What Does the Mormon Faith Say on Cremation?

by Lara Webster

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.

Preference

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.

Protocols

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.

Resurrection

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.

Legal Considerations

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.

About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.

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