By Christine Thackeray
This week I brought my second son to the MTC. As we sat in the big room, preparing to say our final good-byes, I listened to the final talk and was struck by the fact that the same three jokes that were told when I went through over twenty-five years ago were still being used today.
At the time I thought, why can't they come up with some new material. So I started looking and read through pages and pages of missionary jokes, determined to come up with substitutes. Many of the jokes I read portrayed the Elders as stupid or naive. Other jokes were slightly off color and had no point to them. A few were cute but would not have worked in that setting. After wasting far more time on this effort than I should have, I sat back and had to admire the appropriateness of the jokes they use and how applicable they are without being silly or cruel.
So I conclude admiring the very thing I scoffed at, because, frankly, I can't come up with anything better. I suppose that I should look at the MTC jokes like I do at fairy tales. Every young child is told the story of "The Three Little Pigs" or "Goldlilocks and the Three Bears." We don't expect new stories, but relish the comraderie of the shared experience of all knowing the same thing. That is the essence of tradition and I would be the first to admit the MTC is a great tradition for my boys.
So what are these jokes I'm talking about? I decided not to share them, so for some of you it can be a new experience.