The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Faith or simply LDS, places an emphasis on the sanctity of the body as a creation of God. As a result, many Mormons do not believe in doing anything destructive to the body, even after death. However, despite the fact that cremation reduces the body to ashes, some Mormons still choose it over burial.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recommends burial as the means of laying someone to rest, either in a grave or mausoleum. While the church does not officially condemn cremation, its official position is that the practice is not encouraged. Ultimately, Mormons leave the decision about whether to cremate the deceased in the hands of the family.
When the body of an endowed member of the church is cremated, he should be wearing temple clothing whenever possible; temple clothing is all-white clothing that is worn only during worship in life. Once the body is cremated and a funeral service conducted, the place where the ashes are kept may be dedicated as a grave by a member of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Melchizedek Priesthood is the greater of the two LDS priesthoods; the other is called the Aaronic Priesthood. The priesthood is thought to hold the keys to all the spiritual blessings in the LDS faith.
The Mormon faith includes the belief in resurrection. Despite the fact that cremation reduces remains to ash, the church holds that God is capable of restoring the pieces together at the time of resurrection. Therefore, while cremation is frowned upon, it is not seen as a definite barrier to the resurrection. Likewise, while the church does not encourage the scattering of ashes, it does not see the practice as a hindrance to resurrection.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints acknowledges that in some countries, cremation may be required by law. When that is the case, it does not encourage families to break the law by conducting a burial. The church considers the law one of the main considerations that a family should think about when deciding whether to cremate a loved one.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Handbook 2--Administering the Church: Cremation
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Handbook 2--Administering the Church: Burial or Cremation
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Handbook 2--Administering the Church: Dedicating Graves
- Deseret News: Ashes to Ashes: More People Choosing Cremation
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: I Have a Question
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Melchizedek Priesthood
- Basic Mormon Beliefs: Mormon Temple Clothing
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