and countenance" without being frivolous or excessively flippant.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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