Ask A Latter-day Saint: Cremation

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By Jeff Borders

My husband just died and his body was cremated.  What is the church’s position on taking part of the remains to put into jewelry?

First off, I’m really sorry to hear of your loss. The loss of a loved one is never easy. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I always take comfort in the doctrine that through his grace we can return and live with our Heavenly Father, once we pass on from this mortal sphere. Although it is painful to consider at the time, and when we are mourning, the death of our physical bodies is essential to Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. After the physical death of the body, our spirit continues to live. And the good news of the Gospel is this: because of Christ’s infinite atoning sacrifice and his subsequent resurrection, we have all been given the promise of the resurrection. This means that our physical bodies and spirits will be reunited once again in a perfected form to forever dwell in his presence. 

We see this promise in 1 Corinthians 15:22:

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Now that we have laid down some of the background about our eternal nature as children of God, I think it is best to answer at least part of your question straight from the Church Handbook of Instructions.  

In section 21.3.2 of Handbook 2 it states the following:

The Church does not normally encourage cremation. The family of the deceased must decide whether the body should be cremated, taking into account any laws governing burial or cremation. In some countries, the law requires cremation.

Where possible, the body of a deceased member who has been endowed should be dressed in temple clothing when it is cremated. A funeral service may be held.”

On the topic of the use of cremated ashes used in jewelry, as with many things in the Church, it is left up to the individual to seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost as to how best to proceed in their life. If you are still unsure how to proceed, you can also seek out the counsel of your Bishop. 

I hope this helps.

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